the renewed city.

sleek new lights to help organize urban chaos.
November 27, 2008, 11:14 am
Filed under: bits n pieces

i’m a bit of a sucker for the small things, the fine detail. so i was mildly stoked when i came across a european design firm’s new concept for traffic and pedestrian signals.

the square design is supposed to help make the signals more easily noticeable and recognizable, with larger lit area for the same overall dimensions. i love the bright colour of the signal lighting and the sleek nature of the infrastructure itself. i could see these really fitting in with the urban fabric in downtown vancouver, especially were weather conditions (dark, rain and sleet) often make it difficult to see the existing traffic lights. what really strikes me, though, is the design attention devoted the pedestrian signals. i enjoy the clean and crisp crossing countdown.

more information and images at art lebedev studios.


update: T.O waterfront board approves Gardiner assessment
June 13, 2008, 12:10 pm
Filed under: bits n pieces

so says the toronto star. some food for thought though: thinking in terms of waterfront access and pedestrian safety, is an 8 lane boulevard style arterial road any better than the gardiner? hmmm….

up with the trams!
June 9, 2008, 11:36 pm
Filed under: bits n pieces

subways and heavy rail. yes, they’re sexy, cool and maybe a little bit lovable but they cost fast-growing cities heaps of money and an exorbitant construction time frame that can hurt business and neighbourhoods (cambie street is a case-in-point). the new skytrain line from the airport to downtown is not even complete yet but vancouver city council is already toying with the idea of extending a new skytrain line from broadway/commercial to ubc. a recent, eye-opening study by ubc’s design centre for sustainability, however, indicates that for the same price (a cool $2.8 billion) the entire metro region could be blanketed in an efficient light rail system that would bring accessible and efficient public transit the the doorsteps of hundreds of thousands of people in the region. this kind of thinking makes sense. housing, employment and commuting patterns in the region have evolved in a manner that was, really, unanticipated. commuters are heading out in all directions to work and do business, not just into traditional business and employment centres like downtown vancouver or the ubc area. an efficient, web-like transit system would do better to serve this emerging trend.

sustainable cities are accessible cities. sure, new heavy rail can seem glamorous, but if they will only serve a select portion of the population, their contribution to true sustainability is questionable. i applaud the work done by dr. patrick condon and his students at ubc for bringing this kind of information to bear here in this region. i hope this type of work will get citizens talking about what options are actually available in pursuit of the ideal city.

metro vancouver sustainabiity summit 2008
June 4, 2008, 10:50 am
Filed under: bits n pieces

metro vancouver is on a sustainability push. this year’s regional sustainability summit is now open for registration to the public. prospective summiters can choose from three streams of discussion ranging in topics from transportation and growth, crime and drugs and ecological health. these events will be used to gain a fresh perspective on emerging regional issues and define a blueprint for action.

as a relatively new metro vancouverite in the planning field, these summits will be the perfect opportunity to get a better grasp on the discourse surrounding the areas major issues and opportunities.

next stop … pepsi. pepsi station.
April 24, 2008, 9:30 am
Filed under: bits n pieces

the TTC is considering renaming subway stations after corporate sponsors in order to garner some much needed money. has it come to this? absolutely inappropriate and ridiculous. the province should just step in and declare the TTC an essential service already and make the bleeding stop.