Community design

Cities and Towns, The Affordable Housing Problem

February 8, 2023

People living on the street have come to symbolize the global housing crisis but they are only the tip of the iceberg. While the examples of Finland and Houston demonstrate a focussed plan pursued diligently can resolve the housing situation for the chronically homeless, addressing the affordable housing problem is much more complex.  Defining Affordability […]

Cities and Towns 8, A City is About People

January 19, 2023

Kings Cross, once a thriving industrial and transport centre in London, was effectively closed  off  to the public by the end of the 20th century.   Then in 1996, the decision was made to move the British terminus for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link from Waterloo to St-Pancras. The landowner saw a re-development opportunity for […]

NEOM - the Wall

Cities and Towns 7, Cities and Towns Evolve

January 8, 2023

I have postulated that cities and towns evolve. That towns and villages first grow in areas where the basics to support life were plentiful. Typically, that means good agricultural land and good access to water. Other valuable considerations include safety, and resilience. The bonus – access to trade routes.  Walt Disney and the Fully Formed […]

Urban Green Space – Issue 77 

May 12, 2022

We need urban green space! And yes, we have to preserve agricultural land and wilderness areas. The biggest road blocks to achieving these objectives: suburbanites demanding development freezes to halt densification. Densification results in more urban green space – not less. Also, it helps prevent urban sprawl to more distant municipalities that grow by re-zoning […]

Homelessness one more time  – Issue 75 

April 22, 2022

I enjoy exploring towns and cities and this year we spent a month in Paris and Strasbourg. Sadly, I always expect to see some level of homelessness. However, I wasn’t ready for the number of little encampments that I saw in France this year. Tents and cardboard shelters near the Louvre, in shopping arcades, just […]

Week of January 31st

February 6, 2022

What caught my attention the Week of January 31st? A Shell First  Shell opened its first all-electric fueling station in Hammersmith and Fulham, London. Not a gas or diesel pump in site. Ultra rapid chargers bring car battery capacity from 0% to 80% in less than ten minutes.  Built of sustainable construction materials, the charging […]

Municipal Elections, Issue 59

October 26, 2021

Québec has municipal elections on a set date every four years. Candidate campaigns are now in full swing with voting scheduled for November 7. Items high on the agendas in most municipalities – housing and population density. Focus Pointe-Claire I live in Pointe-Claire, an on-island suburb of Montréal. It has a lot going for it […]

Too Much Going On – Issue 56

August 27, 2021

Jagmeet Singh, Leader of Canada’s NDP

Public Spaces, Issue 55

August 9, 2021

Sociologist Ray Oldenburg coined the term  “Third Place” in 1989. He defined home as the First Place and “the office / factory floor/ etc” the Second Place. Oldenburg’s Third Places were neither home space nor work space. Boundaries between work, home, and play fade Since 1989, information and communication technologies have helped fade the boundaries […]

What Have I Been Reading – July 30, 2021

July 30, 2021

Learning to live well on this fragile planet is far more important than dreaming about the next one. Tim Jackson, Professor of Sustainable Development, and Director of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP), University of Surrey. Tim Jackson, The Alternative UK, July 24, 2021 Essay – the Plutocrat Space Race Fear of […]

What Have I Been Reading? June 19, 2021

June 19, 2021

Quote of the Week “A walkable community has to have useful things for people to walk to.”  ― Philip Langdon, Within Walking Distance: Creating Livable Communities for All Jacob Gotta, June 13, 2021  THE GROWING POLITICAL PUSHBACK AGAINST FREEWAYS  If you haven’t clued in by now, you haven’t been reading everything I write. I […]

What have you been reading?

June 6, 2021

The time is past when humankind thought it could selfishly draw on exhaustible resources. We know now the world is not an exhaustible commodity.  François Hollande, ex-president of the French Republic on Climate Change Maxine Bédat, Fast Company – June 1, 2021  SEE THE HORRIFYING PLACE WHERE YOUR OLD CLOTHES GO TO DIE  Do you […]