Monday, January 14, 2019

A 3 phase strategy to implement 30kph zones in our residential neighbourhoods

Here’s what I’d do. This is a 3 part strategy to implement 30kph zones in our residential neighbourhoods. 
 1. Immediate action taken to begin the process. First, expand existing 30kph school zones. Next, select 2 neighbourhoods or areas within a neighbourhood for immediate conversion to 30kph. This begins with a quick determination of the most promising areas based on simple criteria. As required use modest, tactical traffic calming elements including paint, planters and fixed pylons. Do not being with consultation. Work with neighbourhood residents as it’s being done and after, while it is studied and documented and comments both in favour and opposed are compiled. Purpose : short term gains and public notification that our new Council will be taking decisive action. 
 2. Concurrent with phase 1, an open invitation to any citizen to propose to the City why they feel their street, even just their block, needs safer, slower speeds. Critically important each submission receive full consideration and a direct response, ideally resulting in City transportation and planning staff meeting to walk these streets with residents. Purpose: to identify “from the grassroots” next neighbourhoods or pockets within neighbourhoods where conversion will save lives.
 3. Medium term (but begun without delay). Create neighbourhood citizens’ assemblies modelled on Vancouver’s Grandview-Woodlands Citizens’ Assembly. For instance Harewood-South End, City Centre, Townsite-Brechin. Participants are selected by a set criteria to ensure the broadest possible neighbourhood representation. Owners, renters, business owners, landlords, professions etc, voices now underrepresented in public consultations sought by the City. Purpose: to task this body with how best to implement 30kph zones in their residential neighbourhoods.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Twitter thread : Walkable City
Part II The 10 Steps of Walkability

Friday, December 28, 2018

Twitter thread :
Walkable City by @JeffSpeckAICP

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

City Builder Glossary via @EvergreenCanada

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Monday, December 3, 2018

... did you know that this plan includes building tall condo towers on this waterfront property? Did you know that almost none of this property is slated for public park and greenspace protection for future generations?

Mayor Krog and Nanaimo City Councillors, I’m concerned about starting immediate work on extending Front Street into our south downtown waterfront, 1 Port Drive.
I ask that you take the time you need to set your priorities and establish your Council’s direction for the short and mid-term, and direct City Staff to not proceed with work at 1 Port Drive.
My concerns are: this work proceeding — 

Before you’ve been able to act on your resolve to establish a new government to government relationship with the Snuneymuxw First Nation;
  • Before you’ve had a chance to review and consider a “complete street” redesign of Front Street before it’s extended through the waterfront lands;
  • Before you’ve had a chance to review the Port Drive Master Plan and are satisfied that it promises the highest possible public-good outcome now and for future Nanaimo generations.
Please take the time to get this right. Let’s build on the good work done to date and create a new urban waterfront neighbourhood that we and future generations can be proud of.

Frank Murphy

Friday, November 30, 2018

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

One-size-fits-all solutions to Nanaimo problems is at best a sisyphean task

I’ve an idea. Here it is.
A lot of Nanaimo’s challenging problems in transportation, and in both environmental and economic sustainability are caused by the fact that relatively few of us live on a relatively large land mass. Victoria and Nanaimo have about the same population. But Nanaimo’s physical size is 5 times larger. (wikipedia)
I’ve come to accept that one-size-fits-all solutions to these problems is at best a sisyphean task. But consider : There is a salvageable city here — in our city centre core. Investments in equitable mobility options (including walk, bike, accessibility networks) like efficient, affordable, frequent transit and improvements to the public realm, key to supporting the further urbanization of our downtown (enhanced and expanded waterfront plazas and promenades and within downtown neighbourhoods well-sited and thoughtfully designed urban squares and parks) would immediately produce measurable benefit.
It’s time to direct public focus and investment on the one neighbourhood everyone in the city benefits from and everyone has equitable access to : Downtown, and the city centre core. An innovative approach would be zoning within this zone geared to its needs and even include the creation of a City Centre Ward that would elect it’s own dedicated Councillor.

Those beg-buttons gotta go!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Decisions this council will make about our south downtown waterfront will have consequences for a century.

Our new City Council will face a number of urgent issues. One issue will have, potentially, the greatest impact on the largest number of Nanaimo citizens and over the longest period of time, over generations in fact. It's no exaggeration to say decisions this Council will be asked to make about our south downtown waterfront will have consequences for a century.
The City of Nanaimo, in 2013 purchased 26.7 acres of downtown waterfront lands from CP Rail. The City currently refers to these lands as 1 Port Drive. There were a number of complex issues resolved but one key issue remains unresolved, the Land Claims and Treaty Rights of the Snuneymuxw First Nation. When, and not until, this is satisfactorily resolved the site will be ready for important decisions on how to proceed. Waterfront redevelopments across Canada in recent years have proven to be transformative for their cities. Halifax, Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Victoria have all invested in this important industrial lands renewal and repurposing.
There are two tools which these cities have used to ensure the success of these projects. In one variation or another they have employed an Open Design Competition to attract the top talent specializing in this area: Architects, Urban Planners, Urban Designers, Landscape Architects, with proven experience and documented accomplishments.
The second tool common to these projects is a Public Development Corporation, a City-owned corporation operating under a charter making clear its mandate and restrictions. This was also among the recommendations of the City's South Downtown Waterfront Initiative Committee. This tool was used in one form or another to develop Granville Island; Pike Place Market, in Seattle; Waterfront Toronto; The Forks, Winnipeg. The SDWI Visioning and Guideline Principles document available on the City of Nanaimo website gives these and other examples..
Good work has been done to prepare the site and now it's ready for the next exciting phase. It's time for an Open Design Competition to attract top national and international talent to create a new downtown neighbourhood to be proud of.
This downtown waterfront property is a gem, the envy of any and every city in the country. It deserves, Nanaimo deserves, that we settle for nothing less than excellence here. — Frank Murphy

This appeared also in the Nanaimo News Bulletin as a guest column.

Monday, October 8, 2018

"The citymaking process is a topdown, ideological-based, expert-driven approach — and it's failing us."

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

From a Parking Lot to an Urban Square

Urban Design for the Public Good, Assignment: Choose an uninviting public place in your neighbourhood whose layout and structure make you feel uncomfortable or unwel­come. Propose solutions...…/democratic-values-in-pl…