Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Celebrating a New Public Plaza in Brooklyn: You Can Feel It All Over

Putnam Block Party from adele pham on Vimeo.

Project for Public Spaces: 
Want to see how good public space can make people feel? Watch this beyond awesome video by documentary filmmaker Adele Pham, of people celebrating the opening of the new Putnam Triangle plaza in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, last weekend.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

WNET New York Public Media Asks:

What Would Jane Jacobs Say?
Sam Lewis | METRO FOCUS September 16, 2011

Transforming NYC Streets: A Conversation with Janette Sadik-Khan from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Vancouver Sun's Daphne Bramham and Architect Stanley King Walk Around & Talk About Their S. False Creek Neighbourhood

Sun story here.

To the Editor, Sat. Sept 17 2011

The tenure of the current Nanaimo Mayor and Councilors is coming to an end. As the November civic election approaches it might be a good time for this administration to reflect on whether or not they leave the institution — one of the key governing bodies in our democracy — in better shape than they found it. At the end of their watch is our City Hall more or less respected and trusted by Nanaimo citizens?

They might want to consider some or all of the following:

The City's top public servant — then City Manager Jerry Berry — was allowed to walk away from his post with a very rich severance package the details of which, though often promised, were never made public.

The contract to construct a very expensive state of the art City Hall Annex to house City departments and workers has been awarded in a behind closed doors process without consultation with any stakeholders who might be impacted by this decision.

Friday, September 16, 2011

PARK(ing) Day


Providing temporary public open space . . . one parking spot at at time.

PARK(ing) Day is a annual open-source global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public places. The project began in 2005 when Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco. Since 2005, PARK(ing) Day has evolved into a global movement, with organizations and individuals (operating independently of Rebar but following an established set of guidelines) creating new forms of temporary public space in urban contexts around the world.

The mission of PARK(ing) Day is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat … at least until the meter runs out! Read more...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Study in Hubris: 1964

CMHC and the City of Vancouver
Attack "Blight" in the Downtown Eastside

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Home, Home on the Lane

First laneway house in Vancouver. Photo by Krista Jahnke
Four Great Things About
Vancouver’s Laneway Houses.

Sightline Daily
News and Views for a Sustainable Northwest, Sept 8, 2011
There’s an alley renaissance going on around the world. It was born of a renewed love for urbanity that came along with the droves of young, artistic types shunning the ‘burbs and re-populating North America’s inner cities. They brought with them a desire to turn what have traditionally been neglected and ugly inner-city dumping grounds into vibrant, art-adorned, pedestrian-friendly public spaces.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Where Portland Does Better Than Vancouver

Koi Fusion serves Korean-Mexican food from one of Portland, Oregon's food carts. - Koi Fusion serves Korean-Mexican food from one of Portland, Oregon's food carts. | Basil Childers for The Globe and Mail


Vancouver Would be Wise to Emulate Portland

From Thursday's Globe and Mail

We’d started with breakfast at Pine State Biscuits, part of the Alberta Arts District that has sprung up in this northeast part of Portland, eating our biscuits and gravy at picnic tables in the restaurant’s side yard.

Lunch was chicken burritos at the food-cart pod in the Mississippi neighbourhood – just a tiny constellation among the 642 food carts in the Portland area – and a stroll past shops filled with antiques, bikes and local-designer clothing.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

One Path to Better Jobs:
More Density in Cities

In San Francisco, people dead set against change squeezed the housing supply. But the lack of housing has also slowed the growth of wages.

NY Times Sept 3, 2011
Ryan Avent is an economics correspondent for The Economist and author of the Kindle Single “The Gated City,” from which this essay is adapted.

“HELL is other people,” wrote Jean-Paul Sartre. He nonetheless spent much of his life in Paris, the better to interact with other French intellectuals. Cities have long been incubators and transmitters of ideas, and, correspondingly, engines of economic growth.
The “Not in My Backyard” philosophy sometimes, though by no means always, supports a high quality of life.  Yet the effect is to raise housing costs and make rich cities more exclusive. Real trouble occurs when the idea-generators in cities with that NIMBY approach become so protective of their pleasant streets that they turn away other idea-generators, undermining the city’s economic role. And that is happening. Entrepreneurship rates in Silicon Valley were below the national average during the tech boom because firms couldn’t attract enough skilled workers.