The Canadian Institute of Planners recently held their annual national conference in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. “Thrive 2015” invited planners from across the country to discuss, debate and to exhibit some of the most innovative solutions and daunting challenges facing the planning industry in Canada. As part of the conference, Kiran Chhiba presented with Eldon Theodore of MHBC, on the topic of City Building Through Design Competitions.
City Building Through Design Competitions focused on the current state of planning and urban design, and on how limiting procedural aspects of planning can affect the development of creativity in our profession. The presentation explored introducing idea competitions as a measure to help reinvigorate scaled projects that suffer from excessive planning processes, static engagement and overall disconnect to local and regional contexts. Kiran presented “Inundation”, Dillon’s 2014 winning entry to the Urban Land Institute’s inaugural competition for their Toronto Chapter. “Inundation”, recently featured in the World Landscape Architecture Magazine, challenged the status quo of a development-oriented city like Toronto, to respond creatively to the advancement of public realm, connectivity, cultural heritage and adaptability of infrastructure, over a 100 year period to establish a new vision for the Central Waterfront. The presentation offered insight into the overall benefit of a competition forum as a measure to develop more inventive responses to significant planning projects and the logistical challenges of competitions as opposed to conventional planning processes.
Kiran Chhiba is a registered urban planner and designer at Dillon Consulting. Through investigations of varying scales and contexts, he has focused on open space in the city and the qualitative significance they present to the larger urban sphere. Recently Kiran was on a team which won the Urban Land Institute Ideas Competition for the Central Toronto Waterfront and previously was on the winning team for the Pratt Street Design Competition in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition to professional experience, and has taught at the University of Toronto.