City-making is at its most successful when a diversity of urban elements are considered together, rather than separately. Recognizing this, Metropolitan Collective uses a people-first holistic urbanism approach to maximize social, environmental and economic potentials, while transforming challenges into opportunities. In applying people-first holistic urbanism, we work with city-making from a range of perspectives, including urban planning and design, mobility planning, social development strategies, technical aspects of enhanced environmental sustainability, urban economic growth strategies and public health planning. Understanding that truly successful cities thrive on all urban scales, from attractive public spaces, through thriving confederations of neighbourhoods, up to integrated cities and functional regions, Metropolitan Collective works at all of these scales, identifying the most suitable scalar approach together with our clients and partners on a project-to-project basis.

The most important part of a city is its people. This mantra is repeated often. Yet, rather than observing and engaging with people, city-makers from a range of disciplines continue to prescribe urban solutions without a thorough understanding of how people live, work and use their cities.  With an emphasis on research and observation, Metropolitan Collective works to transform this approach. Further, understanding that “What attracts people most, it would appear, is other people”, we endeavour to facilitate interaction across all scales. Beyond placemaking and other urban interventions, this includes our efforts to promote a global network of people in cities that are leading the renewed focus on livability. Urban tours, conference and workshop facilitation, speaking and knowledge exchanges are the points of departure for Metropolitan Collective’s network efforts.

Tactical Urbanism: Benchlet Design

Tactical Urbanism: Benchlet Design

Tactical Urbanism: Benchlet Design

Comfortable and accessible seating is an important feature of successful urban space. As Project for Public Spaces emphasizes, “Seating is an indicator for the health of a space and the community that uses it,”   Yet, in many public spaces, a nice seat can be hard to find. Recognizing a series of Vancouver public spaces that lacked…

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Green Leaf Benchlets

Green Leaf Benchlets

Green Leaf Benchlets

Wooden pallets are a building block for tactical urbanism. These low-cost and reusable, but often wasted, materials can serve a diversity of purposes that help make the city a little bit better for the people who call it home. Metropolitan Collective received a City of Vancouver Greenest City grant, coordinated by the Kitsilano Neighbourhood House,…

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Qingdao Sharing Port Workshop

Qingdao Sharing Port Workshop

Qingdao Sharing Port Workshop

Metropolitan Collective and Citilinks hosted a Sharing Port workshop where students from Qingdao University re-imagined the Qingdao port and waterfront for the 21st century. Under guidance, the students prepared plans to transform an industrial space segregated from the city and where freight is shipped around the world, to a place that reconnects residents with their…

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Do eco-districts support the regional growth of cleantech firms?

Do eco-districts support the regional growth of cleantech firms?

Do eco-districts support the regional growth of cleantech firms?

Eco-districts have proven to be an attractive model for cities that are seeking ways to enhance their sustainability, while accommodating growth. When done well, these developments have proven highly efficient in terms of operational resource consumption. They often promoted by civic and business leaders for their economic benefits as well. But does that hold up?…

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Trencin: Europe’s Healthy City

Trencin: Europe’s Healthy City

Trencin: Europe’s Healthy City

With a holistic, people-first approach; Trencin: Europe’s Healthy City maximized Trencin’s strengths while preparing for its future. By harnessing the vibrant energy of the city’s redevelopment and public engagement initiatives, while celebrating its rich history, the plan integrated urban elements not always considered together, including economics, education, culture, mobility and a rich natural environment, to…

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Towards the Just City

Towards the Just City

Towards the Just City

  The Syrian refugee crisis has brought immigration to the forefront of policy debates in Europe and North America. But what about integration? Without adequate support and opportunities to connect with employers and long-term residents, patterns of exclusion risk manifesting themselves. Stockholm has been recognized as one of the most successful contemporary European cities in…

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Rosemont: Smart Green & Vibrant

Rosemont: Smart Green & Vibrant

Rosemont: Smart Green & Vibrant

Rosemont: Smart, Green & Vibrant was a leading development plan to foster environmental, social and economic sustainability in the City of Regina. The plan drew on pioneering ideas in urban planning, urban and architectural design and environmental technology from around the globe as the inspiration for a comprehensive plan for a world class eco-district in…

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Sharing Ideas, Staying Great: Comparing Stockholm and Vancouver

Sharing Ideas, Staying Great: Comparing Stockholm and Vancouver

Sharing Ideas, Staying Great: Comparing Stockholm and Vancouver

As Färgfabriken’s guest speaker, Mitchell Reardon spoke at the Nordbygg Ecoforum in Stockholm. Highlighting the many similarities – and also some of the differences – Mitchell emphasized the need to sustain the public role and the value of compelling city-making stories for each city’s development. He continues by discussing steps that all cities can take, including…

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