Regions are determined by their proximities and connections; through faster transportation or connection via digital platforms, time and distance can be overcome to make for additional and/or stronger connections.
The rapid transit train connecting Paris and London allows the cities to function together more closely, enabling the growth of each as a region.
RyanAir and other budget airline services in Europe have helped connect the continent, making for fast and affordable connections across countries.
Innovative systems often require significant capital to implement, whereas innovations that can operate on similar or parallel infrastructure are more likely to come to life.
Waterfront Toronto has a unique opportunity to prototype sustainable solutions, but expanding to the region will be challenging if it doesn't operate on the same grid.
With strategic placement of zoning, we can achieve a regional development that emphasizes complete communities.
Pearson International Airport is surrounded by manufacturing, making an ideal situation as the primary international gateway in and out of the region.
Populous and diverse regions can often generate friction between different groups with different values, lifestyle preferences, and viewpoints at play.
The proposal of road tolls for the Gardiner and DVP, which revealed the challenge of juggling the interests and needs of Toronto residents and commuters from surrounding municipalities.
Toronto's amalgamation was a contentious issue in 1998 and continues to stir debate today, often based on clashing values and ideologies encompassed in the vast area and corresponding electoral implications. Today, similar clashes arise when considering the 416 area vs. the 905. Creating boundaries that are reflective of the population, the economic functions, and efficient service providing proves to be a challenge.
The complex relationships that are inherent to regions can involve slow bureaucratic process; managing multiple governments, diverse population, and large scale economic structures poses many challenges.
Old zoning by-laws conflict with newer regional planning objectives, thus requiring new developments to apply for a variance through the OMB to continue, until zoning gets updated.
Policies, legislation, and contracts for years, decades (even centuries!) continue to shape the region's future. Innovative proposals are required to adhere to these ye olde rules or prompt their updating.
Labour laws have protections for full-time workers but as part-time and contract work continue to rise, there are fewer protections for workers, resulting in a growing precarious worker group.
Large construction developments are promoted and pushed by a primary driver, limiting the influence and collaboration with other groups.
Unlike many condo developments in Toronto, the West Bank development of Honest Eds paid special attention to the consultation process to ensure that the diverse needs and desires of the community were addressed, and fit with the existing community fabric; the plan includes family sized units, rental space, and micro retail; the current fabric of the area.
As key fixtures and functions of a region in transition from old to new ways, obsolete systems are often the hardest hit. Managing these transitions to reduce the negative side effects can be very challenging.
The shift from manufacturing to knowledge work has led to the decline of rust belt communities, leaving people struggling to maintain livelihoods and resentment for their economic abandonment.
Where multiple municipalities meet, organization between separate bodies can help create a unified regional strategy and lead to mutual benefit.
Pearson International Airport straddles multiple municipalities, yet functions as an enormous economic centre; a unified strategy between the separate municipalities could propel greater prosperity for all.
With multiple waterfront redevelopment projects occurring simultaneously in the GGH, coordination between municipalities could lead to impressive, large scale cross-municipal projects that better connect the region and offer a source of pride.
The diffusion of services to often less dense peripheries, requires unique approaches compared to more densely populated centres.
Rural communities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe pay additional, and expensive, delivery charges for their hydro as a result of their low density and distance from urban centres.
Two sites are nearby, yet a long and convoluted route (if any) is required to get from A to B.
Transiting from one suburb to another often requires looping through Union Station, although it's not the direct route.