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Showing posts from August, 2011

A Thought from The BC Youth Summit for Sustainable Transportation

A couple weekends ago I attended the BC Youth Summit for Sustainable Transportation as a delegate. I consider myself pretty fortunate to attend such an amazing event and if you have the opportunity to attend in the future, I suggest you take it.

For the most part, the sessions I went to were of high quality and, overall, the event was well organized. The people I met were friendly and extremely passionate about the issues at hand.  If anything, the event reaffirmed to me that I want to do this kind of 'stuff'. I want to create a better world. Oh, and I'd like my future to be as good as my parents had it - all 'wants' are selfish, right?

At the Summit, Sadhu Johnston, the City of Vancouver's Deputy City Manager, gave the keynote speech. In it, he highlighted his career and why he does what he does. One thing that really interested me was a program in Chicago (where he last worked) called the Mayor's Office Fellowship Program for graduate students. He explai…

Montreal's First Public Square

Here's a better view of the space as it exists today. If anyone has any history to share, I'd love to get some - I can't seem to google anything worthwhile.

Montreal: Part 3

My trip to Montreal made me fall in love with using a certain four letter word: BIXI. A compound word created from bike and taxi, Bixi is an ingenious bike share program that I cannot stop gushing over.
Using Bixi is as easy as swiping your credit card and entering a phone number into the station machine that accompanies all the bikes. You get a code and away you go. It is $5 for 24 hours worth of access. Each time you take out a bike, it's free for the first 30 minutes and after that, there are additional charges. This is a great pricing model (which most bike share programs use) because it encourages short trips. The stations are everywhere, which means you generally don't have to worry about not having a station where you're going:
Also, another positive from Bixi was each station acted as a terrific way-finding system:
 Suffice it to say, I used Bixi a lot.
Montreal also makes this system a pleasure to use because it felt like such a bike-friendly city. Granted, I was only…

BC Youth Summit for Sustainable Transportation

This weekend I'll be holed up at UBC (for the most part) at the BC Youth Summit for Sustainable Transportation. Sponsored by TransLink, B.C. Transit, and the Canadian Urban Transit Association, youth from all over BC will come together to learn from professionals and discuss what our transportation future should look like. I'll have the opportunity to attend a few of the sessions:

Lines on a Map: Transit Network Planning
Explore how transit agencies create a transit network, from drawing “lines on a map” to rolling out service. Examples from Metro Vancouver and Greater Victoria will illustrate this process, with a focus on rapid transit investments.Pedal to the Pavement: Designing for Biking and Walking
Creating great cycling and walking neighbourhoods requires careful design of streets and their biking and walking facilities. Learn about best practices in bicycle and pedestrian planning and try your hand at designing a multimodal corridor.The Buck Stops Here: Realizing Our Tr…


A interesting short piece on NIMBYism and possible explanation for why NIMBYs have increasingly developed an opposition to everything: "The answer has little to do with development. It has to do with trust."Is it time to retire Jane Jacobs' vision of the city? This article looks at Edward Glaeser's critique of one the founders of urban planning as we know it today. I haven't read Ed's book yet. Have you? What did you think?Philidelphia is joining the list of cities that is creating pop-up parks. Vancouver is set to have its first soon thanks to Viva Vancouver (I don't count Picnurbia, though it's an equally neat idea). Here's an interesting way to look at the importance of on-street parking. If you love maps and data, you'll love what the Vancouver Sun put together. Sadly, it reaffirms that my home town of Langley is a car dominated place - it has the highest rate of car commuters in Metro Vancouver at 94.4%. Sigh.

Montreal: Part 2

In my last post on Montreal, I gushed over Montreal's public realm - Well, I'm not done yet! While I was there, it looked like they were putting some finish touches on their group of newly built and spectacularly designed pedestrian/festival spaces that connect a district Montreal has dubbed Quartier des Spectacles.
Within this square kilometer of the city, one can find over 80 cultural venues, including 30 performance halls with almost 28,000 seats. The diverse cultural activities of the neighbourhood unfold in indoor venues as well as outdoors, during major events and internationally known festivals. Over 7,000 cultural jobs are found here, from education to creation, cultural production and broadcasting. Reaching out from the central intersection of Sainte-Catherine and Saint-Laurent, the borders of the Quartier des spectacles run along City Councilors, Saint-Hubert and Sherbrooke streets and René-Lévesque Boulevard.