Developing Dynamic Resilient Cities, Issue 36

I have written eleven of thirty-five newsletters about the future of community.   I now realize that I have not presented a cohesive position on developing dynamic resilient cities.  Some order is needed.

I will consolidate the relevant  newsletters into one document and scrap the Street Competition series. This one document will reflect my opinions on how cities and communities should evolve. It will be supplemented by blending in new subject-matter articles.

So far I have:


Cities have to be more than steel and glass.
City character

I have no formal qualifications to opine on urban design. My views are influenced by my love of cities, working in the real estate community, life experience, travel,  and, reading. So, opine I will.  

I might draft out some newsletters on city and community design over the next couple of weeks.  None will appear until I have cobbled together a cohesive story from my existing newsletters. I will share the compilation with my next article about developing dynamic resilient cities.  In the meantime, I will continue to publish articles on evolving trends, slow travel, and occasionally, some random thoughts.

Television and Great Cities

A relevant random thought about great cities: some television programs and movies are part love letter to the cities that play host to the story. I got hooked on the French Netflix series, Dix Pour Cent (Call My Agent) for a whole number of reasons. I enjoyed the story line, the humour, and character development. Also and maybe most importantly, Paris upstages everyone and everything. Georges-Eugène Haussmann created a masterpiece. It helped that he worked for an emperor and could do as he wished by decree.

The usual reminders:

  • Buy better, buy less, reduce, repair, reuse and recycle 
  • Shop local, support local businesses, buy from local farms, and support local artisans and manufacturers
  • Wear face masks where required. Wash your hands, practice social distancing, hydrate, and exercise

We Should Know Better

August 26, 2023

I know! I am going to sound like a grumpy old man. Maybe that is because I am. I have been scratching my head in wonderment at the Taylor Swift phenomena. Is she an Incredible song writer, composer, and performer? I really don’t know! A discussion for another time? But probably not. At my age […]

Not in My Back Yard

August 4, 2023

Don’t build it! At least, Not In My Back Yard ! I acted as an advisor  in the sale of a beautifully natural, 14-acre urban waterfront estate. Existing zoning allowed for the development of 30 to 35 single-family homes, which after road dedication would leave very little green space. I did not think that was […]

Glasgow – That Dear Green Place

July 31, 2023

We were visiting Glasgow (literally that Dear Green Place in Gaelic) to see where my father was born, grew up, and went to University. Fortunately for me, my cousin John from Australia had just visited and had met with historians, Bruce Downie  and Norry Wilson.  So,  we too arranged to meet them in the Govanhill […]

Vienna on Top Again

June 25, 2023

Vienna on top again. This week both Monocle Magazine and The Economist unveiled their quality of life / most liveable city indexes. There are differences in the way each publication sets its index. So it is even more impressive that once again, Vienna tops both lists. I am a bit lazy today so rather than […]

Large interior courtyards

From Hot Bedding to Superblocks

June 20, 2023

Many Viennese went from hot bedding to superblocks overnight. Could they even imagine  an apartment complex 1000 metres long built along two streets with even more massive landscaped courtyards? Could they conceive of 1400 apartment units built to house 5000 people on 56,000 square metres or 38 acres of land.  Or a vertical build-out that […]

Vienna – the World’s Most Livable City

June 16, 2023

Vienna had been a poor city even before the First World War. “Normal” housing arrangements  meant six to eight people sharing one room and a kitchen. Then, in early 1919, just after the Armistice,  the cost of living tripled in two months. Bed lodgers could no longer afford their 8-hours a day in a shared […]