THUNDER BAY – City Council will hear from Dr. Avi Friedman tonight. Dr. Friedman is a Professor of Architecture at McGill University, and the director of the Affordable Homes Program.
Mayor Hobbs and Dr. Friedman were touring downtown Fort William this afternoon and discussing ways to improve our community.
Dr. Friedman began his architectural studies at the Politecnico di Milano in Italy, received his Bachelor of Architecture from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in 1980 (first in class/cum laude) and his Master of Architecture from McGill University in Montréal. Between 1982 and 1984, Dr. Friedman worked as head of design for a homebuilding firm in Montréal. He received his Doctorate in 1987 from the Université de Montréal. In 1988 he co-founded the Affordable Homes Program at the McGill School of Architecture, where he is a Professor.
The Mayor and Professor were discussing one of the ways to improve a community is through making sure the “little things” are taken care of. Ensuring that broken windows are fixed, that the core areas are kept neat and well lit, and covering the fundamentals.
One of the impediments to the provision of affordable homes to Canadians is inefficient and inadequate communication between housing users and housing providers. This is the result partly of the decentralized nature of the housing industry and partly of changes in demand. New types of first-time buyers (childless couples, single-parent families, singles) have new and different aspirations and needs. Affordable homes require inventive trade-offs between, for example, unit size and quality, or between plan adaptability and flexibility. These trade-offs can only succeed if they take into account what is desirable (by buyers) and what is feasible (by builders).