Ken Greenberg




Walking Home: The Life and Lessons of a City Builder

One of the world's foremost urban designers shares his passion and methods for rejuvenating neglected cities and argues passionately for the importance and possibilities of their renewal.

From a youth spent in the boroughs of New York City and other great cities of the world, to his beginnings as an architect in Toronto, Ken Greenberg has long recognized that cities at their best provide much of what we seek in a place to call home. Community, places of culture and business that we can walk to, mass transit and a wealth of amenities that couldn't be supported without a city's density: the mid-century drive to suburbanization deprived us of these inherent advantages of urban living. The realization of this loss, in tandem with pressing recent concerns about energy scarcity and global warming, has made us see cities with fresh eyes and a growing understanding that they can provide us with an unparalleled measure of sustainability

Walking Home is both Ken's story and a lesson in turning the world's urban spaces back into places that can give us not only a platform to face the challenges of the future but also a place that we can call, with pride and satisfaction, home.



Toronto Reborn: Design Successes and Challenges

An incisive view of Toronto’s development over the last fifty years. In Toronto Reborn, Ken Greenberg describes the emerging contours of a new Toronto. Focusing on the period from 1970 to the present, Greenberg looks at how the work and decisions of citizens, NGOs, businesses, and governments have combined to refashion Toronto. Individually and collectively, their actions — renovating buildings and neighbourhoods, building startling new structures and urban spaces, revitalizing old cultural institutions and creating new ones, sponsoring new festivals and events — have transformed the old postwar city, changing it into an exciting modern one.Toronto, grafting itself onto old foundations, is experiencing a kind of rebirth — arising vertically above its old self.


By Ken Greenberg



Contributor to Urbanité (Revue de L’Ordre des Urbanistes du Québec), Les Universités, Partenaires du Développement urbain:   Le Cas de Boston University, Hiver 2013

Contributor to Urbanité (Revue de L’Ordre des Urbanistes du Québec), Les Universités, Partenaires du Développement urbain: Le Cas de Boston University, Hiver 2013

Op-Ed, Toronto Star, “Beyond the Meltdown at City Hall”, June 8, 2013

"City Governement for the The New Urban World", Urban Design Review, Forum for Urban Design, April 2013


Getting Closer: On the Need for New Urban Manners. Planetizen, 10 April 2012


Walking Home: The Life and Lessons of a City Builder by Ken Greenberg, published by Random House Canada, 978-0-307-35814-1, 2011


Toronto Society of Architects Spring 2010 Newsletter, "Regent Park Revitalization"

Contributor to the Harvard Design Magazine, #33, Fall/Winter 2010-2011, Design Practices Now, Vol II

Contributor to The Spontaneous City, Urhahn Urban Design, Bis Publishers, The Netherlands, 2010

Contributor to Grounded: The Work of Phillips Farevaag Smalleberg, Edited by Kelty McKinnon, Nov. 2010

Contributor to What We See: Advancing the Observations of Jane Jacobs, Edited by Stephen A. Goldsmith and Lynne Elizabeth. New Village Press and The Center for the Living City, 2009

Rites of Way: The Politics and Poetics of Open Space, Mark Kingwell and Patrick Tummel, Editors, Chapter "Public Space Lost and Found", Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2009


Urban Design, Alex Krieger and William S. Saunders, Editors, Chapter "A Third Way for Urban Design", University of Minnesota Press, 2009

Local Planning: Contemporary Principles and Practice, An ICMA Green Book, Published in cooperation with the American Planning Association and the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, "Making Plans: The Saint Paul of the Mississippi Development Framework", ICMA Press, 2009


PLACES: Forum of Design for the Public Realm, "Rockcliffe Redevelopment Ottawa: Plan Iterations", Volume 19, Number 2, 2007

PLACES: Forum of Design for the Public Realm, "A Good Time for Cities", Volume 19, Number 2, 2007

Literary Review of Canada, "Will the Real Empire State Building Please Stand Up?", revue of Nearest Thing to Heaven: The Empire State Building and American Dreams, Mark Kingwell, Yale University Press, Vol. 14, No. 7, September 2006

Harvard Design Magazine, "The Avenger of Cities: Review of Dark Age Ahead by Jane Jacobs, Vol. 23, Fall 2005/ Winter 2006


Literary Review of Canada, "What makes a building Canadian?", revue of Substance Over Spectacle, Editor Andrew Gruft, Vol. 13, No. 7, September 2005


Ekistics: The Problems of Human Settlements:The Natural City Part 1 of 2, "Toward the Green City through Revitalizing Major Obsolescent Lands, Vol. 71, No. 224/425/426, Jan./Feb.-Mar./Apr.-May/June 2004

Toronto Globe and Mail, Books, "Wright's greatest edifice: himself", Review of Biography Frank Lloyd Wright by Ada Louise Huxtable, Viking/ Penguin Lives, Friday December 24, 04

Contributor to Genzyme Center on the Kendall Square project by Behnisch, Behnisch & Partner, FMO Publishers, Stuttgart, 2004

Contributor to Descant 125, Volume 34 No. 2, "Sub/Urbia", Postcard, Summer 2004,

Literary Review of Canada, Essay on Jane Jacobs, "The Avenger of Cities, Vol. 12, No. 4, May 2004


Detroit Downtown 2002, University of Michigan, Taubman College of Design Charrette, University of Michigan, 2002

"The Many Ways to Save a City", Comment Section, Globe and Mail, March 4, 2002

"Debating Urban Design", Article Globe and Mail, on the role of Canadian Cities, Jan. 9, 2002, (appeared also in Montreal La Presse in French)


Redevelopment of El Litoral Central, Venezuela, Universidad Metropolitana, Oscar Todtmann Editores, Caracas, Venezuela, 2001

"It Takes a Fort", Article Globe and Mail on the fate of Toronto's Fort York Neighbourhood, Oct. 22, 2001

"La Renaissance des Centres-Villes en Amérique du Nord » Vers des Collectivités Viables…Mieux Bâtir nos milieux de vie pour le XXI Siècle, Septentrion, Québec 2001


Strategic Transformations: Redefining the Bluff Edge of Saint Paul on the Mississippi, Work of Studio at the Harvard Design School, Cambridge, Massachusetts

"Canadian and American Cities: Cross Border Insights", 13th Annual Reddin Symposium, Canadian Studies Center at Bowling Green State University, Ohio, Jan. 15, 2000

"Uncommon Sense: A Focus on the Real and Particular in Cities", Ideas That Matter, Vol.1 No. 3


"Preservation and Renewal of Historic Districts", Chapter 27, Charter of the New Urbanism, Congress for the New Urbanism, McGraw Hill, 1999


"The Street as a Creature of Compromise", Keynote article, 'Streets' Issue, Places, Summer 1997, vol. 11 No. 2

"Toronto: An Urban Alternative", co-authored with Gardner Church and Marilou McPhedran in Cities In Our Future edited by Robert Geddes, Island Press, Washington D.C., 1997"


"Toronto: The Urban Waterfront As A Terrain Of Availability", in City Capital And Water, edited by Patrick Malone, Routledge London and New York, 1996

Article, Globe and Mail, "Toward a Supercity the Works", Focus Section, November 23, 1996

"True Urbanism: Reassembling the Fragments of the American City', Minnesota Common Ground, Journal of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, Fall 1996, Vol. 4 No. 1

"The Re-emergence of Urban Design as a Methodology for City Making", Ontario Planning Journal, Tenth Anniversay Issue, July/ Aug. 1996, Vol. 11 No. 4

"Re-Inventing Planning in Toronto", with Frank Lewinberg, Plan Canada, Canadian Institute of Planning Journal, May 1996, Vol. 36 No. 3

Text in "Proceedings", University of Minnesota, Seventh Annual Transportation Reseach Conference, pp.7-9, May 14-15, 1996, Minneapolis


Book Review "How do Cities Grow" on City Life: Urban Expectations in a New World, Witold Rybczynski and Accidental City: The Transfiguration of Toronto, Robert Fulford, Macleans Magazine, November 20, 1995

Designers Diary, "Imagining the Future University of Minnesota," Insite, Journal of Architecture and Urban Design, Volume IV, No. 5, May 1995


7ième ENTRETIENS JACQUES CARTIER, Communications des intervenants au colloque, Logiques des acteurs sur les marchés fonciers et immobiliers "Fabrication de la ville - Logique de conceptin pour la longue durée", Lyon, décembre 1994

"October Diary: In Search of the Contemporary City." Places. Vol. 9, No.1, Winter 1994: 70-71.

"Greenwood Racetrack: An Opportunity not to be Missed." The Intensification Report, The Canadian Urban Institute, No. 9, July/August 1994: 3-4


Interview. "Relocation meets with Urban Planner Ken Greenberg, Berridge Lewinberg Greenberg." Relocation. Summer 1993: 18-24.


(with Emilio Martinez). "Piano regolatore per il Frente Portuario di San Juan, Puerto Rico." Casabella. 589, April 1992: 36-37.

"How not to Renew a City", Toronto Globe and Mail, April 1992

Article co-authored with Andrea Gabor in the May 1992 issue of Plan Canada on "The Integration of Urban Design and Planning"

"The Philadelphia Plan: Toward the 21st Century." Proceedings of the Institute for Urban Design Fall Fellows Symposium held November 12, 1992, The Union League Club, Philadelphia


Featured in Planning, Journal of The American Planning Association, re: the project for the Uptown Core, Oakville, Ontario, January 1991

"Toronto: Streets Revived." Chapter in Public Streets for Public Use. Ed. Anne Vernez Moudon. Columbia University Press, Morningside Edition, 1991 189-202.

"Housing on Toronto's Main Streets; The Re-emergence of the Courtyard", Places, Vol.7, No.2, Winter 1991

"Master Plan for the Isleta De San Juan Frente Portuario." Waterfront - Waterfronts: A New Urban Frontier. Papers and Abstracts from the Second International Meeting of Cities on Water, Palazzao Pisani Moretta, Venice, Italy, January 23-25 1991: 155


"The Would-be Science and Occasional Art of Making Public Space", Architecture and Behaviour, Special Issue: Public Life, Shared Spaces, Lausanne, Switzerland, Vol. 6, No 4, 1990: 323 - 338

(with Gabrielle Sicheri) "Toronto's Moveable Shoreline", Working Papers of the Canadian Waterfront Resource Centre, No. 5, October 1990

Review. of The Canadian City - St. John's to Victoria A Critical Commentary, Harvest House Ltd. Vancouver 1989 Update. The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, Vol.14, No.2, September - October 1990: 7


Contributor, Metropolitan Mutations; The Architecture of Emerging Public Spaces, RAIC Annual 1, Little Brown and Company (Canada) Limited, 1989

"Essential Qualities and Management for the Waterfront Development in Amsterdam." Final Report Symposium 3 Cities 3 Developments. Proceedings from the Conference held in Amsterdam February 5-8, 1989: 79-84


"Suburban Intensification." Chapter in Metropolitan Mutations, The Architecture of Emerging Public Spaces. Ed. Detlef Mertins. Little, Brown and Company Ltd, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, Annual 1, 1988: 189-200

"Toronto's Waterfront Redevelopment - A Time to Pause." Urban Waterfronts: Accent on Access. Eds. Ann Breen and Dick Rigby. A summary of the Urban Waterfronts '88 Conference held on September 22-24, 1988 in Washington D.C., The Waterfront Press, 1989: 10-11

"Transit and Changing Urban Character." Chapter in Transit, Land Use and Urban Form," Ed. Wayne Attoe. Center for the Study of American Architecture, School of Architecture, The University of Texas at Austin, Texas, 1988. 47-54

(with Vitomir Ahtik), "Transformations Urbaines de deux centre-villes", Toronto, Montréal, in the Câhiers de Recherche Sociologique, vol. 6, no 2, automne 1988: 65-94


"Toronto: le design urbain en perspective." Chapter in Aménager L'Urban De Montréal à San Francisco. Eds. Annick Germain et Jean-Claude Marsan, Éditions du Méridien, 1987. 53-61

"Toronto Streets Revived", chapter in Public Streets for Public Use, (Anne Vernez-Moudon, ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1987

"Conference Report, Third International Congress on Architectural Conservation and Town Planning, London, 13 - 16 April 1987" in Cities, the international quarterly on urban policy, Volume 4, No. 3, August 1987:263-264

"The Search for new City Form", Ontario Planning Journal, Vol. 2, No. 3, May/June 1987


"Toronto - reassembling the Pieces - Some New Urban Design Challenges", Forces.
Panellist, The Future for Public Art in Toronto, organized by Visual Arts Ontario, Harbourfront, Toronto, December 1986

Panellist, Waterworks; A workshop on Great Lakes Waterfront Development, in Toledo, Ohio

"Architecture of the City." Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, Governor General's Medals for Architecture, 1986 Awards Program. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Ontario, 1990 119-120


"Sam Rodia's towers in Watts, A Magic Monument Reorders The City", Section A

"Students Win Prize." The Faculty of Environmental Studies Biennial Review. York University, 1985: 13


"From Toronto Terminal Warehouse to Queens Quay Terminal", Section A
(with Marc Hewitt) "The Designers' Perspective - Peace Garden." City Planning. City of Toronto, Spring 1984: 4

Introduction. Dreams of Development. The Market Gallery of the City of Toronto Archives, August 18 - October 28 1984: 3


"Mississauga City Hall Competition: an Overview", Section A

"Toronto's Streets...Become Roads...And Then Re-Emerge as Street." Proceedings: Fourth Annual Pedestrian Conference, September 20-23 1983 held at University of Colorado, Boulder. Public Technology Inc., Washington, D.C., July 1984: 234-240


"Urban Design in Toronto." Urban Design International. Vol. 3, No. 4, May/June 1982: 18-21
"The Urban Design Debate." City Planning, City of Toronto, Autumn 1982: 4-7

Foreword. Citysite Sculpture. The Market Galley of the City of Toronto Archives to Record an International Outdoor Sculpture Installation Project, Toronto, June 1982


"The Unknown Grand Tradition", Trace, Vol.1, No.2 April/ May/ June 1981: 37-46

"Urban Design in Toronto: Settings for City Life." article in Contact. Journal of Urban and Environmental Affairs, Ed. Norman Pressman. Vol 13, No.2/3, 1981: 386-393


(with H. Roy Merrens) "A Map of Toronto's Waterfront." The Canadian Cartographer. Vol. 8, No. 1, June 1971: 41-45


Contributor to City Hall (a Toronto newsletter on architectural and planning issues)

Peoples Guide to Toronto Waterfront (in association with the Geography Department, York University), University of Toronto Press.

"A Case for Saving Toronto's Old Houses", The Globe and Mail, March 6. 1970


"Will the Waterfront become a Concrete Wasteland?", Toronto Globe and Mail, August 23.


About Ken Greenberg’s Work



"Ken Greenberg on the Future of Planning", Interview with Martin Pedersen, Metropolis Magazine, 1-5-10 Year Predictions Issue, Dec./Jan. 2010


"Urban Design After Battery Park City: Opportunities for Variety and Vitality in Large-Scale Urban Real Estate Development", Tim Love, Harvard Design Magazine, 'Urban Design Now' Fall 2006/ Winter 2007, Vol. 25

'Vision Now Given Form', (Re new public water's edge for Harbourfront in Toronto), Christopher Hume, Toronto Star, Aug. 14, 2003

"Beyond Bricks: Planner Ken Greenberg is Promoting Architectural Diversity in Cambridge", Boston Globe, Kira Gould, June 21, 2003


"Unique public spaces for East River side of Lower Manhattan", Architectural Record, Sept. 2002


"Pantalone Panned for High-rise Plan", John Barber, The Globe and Mail, Nov. 6, 2001

"Tim Griffin, New Director of the Saint Paul on the Mississippi Design Center", Minnesota Architecture, Sept./ Oct. 2001

"Competitive Edge: Thinking Globally, Building Locally", James McCown, Architecture Boston, Summer 2001

"Urban Design for Liveable Cities: Legacies as Inheritance and Gifts", RAIC Festival of Architecture Report, 2001
"A Renaissance on the River in Saint Paul," Architectural Record, Sept. 2001

"Strategic Transformations - Saint Paul Studio", Studio Works 8, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2001

"Canadians Join Washington Revival", Globe and Mail, May 1, 2001

"Reach for the States", Toronto Star, April 15, 2001

"Life and Death of North American Cities", Mortgage Banking, The Magazine of Real Estate Finance, March 2001

"El Hombre, La Calle, El Automóvil y La Cuidad, Entre La Guerra y La Paz, El Universal, Caracas, Venezuela, March 1, 2001

"State Helps Make Brooklyn Park Real", New York Times

"Making the River Connection: Stewardship Marks the Projects of Saint Paul's Riverfront Restoration, Bring Life Back to the Water's Edge", Cover Article, Landscape Architecture, the Magazine of the American Society of Landscape Architects, Feb, 2001


"Officials Reach Agreement on Fan Pier", Architectural Record, December 2000
"Competitions and Master Plan Yield Architecturally Rich Cambridge Development", Architectural Record, Nov. 2000

"A Toronto Firm Polishes the Big Apple with Parks", Building, Sept. / Oct. 2000
"Managing the Politics of Design: Taking Down the Gardiner", ORSA Quarterly, Summer 2000

"Unmasking the City: A Panel Discussion", Update, Journal of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, Autumn 2000, Issue 23.4

"Collaborative Process Creates the Highly Praised Brooklyn Bridge Park", Architectural Record, p. 32, June 2000

"The Next Best Things - Brooklyn Bridge Park", New York, pp. 60-61, April 10, 2000


"Reclaiming Riverfronts", Cityscape News, A Publication of the Cityscape Institute, Fall 1999
"L'Invitée Jane Jacobs", Urbanisme, Sept./ Oct. 1999 No. 308

"Think Beautiful, University of Toronto Plans a Brighter, Greener Campus", The University of Toronto, Spring 1999, Vol. XXVI No. 3

"Urban Design Works", Report from the Fellows Program: Institute for Urban Design, April 29, 1999

"View of the Waterfront Center's 15th Annual Conference", Waterfront World Spotlight, Winter 1999, Vol. 17 No. 1


"Quebec, La Renaissance d'un Centre-Ville", Globe Entrepreneurship, Oct. 1998, Vol. 7 No. 4

"On the Waterfront: A Tale of Many Cities", Conservation Matters, Journal of the Conservation Law Foundation, Spring 1998, Vol. V No. 1

"Excellent Pursuits", RAIC (Royal Architectural Institute of Canada) Update, Aug./Sept. 1998


"A Masterful Plan: the University Unveils its Newest Plans for the Twin Cities Campus", Minnesota, Magazine of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association, Sept./ Oct. 1996

"Design That Works; Design Effectiveness Awards V" 1996, The Financial Post Magazine


"Time for Change: Toronto Decides that Less is More in the Challenge to Revitalize Downtown", Ontario Planning Journal, Nov./Dec. 1995, Vol. 10 No. 6


"The Art of Making Cities." Relocation. Profile, Profile, Autumn 1994


"40th Annual P/A Awards." Progressive Architecture. January 93: 90 - 91

"Master Plan for Faubourg Québec, Montréal, Québec." The Canadian Architect. Vol. 38, No.12, December 1993: 26-27

Mougeot, L. and Pierre Sainte-Maire. "CIP Awards Presentation." Plan Canada. November 1993: 28-29


Adamczyk, Georges. "Le Faubourg Québec à Montréal, Un Projet Urbain Audacieux." Architecture Québec. February 1992: 25-29

Hall, Peter. "Aree portuali: nuovi approdi del progetto." Casabella. 589, April 1992: 30-35
Proctor, Don. "Living Over the Store in Toronto." Planning. August 1992: 16-17


Jacobs, Jane. "Putting Toronto's Best Self Forward." Places - A Quarterly Journal of Environmental Design. Vol. 7, No. 2, Winter 1991: 50-53

San Juan Waterfront Office. "San Juan, Puerto Rico, Barrio La Marina." Waterfront - Waterfront: Una Nuova Frontiera Urbana. Ed. Rinio Bruttomesso, Proceedings of the Conference of Cittá D'Acqua, Cá Pesaro, Venezia, 23 gennaio - 9 febbraio, 1991: 108-117


Bowering, Ann ed. Consensus. Proceedings from the Symposium held in Kingston, Ontario Canada, September 14-16 1989, The Canadian Centre for Livable Places, Heritage Canada, 1990


Barrett, Suzanne ed. People and City Landscapes Conference. Conference Proceedings May 10, 1988, The Conservation Council of Ontario, Toronto, 1988


Freedman, Adele. "The Evolution of an Urban Trailblazer: For Ken Greenberg, "it's time to try new things."" The Globe and Mail. Saturday August 22, 1987: C10

Gatan, Hela. "Stadsgestaltningsgrupp i Toronto." En idéskrift från planverket. Axel Abrahamsons Tryckeri, AB, Karlskrona, 1987: 134-135

"Canada Toronto, The Saint Lawrence Historic District Incorporating the Old Town of York." Urban Regeneration International Architectural Exhibition. Heritage Trust, London, England, 1987

A Charrette in the City The Gardiner Expressway. Proceedings from the Ontario Association of Architects Convention, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, March 4-6 1987


du Toit, Roger. "Essay in Urban Design." The Canadian Architect. May 1985: 24-30


"A Peace Garden for Nathan Phillips Square", City Planning. Spring 1984: 3-5

Weiler, Merike. "A Victorian Public Garden." City and Country Home. Summer 1984: 140-144


"About This Issue." Urban Design International. Vol.4, No.2, Winter 1983: 2

Bramley, Mary ed. Toronto Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Proceedings of the Tenth Annual Conference of the Heritage Canada Foundation, Royal York Hotel, Toronto, Canada, September 23-24 1983


Whiteson, Leon. "St. Lawrence District". The Liveable City. Mosaic Press, Oakville, Ontario, 1982. 73-76


Habs, J. Gail. "The Art of Urban Design in Toronto." Artviews. Vol 6, No. 1 1980: 1-2

Cook, Edward, Michael Fifield, Madis Pihlak, and Sharon Southerland. Metropolitan Canals - A Regional Design Framework. College of Architecture and Environmental Design, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, 1980

"Main Street Libraries". Review of Architecture/Landscape Architecture. 1980. 14-15


Reimer, Mary Lynn. "Civic Design - Toronto's New Challenge." City Planning. Vol. 2, No. 1, March 1979: 4-7