Saturday, July 28, 2012

Eleanor Wachtel in Conversation
With Jane Jacobs

New York Times Magazine included her in its hallmark list of “Irritating Women”—women who through the centuries have “tugged at history’s sleeve and wouldn’t let go”.

A Conversation with Jane Jacobs | Brick Magazine

Monday, July 23, 2012

From Spacing
Effect of Local Ownership on Civic Health

Local business owners invest their personal and financial interests in their community’s well-being. Cities with greater local economic autonomy can more easily marshal resources in tough times. Local businesses create environments that foster social ties. These factors appear to be borne out in several recent studies, including one recently published in the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, which found lower rates of mortality, obesity and diabetes in communities where locally owned businesses are prevalent. (Institute for Local Self-Reliance)

Read more: Urban Planet: The Effect of Local Ownership on Civic Health « Spacing Toronto

From Yatzer
Seville's Metropol Parasol

Metropol Parasol // The World’s Largest Wooden Structure | Yatzer Buenisimo! Inspired! Located at Plaza de la Encarnacion, the stunning sequence of undulating parasols comprises the world's largest wooden structure.

Friday, July 20, 2012

From polis ― Catalonia’s Human Towers

Read more: polis: Catalonia’s Human Towers

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Vancouver Urban Forum Video ―
Brent Toderian

More videos at:

Vancouver Urban Forum Video ―
Gil Peñalosa

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Vancouver Urban Forum Video ―
Edward Glaeser

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Hello Nanaimo? San Bernardino on the Line ― With Your Wake Up Call

From Price Tags: San Bernadino, CA

A wave of bankruptcies
The bankruptcy of San Bernardino, population over 200,000, should not surprise anyone. In fact, as we look at it more closely, we can see that a city that has fully embraced the post-WW II development model, riding its boom to the inevitable bust. … San Bernardino is interesting, however, because it really is the first major city that seems to be imploding under its own weight. …

From all outside appearances, it seems that the business of San Bernardino — the apparent reason for it existing — was to build San Bernardino. A full 13 percent of the work force is still in construction, with much of the other employment coming in secondary, service industries (education, health care, etc…). The city was #11 on the list of Top 101 cities with the largest percentage of males in the construction and extraction occupations (#16 for females). City budgets still show huge revenue projections for permit fees, plan review fees and development impact fees.

Read more:

Monday, July 16, 2012

From The Tyee
Art as a Means of Survival

As Gastown pushes out low-income residents, Gallery Gachet remains a creative refuge. Read more:

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Detroit Declaration

Detroit Declaration: Principles for a brighter Detroit future

From Atlantic Cities
The 10 Best Songs About the Subway

The 10 Best Songs About the Subway: Inspired by a new contest to write a song inspired by the G train.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

From Yurbanism
Jane Jacobs: Parting Words

Jane Jacobs: Parting Words (2007) from Kevin Balmer on Vimeo.

This longer (20 min) video captures Jane Jacobs in one of her last public appearances in Portland Oregon. On tour to promote her book, Dark Age Ahead Jane Jacobs: Parting Words (2004), Jacobs discusses the imperative for culturally diverse and innovative cities, among many other issues. Read more: Jane Jacobs: Parting Words - Yurbanism

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Shuffle Demons
Still Love the Spadina Bus

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Shuffle Demons Love the Spadina Bus

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

From Changing City Updates
750 Pacific Boulevard | Plaza of Nations

It may be officially 750 Pacific, but it’s the Plaza of Nations to everyone in the city. Or at least, it was – this rezoning would presumably see it getting a new name. The project proposes up to 2,000 apartments, 350,000 sq ft of commercial space including a hotel and retail. It also includes a new practice arena for the Canucks which would be a public skating rink the rest of the time.
The most striking gesture is obviously James Cheng’s proposed ‘grand arch’ tower. There’s a long path ahead of this proposal, including no doubt at least one review by the Urban Design Panel. It will be interesting to see how the cluster of apparently similar height towers gets viewed, along with the massing of the lower but bulkier buildings.
750 Pacific Boulevard | Changing City Updates
Rezoning Application detail from the City of Vancouver

Monday, July 2, 2012

Reclaim Prior Street!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

From polis
Questioning the Obsession with Cars

Source: Austin Miller 

There’s a dirty little secret about driving: Nobody likes it. Most people are not able to admit it, for they are unaware that congestion, the constant and excessive costs of car ownership and road rage are avoidable. No survey can generate responses such as, "I only think I like driving because I see few alternatives, and all of those threaten my identity." 

Welcome to Springfield, Ill. — my hometown and a typical city of sprawl. It is an environment that forces me to cross a highway to access my credit union, jobs or the grocery store. Obviously, it is neither possible nor desired for a bicyclist to keep pace with the traffic rushing along at 50 mph.

Read more: polis: Questioning the Obsession with Cars