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Kelowna’s Roundabout

Last time I was in Kelowna, I had an opportunity to see the new bus terminal and roundabout downtown. Designed by MMM Group, and with visionary input from the City of Kelowna and BC Transit, this project sets a new standard for urban transportation and spaces in the interior of British Columbia. And for those […]

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Engineers Driving us Crazy

The urban experience is helped or hindered by elements that are ulitmately the responsibility of Civil Engineers. Despite this obvious statement, many of the urban form frustrations we experience day to day in our travels about our neighbourhoods or cities were decisions made by engineers or those in municipal or utility organizations that act under the authority of engineers

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Sidewalks

The planners out there might get upset to know that an engineer has crashed their party, then again, who knows, maybe they’ll be happy to have me along. Fifty years ago, Jane Jacobs, an activist, critic, author and urbanist,  wrote the seminal book The Death and Life of Great American Cities. This is the first book to be read […]

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A Changed World

Communities around North America are waking up to a changed world. Our expectation for continuous improvement of the systems that support our lifestyles, transportation choices and patterns of housing has been shaken. Budget cuts are forcing communities and governments to reconsider priorities; in Washington State a new user fee was introduced for users of recreation trails, to […]

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Transit Resiliency

I am a big advocate of having alternative modes of transport, after all motor vehicles are an expensive* and dirty mode of transport that we have historically given too much influence to in the design of our cities. I believe that the value of a dwelling, particularly in an urban setting, is relative to its […]

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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 […]

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Fredericton Roads and Streets Masterplan – 2009

Infrastructure masterplans are at the backboneof a community’s capital spending plan. While not addressing every possible outcome or required project, the process of considering a masterplan identifies many of the “big-ticket” items that are on the spending horizon for the community. Often these masterplans are written by consultants, for many reasons, political, staff availability, expertise, […]

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