Tuesday, April 29, 2014

#Placemaking Comes to Vancouver
Via @PPS_Placemaking @CityRepair

Saturday, April 26, 2014

From The Atlantic Cities
Robert Moses Vs Jane Jacobs: The Opera

The legendary 1960s struggle pitted planning czar Robert Moses against neighborhood activist Jane Jacobs. Moses wanted to make the city easily navigable by car. During his reign, hedisplaced half a million people with highways. But the powerful planner met his match when he proposed an expressway through Lower Manhattan. Though she had little institutional support, Jacobs built a citizen coalition that ultimately defeated Moses. Read more: Robert Moses Vs. Jane Jacobs: The Opera - Amanda Erickson - The Atlantic Cities

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

From Shorpy — Detroit circa 1907
Woodward Avenue from City Hall

Monday, April 21, 2014

Fighting Traffic with Rapid Transit

Jane Jabobs in Fortune, 1958 —
Downtown is for People

Sunday, April 20, 2014

David Suzuki in The Georgia Straight
Is it Time for a Real War on Cars?

Because many people, especially North Americans, can’t conceive of a world without cars for everyone, we overlook major problems caused by our private automobile obsession. We’re rightly outraged when a company like General Motors ignores faulty ignition switches in some of its vehicles, thought to have caused 13 deaths over 13 years. The massive recall that followed was justified and necessary. But as a headline on Treehugger’s website argues, “It's time for a bigger recall of a seriously defective product: The Car.” Read more: David Suzuki: Is it time for a real war on cars? | Georgia Straight, Vancouver's News & Entertainment Weekly

Friday, April 18, 2014

City Manager Says: Stop Sprawl? —
Eliminate the Urban Containment Boundary

In 2008 as part of a 10 Year Official Community Plan Review then Nanaimo City Manager Gerry Berry explained to Council that the elimination of the Urban Containment Boundary would halt sprawl by stemming low density development in the Regional District. Seriously. Listen to the logic and urbanist sounding jargon he offers to make his case...

"Increasingly Council is called upon to act on some very complex issues, and it's an organized complexity - so often effects in one area aren't necessarily linear and they're felt elsewhere." — Nanaimo City Manager Gerry Berry, 2008 appropriates some Jane Jacobs speak. What the hell he means by this still escapes me...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

"Concentration, not dispersion, is the elixir of urbanity." — @JeffSpeckAICP #WalkableCity

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Canadian Cities —
Comparison of Typical Downtown Block Sizes

Monday, April 14, 2014

From Bloomberg Businessweek
Cities Haunted by Too Many Parking Spaces

After decades of copying sprawling suburbs by accommodating the automobile, U.S. cities are starting to tear up their slabs of asphalt.
In Philadelphia, construction will begin by July on a 700-room hotel on a plot near City Hall where vehicles have parked since 1991. In Baltimore, an apartment tower may rise on a parking lot along the Inner Harbor.
Offering developers tax incentives and zoning changes, officials are seeking to remove parking facilities in favor of projects that will draw more revenue, while making their communities friendlier to pedestrians as people eschew cars. Read more: Parking Lots Demolished in Cities’ Revenue Bid as Driving Wanes - Businessweek

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Once a #euphemism simplifies so many issues it's rendered meaningless...

UN World Urban Forum
Medellin Columbia #WUF7

Friday, April 11, 2014

Seattle Builds Itself a Woonerf!

From CBC Radio
Ideas with Paul Kennedy
Walking Matters

Ever since our ancestors rose to their feet, our species has been defined by walking upright. But the act involves our minds as well as our bodies. We interpret the act of walking, and give it our stamp - from ramblers to Rousseau, from models and tramps to Buddhist monks. In this two-part series, Marilyn Powell explores the world of walking and what it means to us. More at: Walking Matters, Part 1 | Ideas with Paul Kennedy | CBC Radio Audio: Part One Part Two

@AmandaMBurden @TEDTalks —
How Public Spaces Make Cities Work

Thursday, April 10, 2014

From US Federal Transit Administration
Alternative Transportation and Your Health

Public Transit and Your Health
  • Commuting by light rail is linked to weight loss—and light rail commuters are about 80% less likely to become obese over time.
  • Traffic accidents decline as public transit usage increases—keeping communities safer. In fact, the fatality rate associated with transportation-related injuries in public transportation is approximately 1/25th that associated with automobiles.
  • Over 140 million Americans—about 25 percent of them children—live, work, and play in areas where air quality does not meet national air quality standards. Harmful motor vehicle emissions account for 25% to 51% of air pollutants in these areas.
  • Communities that are walkable and have access to transit generally have a lower dependence on automobiles and encourage physical activity.
  • Studies have found that men who commute to work on public transportation are 44.6% less likely to be overweight or obese due to increased active commuting.
Read more: FTA - Alternative Transportation and Your Health

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Jarrett Walker Presentation Abundant Access

Jarrett Walker Presentation "Abundant Access" from DeepCITY Project on Vimeo.

"Object to visualize amount of space
average car occupies in the city."
Invented by Herman Knoflacher.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Protected Intersections for Bicyclists

Protected bike lanes are the latest approach US cities are taking to help their residents get around by bike. But these protected lanes lose their buffer separation at intersections, reducing the comfort and safety for people riding. What the protected bike lane needs is the protected intersection. Protected Intersections For Bicyclists from Nick Falbo on Vimeo. More at: Protected Intersections for Bicyclists

Sunday, April 6, 2014

What Does it Take to Move 1000 People?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

From The Atlantic Cities
Why Gentrification Is So Hard to Stop

Cities are transforming, and it's palpable. The reliable no-frills coffeehouse shut down and two months later, there's an artisan bakery selling baguettes for $6. Your favorite barber tells customers he can no longer afford the rent; meanwhile a chain salon around the corner has an hour wait.
These scenes are all too familiar. On the surface, they're hallmarks of gentrification. That narrative starts with educated middle-income (and typically white) 20- and 30-somethings moving into a predominantly working-class community for bigger bang for their buck. Other yuppies follow suit. Eventually the neighborhood is made amenable to their palettes and preferences. Property values rise, minorities are displaced, and the public promenades that reflect urban diversity begin to look and feel otherwise. Read more: Why Gentrification Is So Hard to Stop - James Frank Dy Zarsadiaz - The Atlantic Cities

Friday, April 4, 2014

Mass Motoring

Thursday, April 3, 2014

From Medium — You’re a Street Designer (you just don’t know it yet) —
The Design Principles Behind Streetmix

Chances are that smaller streets around you are changing,  — as is our way of thinking about them. While streets were originally built with people in mind (a century ago, it wasn’t uncommon for parents to just feel safe to tell their kids to go play in the street, even in a big city center), throughout the last century we largely surrendered them to car traffic. However, many city planners and urban designers are revisiting that approach and re-imagining streets as once again more pedestrian-, bike-, and public transit-friendly.
A typical way to communicate new ideas is via a “street section” — a slice of the road illustrating all of its parts side by side, from the building on one end, to the building on the other.
This web-based street section editor was built as a side project by a small team of fellows at Code for America, a non-profit dedicated to finding ways to apply modern technology practices to city governments. Code for America believes in open source, open data, and citizen engagement through web applications, and Streetmix is a direct extension of that way of thinking. More at: You’re a street designer (you just don’t know it yet) — Medium 

Recently here in Nanaimo on a Facebook neighbourhood group page discussion turned to traffic calming on a residential thru-street and with Streetmix I was able to contribute this street redesign

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Island Corridor Foundation Announces Tentative Agreement that Promises the Return of Passenger Rail to Vancouver Island

Island Corridor Foundation announced this morning at a press conference at the Train Station on Selby Street in Nanaimo that there is a tentative agreement between the ICF, Southern Rail and Via that promises the return of passenger rail to Vancouver Island. Needs ratification, if approved it will free up $20 million in fed, provincial and regional district funds to begin rail and bridge repair. That work is expected to take 9 months. There is the possibility of passenger service into the city-owned Wellcox property on the waterfront.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Complete Streets Chicago —
DoT Design Guidelines