Guelph Urban Design Summit highlights value of urban design in creating a prosperous and vibrant city

Guelph, ON, May 6, 2014 – More than 400 participants attended the Guelph Urban Design Summit, which took place May 5 and 6 at the River Run Centre. The Summit successfully engaged residents, professionals and thought leaders in envisioning and planning a livable, prosperous and vibrant city.

“Thoughtful urban design can improve our quality of life, our neighbourhoods, our community pride, and the city’s social, environmental and economic wellbeing. My hope is that the Guelph Urban Design Summit left participants inspired to continue to build our great city,” said Mayor Karen Farbridge.

The Summit focused on real-world case studies, urban design tools and strategies, innovations in urban design, and citizen engagement approaches which can be adapted to communities of all sizes, and Guelph in particular.

“One of the City of Guelph’s key focus areas is city building,” says Todd Salter, general manager of Planning Services. “This Summit supported this focus by providing the public and our colleagues from other municipalities with an opportunity to discuss how cities are designed to the benefit of all, and learn how Guelph is thoughtfully focusing on good urban design to positively shape future growth of the city.”

The two-day Summit included a Public Forum on Monday, May 5. Speakers David Miller, President of World Wildlife Fund Canada and 63rd Mayor of Toronto, Andrew Howard, co-founder of Build a Better Block, and Guelph Mayor Karen Farbridge, focused their discussion on what is needed to deliver positive change and build a great city.

The Summit continued today 6 with a full-day Professional Workshop for those engaged in urban design projects. The line-up featured moderated discussions on specific case studies, hands-on mobile workshops, networking opportunities, and thought leaders discussing urban design tools and strategies.

“Citizens, government, private industry, and other organizations all have a role to play in city building. In an era of knowledge and rapid urbanization a comprehensive approach to urban planning and development is more important than ever before,” said Ann Pappert, Chief Administrative Officer. “Cities are at the centre of innovation, learning and wellbeing.”

The Guelph Urban Design Summit was hosted by the City of Guelph in partnership with the Province of Ontario, the Ontario Professional Planners Institute and the Municipal Urban Design Roundtable. For more information, visit

For more information

Todd Salter
General Manager
Planning Services
519-822-1260 extension 2395