Swales

Since moving to the interior of British Columbia back in 2007, I have had many discussions with engineering types about the benefits of the alternatives to the curb and gutter / catchbasin paradigm. Interestingly, even six years later there really isn’t that much good knowledge out there on the cost of installation and maintenance of …

Spring 2011 Canadian Housing

Our Own Experience A bit over four years ago, we entered the housing market in the Kootenays of BC, looking for a good value home that required no work to move in. We bought a beautiful house on 3/4 of an acre, which we soon converted into a food-producing garden, adding berries to the existing …

Post 1000 – and Some News

From an idea that formed back in the winter of 2006 while pondering the world from a coffee shop window, downtown Newcastle, Australia; I started the website UrbanWorkbench.com. Today we’ve reached another milestone along the journey, this is officially our one-thousandth post. This has been achieved in 4 years, 6 months and 24 days, or …

Local Food Banks

In the past couple of days I’ve received two emails regarding the level of supplies at local food banks in the Kootenays. These organizations fill in the gap between government assistance and a diet that is healthy, and are usually staffed by volunteers and supplied through donations. The Kerr Apartment fire in Nelson likely drained …

Public Investment Decisions

As I am headed to Vancouver for a couple of days later this week, I thought today’s post could start with a focus on a controversial transportation project, the Gateway Freeway “mega-project”. The City of New Westminster is smack in the middle of this project and public sentiment seems to be against the project, at …

Improving Castlegar through Placemaking

The Kootenays, a beautiful, rural part of British Columbia, features sparsely populated river valleys punctuated by forested mountain ranges, struggles from a lack of cohesive visioning and it seems that only recently have real efforts at economic collaboration been made, such as the Lower Columbia Community Development Team. Having less than two years under their …