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Vancouver’s Bicycle Infrastructure – A Summer Cycle Tour!

In Vancouver, as in many cities in North America and Europe, June is officially Bike Month. To celebrate, the Planning Institute of British Columbia’s South Coast Chapter presented a summer bicycle tour on June 19 for local planners and cycling enthusiasts.

The theme was “Health and the Built Environment”, so the morning began with a chat about the implications of walkable and bikeable environments for public health. Next, the cyclists took to the streets and bike lanes to tour Vancouver’s cycling infrastructure, lead by a dream team of local transportation planners and cycling advocates.

My twelve favourite pictures from the morning are in the slideshow below…

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WIN WEEK – Planning Hero

Understanding past-mistakes is essential to avoiding them in the future, however, hindsight is 20/20 and we here at Planning Pool are cognizant of this truth. With that in mind and with eyes toward sunnier days, we’ve decided to respond to last month’s Fail Week feature with some of the more hopeful developments in the world of planning: Win Week…

‘Urban Acupuncture 101’ – Mobility and cycling in New York with Janette Sadik-Khan

October 19, 2009.  In a room full of Vancouver’s planning and transportation elite, Gordon Price (director of SFU’s City Program) introduced an event from SFU’s public lecture series, evoking New York City’s gritty and dangerous history, comparing it to a “fallen empire.”  He feels that the success in recent years give it reason to be called “a resilient city” – acting as proof that cities can rebound – and aptly referencing the Gaining Ground conference this week.  Our guest this evening, Janette Sadik-Khan is the commissioner for New York City’s Department of Transportation (DOT). She is largely responsible for this transformation, rigorously analyzing ways to make streets more people oriented in one of the world’s largest most congested city.  “It’s a war out there,” she said a few times.

[caption id=”attachment_1459″ align=”aligncenter” width=”574″ caption=”Creative Commons photo of NYC's 9th Ave … Continue Reading

Bikewise: Making cycling safer and more fun

BikewiseBikewise is a website where users can report bike crashes, hazards, and thefts. The site is similar to SeeClickFix, EveryBlock, and PickupPal, some websites that we have written about before. The site, run by the Cascade Bicycle Club in Seattle, WA, aims to make biking safer and more fun. Bikewise wants users to add their own reports about crashes, hazards, and thefts. You can read more about the site on Streetsblog.

The site doesn’t seem to work in my Chrome browser, and there’s no information for Charlotte, NC, where I am now. But, Bikewise seems to be a great idea for “citizen journalism” and for the public to transparently see information about the city around them.

Mobility on Demand: Winner of the The Buckminster Fuller Challenge


Mobility Network from winning team

Mobility Network from winning team

A team from MIT just won the 2009 Buckminster Fuller Challenge, a competition that awards a $100,000 prize to support the development and implementation of a strategy that has significant potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems.

The team devised a Mobility-on-demand system that works a lot like bike sharing programs that we have covered extensively, but has a greater variety of vehicles. The system has racks of super lightweight and compact electric bikes, scooters, and cars at closely spaced, convenient locations around an urban service area. The vehicles automatically recharge while they are in these racks.

To use, people walk to the nearest rack, swipe a credit card, pick up a vehicle, drive it to a … Continue Reading

Buying your own bike is so five minutes ago. . .

Listen up, municipal governments – bike sharing is in. All the cool cities are doing it – Paris, Washington DC, Beijing. And why not? It’s effortless, sustainable, and it cuts down on congestion. But for so long, us Torontoians (and Vancouverites) have only been able to look on and dream. Well not anymore.

UBC’s School of Community and Regional Planning Symposium

The University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning is hosting a symposium on March 13 and 14. Entitled “From Sustainawhat? to Sustainahow! Moving from knowledge to action,” the symposium will explore the implementation of sustainability planning. Specifically, speakers will be focusing on affordable housing, resilience of government institutions in climate change planning, intercultural communications and multicultural planning, collaborative and participatory design, regional water governance, and many other topics.

 Confirmed speakers include :

  • Dr. Tom Campenella: Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Design at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 
  • Stephen Owen: Vice President, External, Legal and Community Relations, UBC
  • Dr. Leonie Sandercock: Faculty, SCARP, UBC.
  • Dr. John Freidmann: Professor, SCARP, UBC.
  • Karen Stone: Executive Director, B.C. Not-for-Profit Housing Association
  • Brent Toderian: Director of Planning, City of Vancouver 
  • Naomi Steinberg: Professional Storyteller
  • Shannon Daub: Communications Director, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, B.C. Chapter

Perhaps most excitingly, … Continue Reading

BIXI: Montreal’s Wireless Public Bicycle System

Despite being a planning student, I’m no fanatic of technology or industrial design. Whether the new technological wonder is a laptop or cell phone, what’s so great about this year’s model as compared to last year’s anyways? I tend to prefer the simple pleasures of a good book and a rocking chair, or a bicycle. 

The bicycle may be evolving.

I had the pleasure of attending a presentation about BIXI, Montreal’s new public bicycle system, at last week’s annual conference of the Canadian Association of Planning Students. All eyes were on the shiny bike in the centre of the room:


BIXI bike. Photo by Chris Erb of Spacing Montreal

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