Reading Time: 5 minutes Take a close look at the picture below, and you probably think it is one of those slide show images of Jan Gehl, to show some place in Køpnhågn in the 1960’s as part of a successful place making “parking-lot-becomes-urban-park-you-Canadians-should-walk-more-enjoy-the-winter-stop-whining-about-the-cold-it-is-cold-in-Denmark-too-and-look-we-cycle-year-round” story. But this picture is not Copenhagen, it is downtown Toronto. Trip to TO Just two weeks ago, my wife and I had to go to the GTA as my wife had meetings in Oakville. We took VIA (450 km/$44 one way), the GOtrain (45 km/$9.02 – PrestoCard) and a taxi from Oakville Bronte to the hotel (7 km/$15) Burlington, [Read more…]
Reading Time: 8 minutes Last Saturday, the renovated Main Street in Ottawa was officially opened. The opening of this brand new complete street was folded into the annual Main Street fest and part of the street was closed off for motorized traffic. There was a brass band playing, there was an artisan farmers market, there was the bouncy castle (no event in Ottawa is complete without a bouncy castle, face painting and a booth of Safer Roads Ottawa) and there were hamburgers (veggie and halal included) for the fundraising part of the event. Cast iron for David Chernushenko From the tongue-in-cheek gift of the [Read more…]
Reading Time: 5 minutes A short primer in 1000 words on the New Urban Agenda for the United Nations Habitat III conference in Quito, October 17-20.
Reading Time: 5 minutes We closed the road for our bike afternoon in Fisher Heights. There was a bike repair tune up station and we had different types of bikes to try.
Reading Time: 6 minutes Kilmorie house is close to Merivale Rd. Once the home of a Canadian Poet, it is now surrounded by low rise homes. The lot will be subdivided but the home remains.
Reading Time: 6 minutes Today, we compare a run of the mill street in Ottawa with the Witte de With Street make over in the Netherlands and see what we can learn from the Rotterdam.
Reading Time: 3 minutes Long considered Ottawa’s conservative heartland with black pick up trucks and Ottawa Sun readers, rural Ottawa is asking for bike infrastructure: “All our little neighbourhoods are separated by our big roads.”
Reading Time: 2 minutes In a previous post, I wrote about the eventual redevelopment of the South Keys mall. This week, there was a first meeting on the redevelopment of another mall, Westgate, which is much older than South Keys. I once had to pick up medication at Westgate around midnight. It is quite a desolate place. A woman jumped out of a car, kicking the car and swearing to the others in the car, then jumped into the car and they all drove away again. While all is still very conceptual, as councillor Jeff Leiper writes on his blog, this is the time to [Read more…]
Reading Time: 6 minutes I remember that in my youth back in Holland in our village of 13,000 a teen called Sjaak (from ‘Jacques’) with Down Syndrome cycled by our house regularly. He had an upright bike with two enormous mirrors. His bike was his pride. The freedom for him was fantastic. He could go where he wanted, was sent out for errands by his mom and everyone knew him. Note that this was the 70’s, indeed over 40 years ago when Dutch bike infrastructure was probably not even 10% of what there is now. But Sjaak cycled on a busy road, with vehicles on [Read more…]
Reading Time: 5 minutes One of the books I have been reading lately is “Retrofitting Suburbia”. Authors Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson are making the case for urban design solutions for older office areas and the large aging (and already dead) shopping malls from the 50’s and 60’s (and the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s eventually). Changing demographics The authors promote retrofitting those old malls and edge cities to urban cores, in order to reduce VMT (Vehicle Miles Travelled). The authors believe that creating an attractive walkable area, with cars being pushed to perimeter, will create more attractive places in the burbs for people to [Read more…]