The speakers highlighted how underground pedestrian networks should look and function so that they contribute to a successful and vibrant downtown, and they illustrated the connections between the underground walkways, the street level public spaces and tall buildings. The speakers showed examples of compact cities, climate-controlled walkways, and indoor cities from around the world; explained how underground pedestrian systems are perceived by different users; focusing on current issues involving major systems such as RÉSO in Montréal and PATH in Toronto; while highlight possible points of interest for Ottawa as it ponders underground transit.
Michel Boisvert is a Professor of Urban Economics and Infrastructure Planning at the Institut d’urbanisme of the Université de Montréal. In 2002 he founded the Observatoire de la ville intérieure (Indoor City Observatory), and he is currently on the Executive Committee of the Associated Research Centers on Urban Underground Space.
James Parakh is an architect and senior urban designer with the City of Toronto, who deals with new developments and their potential connections to the underground PATH system. James is a frequent guest critic and lecturer at universities and conferences throughout Canada and North America.