The Downsview Park Toronto competition was held in 1999 to select an urban park design for a former military base in Toronto. However, the competition exceeded its objectives as it introduced a turning point in the design of urban public parks. As Julia Czerniak points out in her book Case: Downsview Park Toronto, the five selected designs shared a common theme: the configuration of frameworks that structure the site but also allow the growth over time. Landscape becomes the main tool to model the city, and objects lose importance in favor of fields.
The design of frameworks consists in offering guidelines as an approach to designing the park during the fifteen-year implementation process. Thus, the designers recommend flexibility to accommodate the different programs and participatory processes included in the design process. The schemes were not only flexible in the programmatic sense, but they allowed different political and economic conditions, and even the paths to change depending on the vegetation growth, establishing diverse patterns over the surface. Complex processes such as erosion or plants succession were related to these frameworks too. continue reading