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Creating a sense of place; a meaningful urban landscape has been one of the great challenges of the contemporary built world. Urban fabric once molded and sanctified by religion, myth, and subtle forces, is presently understood through formal and functional issues. This thesis contends that an important part of the experience of place is through understanding the landscape as a part of a greater narrative of spiritual or energetic significance. In a contemporary context, this can be engaged through the conception of the human body. The human body has held a special role with regards to the built world. We assess the world with the aid of our physical bodies and our relationship to space is shaped by the understanding of ourselves as psychological and spiritual creatures. Currently, North American culture is undergoing great change in the comprehension of the body. This includes a reality where the energetic or subtle body is recognized as a valid element of human existence and an inherent mind-body connection is being supported by advances in the world of science. There is also an increasing awareness that the divide between human beings and the natural environment is detrimental to both physical and mental health. The city of Toronto is in a period of redefinition and this new interest in the human condition can play a central role in the development of the city fabric. Its main civic avenue, University Avenue, becomes the site for an urban project guided by respect for the physical, energetic and cyclical nature of the human being. A network of public spaces is created that allows people to reconnect to the city as a part of a narrative of body, energy, and the cycles of the natural world.
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Tracy Lee (2007). HEALING UNIVER(CITY). UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/2764