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48huburbiaThe suburb of the(near) future

49here is a growing consensus that the Greater TorontoHamilton Area (GTHA) is in need of a coordinatedinvestment in infrastructure renewal, urban planningand transportation to elevate the region into a well-connected,functional urban area. After all, the success of the region hasresulted in it becoming one of the top 10 urban concentrations inNorth America. What was once a set of small cities on thenorthern shore of Lake Ontario has now grown into a sprawling"megalopolis," an urban planning designation coined at theUniversity of Toronto in the 1950s when the emergence of globalcity regions was first noticed by academics. What is most apparent, especially to those who purchased a sliceof the Golden Horseshoe's suburban pie, is that the promise of thesuburbs --tranquility, proximity to nature, a castle on the ground,and an easy commute to shopping and services --is no longerwhat it used to be. Today, a resident of Markham, Vaughan orMississauga no longer lives in a bedroom community with an easydrive to the downtown core. In fact, over the last 20 years manyassumptions have been challenged. On some days, there aregreater traffic jams at Keele and Highway 7 then there are at Bayand King. What was once a 20-minute commute from Markham tothe city centre on the Don Valley Parkway can become a 90-minute trek. Where once traffic flowed in one direction, it nowflows in both as Torontonians commute to high tech office parksnorth of the city. Our evolving multi-centred city region sees goods and servicetraveling in all directions with people living and workingthroughout; yet there is no overarching governance to plan thisregion, to connect the numerous cities, and provide them with thenecessary transportation systems, the soft and hard services, andthe cultural and community services. Certainly, the province hasstepped in to develop some frameworks by establishing Metrolinxand the Smart Growth Secretariat, but while these organizationsBy Luigi Ferrara, Director of George Brown College's Institute without Boundariestackle these issues, it is equally important for citizens to enterinto this dialogue and call for greater action and creativity.To this end, George Brown College's Institute without Boundariesjoined forces with Evergreen Canada to present the MOVE expo atthe Brick Works. The expo, intended to showcase sustainabletransportation ideas, reveals a number of projects that deal withthe issue of how we should renovate and transform our suburbsand make them work better for their residents.The project team most engaged on the suburban theme was titledHuburbia. The team came up with an original concept based oncombining the best qualities of both cities and suburbs. This newcity in the suburbs would be designed to reveal a convenient placeof public exchange surrounded by transit oriented development.Building on Metrolinx's concept for 19 "mobility hubs" across theGTHA (a transit point linking subways, busses, streetcars,pedestrians and cyclists), the team visited a number of them inBrampton, Markham and Yorkdale before settling on one proposedfor Vaughan, set to launch in 2016. T