Groups of planning students work on projects, often connected with clients from the public or private sectors. Projects vary from year to year but all require a rigorous application of skills of problem and goal definition, generation of solutions, evaluation of alternative means of achieving goals, and presentation of results. A comprehensive inventory of courses is here.
SURP-824: Great Streets for the City of Kingston (Fall 2012)
A team of nine students worked as student consultants for Darin Ramsay of the City of Kingston to generate a report entitled “Great Streets for the City of Kingston”. Academic direction was provided by Patricia Collins and David Gordon. The students conducted a detailed analysis and review of the basic elements of great streets, synthesized best practices for complete and green streets, and developed plans and designs for applying the elements to several categories of Kingston streets. Their recommendations included the need to educate the public about how rights-of-ways serve purposes beyond moving automobiles, to capitalize on ongoing street improvements in order to phase-in changes that are in keeping with great street principles, and to determine how elements of great streets will be prioritized given physical and economic limitations. The students were excited to learn of the City’s plan to hire external consultants to develop complete streets guidelines for Kingston, and that their final report will be used as a key data source by these consultants.
SURP-825: Environmental Investment in Coastal Areas (Fall 2012)
Under the academic supervision of Graham Whitelaw and John Meligrana, the course team partnered with the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority and staff Rob McRae (MPL ’99) on “Exploring Opportunities for Environmental Investment in Coastal Areas of the CRCA”. The project team was retained to conduct independent research on the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River coastline between Brockville and Greater Napanee. This project was the latest venture in a long history of collaboration between the Conservation Authority and the School. The focus of the research was on potential economic opportunities along the Cataraqui Region coastline and how they relate to environmental conservation, and vice versa. The team was asked to provide the CRCA and coastal communities with ideas that could be used to inform sound planning and management practice, as well as further research. The project team made seven recommendations: 1) Create a prioritization toolkit for natural and cultural assets, 2) Inter-municipal coordination in regards to shoreline development policies and restrictions, 3) Improve physical linkages in the study area, 4) Improve tourism marketing through themed packages, special group marketing and study, 5) Pursue opportunities for enhancing protection and accessibility of coastal lands, 6) Promotion of research and development of water technologies and green infrastructure, 7) Improve accessibility by addressing 8-80 cities principles and guidelines.
SURP-826: Blair Station (Re)Envisioned (Fall 2012)
Under the academic supervision of Dr. David Gordon the course team partnered with the City of Ottawa and staff Charles Lanktree on the “Blair Station (Re)Envisioned: A Transit Oriented Development Study for Ottawa’s Blair Station”. The City of Ottawa is converting the existing Transitway Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system from Tunney’s Pasture to Blair Station to Light Rail Transit (LRT). This is expected to stimulate land use intensification and transit-oriented development (TOD) around future LRT stations. This study outlines a proposed plan for intensification of the Blair Station area to assure it develops into an integrated, complete community that meets the City’s TOD policies. The vision is to transform the Blair Station Area into a diverse, connected, compact and transit-oriented destination that enhances the quality of life for existing and future residents and transit users. http://www.queensu.ca/surp/current-students/project-courses/Report.pdf
Image at right: The Blair Project team designed massing models based on the projected population and employment growth surrounding the TOD area
SURP-827: International Planning Project in Auroville India (Fall 2012)
Dr. Ajay Agarwal offered an international project course in Auroville (www.auroville.org). Auroville is located near Pondicherry in southern India. The client for the course was Auroville Integral Sustainability Institute and the assignment was to recommend guidelines for developing a network of social spaces along “The Crown,” a major arterial street in the city. Ten SURP students and Dr. Agarwal traveled to Auroville for two weeks during December to work on the project. Prior to departure, the students did substantial background research on Auroville, and also studied best practices related to planning of social spaces. Students had several Skype meetings with the client. The class was very successful. Both the client and the students have given very positive feedback to SURP.
Image at left: Students discussing the "Galaxy" plan of Auroville
SURP-871: Social Planning (Fall 2013)
Image at right: The SURP 871 class with Rev. Christine Williams
SURP-848: A Community Design Vision for Montreal Street (Winter 2013)
Dr. Carl Bray led the students of the SURP-848 Community Design class in creating a vision for the Montreal Street Corridor in the Inner Harbour neighbourhood of Kingston, Ontario. Through a land use, community and cultural analysis of the corridor, students developed new ideas and design guidelines for Montreal Street which were presenting to community representatives, Kingston Councilors and planners. The project identified the importance of urban design to city streets and neighbourhood identity. The students were interviewed in the Kingston Whig, where they talked about several challenges and opportunities from the project. In addressing issues such as food deserts, community facilities and heritage, the students developed reports, maps and plans for implementation.
Image at left:Students were interviewed about their project design options in the Kingston Whig-Standard, one of the city's local newspapers.