Department of Geography and Planning Graduate Projects

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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 227
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    Oh, the PLAYces You’ll Go: A Comparative Analysis of Public and Private Older Adult Play Spaces
    (2024-05-07) Gryfe, Marley
    Older adults over the age of 65 have become the fastest growing age group in the world. This demographic shift requires age-friendly planning that not only supports but also stimulates the aging population. One age-friendly planning approach to engage and excite older adults that is currently overlooked is play. My study aims to address the play gap in age-friendly planning literature by exploring the relationship between older adults with both public and private play spaces. To gain insights into the relationship between older adults and play spaces, a mixed-methods single case study analysis was conducted of Century Village East (CVE), an age-restricted community in Florida. Results from the analysis of naturalistic observations of 245 older adults across three play spaces and ten semi-structured interviews with seasonal residents provided valuable insights on enabling and limiting features of older adult play spaces. Through studying play in a saturated older adult-oriented environment, I was able to develop recommendations for designing public spaces to avoid elements that constrain play, socialization, and physical activity while ensuring the inclusion of play features that foster positive outcomes.
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    Keeping Heritage Afloat: A Planning Framework and Evaluation Toolkit for Floodplain Management of Built Heritage
    (2024) Maugeri, Michael
    This research report addresses the urgent need to protect Ontario’s built heritage resources from the escalating threat of floodplain inundation, which is continuously exacerbated by climate change. Through a central inquiry into enhancing resilience against flood events, this research report aims to develop innovative planning strategies, policies, and guidelines. The research objectives involve investigating existing resilience strategies and crafting a tailored framework for floodplain management of built heritage resources. Drawing on an extensive literature and policy review, and case studies analyses, the framework integrates historic conservation and preservation with disaster mitigation, offering practical guidance for policymakers and professionals. Key components include contextualization, stakeholder engagement, risk assessment, developing mitigation strategies, implementation and monitoring, emergency preparedness, and recovery and rehabilitation. Additionally, an evaluation toolkit was developed to assess the quality and effectiveness of floodplain management strategies for built heritage resources, ensuring alignment with goals and monitoring mechanisms. This comprehensive approach supports an informed decision-making process for safeguardiung Ontario’s built heritage resources in flood-prone areas.
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    Public Spaces, Public Life in Montréal - Assessing Differences in the Utilization of Urban Parks in Two Contrasting Boroughs
    (2024-04-30) Hopkins, Hunter
    This report examines the complex and ephemeral ways in which public life unfolds in Montréal’s urban parks, both small and large. By employing the Public Spaces, Public Life (PSPL) method of analysis first conceptualized by Jan Gehl (2013), this research aims to highlight the various physical, social, and psychological factors that govern how people navigate through four distinct urban parks. The findings from this study contribute to the fields of public realm planning and urban design by expanding on prevailing research into the uses and benefits of urban parks, while also identifying recommendations to improve access to high-quality public spaces in Montréal.
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    What makes a wetland significant? An examination of changes made to the Ontario Wetland Evaluation System
    (2024-04) Hobbs, Mikiya
    Wetland ecosystems are declining globally, including in Ontario. To preserve certain wetlands from human disturbances, Ontario uses the Ontario Wetland Evaluation System (OWES) to evaluate wetlands and determine whether they are ‘provincially significant’. Wetlands that are determined to be ‘provincially significant’ are protected from development by section 2.1 of the Provincial Policy Statement. In 2022, the Ontario government introduced updates to OWES that change how wetlands are evaluated. This report examined these changes and analyzed their implications for land use planning. Through literature reivew, policy analysis, and semi-structured interviews conducted with practicing evaluators, it was found that the changes to OWES are likely to result in less wetlands being protected from development. Based on the findings, this report recommends that planning authorities review their local policies affecting wetlands and assess whether these policies are still suitable.
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    The Transition of Military Bases to Neighbourhoods: Measuring Realtive Sustainability of Canada Lands Company Developments in Alberta
    (2024-04-20) Rubletz, Joel Daniel
    This report examines two Canada Lands Company developments and assesses their relative sustainability using two different sustainability assessment tools, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighbourhood Development (LEED-ND) and von Hausen’s Scorecard. Data was collected during site visits, review of development plans, map studies, and census in the fall of 2023. By comparing results from each neighbourhood and tool, the research aims to address questions and formulate recommendations, contributing to an enhanced understanding of creating sustainable neighbourhoods.