AWWA’s 2014 State of the Water Industry

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) has released their state of the infrastructure report for 2014 (pdf), collecting responses from 1,739 AWWA members across the US and Canada. This report gives an insight into the industry without political or corporate interference ((although it is a self selecting group that chooses to participate, there appears to […]

Transparent Snow Plowing – ClearStreets

I feel like I’m tempting fate by writing about snowplowing in the middle of November, but here goes! As part of and leveraging the OpenCity initiative in Chicago, some data-hounds pulled together a slick interface for viewing real-time snow plow data, and turning this into an estimate of which streets have been plowed. Each of the city’s […]

Future Floods in Calgary?

The City of Calgary and many surrounding communities have recently experienced severe flooding, and there are several questions that engineers need to ask as the clean up is underway: how big was the flood, how frequently can we expect a flood that big, is this because of climate change, how likely is it that we […]

How Large was the Flood in Calgary?

The City of Calgary and many surrounding communities experienced severe flooding in June 2013, and amidst the fears, doubts and relief experienced post-flood there are several questions that decision-makers and engineers need to ask as the clean up is underway: exactly how big was the flood, how frequently can we expect a flood that big, […]

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 […]

Tall Timber Buildings

With the failure of the suburban experiment, rising house prices and a greater desire to be in the downtown, designers are looking to stretch the limits of materials, to satisfy changing needs. Added to this, Canadian designers are looking to find ways to use pine beetle infested timber from our forests. But now, designers are […]

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 […]

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. […]