In March 2011, York University hosted a two-day workshop on civic engagement for urban revitalization. Tower Renewal addresses the need for reinvestment in aging post-war, high-rise apartment buildings in Toronto. Many of these buildings, especially those that provide low-rent or social housing, are in desperate need of retrofitting for energy efficiency and also require reinvestment at the neighbourhood level, not just at the scale of the building. Engaging residents in community planning is challenging, as those most affected by revitalization projects also tend to have the least resources to participate. Planners and community organizers are attempting to reach out and involve residents in new ways to ensure that plans reflect the aspirations of the people whose lives will be shaped by the landscapes produced through revitalization. This workshop provided the public and York University community an opportunity to understand the underlying issues of Tower Renewal and possible solutions that may guide the restructuring of these towers while respecting the residents of these neighbourhoods.
The Tower Renewal Workshop has created this website to share this York Uunivrsity event with the public and to share research and critical persectives about Tower Renewal. This site provides mini biographies of the presenters and their participation in Tower Renewal, as well as a short video summarizing the two-day event while introducing issues of the tower neighbourhoods. It also provides links to subsequent events and ideas about high rises, revitalization and public engagement.