This boom is controlled by urban planning techniques, to prevent buildings being built in the “Wild West” – mäniers. For example, the city has a clear communication on the importance of the participation of the population. The city administration is primarily concerned with where the buildings are built, how much of a shadow they produce, which materials are used and how much they contribute to the enrichment of the public. This process is made very clear: citizens are informed about the new building project via the city maps (see photos) and online (at www.toronot.ca/aic). They are included with the motto “PLANNING A GREAT CITY TOGETHER”.
At present, 140 high-rise buildings are under construction in downtown Toronto. This increasing number of new high-rise buildings, primarily residential dwellings, illustrates what changes have taken place in a megacity such as Toronto. High-rise buildings make it possible for a large number of residents to move directly into the city.
Throughout all of these changes, it is important that the city administration of Toronto inform and involve the citizens, in order to make the planning process clear, to encourage support from citizens and to improve the quality of the planning.
Frankfurt is also experiencing a new trend towards residential buildings, although the apartments are still only reserved for very high-paying clientele. New high-rise buildings are also emerging in the office segment. Unfortunately, attentive observers miss out on the same clarity provided in Toronto. The planning office in Frankfurt needs more transparency and should involve the public at an early stage, for example, on the Internet. It might benefit Frankfurt if there was a motto, as in the Canadian model: “PLANNING A GREAT CITY TOGETHER”.
A contribution by Jürgen Petzold.