Building a Planning Framework for a Creative City


Realizing this goal was an underlying focus of the The City of Toronto’s Creative City Planning Framework. The report maintains that in this context “all the components are in place for the city to realize this potential: Toronto’s wealth of human talent; its openness to diversity, its strong social infrastructure; the breadth and depth of higher education institutions; strong and safe neighbourhoods. And last but not least, its extraordinary strengths in creative and cultural industries.” While the potential is great, Toronto faces increased competition from other cities moving aggressively to position themselves as world creative cities – London, New York and Berlin; important second-tier cities – Montreal, Austin, Texas and Providence, Rhode Island, to name a few.

It was in this context that the City of Toronto commissioned AuthentiCity to prepare the Creative City Planning Framework. The report emphasizes the importance of creativity and culture to future prosperity and quality of life in the City of Toronto. However, nurturing creativity requires a shift in perspective in fiscal and economic development frameworks and a bigger ‘toolkit’ of fiscal and zoning tools to support cultural development. A core message is that no one agency can achieve the outcomes desired. Success demands new shared governance systems and partnership models built around a common vision and understanding of the planning issues and opportunities.