December 13, 2009
by Canadian Architect
On December 7, 2009, all of the architects that were members of the Downtown Ottawa Urban Design Review Panel resigned. The City was informed by way of a letter to Councillor Peter Hume, Chair of the Planning and Environment Committee.
The Downtown Ottawa Urban Design Review Panel was established in March 2005 to provide expert peer review of urban design elements of new developments in the downtown core. More than 15 major development applications have been reviewed. The Design Review Panel was originally composed of seven architects and three landscape architects. The resignation of all of the architects leaves the Panel with only three members.
Reasons cited for the resignation included long-overdue improvements to the design review process, the City’s continuing inaction on the Ottawa By Design section of its Official Plan, and the City’s approach to the redevelopment of Lansdowne Park.
The architects, in their letter of resignation, state that, “while we believe that it is no longer possible to support the status quo, we do remain committed to improving the quality of urban design in the City. We hope the City will take a renewed interest and commitment to urban design, but until we see substantial improvements in the approach to urban design on the part of the City, it is no longer in our interest to participate.”