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February 26, 2008
Discussing Innovative Approaches to Managing Public Places
A ground-breaking public forum, 'Innovative Approaches to Managing Public Places' will be held today to explore how management, programming and funding of public places in Toronto and other cities are successfully organized and delivered.

The Nathan Phillips Square Revitalization Public Advisory Group and the City of Toronto have brought Dan Biederman - a driving force behind the revitalization of Bryant Park in New York City and a consultant on public space management - to Toronto to share his thoughts and experiences related to public space governance in other jurisdictions.

“This is an exciting event that will stimulate fresh thinking on how public places, such as Nathan Phillips Square and the St. Lawrence Market Precinct, can be operated and sustained for the long-term benefit of Torontonians and visitors to the city,” said Mayor David Miller. “High-quality stewardship of Toronto’s public places is essential to ensure their ongoing contribution to the city’s quality of life.”

Three local experts with diverse management experience will participate in a panel session addressing a range of delivery models at work in Toronto. The panelists are Geoff Cape, Executive Director, Evergreen; Michael J. Cooper President and Chief Executive Officer, Dundee Realty Corporation (Distillery Historic District); and Ron Soskolne, Development Consultant, and Chair of the Yonge-Dundas Square Board of Management.

“With the City’s efforts to revitalize Nathan Phillips Square well underway, it is important that we begin to look at new models to manage the square in the future. This forum will provide us with valuable ideas that will help shape our thinking on this important issue,” said David Anselmi, the forum chair and a member of the Nathan Phillips Square Revitalization Public Advisory Group, which was approved in 2006 to advise City Council on a long-term management structure for the square.

“This is also the perfect time for these experts to meet, as we begin to plan the future for the St. Lawrence Market Precinct. We can learn from their experiences, and build an approach to governance that will benefit all involved,” said Councillor Pam McConnell (Ward 28, Toronto Centre-Rosedale).

The forum, being held at the Design Exchange from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., is sponsored by TD Bank Financial Group, the Design Exchange and the City of Toronto.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won more than 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:

Cindy Bromley, Manager, Communications, 416-392-4993,



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