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Toronto’s Ravine Network: Overcoming the Stigmatization of Ravine Environments Through Design

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Title: Toronto’s Ravine Network: Overcoming the Stigmatization of Ravine Environments Through Design
Author: Birks, Elizabeth
Department: School of Environmental Design and Rural Development
Program: Landscape Architecture
Advisor: Kelly, Sean
Abstract: Uniquely among North American cities, Toronto possesses an extensive ravine network representing 17% of Toronto’s land area. This thesis will examine the underlying reasons for historical ravine stigma and how design can overcome it. This perception is represented by a combination of environmental degradation, perceived risks and undesirable activities or persons. This exploration included key informant interviews, survey of ravine users, site observation with GIS mapping. Ravines are commonly regarded as either unsafe or not user-friendly. Unlike manicured city parks, ravines are irregular, wild and largely hidden and thus potentially misused and underappreciated. This thesis will be built around the premise that with Toronto’s growing population and subsequent pressures on available and/or under-utilized lands, ravines will be at increased risk without efforts to ameliorate the effects of associated stigmas. The challenge of overcoming the multiple stigmas associated with ravines can only be achieved through engaged design and policy guidance in conjunction with the involvement of community and education initiatives.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/12995
Date: 2018-05
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