Wednesday, January 27, 2016

From The Congress for the New Urbanism
Small Scale Developers

CNU member R. John Anderson’s Small Developers/Builders project connects developers committed to a small-scale, incremental infill approach to share expertise and collaborate on new tools. Anderson says, “The need to cultivate and equip a group of small developers to do the finer-grained work of infill and retrofit is very clear. The market is insisting upon more walkable urbanism.” 
This emerging movement examines how small developers can make a living building on the scale of 4-12 units, sometimes including mixed-use, using a variety of Missing Middle housing types such as small apartment buildings, cottage courts, four-plexes, single-family houses with up to three accessory units, and walk-ups. “We figured out how to do a 12-unit walk-up, or nine units with store-front commercial space, with one stair that meets all accessibility requirements,” Anderson says. Read more: Small Scale Developers

Friday, January 22, 2016

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Urbanarium City Debates — live tweets
Resolution: Open all neighbourhoods
to densification

 Tweets by @fabulavancouver 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

From The Guardian Cities
The privatisation of cities' public spaces
is escalating. It is time to take a stand

The geographer David Harvey once wrote that “the freedom to make and remake our cities and ourselves is … one of the most precious yet most neglected of our human rights”. Generations of urban theorists, from Lewis Mumford to Jane Jacobs to Doreen Massey, have suggested that the place where cities get “remade” is in the public rather than private sphere. Part of the problem, then, with privately owned public spaces (“Pops”) – open-air squares, gardens and parks that look public but are not – is that the rights of the citizens using them are severely hemmed in. Although this issue might be academic while we’re eating our lunch on a private park bench, the consequences of multiplying and expanding Pops [privately owned public space] affects everything from our personal psyche to our ability to protest. Read more: The privatisation of cities' public spaces is escalating. It is time to take a stand | Cities | The Guardian

Friday, January 15, 2016

From Price Tags — Nathan Pachal posts From South of the Fraser

Nathan Pachal has been posting this week at Price Tags and he's raising a number of important issues I'd like to see generate more discussion. His is a south of the Fraser River perspective and the issues he's raising he feels, and I agree, are of importance to Vancouver city proper as much as they are to the fast growing exurbs. In the post linked below he gets into the structural governance difference between Vancouver and other BC municipalities. Have a look at the per capita tax collection disparity among municipalities he describes. He's running for Council in the upcoming Langley by-election.

Urbanists from the City of Vancouver love telling others about the accomplishments of their city. Usually after telling everyone about the awesomeness that is the City of Vancouver (which does world-leading things), they proceed to question why every other municipality in the region doesn’t copy exactly what Vancouver does. I’ll tell you why. Read more: The City of Vancouver is special | Price Tags

Friday, January 8, 2016

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

From Human Transit — In planning discussions ask "who's not in the room?"

For 2016, let me propose a resolution: whatever room I’m in, I resolve to ask “Who is not in the room?” In other words, ask: What real points of view, and real dimensions of the human experience, are not represented in this conversation? How could their absence lead us to make a bad decision even with the best of intentions, and how do we compensate for that?
Why this? Because in many parts of society, including urban planning, the rooms in which decisions are made are getting smaller and less diverse, and that can make for worse decisions, no matter how well-intentioned the people in the room are. What’s more, creating a diverse room is harder and harder, because people are just less interested in spending any time in rooms with people who don’t share their experience — either physically or online.
So it is easier than ever, in this historical moment, for us to forge a seemingly complete society of people who think just the way we do. Read more: Who Is Not in the Room? (A Question for 2016) — Human Transit

Brent Toderian in Planetizen
10 Keys to Making A Great City Plan

One of the most interesting and complex challenges a city planner can be a part of, is the creation of a new city-wide plan—particularly one for an ambitious municipality that truly wants to change business-as-usual. Over my career I've worked on many city plans, both here in Canada and outside of North America. Read more: 10 Keys to Making A Great City Plan | Planetizen: The Urban Planning, Design, and Development Network