Guelph Urban Design Summit: Delivering Change on the Ground

Staff memo.


The planning for this Spring’s City of Guelph Urban Design Summit is advancing nicely, and staff are very pleased to advise that the first wave of public communications and promotional material is about to be launched. The following provides a brief overview of the program for the two day event, and the attached poster is being distributed over the next few weeks to key audiences. Our promotion of this event will continue over the next several months and we would greatly appreciate it if Council and Executive Team would start to “spread the word”.

Let’s talk about urban design in Guelph!

As part of the Corporate Strategic Plan – City Building, the City of Guelph is presenting the Urban Design Summit on May 5 and 6. We are beginning to publicize this exciting event that will showcase urban design in Guelph. We have learned that urban design creates more livable and enduring places, which is the essence of successful city-building and the vision of Guelph and other cities across Ontario. The Summit will focus on how we move beyond visioning and begin to deliver change on the ground. The outcomes of the Urban Design Summit will be used to inform how the City moves forward with its Urban Design program and the update to the Urban Design Action Plan.

The Summit will take place at the River Run Centre and has two parts.

May 5 – Evening Public Forum

On May 5 there will be a Public Forum in the evening at which Keynote Addresses will be given by David Miller, President and CEO of WWF Canada and Andrew Howard, co-founder of Build a Better Block. Following the
keynote addresses, there will be a moderated discussion between Mr. Miller and Mr. Howard. Ric Young, one of Canada’s leading practitioners and thinkers in the field of social change, will moderate the discussion.

We will be holding tickets for Council Members to attend the May 5 Evening Public Forum. For conference planning purposes it would be helpful if you could confirm your attendance by contacting us at [email protected] by the end of March 2014.

May 6 – All-day Professional Workshop

The May 6 Professional Workshop is targeted toward individuals and organizations engaged in urban design or urban initiatives. The Workshop will focus on three themes:

· “Making the Economics Work: Urban design and the creation of value”,

· “Showing Results Now: Using quick-win strategies to start implementing good urban design today”, and

· “Evolving the Commercial Strip: Making more pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use corridors”. There will be three sessions and three mobile workshops that allow those in attendance to explore these themes.

We would also welcome your attendance the all-day Professional Workshop on May 6. To register for this portion of the Summit, please contact us at
[email protected] by the end of March 2014.

More details about the Urban Design Summit can be found on our website:

Staff are really excited about how this Summit is coming together, and how it will showcase Guelph’s leadership in City-Building.   Staff