Boundary to Interface

June 2010


Jun 21, 2010 8:49 PM
Vasanthakumar Saeran

Boundary to Interface

Propasal by: Saeran Vasanthakumar 

Proposal for: Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Canada

The economic and social polarization of the city is inherently tied to its ecological character. Gentrification has given rise to a divided Toronto, and a more unsustainable one at that as the urban real estate market drives unsustainable growth. Architectures and infrastructures that address this question of greater urban community must inherently make an argument based on a change of lifestyle that aligns itself to greater urban resilience.

The project proposes the creation of an urban interface for Toronto based around a skytrain addition along existing transit lines. The subsequent creation of interchanges around existing stations are developed into community hubs. These hubs are used to introduce new urban ecologies and economies into the suburbs. In this way the project ties communities together and constructs a new character for the suburbs in order to promote broader exchange and transfer with the rest of the city. Boundary to Interface produces urban resilience by developing and linking the suburban to the urban.

Resilient Principles

Carbon Dependency Reduction
- upgrading and increasing of public transit network
- densification of commercial, community and productive programs

Systems Diversity
- introduction of new agricultural economy to suburbs
- introduction of biodiversity through urban agriculture
- introduction of new urban typologies (markets, plots, marsh)
- introduction of new transit infrastructure (skytrain)

Systems Redundancy
- physical connection of existing transit networks in suburbs
- alternative food supply for urban area
- water collection for greywater use in surrounding landscape and buildings

Infrastructure Durability
- interconnected system of infrastructures: ecological and technical are flexible,      anticipatory and can be modified as needed

System Feed-back Sensitivity
- creation of suburban armature – linked community hubs – around which future  densification will occur allowing for greater interconnectivity and responsiveness  in the suburbs

Local Self-Sufficiency
- local agricultural production, processing and vending
- water harvesting, processing and use through constructed marsh

Responsive to Natural Systems
- introduction of ecological infrastructure that draws on natural systems for food production


Boundary to Interface: Research

Jun 21, 2010 8:48 PM
Vasanthakumar Saeran

These diagrams show the increasing socio-economic polarization of Toronto in the Post-Fordist era, based on location quotients of professional workers, recent immigrants and low-level service workers.


Boundary to Interface: Urban Strategy

Jun 21, 2010 8:47 PM
Vasanthakumar Saeran

The urban strategy for Boundary to Interface consists of identifying the spatial boundaries of the Greater Toronto Area, and transforming them into a series of community hubs based on existing GO Transit stations. GO train lines are the only public rail-based transit in in the suburbs, tying together the city of Toronto. Thus this intervention begins with the addition of a Steeles Skytrain. A latitudinal GO train addition strenghtens and ties together existing transit hubs while it's raised nature gives a strong public character to the GO train stations.

With the introduction of a skytrain, and the upgrading of the newly creating transit interchanges into community hubs, the project works to create an suburban-urban armature that acts to catalyze interaction and exchange. By linking this to a related set of ecological infrastructures (urban farming, market typologies, public transit) to facilitate and transform community living, the project strengthens the resilience of the city.


Interface as Community Hubs: Strategy

Jun 21, 2010 8:45 PM
Vasanthakumar Saeran

The first diagram illustrates the phasing strategy for the Interface intervention. The next two diagrams illustrate the infrastructures that offer alternative typlogies of transit, commerce and interaction for the suburbs in order to encourage the change of life neccessary to increase urban resilience.

These new typlogies additionally work to increase interconnectivity to the rest of the city, while providing a new character for suburban sprawl - incentivizing transfer between the polarized regions.


Interface as Community Hubs: Milliken Mills Example

Jun 21, 2010 8:43 PM
Vasanthakumar Saeran



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