Celebrating Cities: An Ode to History in the Urban Fabric

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Jane Jacob’s seminal book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. It is one of themost influential books on urban planning in the 20th century, and her ideas about neighborhoods, the importance of the street, mixeduse,and diversity continue to hold appeal and relevance for city builders today. In celebration of this milestone, the 2011 CUI UrbanLeadership Awards will focus on her inspiration to create better cities.

It is only fitting that a special City Champion award will be given to recognize Paul Oberman, and his lifetime dedication to building,restoring, and reviving the City of Toronto. The award acknowledges Paul’s distinctive contributions to the culture and renewal ofToronto, and his personal commitment, vision and passion to enhancing Toronto’s neighborhoods, public spaces and streetscapes.

Until his recent passing, Paul D. Oberman was President and Chief Executive Officer of Woodcliffe Landmark Properties and itspredecessor and affiliate companies for over 25 years. His vision to revive Canadian heritage properties and place them at theforefront of Toronto’s contemporary image is the backbone of Woodcliffe Landmark Properties’ mission.

Paul’s work to integrate historic buildings into the fabric of urban life began as an observer of the construction industry and found focusin his attention for detail and appreciation for authenticity. He then developed a vision to restore and revive historic properties and inturn integrate them back into the ‘big picture’ within the City of Toronto.

The result can be found in buildings that are both aesthetically pleasing in form as well as functional, and that contribute to the futureby respecting the past. His notable projects include The North Toronto Station, the Flatiron Building and Market Street.

A special display created by George Brown College design students will be featured at the reception, illustrating both Jane’sideas and the inspiration behind Paul’s buildings. The awards ceremony to honour this year’s exceptional urban leaders will be held on June 9th from 5-7:30-pm at the Liberty Grand. (Exhibition Place). Join us for an hour of cocktails at this beautiful lakeside location,followed by the awards ceremony, where guests will enjoy a diverse selection of Chef”s platters.

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