DTAH Partner Brent Raymond was recently featured as a guest speaker on the first episode of a new podcast series, From Here to There, by ClimateData.ca. The episode, titled “Adapting Toronto’s Streets,” explores how our transportation corridors can become more resilient to climate change.

Brent discusses Queens Quay as an example of how to reimagine a street for improved climate resiliency. Formerly dominated by motor vehicle traffic, Queens Quay was redesigned to prioritize transit as well as people traveling on foot or by bike. The design also included over 300 trees along this corridor, mitigating the urban heat island effect and improving stormwater absorption. Brent highlights DTAH’s innovative use of a soil cell detail that allowed the trees to fully develop into ecologically productive sizes, rather than remaining stunted in their nursery form. He suggests thinking of “soil not as the thing you compact underneath a roadway and a sidewalk, but as a living system that helps to actually absorb water [to] introduce green infrastructure into the street [and] take the pressure off of the hard engineering approach.”

Brent recently co-authored the City of Toronto Green Infrastructure Design and Construction Standards with Arup, and is currently working with Arup on the Toronto Growing Green Streets Implementation Plan. These projects help further Toronto’s climate resiliency commitments by improving stormwater management, improving air quality, increasing tree canopy and local biodiversity of birds and insects, and enhance public realm aesthetics.

Listen to the full episode