Tuesday, June 21, 2016

From Next City
Determining How Subsidized Housing Factors Into a More Affordable San Francisco

Building more market-rate housing in the Bay Area may reduce displacement pressure at the regional level, but building subsidized housing has over twice the impact, according to researchers at UC Berkeley’s Urban Displacement Project. In a report released this week, they note that at the level of San Francisco blocks, neither market-rate nor subsidized housing production has a significant impact on displacement though, likely due to “the extreme mismatch between supply and demand.” Read more: Determining How Subsidized Housing Factors Into a More Affordable S.F. – Next City

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

From PBS NewsHour
Urban designers transform these streets
into pedestrian paradise

New York City’s streets underwent a radical transformation under the leadership of Janette Sadik-Khan, who served as transportation commissioner from 2007 to 2013. In the new book “Streetfight: A Handbook for an Urban Revolution,” Sadik-Khan and co-author Seth Solomonow share the lessons from six years of redesigning the streets of New York City with more plazas, bike lanes and rapid bus lanes. Read more: Urban designers transformed these five spaces into pedestrian paradise | PBS NewsHour

Friday, June 3, 2016

From Co.Exist
Car-Free Neighbourhood Redesigns Suburbia

It's possible that some people might own a car in a new neighborhood designed for Mannheim, Germany. But they won't be able to drive up to their doors: The entire neighborhood is car-free, with parking hidden underground.
Instead of roads, the neighborhood will have sidewalks that connect with paths in a surrounding park. "Essentially the project recreates the park experience on a residential scale, and removing the road allows the park to permeate throughout the site unrestricted," says Johannes Pilz, one of the architects from the design firm MVRDV, which worked on the development for Traumhaus, a German affordable housing developer. This New Car-Free Neighborhood Redesigns Suburbia | Co.Exist | ideas + impact

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Jane Jacobs' "big R&D lab" in downtown Toronto industrial sites redevelopment

20 years ago Jane Jacobs was given the chance to put her ideas into practice in the renewal of two large downtown Toronto in-decline industrial sites. The King Street neighbourhoods were a priority of then-mayor Barbara Hall and she asked Jacobs’ advice. Details of this fascinating story are told in the links below by Spacing Magazine’s Shawn Micallef in Curbed.com and in a Globe and Mail piece by Stephen Wickens.

401 Richmond in the western neighbourhood of the "Two Kings", which the Zeidler family purchased in 1994, is an illustration of Jacobs’s arguments about urbanism and a piece of her legacy in Toronto. Eberhard Zeidler, the patriarch, was the architect who designed the Eaton Centre. When the Zeidlers purchased 401, the old steampunk neighborhood around it, once the heart of Toronto’s schmatte trade, was dead. "There was one restaurant in the area, just a greasy spoon. Now there has to be like 20 or 30 in that section there," says Margie Zeidler, Eberhard’s daughter and the driving force behind what would become the vital building beloved by so much of Toronto today. Today that 1994 landscape is unimaginable and the building is at the heart of one of the most intense areas of development in North America, with condo towers sprouting where there were once acres of parking lots and buildings left fallow after deindustrialization. Read more: Jane Up North - Curbed


She wasn’t at all surprised to see people saying 
what would Jane Jacobs have thought; 
but what Jane Jacobs would have thought 
was think for yourself.Jim Jacobs




Friday, May 27, 2016

Richard Florida in CityLab
Inner-City Growth and Competition

Two new studies explore the movement of businesses and people back to the city, but outside the central business district. Over the past decade or so, inner cities have staged a comeback, leading to what’s been dubbed a “great inversion” as people and jobs move back to and near downtown, and poverty and disadvantage increasingly take up residence in the suburbs. Read more: Inner-City Growth and Competition in the U.S. - CityLab

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

From Guardian Cities — Barcelona’s plan
to give streets back to residents

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

From Urbanarium
City Debate #5: Let Experts Plan

Should citizens be more empowered to decide what gets built and where in Vancouver? Or is the process already too prone to public pressures, stifling the creativity, knowhow and vision that professional planners are hired to provide? More at: City Debate #5: Let Experts Plan | Urbanarium

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Burning Would: A film by
Marshall McLuhan and Jane Jacobs


There was a shape to it. It had music. It did have a thread and raised a lot of important issues. Colin Vaughan provided an excellent narration. It was a good movie; furthermore, it was shown a lot, especially in the United States. For a long time I would get an occasional letter from this or that group in California saying that they had shown the movie. However, the final product bore no relationship at all to our original script.
— Jane Jacobs on "Making a Movie with Marshall McLuhan"

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

From The Municipal Art Society of New York The Jane Jacobs at 100 Celebration


The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) is a leading independent advocacy organization that inspires, educates, and empowers New Yorkers to engage in the betterment of their city. This year, MAS welcomes you to join Celebrating the City: Jane Jacobs at 100, a celebration dedicated to legendary urban activist Jane Jacobs on the 100th anniversary of her birth.
Jane Jacobs believed in empowering urban citizens to get involved in their communities and shape their city. [A great synopsis, called Jane Jacobs: Ten Big Ideas by Nate Storing, formerly of the Jane’s Walk Project Office and now at Project for Public Spaces, is here.] The celebration, spanning May through October 2016, will honor her impact by bringing together hundreds of self-organized events and activities under a single banner that reveal the dynamic energy, innovation and creativity of cities. Read more: About the Jane Jacobs at 100 Celebration

Saturday, April 30, 2016

From Business in Vancouver
How Expo 86 changed Vancouver


World’s fair left key infrastructure legacies and turned a large tract of industrial land into an urban streetscape praised worldwide. It wasn’t just that the fair introduced the city to the world and came with SkyTrain, BC Place Stadium, the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre, a new Cambie Street Bridge and other infrastructure legacies. In the wake of the fair, the site’s sale helped spark the urban revitalization that has established Vancouver atop the world’s most livable cities rankings. Read more: The Expo effect: How Expo 86 changed Vancouver | Economy | Business in Vancouver

Friday, April 29, 2016

From transportblog.co.nz
"Downtown development is the golden goose of urban economics"



When it comes to the debate about housing and development, there’s been plenty of discussion about the physical impacts of decisions we make, for example the height and bulk of buildings. There’s even been to a lesser extent a discussion on the capital costs of development, the costs of building or upgrading roads, pipes and other infrastructure. Some of this is quite evident now with the Transport for Future Growth consultations currently underway.
One area that hasn’t really been discussed at any level – other than probably some obscure high level planning papers – is the impact our development choices have on rates and operational costs. In many ways this is odd given how loudly many sections of our society protest every time rates are increased. But there is a clear link between rates and the types of development we allow. More at: The Value of Well-Designed Cities.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016