Fadi Masoud's research on the ways in which landscape architecture can be used to bolster flood protection in urban areas has once again landed him in the press—this time in the University of Toronto's own magazine.
Masoud led writer Karina Onstad on a tour of the mouth of the Don River—where, as a member of Waterfront Toronto's Design Review Panel, Masoud is involved in a multi-billion-dollar effort to flood-protect and redevelop the Port Lands.
Tensions between the environment and urbanism first came to Masoud’s attention when he was growing up in Amman, a Jordanian city where historic ruins stand side by side with rapid, hyper-modern urbanization. Fruit trees surrounded his childhood home, and he used to pluck cherries and apricots in his yard. But as the city grew, Masoud noticed changes. “Over my lifetime the place became a concrete jungle,” he says. The fruit stopped growing. A centuries-old grove of olive trees disappeared. “You could see there was no thought whatsoever put into the relationship between how the city was mushrooming and growing, and how the landscape around it was being affected. That was always in my subconscious.”
The family immigrated to Toronto in 1998 and over the course of Masoud’s adolescence in the city, he saw urbanism accelerate yet again as cranes and skyscrapers began to dominate the Willowdale skyline. He enrolled in and graduated from an urban planning program at the University of Waterloo but wanted to push the boundaries of the profession and look for more solutions. He saw landscape architecture as a burgeoning corner of urbanism, and enrolled in the master’s program at U of T.
Read the rest of the University of Toronto Magazine piece here.