Friday, July 29, 2016

The complete uselessness of urban freeways

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

From CTV News Vancouver Island
Victoria area Mayors say now's the
time for South Island commuter rail

With construction on the McKenzie Interchange scheduled to begin in a few months, four south island mayors have come up with a new solution to ease congestion that is expected to follow suit.   Mayors of View Royal, Esquimalt, Victoria and Langford have penned a letter to the Island Corridor Foundation asking about the feasibility of a rail line. “I think definitely we need to start using that corridor, it’s there, it’s bought and paid for by the public and it’s a great opportunity for the region,” said David Screech, View Royal mayor. Read more: Could a restored rail line solve the ‘Colwood crawl’? | CTV Vancouver Island News

The McKenzie Interchange is part of a $107m investment in induced demand creating future congestion, environmental social and economic damage on Vancouver Island. Meanwhile a publicly owned rail line thru these Victoria suburban communities sits idle. Background — Victoria Times Colonist, July 2015: $85-million McKenzie interchange project expected to start late 2016

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

From Strong Towns
The shopping mall death spiral

As an indicator species in this great auto-oriented paradigm we've created, the shopping mall is in what one industry insider calls, "a death spiral." This dinosaur of another age is finding it hard to exist amid an ecosystem that has more nimble, adaptable competition. Read more: The Shopping Mall Death Spiral — Strong Towns

Thursday, July 21, 2016

From Architizer — 9 Cities That
Are Hacking Their Urban Waterfronts

Many of the world’s greatest cities can trace their historical growth back to one simple and often overlooked geographical aspect: proximity to water. Whether it is the open ocean or a wide, meandering river, countless early cities came to be due to accessibility by ship and the subsequent economic influx that allowed them to flourish into regional or even global powerhouses of trade, commerce, and industry.
In the wake of globalization and post-industrialization, many once-buzzing urban ports and waterfronts have fallen into disuse and disrepair. As cities around the world become increasingly environmentally conscious, and shift their planning to be more people-focused, designers are honing in on waterfronts more than ever, with facelifts in the form of parks, plazas, or even commercial development. Read more: 9 Cities That Are Hacking Their Urban Waterfronts - Architizer

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Thursday, July 14, 2016

From Urb-i — Public Space Transformations as seen through google streetview

Monday, July 11, 2016

Thursday, July 7, 2016

From Project for Public Spaces
9 Steps to Creating a Great Waterfront -

1. Look First at the Public Space In planning a waterfront development, city officials or a developer should begin by envisioning a network of well-connected, multi-use public spaces that fit with the community’s shared goals. By orienting waterfront revitalization around public spaces, new construction will enhance the quality of existing destinations and result in a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.  While streets may be appropriate on some waterfronts, pedestrian connections should be given top priority, making large parking lots and auto-oriented development out of the question. Read more: 9 Steps to Creating a Great Waterfront - Project for Public Spaces

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Nanaimo Millstone Riverwalk
a chance of a lifetime...

A 5000 seat stadium is proposed for the site circled bottom right, currently a Howard Johnson Hotel. A sensitive site in that it is edged by 2 multi-lane busy arterials one of which is BC Hwy 19 linking to the BC Ferries terminal at Departure Bay. The City has very low population densities (Nanaimo has about the same population as Victoria but sits on between 4 and 5 times the land mass.) and mobility within the city is almost 100% restricted to the private automobile. Previous development models have included acres of surface parking making the surrounding area uninviting to other uses and spin-off economic opportunities. That would be particularly unfortunate at this site as properly conceived and designed it could create connectivity from the harbour through the river valley, into Bowen Park and beyond into the residential neighbourhoods to the west and north. Success of a large stadium here would require a Bus Rapid Transit system on the Island Highway (at the very least a dedicated Bus Priority Lane north and south). And on-site parking kept to a minimum and only in pay parkades.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Will it take a court judgement
to force our City Halls to make
our streets safe for all users?