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18CE - Beyond Design: Turning a Place Around

08 May 2014 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM

3 ConEd Learning hours

This course will be offered again on Friday, May 9, 2014 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Course Outline

Revitalizing public places is a perennial challenge. We have all seen examples of grand revitalization schemes which focused on the latest design trends, and a generation later, the community needs a new strategy in order to “turn a place around”. The social and economic fabrics are fragile, woven over time into the unique character of each community. We must look beyond the architecture and design features to support the people engaged in helping their communities thrive.

This workshop will consider:

  • How is the community considered within a revitalization project?
  • Who leads these initiatives in challenging economic times?
  • How does the management of public places benefit from partnerships and creative collaborations to address the social, economic and environmental issues of the day?
  • As architects and designers you have a vital role to play as stewards of the public realm—how will you turn places around in your communities?

This session will challenge architects to examine how revitalization needs to re-consider the roles of the public, private and non-profit sectors and how unlikely partnerships are breathing new life into older places. It will include selected examples of revitalization projects from a variety of Canadian communities.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Gain a wider appreciation of revitalization and its role in community-building
  2. Discover how heritage conservation extends beyond the design of an individual buildings
  3. Understand four key aspects of revitalization which complement the architectural design of a “place”
  4. Identify public, private and non-profit partnership models for the stewardship of urban places


Judy Oberlander, Principal, and Associates Inc., specializes in the design of educational programs, conservation and fundraising strategies for governments, foundations and non-profit organizations.   Over the past 30 years she has worked in the public, private and non-profit sectors in Ottawa and Vancouver including heritage conservation projects in many parts of Canada.  She received her Master’s degree in Historic Preservation from the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University and a Certificate in Fundraising from NYU.  In addition to her consulting practice, she currently teaches heritage conservation and urban revitalization courses. Her work has been recognized with two national continuing education awards and three City of Vancouver Heritage Awards. 

She established her firm in 1989 after working in Ottawa for the Heritage Canada Foundation and Commonwealth Historic Resource Management Ltd. Her recent clients include the North Vancouver Museum; Yukon Government; Willowbank School of Restoration Arts; Vancouver Foundation; the Vancouver Heritage Foundation; Osoyoos & District Museum and Archives; The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden; the Heritage Legacy Fund of British Columbia; Canada Green Building Council and the BC Provincial Government among others. She has worked extensively with local governments for whom she and her team created heritage conservation strategies, interpretation, education and public awareness programs. Between1990-2002 she consulted to The Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Family Foundation in Montreal on the design of their Urban Issues Program and conducted site visits in communities across Canada.