select past projects

The original Toronto Portlands concept, HSW 1993

Don River restoration 

Bringing Back the Don involved a comprehensive, long-term and interdisciplinary initiative to return health and vitality to this post-industrial urban river valley that runs through the heart of Toronto. Spearheaded by the grass-roots Task Force to Bring Back the Don (motto: Clean, Green and Accessible), it inspired huge support across political and social spectrums through the 1990s. It still stands as Canada's largest urban ecological regeneration and, as each phase is realized, continues as an exemplar of urban environmental regeneration nationally and internationally.

My role:  project manager
- contextual and in situ research
, community workshops, corridor and watershed analyses, lower river valley and Portlands restoration and re-integration strategies, co-authorship of final report Bringing Back the Don, primarily with Michael Hough and restoration hydrologist Dr. Robert Newbury

Clients / partners:  
  Task Force to Bring Back the Don
  City of Toronto Planning Dept.
  Toronto Waterfront Regeneration Trust

National Award of Excellence
Canadian Institute of Planners, 1992

Task Force members assist eminent Canadian
conservationist Charles Sauriol (1904-1995) onto
CN Rail property; this act of mild civil disobedience
began the process of Bringing Back the Don


Don Valley Brickworks 

This project involved research, master planning, and feasibility analysis for a unique 42-acre decommissioned quarry and  brickworks in the heart of Toronto's Don Valley. The $25 million plan emphasized the link between the site and the valley's cultural and natural heritage. A strategy for geological, palaeobotanical, and industrial conservation and interpretation was meshed with a park concept based on restoration of ecological processes. Plans called for adaptive re-use of brickmaking infrastructure, the daylighting and restoration of Mud Creek, preservation of the internationally recognized North Slope geology, creation of naturalistic sedimentation pond and water gardens, and establishment of thematic indoor and outdoor gardens depicting inter- and post-glacial plant communities. Quarry plans have been implemented; the non-profit group Evergreen is currently leading efforts to renovate and re-program the brickmaking facilities.

My role:  project manager
- contextual and in situ research, community workshops and stakeholder charrettes,
site analysis, master planning, feasibility analysis and cost pro-forma, co-authorship of final report, in collaboration with Michael Hough and architect George Baird

  Metro Toronto Region Parks and Property
  Don Valley Brickworks Planning Committee

Architecture & Urban Design Award, 2000
City of Toronto

National Citation
Regional Merit Award
Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, 1991

            City of Toronto archives

B. Bingham


Nine Mile Run, Pittsburgh

The Nine Mile Run project was a groundbreaking inquiry into a hyper-stressed urban landscape and its emerging human constituency. It was initiated by artists at CMU's STUDIO for Creative Inquiry as a counterpoint to plans to cover over and gentrify NMR valley. What would ultimately evolve into Pittsburgh's most important post-industrial regeneration precedent, our core team saw it as a singular opportunity to engage in participatory scholarship and instigate a dramatic shift to post-modernity and environmental awareness in the city. Well-funded and with a broad mandate, we sought not so much a product as an inclusive and transparent process of formulating a working model of urban ecosystem-as-place -- a new kind of creative renewal. The result was a curious, but highly effective, merging of art, ecological design, and applied science.

The project established new coalitions across the Pittsburgh urban region and led to creation of the NMR Watershed Association, which has been highly active throughout the 6.5 sq. mile watershed. And the NMR Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration program emerged as the largest project of its kind to be undertaken in a metropolitan area in the U.S. by the Army Corps of Engineers. The Army Corps, U.S. EPA, and local water authorities
provided $7.7 million in funding for derelict infrastructure removal, wetland and stream restoration, and vegetation of the barren, high-pH slag slopes.                                 


My role:  Faculty Fellow, CMU and core team member
- ecosystems analysis,
community workshops, devised key terrestrial and aquatic restoration strategies and greenway network, co-authored final report with Tim Collins

Clients / partners:  
  Pittsburgh's City Planning office

  neighborhoods of Squirrel Hill, Swisshelm, Regent Square,
     Swissvale, and Wilkensburg
  Heinz Endowments
  PA Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources

Governor's Award for Environmental Stewardship, 2001
Three Rivers Environmental Award, 1998
project shown at Purnell Gallery and Wood Street Galleries

a neighborhood workshop in Nine Mile Run valley


HP Canadian Headquarters

The Canadian head office of Hewlett-Packard is located near the Toronto International Airport on a 30-acre partially wooded (sugar maple-beech) property overlooking Etobicoke Creek. A vernacular theme was expressed through old field re-establishment, rigorous woodlot preservation, meadows and successional hedgerows, as well as the extensive use of local stone adjacent and within the building. The client encouraged product and ecological design research, enabling some new solutions for green roof techniques on the 6th floor terrace, woodlot preservation, a dual interior atrium with a grove of 30' black olives, and the use of dolomitic limestone in the forecourt and interior design. Especially interesting was the salvaging and relocation of on site topsoils to re-establish the forb-rich seed bank in meadows surrounding the parking area.

My role:  project manager
- master planning,
client interaction, design research & development, olive tree selection in Florida, interior planting design, permitting, contract administration

Client / partner:  
  Hewlett Packard Corporation
  Shore Tilbe Henschel & Irwin, Architects

Urban Design Award of Excellence
City of Mississuaga, 1993


Lime Lakes Phytoremediation Projects

PPG's so-called 'lime lakes' are a result of pre-EPA era dumping of millions of tons high-pH synthetic soda ash spoils, part of the historic glass manufacturing operations near Barberton, Ohio. We were hired to conduct reclamation research and pilot testing using a range of native warm-season grasses (WSGs) and forbs and soil genesis techniques to reduce leachate and create grassland habitat on this +600 acre brownfield.

My role:  restoration specialist
- monitored and evaluated phytocover test plots on Lime Lakes 1 and 2, advised on adaptive management
for all plots, co-author of final report to the U.S. EPA, Region 5
- also, restoration design and consultation on installation and management of full-scale (45-acre) WSG pilot projects on Lime Lakes 3 and 5, based on knowledge gleaned from the test plots; cool-season grass suppression; experimentation with Truax and brillion seeders and varying rates of seeding, biosolid, and mulch applications

Client / partners:
  PPG Industries, Inc.
  Key Environmental, Engineers

 National Wildlife Habitat Certification,

Corporate Lands
category, Wildlife Habitat Council, 2006


Plan for Markham's Environment

Markham's Plan for the Environment addressed the entirety of this  sprawling 212 sq. km. municipality (pop'n 260,000) adjacent to Toronto. It explored bioregional linkages with the Oak Ridges moraine and Lake Ontario via the newly-established Rouge Park (see above), and called for an extensive green network. In the Canadian context, our work was a seminal synthesis of applied ecologies, ecosystems planning, and progressive policy in service of ecological integrity and biodidversity. It incubated the notion of pre-emptive ecosystems planning (Tamminga 1996; Gordon and Tamminga 2002), reorganized planning units along sub-watershed lines, applied synthetic ecology principles grounded by intensive earth and life science field inventories across a broad cultural landscape, and, perhaps most notably, enshrined systematic landscape restoration in Official Plan policy.

My role:  HSW project manager 
- primary author of
municipal-wide ecosystems network strategy (preservation + restoration + greenways), research and field  analysis, stakeholder workshops, planning policy amendements, co-author of Markham Natural Features Study

Client / partner:  
  Municipality of Markham, Ontario
  Gore & Storrie Ltd.

The Massasauga Provincial Park

The Massasauga wildlands lie at the heart of Ontario's 30,000 Islands region along Georgian Bay's windswept east coast. At 
32,400 acres this wilderness archipelago encompasses an archetypal Canadian Shield (Precambrian) landsacape that has changed little since it was a choice subject of the Group of Seven painters. With wide involvement from in-holders, two First Nations communities, and several government agencies, we spearheaded a locally-acceptable management plan which also served the well-being of the people of Ontario as a whole. We prepared an ecosystem-based plan that promoted a low-intensity 'threshold wilderness' concept integrating goals of wildlands protection, dispersed recreation and boating, and cultural heritage appreciation.

My role:   project manager
- stakeholder workshops, field reconnaissance, park concept and zoning, management strategies, co-authorship of  Massasauga Wildlands Provincial Park Management Plan (Queen's Printers for Ontario 1993), in collaboration with Jim Stansbury

  Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

Class #2 Protected Area designation
by the World Conservation Union (IUCN)
as an
 outstanding natural and scenic area of
national and international significance

Rouge Park website



The Rouge Park  

The Rouge is Toronto's unique 'partnership park', a resevoir of biodiversity and cultural heritage within Canada's most heavily populated urban region. Acquisitions in 2001 brought the park area to 47 (over 11,600 ac), making it the largest urban park in North America. Values include an outstanding array of flora and fauna (including a rare Carolinian habitat remnant), a National Historic site (17th century Seneca Indian village confirmed through excavations by our subconsulting archaeologist, Dana Poulton), and old Mennonite farmsteads. The tough-won consensus plan represents a new breed of large and complex post-modern park. Landscape-scale restoration was a key focus: fully 15% of the Phase 1 lands (815 ac) were designated for native regeneration in park policy.

Park motto: 
Wild in the City

Park vision:  
The Rouge Park will be a special place of outstanding natural features and diverse cultural heritage in an urban-rural setting, protected and flourishing as an ecosystem in perpetuity. Human activities will exist in harmony with the natural values of the park. The park will be a sanctuary for nature and the human spirit.

My role:  project manager
- primary author
of park management plan (5,500  ac. Phase 1 ),
charrette facilitation
, research, landscape assessment, park concept and zoning, protection and restoration strategies, natural and cultural heritage management policies

  Rouge Park Advisory Committee
  Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

Protecting Tomorrow Today Award
Ontario Parks Association, forthe best example of forests,
 wetlands and
meadows in the Toronto area 2005



Manitoulin Island projects

I worked on a range of waterfront and downtown improvement projects on Lake Huron's Manitoulin Island--the world's largest freshwater island.  Projects included:
  • Little Current wharf design
  • Little Current cenotaph park design & implementation
  • Little Current streetscape design & implementation
  • Manitowaning waterfront and marina master plan and feasibility study
  • Providence Bay waterfront and marina plan
My role:   project manager, Island specialist
- feasibility studies, community meetings and stakeholder workshops, master planning and design, design development, site inspections

  Small Craft Harbours Canada
  various municipalities

Toronto Outer Harbour Marina

This was a master planning and feasibility project for one of the largest marinas on Lake Ontario (+650 slips, expandable to 1,100).
included a lake-fill addition to the neck of the environmentally sensitive Leslie St. spit in Toronto's Outer Harbour.  

My role:  senior landscape architect
- analysis, concept alternatives and master plan,
pro-forma, marina co-design, client engagement, and co-author of final report in collaboration with TSH marine engineer Larry Ball

  Toronto Harbour Commission (now: Toronto Port Authority)

A true world destination cruising port.
                      Cruising Canada, 2008