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Leah Birnbaum, Urban Planning Consultant

 

 

RECENT PROJECTS:

TOcore, Toronto’s Downtown Plan
City of Toronto, 2017-2018
I am providing writing and editing services to TOcore as it develops the Downtown Plan and its five associated infrastructure strategies.

United Church of Canada
EDGE: A Network for Ministry Development, 2018-
I am working with EDGE to develop a strategy for supporting United Church congregations that want to renew or redevelop their lands.

Robot Talks: understanding the impact of technological change on Ontario’s workers
Brookfield Institute, 2017-2018
Robot Talks is a public engagement research project investigating the impacts of workplace automation on Ontario’s workers. I authored the reports summarizing information gathered through public engagement events throughout the province. Sub-consultant to Jane Farrow, Department of Words & Deeds.

ResilientTO
City of Toronto Resilience Office, 2017
Provided writing and editing services to ResilientTO as the team worked to assess Toronto's resilience and develop a Resilience Strategy. Toronto is part of the 100RC network of cities receiving support from the Rockefeller Foundation to assess and increase resilience.

Mediation Pilot Project
City of Toronto, 2017
The City piloted a mediation program to assist in resolving disputes related to minor variance and consent applications. I provided neutral professional planning advice to the parties and the mediators. I also wrote an article on the mediation program for the Ontario Planning Journal.

Bloor West Village Avenue Study
City of Toronto, 2017
Senior planner with the team preparing an Avenue Study for Bloor Street West between Keele Avenue and the Humber River. Led by DTAH, with R.E. Millward and Associates.

Autonomous Vehicles in the GTHA
Transform: Transportation and Land Use Planning Research Laboratory at Ryerson University, 2017
I facilitated a series of focus groups to explore participants' interest in and attitudes towards driverless cars and synthesized the results into a summary report.

Adjunct Lecturer
Ryerson University School of Urban and Regional Planning, Fall, 2016
I designed and taught a seminar on regional planning to undergraduate students at the School of Urban and Regional Planning.

Ontario Municipal Board Reform
Client: Regional Planning Commissioners of Ontario, 2016
I researched and wrote a report with recommendations for how to reform the Ontario Municipal Board in advance of the provincially mandated OMB review. With Urban Strategies Inc. Final report: Reforming the Ontario Municipal Board: Five Actions for Change.

Yonge + Eglinton Built Form Study
City of Toronto, 2016
I am a sub-consultant to Perkins + Will for a study of the built form in the Yonge + Eglinton neighbourhood. The study will result in policy recommendations to update the City of Toronto's secondary plan for Yonge + Eglinton.

Project on Regional Resilience
University of Toronto, 2015
I managed a research project that brought together experts various fields to discuss issues of fiscal, environmental, economic and social resilience for the Greater Golden Horseshoe region. This project was funded by a grant from the Places to Grow Implementation Fund. I am second author on the resulting academic publication, Toward Regional Resilience in Toronto: From Diagnosis to Action.

Guelph Site Plan Control Manual
City of Guelph, 2015
I prepared the City of Guelph's Site Plan Control manual; a publicly-accessible manual to inform Guelph residents, developers and landowners about the site plan control process. City of Guelph Site Plan User Guide.

Getting Growth on Track
Ryerson City Building Institute, 2015
The Ryerson City Building Institute convened experts to find policy solutions, tools, and approaches to strengthen the links between transit investments and planning. I interviewed participants and analyzed the results of their working session into a Ryerson City Building Report: Getting Growth on Track.

Light Rail Case Studies
Metrolinx, 2015
As a sub-consultant to planningAlliance, I researched and wrote the case study chapter (3.0 Lessons Learned) exploring community benefits associated with light rail transit projects in six North American cities. Final Report: Sheppard (PDF), Final Report: Finch (PDF).