Alberta Rethinking Sustainable Energy?

Here are three interesting items that are linked to sustainability and surprisingly  involve the province of Alberta. As noted on Twitter by @TheGentYYC some extraordinary initiatives are moving that province in a greener direction. First off,  that Canadian oil stalwart, Petro Canada is building a network of Electric Vehicle (EV) fast charging stations across Canada. Petro Canada saysContinue reading “Alberta Rethinking Sustainable Energy?”

China, Tourism and a Foothold in Antarctica

There are two news stories from China that describe how much that country is changing not only global economies but world politics. From Xinhuanet.com comes some startling statistics on how much impact China’s outbound travel tourism industry has globally. Many hotels  now offer service in Mandarin, free wifi  (a feature that has been offered free for yearsContinue reading “China, Tourism and a Foothold in Antarctica”

Retail, What Retail Where?

Peter Ladner called it out on Twitter. City News has reported on the increasing retail vacancies evident in downtown Vancouver and in some of the commercial streets of surrounding neighbourhoods, suggesting quite validly that property tax was a culprit. But Peter also pointed out the increased interest and reliance on internet retailing, specifically the 450,000 squareContinue reading “Retail, What Retail Where?”

Study Says More Density in Single Family Neighbourhoods is Greener

In Vancouver single family housing is demolished to make bigger new houses, often of the same style. Yet, in this study to be published in July by University of British Columbia researchers and MountainMath Software, the perception that new is greener and better is seriously challenged. UBC Reports  notes that, “despite the better energy performance of theContinue reading “Study Says More Density in Single Family Neighbourhoods is Greener”

Agricultural Land Under Threat in Toronto too

In the City of Richmond, British Columbia, where the most arable soils in Canada are supposedly protected under the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), City Council continues to allow speculators to build houses of over 10,000 square feet on agricultural land over half an acre in size. These mansions become exclusive gated estates, avoiding the foreignContinue reading “Agricultural Land Under Threat in Toronto too”

One Vancouver Street’s “Cherry Blossom Madness”

There’s a quiet neighbourhood street on the east side of Vancouver that explodes with two things every spring~the most extraordinary canopy of cherry blossoms, and literally hundreds of people who flock to this street to photograph the blooms-and themselves. As CTV News reported in 2017, some whacky behaviour has also begun to bloom. One neighbour notedContinue reading “One Vancouver Street’s “Cherry Blossom Madness””

European Cars Take Ship to Nanaimo

What happens when Port facilities in Metro Vancouver and their associated auto processing centres are filled to capacity with automobiles? You ship European cars to Nanaimo and then barge them across to the Lower Mainland. European cars are normally shipped to Halifax and then trucked or railed across the country. With the growing cost andContinue reading “European Cars Take Ship to Nanaimo”

The Economist~Chinatown Resisting Developers in “Property Battle”

Even the magazine The Economist is weighing in on the importance of Vancouver’s Chinatown as a historic and very special cultural place deeply rooted in the birth and development of this country.  One of the positive things that has happened with the impetus to build condominiums in Chinatown is the rise of  a new generation of articulate,Continue reading “The Economist~Chinatown Resisting Developers in “Property Battle””

UBC School of Planning Symposium March 16

Join UBC’s School of Community and Regional Planning students for a full day of discussion on planning issues related to this year’s theme, Encompass. Encompass is about embracing unexpected connections and taking planning in new directions. At the 10th annual UBC SCARP Symposium we gather inspiration from diverse sources, finding fresh ideas by looking withinContinue reading “UBC School of Planning Symposium March 16”

Place Making Where You Least Expect~Reclaiming Industrial Space for Parks

From Park People.ca and Ken Greenberg  comes the video by Garrick Mason  “Something New from Something Old”  describing some unique and some familiar concepts in making great public spaces. Using conversations with urbanists in New York City and in Toronto, the film explores how low density streets can give up much space for the car, but spaceContinue reading “Place Making Where You Least Expect~Reclaiming Industrial Space for Parks”