Monday, November 25, 2013

From Fund for a Better Waterfront
As Shopping Malls and Theme Parks Replace
Town Squares, Our Democracy is Diminished

F Murphy photo
The street. It is the river of life of the city, the place where we come together, the pathway to the center. It is the primary place.
– William H. Whyte, City: Rediscovering the Center

Urban streets and sidewalks serve as the principle place of public contact and public passage. Streets, in fact, comprise the largest assemblage of public space in our cities. Every private lot is accessible from a street, the legally designated public right-of-way. When extended to the water’s edge, streets provide the very framework for public access to the waterfront. Streets are perceived as public. Our right to travel the street, whether by foot or bike or car, is indelibly etched in our consciousness. Read more: As shopping malls and theme parks replace town squares, our democracy is diminished | Fund for a Better Waterfront

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

#SmartCityExpo Barcelona

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

From Planetizen
An Argument for Eliminating Traffic Lights

"Stop-and-go turns out to be less a way of increasing safety than a way of maximizing the value of vehicles with high top speeds (i.e., automobiles) rather than slower vehicles (bicycles, scooters, motorcycles). So filling your city with signalized intersections turns out to be a kind of backdoor subsidy to automobile ownership."Read more: An Argument for Eliminating Traffic Lights | Planetizen: The Urban Planning, Design, and Development Network

Saturday, November 16, 2013

HT Planetizen, From
Itemizing the Cost of a Great Street

The intersection of St. Clair Avenue West and Vaughan Road, which is among the messiest: St. Clair is wide, long, cut in two by a streetcar right-of-way, and follows a straightforward grid, while Vaughan is narrow, short, and hits on the diagonal as it chases a slithering ravine. In a city where there’s no such thing as a typical intersection, though, this one might just count as normal. Read more at: The Grid: How much does a street cost? And: Itemizing the Cost of a Great Street | Planetizen: The Urban Planning, Design, and Development Network

Friday, November 15, 2013

Great Places in Canada
Public Space Winner: St. John City Market

The St. John City Market is a popular gathering space for people of all ages. It is a place where vendors sell a range of local and international goods along four banks of stalls running the entire length of the building. The Market is well integrated into the City Centre both in terms of its architecture, its entrances from the outdoors, as well as an indoor connection to the City pedway system. Read more: Great Places in Canada

Thursday, November 14, 2013

From Sustainable Prosperity
The Cost of Sprawl:
A Suburban/Urban Comparison

We tend to think of the cost of a house as only the price of the mortgage. But in reality, adding more houses to a community requires a lot more than the buildings. Sidewalks, water and wastewater pipes, schools and libraries, police and fire protection, and of course, roads. The lower density in the suburbs leads to higher costs to operate, maintain and replace all these services. These examples are taken from a recent study in Halifax Regional Municipality. More at: Sustainable Prosperity | The Cost of Sprawl: A Comparison : Sustainable Prosperity

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

From Strong Towns —Neighbourhoods First

Neighborhoods First. A low risk, high return strategy for building a strong town. Cities across the country are starting to realize that the “big project” approach takes up too much staff time, wastes too much political energy and distracts too much from the basic needs of existing neighborhoods. Risky, low returning projects too often become expensive boondoggles that haunt a community for decades. Public officials everywhere are desperately seeking an alternative. Take less risk and grow financially stronger all while directly serving the people already living and working in your city. That’s a Strong Towns approach. Read more and download the report at: Neighborhoods First - Strong Towns

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

From Planetizen Courses —
Tactical Urbanism: An Introduction

Designer and doer Mike Lydon, CNU-A, has one mission: Improving the livability of our towns and cities starting at the street, block, or building scale. In this first course of a two course series, Lydon introduces Tactical Urbanism. More at: Tactical Urbanism: An Introduction | Planetizen Courses

National Association of
City Transportation Officials

Urban Street Design Guide

Streets comprise more than 80% of public space in cities, but they often fail to provide their surrounding communities with a space where people can safely walk, bicycle, drive, take transit, and socialize. Cities are leading the movement to redesign and reinvest in our streets as cherished public spaces for people, as well as critical arteries for traffic. The Urban Street Design Guide charts the principles and practices of the nation’s foremost engineers, planners, and designers working in cities today. More at: Urban Street Design Guide | NACTO

Friday, November 8, 2013

Jeff Speck in
Time to Get Cities Walking Again

(Image by Ramanathan Kathiresan)
We Americans have learned that reorganising our cityscapes around the automobile was a bad investment, not to mention an environmental disaster. Like many European cities, our most forward-thinking municipalities have turned away from road investment in favor of transit, bicycling, and pedestrian infrastructure. The evidence seems to support a contention of Winston Churchill: “The American people can be counted on to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the alternatives." Read more: Time to get US cities walking again | Jeff Speck - China Dialogue

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Mythbusters — 4 Way Stop Vs Roundabout

Lewis Villegas Says —
Geoff Meggs Gets the Urbanism Wrong

While the modern media regularly doles out succés de scandale it is important to set the record straight. Councillor Meggs posted his analysis: Contradictory voices: MPIC collapses in confusion. Of course, here we are served yet another icon of modern media, recalling Samuel Clements (aka Mark Twain) infamous reply to the erroneous report in the New York Journal of 2 June 1897, that “The report of my death was an exaggeration”. Far from being down and out, as of 20 october 2013 members of the MPIC are participating in the city-wide Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods.

Quotations in bold below are mis-characterizations posted on the Meggs blog. Civic politicians are tireless servants with full and busy schedules. Thus, we see this moment as an opportunity to explore the new paradigm in planning to be used outside the tower districts. As with everything new, signs of learning are progress. Read more: Vancouver Councillor gets the Urbanism Wrong | SUNN Vancouver Mount Pleasant

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013

Friday, November 1, 2013

From Streetsblog Capitol Hill
Spend 30 Minutes Watching This Doc and You’ll Spend the Next 30 Walking

More at:  Spend 30 Minutes Watching This Doc and You’ll Spend the Next 30 Walking | Streetsblog Capitol Hill