The CLR's Platform for Resilient Urbanism (PRU) is an interdisciplinary design, education, and research arm that advances urban socio-ecological adaptation and resilience strategies. This includes the study of resilient design as a model of contemporary practice, as well as an instrumental and projective policy tool.
The CLR began in the early 1980’s with graphics and user interface research into computer aided design (CAD) and geographic information systems (GIS) with the Computer Systems Research Institute. It was formally constituted as a centre in the Faculty in 1989 with Professor Ed Fife as the first Director. Previous directors of the CLR include Pierre Bélanger, Liat Margolis, Professor Emeritus John Danahy, and Interim Dean Rob Wright.
The CLR is committed to multidisciplinary research and welcomes participants from any discipline. Throughout the years, it was closely associated with U of T's Knowledge Media Design Institute (KMDI) and has collaborated in the National Centre of Excellence (NCE) through projects in visualizing climate change mitigation with CALP at the University of British Columbia and Planning at the University of Waterloo. The CLR has supported and fostered a variety of research activities on specific research topics developed by individual faculty in landscape architecture over many years such as the GRIT Lab (Liat Margolis) and Gutter to Gulf (Jane Wolff / Elise Shelley).
In times of environmental and social crises, landscape architecture has often played a leadership role by offering new and imaginative modalities of shaping the city. Embodied disciplinary knowledge that is rooted in systems thinking, the espousal of indeterminacy and dynamic gradients in the design of space, and the coupling of social, civic, and performative functions in service of public health and the public good; all are relevant and central concepts in dealing with climate crisis.
Today through the Platform for Resilient Urbanism (PRU), the CLR is collaborating with a variety of public agencies, research institutions, and governments including the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), the Centre for Connected Communities, the City of Toronto's Resilience Office, Toronto Water, Waterfront Toronto, Broward County, Florida, and Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation. The CLR is also working closely with interdisciplinary academic partners such as the University of Toronto's School of Cities, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, the School of the Environment, University of Pennsylvania's Ian McHarg Center, MIT's Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism, and MIT's Urban Risk Lab.
Director of Centre for Landscape Research
Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urbanism