Principal – Freedman Urban Solutions
Urban Solutions is an Urban Design, Planning & Land Development Consulting firm offering services to both the public and private sectors.
Services include: urban design, master-planning, design charrettes, pre-development consultation, public process facilitation, land development mediation and alternative dispute resolution.
Director – Urban Design
Under my leadership the Urban Design Section of the City Planning Division was charged with improving the design quality of public and private development initiatives across the city through project review, the creation of design guidelines and policies and public outreach and education. As Director I led and inspired a team of 75 unionized and non-unionized staff including Urban Designers, Architects, Landscape Architects, Graphic Designers and Heritage Preservation Officers.
I led the charge to streamline and standardize the design component of the development review process through the creation of a Design Review Checklist, which resulted in greater consistency across all four District offices and reduced application processing times. I also established and directed the City of Toronto Design Review Panel, which resulted in higher design quality and a streamlined and more predictable application process.
Every other year I directed a staff team that organized and conducted a series of major symposiums on design themes emerging from the Toronto Official Plan including: Tall Buildings, Mid Rise Buildings, Design Review Panels, Streetscape Design, and Designing Transit Cities. We used the findings from these symposiums to improve our urban design policies and standards and I lead our urban design policy group and consultant teams in the creation of a series of award-winning guidelines — including Tall Buildings, Mid Rise Buildings, and Townhouses — which improved the consistency and quality of the development review process.
I also directed a staff team in the creation of the award-winning Toronto Streetscape Manual – a digitally-interactive compendium of all existing and emerging streetscape design details across the city — making it more efficient for city staff and applicants to review and develop appropriate streetscape designs.
Project Manager & Team Leader – Urban Design Associates – UDA Architects
As a Project Manager and Team Leader at UDA I managed a team of five Urban Designers working on a series of public and private design initiatives in over 20 cities across the United States. During my tenure I prided myself in not only making our team more creative and responsive to our client’s needs – but also more efficient and profitable.
Over the years I developed an expertise in the UDA, collaborative design charrette process, which we used to complete, designs, masterplans and design-guidelines for new, developments, neighbourhoods and downtowns – working directly with community stakeholders to create a plan specifically tailored to their needs.
As a team, under my leadership, we successfully competed for seven Hope VI public housing redevelopment initiatives in Baltimore, MD, Norfolk and Portsmouth, VA, Yonkers, NY and St. Louis, MO, replacing the most distressed public housing projects with mixed-use, mixed income, walkable-scale neighbourhoods.
We also created a series of award winning Pattern Books for several cities, including Celebration, FL., which provided essential neighbourhood and house-design details for use by the Town Architects, city staff and developers.
Project Manager – New York Main Street Alliance
The New York Main Street Alliance was a State Chapter of the Main Street Program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. As a Project Manager I consulted with and offered design and planning advice to over 30 Main Street organizations across New York State on issues such as parking strategies, safety, graffiti control, facade design and restoration, window displays, streetscape design and historic preservation.
Articling Associate – Goodmans LLP
Areas of Interest: Real Estate, Administrative / Planning / Environmental Law.