Implementation Of Torontoís Shade Policy And Guidelines Through The Cityís Parks, Forestry And Recreation Division

George KAPELOS, Ryerson University, Canada
SHEVCHUK A. 2 , KOWALSKI J. 3 , FROM L. 4 , MOAZAMI S. 5

1 Department of Architectural Science, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario
2 Project Manager, Landscape Architecture Unit, Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division, City of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
3 Planner, Parks Development & Capital Projects - Parkland Acquisitions Parks, Forestry & Recreation Division, City of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
4 Dermatologist and Professor, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
5 Health Promotion Consultant, Healthy Public Policy Directorate, Toronto Public Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Purpose: Shade protects people from overexposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and decreases the risk of skin cancer. Following the approval of a Toronto-wide Shade Policy (the first of its kind in Canada) and development of Guidelines, the City's Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division (PF&R) took the lead in implementation through the development of design standards that prioritize shade in high UVR exposed recreation sites in City-owned parks and facilities.
 
Methods; PF&R researched and developed a taxonomy of shade structures and design standards, and utilized an evaluation matrix to assess viability of approaches. Data was reviewed internally and tested through a focused stakeholder workshop. The resulting design standards include detailed design specifications, UVR protection factors and cost estimates for the proposed shade solutions.
 
Results: A catalogue of tested and approved products, and concomitant design solutions for natural and constructed shade, allows ease of implementation of shade design by PF&R supervisors, capital project coordinators and landscape architects for park projects. A wide variety of shade solutions are now available, which are being implemented in PF&R capital projects.
 
Conclusions: Annually Toronto spends $CAD350 million on parks capital improvements. Time pressures and tight budgets of park development projects limit the opportunity for PF&R staff to easily and effectively incorporate sun safety measures into facility planning. This project supports implementation by making background research accessible, demonstrating successful design alternatives, and providing a pre-selected list of shade provision options that adhere to City requirements. By standardizing provisions for shade designs, the City is able to provide shade in more public places and at cost savings, through efficiencies in design and project delivery.
 
Funding source: Ryerson University, City of Toronto, Department of Parks, Forestry and Recreation, Toronto Public Health