Built form and storytelling

Below is an outline of topics for a brief talk at Centennial College, July 27, 2012 for Professor Patrick Michalak’s class. The title for the talk is from an essay with the same title from What we see: Advancing the observations of Jane Jacobs (2010), available on loan from the Toronto Public Library.

I much appreciate knowing about this book, which I learned about from Patrick Michalak, whom I met at a Mimico 20/20 meeting at John English Junior Middle School in February 2012, on which occasion I facilitated a workshop on heritage perservation in Mimimco. Preparing for the recent talk to his class has been very helpful, as it’s given me an opportunity to focus on the importance of storytelling.


1. Why leave design decisions to the experts such as architects, urban planners, and real estate developers?

(a) Reconsidering Jane Jacobs (2011):


2. Mimico waterfront: Another ‘wall of condos’ disaster in the making?

(a) ‘Wall of condos’ metaphor:


(b) Interview: Councillor Mark Grimes talks up burgeoning Humber Bay:


(c) NOW story regarding Amedeo Garden Court:


(d) June 5, 2012 Mimico 20/20 workshop was in my experience an impressive event:


(e) Message from Harry Oussoren on behalf of Mimico Lakeshore Network regarding Mimico 20/20 process:


3. What is the impact of community involvement on a local project such as the Wesley Mimico United Church story?

(a) Mimico residents seek a solution for Wesley Mimico United Church that will benefit all stakeholders:


4. How important is Jane Jacobs’ work in helping define community-based planning?

(a) Jane’s Walk website:


(b) How do you make a Jane’s Walk into a conversation?:


5. How is vision expressed in storytelling?

(a) Welcome to Masdar City:

(b) Masdar City – a glimpse of the future in the desert:


(c) The text for the 2011 Parkview School letter was developed with input from many sources:


(d) New French School to open in Etobicoke (Etobicoke Guardian, September 1, 2011):


(e) The future of the book is the blurb, McLuhan said:


(f) This weekend’s Jane’s Walks unveil the hidden city (Toronto Star, May 4, 2012):


6. Why and how should post-secondary students get involved in community planning projects?

(a) A moral logic was eventually built into the structure of civic advocacy:



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