Saturday, April 30, 2016

From Business in Vancouver
How Expo 86 changed Vancouver

World’s fair left key infrastructure legacies and turned a large tract of industrial land into an urban streetscape praised worldwide. It wasn’t just that the fair introduced the city to the world and came with SkyTrain, BC Place Stadium, the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre, a new Cambie Street Bridge and other infrastructure legacies. In the wake of the fair, the site’s sale helped spark the urban revitalization that has established Vancouver atop the world’s most livable cities rankings. Read more: The Expo effect: How Expo 86 changed Vancouver | Economy | Business in Vancouver

Friday, April 29, 2016

"Downtown development is the golden goose of urban economics"

When it comes to the debate about housing and development, there’s been plenty of discussion about the physical impacts of decisions we make, for example the height and bulk of buildings. There’s even been to a lesser extent a discussion on the capital costs of development, the costs of building or upgrading roads, pipes and other infrastructure. Some of this is quite evident now with the Transport for Future Growth consultations currently underway.
One area that hasn’t really been discussed at any level – other than probably some obscure high level planning papers – is the impact our development choices have on rates and operational costs. In many ways this is odd given how loudly many sections of our society protest every time rates are increased. But there is a clear link between rates and the types of development we allow. More at: The Value of Well-Designed Cities.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Sunday, April 24, 2016

#‎JaneJacobs‬ : 10 Big ideas + 4 smaller ones

Saturday, April 23, 2016

From Canadian Business
How booming cities made urban
planning Canada’s hottest job

Urban growth—not to mention truckloads of infrastructure spending coming down the road—spell opportunity for urban planners. 
In August 2014, construction crews in Waterloo, Ont., began building the so-called Ion light rail transit line, an $818-million megaproject that will connect a disparate region known for its tech sector, insurance companies and Mennonite farms. When finished, the piece of infrastructure will reshape the city in a way that hasn’t happened since a little local firm called Research in Motion unveiled the BlackBerry. 
As its engineers supervised the physical work of laying the line, the region also hired a five-person planning team from Toronto consultancy Urban Strategies to begin the process of reimagining the main street along which the LRT will operate. 
The goal, says Habon Ali, a 29-year-old associate with the firm and part of the five-person team, was to create a community-building strategy for Waterloo to capitalize on the transit corridor by leveraging the giant investment to attract new retail, high-density development and other amenities. Ali, who graduated from the University of Toronto’s planning school in 2012, was involved in the public engagement aspect of the project—organizing open houses, finding straightforward ways to communicate complex planning jargon and soliciting input. “It was a cool transit project to be involved with because it was about getting the public involved,” she says. Read more: How booming cities made urban planning Canada’s hottest job

Friday, April 22, 2016
A Future We Can't Afford
live tweets #DearCityofGlass

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

From Project for Public Spaces
Place Governance through
Neighborhood Planning Offices

Photo by Eric Sehr.
Imagine if your local city planner worked around the corner from your home in a storefront on your neighborhood’s shopping street. You wave at them through their window on the way to work, you drop by sometimes for a chat, and you may even be on a first name basis. For nearly two decades that’s exactly how it used to work in Toronto, Ontario. Embracing an innovative model of Place Governance, in the 1970s the City decentralized its planning department intoNeighborhood Planning Offices located in the very areas they served. 
When Jane Jacobs moved from New York City to Toronto in 1968, her adopted city was already well on its way toward reasserting itself as a city for people. After experiencing its first tastes of expressway construction and urban renewal and witnessing the destruction these strategies wrought in many cities south of the border, a movement led by young community activists and idealistic politicians was ready to overturn the status quo. In 1970, they worked with local residents and business owners in the Trefann Court neighborhood to put urban renewal plans for the area into their hands. In 1971, they stopped the construction of the Spadina Expresswaythrough the heart of the city. And finally, in the 1972 election, a host of reform candidates, including Mayor David Crombie, swept to power in city council with a new vision for a human-scale city. Read more:  Place Governance through Neighborhood Planning Offices

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

From NY Daily News
How can we save our beloved
neighbourhood mom-and-pop shops?

It starts with the sign, the one that says FOR LEASE or FOR RENT or simply AVAILABLE, with a phone number printed underneath and maybe the name of a real-estate firm. The sign appears not on an empty space, but on a building that’s home to a long-established business — say, an old-fashioned general store like Winn Home & Beauty, which anchored a block on the busy commercial corridor of Court Street in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill neighborhood.
Next come the rumors. Did you see that the Winn store space is for lease? A local blogger writes a post, and the comments section fills with laments. News travels along the nearby sidewalks, on social media, at school drop-off. Did you hear? Oh, no. Not another one. Read more: How can we save our beloved mom-and-pop shops from gentrification? | NY Daily News

Urbanarium City Debate #4 —
Create a City-wide Plan #urbanariumvote

Friday, April 8, 2016

From Strong Towns
Why mixed-income neighborhoods matter
Lifting kids out of poverty

There’s a hopeful new sign that how we build our cities, and specifically, how good a job we do of building mixed income neighborhoods that are open to everyone can play a key role in reducing poverty and promoting equity. New research shows that neighborhood effects—the impact of peers, the local environment, neighbors—contribute significantly to success later in life. Poor kids who grow up in more mixed income neighborhoods have better lifetime economic results. This signals that an important strategy for addressing poverty is building cities where mixed income neighborhoods are the norm, rather than the exception. And this strategy can be implemented in a number of ways—not just by relocating the poor to better neighborhoods, but by actively promoting greater income integration in the neighborhoods... Read more: Why mixed-income neighborhoods matter: Lifting kids out of poverty — Strong Towns

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Sidewalk Labs CEO Dan Doctoroff talks to
Charlie Rose about the future of cities

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Tuesday, April 5, 2016