Toronto's Rail Deck Park Plan: The Case for Green Space in the City11:30am-1:30pm | Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel - 525 Bay Street, Toronto
In this Economic Club exclusive, join Chief City Planner of Toronto, Jennifer Keesmaat in conversation with New York City's Commissioner of Parks and Recreation, Mitchell Silver, as they discuss how investing in parks and recreation can bring value to a city.
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CBC Toronto News
Dwight Drummond is an award-winning journalist and the host on CBC Toronto News, which airs weeknights at 6 p.m. on CBC television. Dwight has been a reporter and news anchor for over two decades. He was awarded the Ryerson University Alumni Award of Distinction and has been inducted into the Faculty of Radio and Television Arts’ Wall of Fame. Recently, with Dwight at the helm, CBC Toronto News won Best Local Newscast at the 2015 Canadian Screen Awards
Known for his exclusives, he's broken local stories that have gone national and has reported from the U.S., Caribbean and Africa. He had the lead story on CityNews' Gemini win for Best Newscast, and a top story for City's Edward R. Murrow win for Best Newscast.
Dwight has also received a number of awards for his police reporting and commendations for his community work. He is a recipient of the Men of Excellence Award, the Distinguished Men of Honour Award and the African Canadian Achievement Award for Excellence in Media.
Chief Planner & Executive Director
City of Toronto
As Chief Planner for the City of Toronto, Jennifer is committed to creating places where people flourish. Over the past decade Jennifer has been repeatedly recognized by the Canadian Institute of Planners and OPPI for her innovative work in Canadian municipalities. Most recently, Jennifer was named as one of the most influential people in Toronto by Toronto Life magazine and one of the most powerful people in Canada by MacLeans Magazine. Jennifer is the 2016 recipient of the President’s Award of Excellence, Canadian Institute of Planners.
Her planning practice is characterized by an emphasis on collaborations across sectors, and broad engagement with municipal staff, councils, developers, business leaders, NGO's and residents associations. Her priorities include implementing a divisional strategic plan, leading an Official Plan review process, refining public consultation to provide more access to city building conversations, a renewed focus on evidence based transit planning, midrise development on the City of Toronto's many avenues, and overseeing development review for over 4000 applications annually.
Jennifer is the founder of Project Walk, which premiered its first short film in 2011, as an official selection at the TIFF. In 2012 Jennifer debuted her first TED talk, Walk to School and in 2013 she delivered her second, Own Your City. Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario (combined honours English and Philosophy) and has a Master in Environmental Studies (Politics and Planning) from York University.
Mitchell J. Silver
Commissioner of Parks & Recreation
New York City
As NYC Parks Commissioner, Mitchell J. Silver has overseen several major initiatives bringing equity, innovative design, and cutting-edge placemaking techniques to New York City’s 30,000-acre park system. Since he became Commissioner in May 2014, he has led the launch of the Community Parks Initiative, which is bringing $285 million in capital overhauls to more than 60 historically underserved parks across New York City; Parks Without Borders, a new design approach to activate park borders and edges; and a $150 million effort to rebuild five historic Anchor Parks, one in each borough.
An internationally recognized planner, Commissioner Silver is the immediate past president of the American Planning Association (APA). Prior to returning to his native New York City, he served as the Chief Planning & Development Officer and Planning Director for Raleigh, NC. In Raleigh, he led the comprehensive plan update process and a rewriting of the development code to create a vibrant 21st century city. He is the Dunlop Lecturer in Housing and Urbanization at Harvard University and in 2014 and he was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Planning Association.
Mitchell Silver received a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from Hunter College in NYC.