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Showing posts from January, 2013

Casino Urbanism

Many municipalities in the Lower Mainland are gambling on casinos as their best bet for more revenue (Sorry for the puns). Today, it was announced, that Surrey city council narrowly voted against a casino project, with Mayor Watts casting the deciding vote. As we have seen in Vancouver, Casinos are controversial projects due the possibility of increased traffic, crime, and predatory practices that prey on the most vulnerable, however, the allure of more money in an era of shrinking budgets is almost too hard to pass up. Casinos also tend to leave a less than stellar footprint in our urban environment. They need large parking lots (even with transit accessibility...I'm looking at you, River Rock!) and their buildings are ugly by most standards. Here's what Surrey's would have looked like:

I'm not sure why they rendered it at night...but I assume it was to hide the fact that it was an ugly complex. 
According to council documents, this would have built 1400 parking spot…

A slight review of the last year and looking forward

It's 2013 and that means I've been in grad school for a year now. Since last January, I've taken 3 courses, gone on a field trip to Portland, and I think I've settled on what I want to write on for my master's project (though, I'm still not in the Masters portion of my program...something I'll still need to apply for).

Overall, I've had positive experiences in SFU's Urban Studies program. I've found that because the program is so flexible (i.e. you can do it part-time and classes are in the evening), that you get a wonderful diversity of people in it. The professors have also been mostly friendly and helpful.
Grad school is kind of what I imagine university would be like. It has small class sizes, responsive and engaging profs, intellectual dialogue, and you're studying things you're genuinely interested in. However, there are still the usual pain points: University bureaucracy is still decades behind and very rarely caters to the needs…

Video Games and Urban Planners...

The Underground Turns 150!

Happy birthday to the Tube!