Monthly Archives: March 2011

Transilience: Adapting urban living for a changing future

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A special Design with Dialogue event was held in conjunction with the 2011 McLuhan Centenary and U of Toronto’s KMDI, as a panel and participatory workshop in which the public is invited to engage the questions:

  • How are ecological changes moving us toward planning for urban resilience?
  • How might we make the transition to resilience as a community and not as competing resource users?
  • How is the city a medium, a media system? Can McLuhan’s notion of media ecology help guide historic changes in resource ecologies?
  • What are the risks if we don’t act, or we fail to cooperate in “transilience?”

Video by Gregory Greene, ResilientPLANET

Although starting from different perspectives and communities, both movements are coordinated, advance responses to near-future impacts to urban planning, transport, food and water supply, energy, ecology, and habitation. The big question remains for citizens and communities, that, if foresight is true, what ought we to do – today?

Two global movements have emerged in the last few years as a civil societal response to foreseeable constraints and societal shocks resulting from changes in climate and energy resources – Resiliency and the Transition Town.

Peter Jones (DwD, OCADU) hosted the session and workshop. Peter Rose moderated a one-hour panel discussion with three leading thinkers and planners.  (Presentations are now available)

  • Resilient City planner Craig Applegath (Dialog Design)                                  PDF
  • Jeff Ranson (Innovolve and OCADU Strategic Foresight & Innovation)     PDF
  • Transition Town planner Blake Poland (UofT Public Health).                       PDF

Many thanks to Patricia Kambitsch, whose live sketches provided visual reflection. And to documentary videographers Greg Greene (ResilientCITY, End of Suburbia) and Dexter Ico for their coverage and photos (all photo credits, Greg and Dexter).


Over 70 people from around the GTA joined us for an engaging, creative, hands-on thinking and doing workshop. Participants left the session wanting to know and do more. We planned this session with the hope that we might help our communities change values, habits, and communication to create and adapt to a more resilient future.