Big Data in the Local Government Sector

Data is all around us, and all but the most cynical of us assume, probably naively, that the organizations we rely on, whether banks, businesses, schools or governments are optimizing the use of the information they have available. But the reality is that in most industries we’re just scraping the surface of what’s available. Is […]

Anatomy of a Skyscraper

Educational engineering books that are fun to read and informative are sadly few and far between. A new release from Kate Ascher, the author of The Works: Anatomy of a City, called The Heights – Anatomy of a Skyscraper provides a detailed insight into the planning, construction, operation and maintenance of these most urban of structures. […]

Food Carts take on Abandoned Asphalt

Sometimes the best solutions to urban problems are the simplest. Portland, Oregon is allowing unused parking space to be used for food vendors, increasing economic activity in otherwise dead spaces. “Outside of downtown, carts are forming neighborhood-oriented clusters” on vacant parking lots, McInelly points out. “At SERA we have promoted food carts as a low-cost urban design […]

Teaching Kids about Municipal Engineering

The engineering profession is often challenged with ways to pass on the enthusiasm for the profession to younger generations. Part of this is based in the education system and the streamlining of subjects taught, but most of the blame for the seeming obscurity of the profession has to lie with the profession itself. For Civil […]

Peak Oil Decision Making

“Every decision made in any level of government should aim to reduce the use of fossil fuels and energy in general, rather than increase them”. Would it even be possible to implement and follow a policy such as this? It seems that whatever we do these days, it involves a lot of money, equipment, and […]

Canada’s Sub-Prime Situation and Peak Oil

While the following article represents some of the least investigative of all investigative journalism that I’ve had the pleasure of reading in recent months, it does raise a question – how much risk is Canada’s real estate market really at in this global crisis? globeandmail.com: Canada’s dirty subprime secret Since the subprime mortgage meltdown in […]

Kelowna Capital Works

The City of Kelowna has gone interactive with it’s presentation of Capital Works for 2009. This is a novel means of disseminating a large amount of information in a graphical form. I’d say that it is one of the best examples of a public works department adopting new internet technologies in a useful way to […]