Tuesday, September 30, 2014

From @architectmag —
@snohetta and @DIALOG Release
#Calgary Central Library Designs

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Americans Don't Walk Much
And I Don't Blame Them —
@Kaid_in_DC in @HuffPostGreen

This won’t be breaking news to most readers, but Americans don’t walk very much. Periodically, National Geographic publishes a 17-nation “Greendex” study on, among many other things, transit use and walking. In 2012 Americans came in dead last on both indices, and it wasn’t close.  

Read more: Americans Don't Walk Much, and I Don't Blame Them | F. Kaid Benfield

Friday, September 26, 2014

New Masters of Community Planning Program at @VIUniversity approved
by the province!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

From lewisnvillegas — The City in TED talks

A collection of 20 minute chats or Ted Talks by a wide cross-section of prominent contemporary figures. See them alll at: The City in TED talks | lewisnvillegas

Friday, September 19, 2014

From The Daily Beast
‘The Power Broker’ Turns 40:
How Robert Caro Wrote a Masterpiece

September 16, 2014. Forty years ago today, Caro’s magisterial 1,296-page life of New York master builder Robert Moses rewrote the rules of biography.
In the spring of 1974, after Robert A. Caro had finished writing The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York—a seven-year ordeal that took the book through three publishers and two editors and nearly bankrupted Caro—the first-time author got a surprise phone call from his agent, Lynn Nesbit.
“I submitted the book to The New Yorker,” she told him, “and Mr. Shawn [William Shawn, who was then the editor of The New Yorker] told me he's never read anything like it, and he's going to publish more of it than he's ever published of any book.” Read more: ‘The Power Broker’ Turns 40: How Robert Caro Wrote a Masterpiece - The Daily Beast

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

#trans_form Speaker Series #3 —
Creating a City for Everyone
@Penalosa_G @kteschke

Curbside Chat @clmarohn @StrongTowns

More at: Strong Towns 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Mayoral candidate @christianwolmar proposes pedestrianisation of Oxford Street @standardnews

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

— @BrentToderian in @planetizen —
Tall Tower Debates Could Use
Less Dogma, Better Design

It's the debate about tall buildings, possibly the most polarizing argument in CNU circles (arguably even more than the lingering traditional vs contemporary architecture debate), and maybe in urbanism circles in general.
In previous posts and talks, I've discussed the importance of what I call "density done well." It might be impossible to discuss the controversial issue of density (still referred to by some politicians as “the d-word”) without discussing height. In fact, height is often more polarizing and controversial than density itself. Height and density have a relationship, one that can be over-simplified or mischaracterized, but they aren’t the same thing - you can have density without height, and yes, you can have height without density. Read more: Tall Tower Debates Could Use Less Dogma, Better Design | Planetizen: The Urban Planning, Design, and Development Network

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Stealth waterfront park privatization underway in #Nanaimo

Nanaimo’s seawall parks and neighbourhoods are first rate and our best asset. Our City Hall has just passed an upzoning for a pie-in-the-sky “Hilton” hotel development on the waterfront and our City Hall is considering privatizing large portions of our waterfront Georgia Park.
This stealth privatization is being done on 3 fronts: 
• an outright “lease” turning parkland over to the developer for a loading zone area (semi’s and delivery vans servicing a 300+ room hotel, patio areas for hotel cafes and lounges and a “grand staircase” creating a flow from the hotel lobby directly down to the waterfront promenade).
• portraying the aggressive extension of its lobby into and onto our parkland by a “grand staircase” connecting to the harbour side promenade as a community benefit. “Connectivity” between Front Street through the hotel to the staircase. This staircase is to be included in lands under their control by a 60 year lease agreement.
• perhaps most objectionably of all, the agreement with Staff to apply the very modest Community Amenity Contribution created by the huge uplift in value created by City concessions to be spent only on areas immediately surrounding their property and in concert with their landscape architects.
Staff report to Council here
Up-zoning to 114.3 m height and FAR of 12 approved Sept 3 at a well attended public hearing, a large majority of delegates speaking against the height and massing application and the park give-away . Sale of land currently designated lane-way that runs the property perimeter on the north and east sides (which alternatively could have been added to this park area which has been overdue for a redesign for at least 15 years). If there was a strong evidence based argument on which the City made these decisions, I didn’t hear it expressed by Council, it wasn’t made by the proponent at the public hearing and I see no sign of it in the Staff report.
The park lease provision, if the idea itself isn’t pulled off the table now just weeks before the municipal election, will require a referendum. Opposition to the loss of control over parkland, especially a much-loved and popular waterfront park, is strong, broad and spreading.
More background and further thoughts here

Sunday, September 7, 2014

TO financial district=$375m property tax revenue/per sq km, compared to $6m per sq km rest of the city @jen_keesmaat

SF Polk Streetscape Project Overview @walksf @FolksForPolk

Friday, September 5, 2014

Check out what happened on Robson Street this summer @LatsAP @Penalosa_G

A wealth-creating pattern of development @neil21 @StrongTowns