Friday, February 28, 2014

Thursday, February 27, 2014

10 Principles for Transport in Urban Life

From Better! Cities & Towns Online
Housing Shortage or Urbanism Shortage?

Greenwich Village, New York City.  www.
In case you hadn't yet noticed, urban living is pretty hot right now. Preference surveys show time and time again that a strong share of the overall American public would prefer to live in a walkable urban neighborhood than a suburban subdivision which caters only to the automobile. A majority still prefers suburban living, but the minority which craves city living is large and getting larger.

This trend is especially pronounced in younger people, indicating that it will probably be long-lasting. Millennials, the generation born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s, have markedly different preferences than previous generations. By and large, they are much more inclined to gravitate toward city living and away from automobiles than their Baby Boomer parents. Many say they'd give up their cars before their computers or cell phones. Read more: Housing shortage or urbanism shortage? | Better! Cities & Towns Online

"It took me 40 years to get rid of my education” — Jan Gehl @citiesforpeople

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

From BBC News — Jaywalking: How the
Car Industry Outlawed Crossing the Road

The idea of being fined for crossing the road at the wrong place can bemuse foreign visitors to the US, where the origins of so-called jaywalking lie in a propaganda campaign by the motor industry in the 1920s.

The California Vehicle Code states: "No pedestrian shall start crossing in direction of a flashing or steady "DON'T WALK" or upraised hand symbol." It also forbids crossing between controlled intersections, or "jaywalking". Read more: BBC News - Jaywalking: How the car industry outlawed crossing the road

Monday, February 24, 2014

Urban Walking is a Legal High —
So Why Are Cities Cruel to Pedestrians?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Truth About Traffic Congestion

This post is all about why traffic congestion is a good thing for your city. If you’re looking for advice on how to get rid of the traffic jams that take place every day on your city’s highways, you’re in the wrong place. Here goes… Read more: The Truth About Traffic Congestion -

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Todd Litman in Planetizen
Do Planners Lead Or Follow?

Todd Litman
To its credit, the California Department of Transportation took a bold step recently by inviting the State Smart Transportation Initiative to perform an assessment of the agency’s performance. The results, published in the just-released report, The California Department of Transportation: SSTI Assessment and Recommendations, is an amazingly honest and insightful review of the organization’s structural problems, and recommendations for improvement. This type of critical assessment is a priceless gift to practitioners ready to embrace change. Read more: Do Planners Lead Or Follow? | Planetizen: The Urban Planning, Design, and Development Network

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Must-watch — Jan Gehl The Human Scale

Rent it on iTunes - Movies - The Human Scale

Zen & The Art of Traffic Calming

In the view of most urbanists, walkability is a measure of how healthy a city is. It essentially describes how safe and how well-planned a city is for pedestrians, which will in turn determine how often citizens interact with their city. There are so many factors that go in to making a city walkable. The factor that I find to be the most important, in pretty much all cases, is how safe the walkways are in terms of traffic. Traffic calming methods become incredibly important when improving an urban space. Read more: Zen & The Art of Traffic Calming | PlaceMakers

From Urban Land Magazine
Keeping an Urban Authenticity Alive:
Vancouver's Granville Island

In the early 1970s, Ron Basford, a Canadian Cabinet minister and loyal Vancouverite, seized on the idea of converting Granville Island—a modestly sized pancake barely a half mile (0.8 km) south of the emerging downtown—into a special place. Until the mid—20th century, the island had prospered as an industrial hotbed, jammed with shipyards, metal fabricators, wire rope manufacturers, and warehouses. But with the shift in the post–World War II economy away from industrial production, tenants departed, leaving the island derelict and the remaining structures vulnerable to arson. Read more: Keeping an Urban Authenticity Alive: Vancouver's Granville Island - Urban Land Magazine

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Place Capital: The Shared Wealth that Drives Thriving Communities

Monday, February 17, 2014

Saturday, February 15, 2014

U can’t add ped/bike to car—U can add ped/bike to what you take from car.

Monday, February 10, 2014

From Lewis Villegas — A Great Work at 53

Among the first 10 books I was assigned to read at the start of my career in architecture this one still stands as the odd ball. Fifty three years after its publication I return to its pages to highlight and debate its most important points. I have found recently that although Death and Life is much talked about, its principal thesis and ground-breaking assertions are not read much less understood. The book opens with crushing salvo and an enormous boast: Read more: A Great Work at 53 | lewisnvillegas

Saturday, February 8, 2014

From Reurbanist — Pedestrians or Drivers: Who is More Important?

In planning retail and mixed use environments, it is important that we accommodate for all modes of travel. Studies have shown that there is a tendency among retailers to overestimate the volume of customers arriving by vehicle, and underestimate the numbers arriving by other modes. Combined with the significant infrastructure costs required to accommodate cars, this perception has historically led to strategically poor investments in road improvements and municipally subsidized parking garages. Read more: Pedestrians or Drivers: Who is More Important? | Reurbanist

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

From Planetizen — #Sneckdowns:
Nature's Street Safety Pilot Project

It's hard to imagine how the wintry mess blanketing cities across midwest and northeast could improve street safety. But recent snows provide one benefit being touted by safety advocates: temporary curb extensions or "neckdowns" caused by snow banks. Having trouble convincing local officials or neighbors that curb extensions or "neckdowns" can improve pedestrian safety without taking necessary space away from vehicles? Maybe all you need is a good snowstorm, so that "nature's tracing paper" can create a temporary, but educational, snowy neckdown–or "sneckdown". Read more: Sneckdowns: Nature's Street Safety Pilot Project | Planetizen: The Urban Planning, Design, and Development Network

Myth: Commuting takes longer than the bus ‪#‎Aukland‬ transit ad @PortGroup @AklTransport

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Car As You Know It Is Dead

The tech world has been abuzz about the developments of the self-driving car, visions that are supplanting the earlier visions that would have filled the sky with flying cars. But beyond the hype and the promise, how will autonomous vehicles--and their accompanying technologies--really enter our lives? Read more: The Car As You Know It Is Dead | Co.Design | business + design

"Driving across the country is a joy; driving to work is folly." @VishaanNYC

Monday, February 3, 2014

Science degrees in traffic engineering a “fraud upon students and upon the public”
— Jane Jacobs

Dockside Green Mega-Project
Goes Back to the Drawing Board

The 15-acre Dockside Green development in Victoria’s Vic West neighbourhood remains idle nearly 5 years after the second of multiple phases was completed in 2009.
Midway through the previous decade when Dockside Green initially got off the ground then-development partner Windmill West, hand-in-hand with current owner VanCity Credit Union, anticipated full build-out of the 1.3-million square meter LEED® Platinum Certified mixed-use mega-project by 2015 with some 2,500 residents calling the neighbourhood home.
Despite global publicity for its bold plans to build the “greenest” development anywhere in the world and the rapid pace of construction early on, Dockside Green lost its momentum shortly after the economic collapse of 2008 and unlike other projects in the region, never recovered. More at: Dockside Green mega-project goes back to the drawing board

City Government is Now Walmart
Citizens Customers and Clients

More on the Vancouver Urban Forum here

Sunday, February 2, 2014

From University of Oregon
Planning, Public Policy and Management
Rethinking Streets

Four faculty members and students from A&AA have collaborated on a book about transforming streets that were originally designed more to accommodate motor vehicles rather than pedestrians and bicyclists. Rethinking Streets: An Evidence-Based Guide to 25 Complete Street Transformations, documents twenty-five case studies from around the country that helped facilitate more walking, biking, and transit use while enhancing commercial activity, with minimal to no negative impact on automobile access. The book was released December 2013. More at: Book simplifies street redesigns | Planning, Public Policy and Management