* You are viewing Posts Tagged ‘Economic Development’

Foreign Workers, Local Neighbours: A Multimedia Initiative about Temporary Foreign Workers in Vancouver

Thanks to Callista Haggis for this great introduction to the short documentary Foreign Workers, Local Neighbours, which examines the conditions and socio-economic impacts of temporary foreign workers in Vancouver, Canada. At the bottom of this post is a link to view the entire film!

In April 2011 The Mayor’s Working Group on Immigration launched a multimedia initiative to incite discussion and awareness about the socio-economic impacts of Temporary Foreign Workers in Vancouver, Canada.

The 20 minute documentary, Foreign Workers, Local Neighbours (FWLN), was one project component. It was born from a small project team (Devon Wong, Krystle Alarcon and myself), with critical input from temporary foreign worker community representatives, academic researchers, advocates and residents.

FWLN’s premier screening was at a public forum on May 28, 2011. … Continue Reading

Federal partnerships with local governments, transit oriented development [Conference Round Up]

Planning Pool authors, Daniella F. and Dylan M. attended the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Charlotte, NC. You can check out what we tweeted here @planningpool or with the hashtag #np4sg2011. Dylan’s attended some of the more interesting sessions and workshops at the conference, so you didn’t have to! Here’s a round up of some of the more interesting new work in planning.
Southern Rural and Urban Sustainability Projects: Progress with Partnership for Sustainable Communities
Asheville, NC-HUD, and civic leaders in Asheville partnered to focus on re-development around the Riverfront District. Stephanie Monson, Urban Planner in Asheville, explained that forming partnerships was extremely difficult. Chris Stears with HUD echoed this sentiment, describing his partnership with Stephanie as a “new date.” While partnerships with local governments and civic bodies are necessary for the local government, Stears recognizes … Continue Reading

Bike, bike, revolution.

Thanks to Paul Krueger on Flickr for this gorgeous photo taken at Vancouver's Hornby Street separated bike lane.

The introduction of downtown bike lanes in Vancouver, Canada has been controversial. In contrast to the concerns about potential business losses and increased traffic congestion, investment into bike infrastructure has demonstrated economic benefits. A recent study from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies found that bicycling contributes $1.5 billion to Wisconsin’s economy every year through bike-related jobs, tourism, reduced health care costs, and a better quality of life.

Vancouver’s Hornby and Dunsmuir bike lanes serve several important functions that will have tangible and intangible benefits.

  • Downtown commuting is now a viable option for more than the most stylish bike courier.
  • The seawall is … Continue Reading

Building SustainAble Communities Conference: November 2010, Kelowna

More than 100 speakers from tSustainAble Communities Logohe public, private, non-profit and academic sectors will be rabble rousing about sustainable cities this November in Kelowna, BC. Monday, November 15 – Thursday, November 18, 2010. The Building SustainAble Communities Conference is hosted & facilitated by the Fresh Outlook Foundation.

(Disclosure: I’ll be presenting on November 18 on the Reinvigorating Democracy Panel with Carol Suhan, FortisBC PowerSense; Michelle Colussi, Canadian Centre for Community Renewal; and, Richard Walton, District of North Vancouver Mayor.)

Return speakers include Dr. Bill Rees, Dr. Hans Schreier, Mark Holland, Tom Osdoba, and Angus McAllister.

First-time big-namers include:

  • Terry Tamminen: Climate action advisor to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and BC Premier Gordon Campbell. Author of Lives Per Gallon: The True Cost of Our Energy … Continue Reading

Weekly Video: Preservation on Main Street

While it might be nice if our cities and towns were built around squares as is the case in much of Europe, most places in North America developed around a main street. As such, Main Street programs have developed all across the United States, with average returns of $25 to the local economy for every $1 invested. Still, beyond its economic force, the program’s greatest strength is the sense of ownership is grants community members in celebrating their hometowns.

The following slideshow covers the Maryland Main Street Program, which is but one of many… Read more

Planning Pool Original: Northeast Portland Tool Library

In January, Daniella shared how she and some colleagues incorporated a tool library into concept designs for the Britannia Community Centre. To follow up, we visited the Northeast Portland Tool Library for our latest Planning Pool Original. Read more…

Northeast Portland Tool Library from Planning Pool on Vimeo.

Weekly Video

Gazing toward the future, and hopefully beyond these dismal economic times, what will cities look like? Though it’s easy to get excited about the technologies that might shape the built realities of civilization, any sociologist will tell you that cities are at least equally defined by their inhabitants…

CIP Niagara Conference – Planning in a Recession

This untraditional session tackles the current economic downturn, crisis, meltdown, recession, depression – however you conceive of it. Its title is “What Planners can Bring to the Table in a Recession,” aptly subtitled “Planners’ Improv”. Panelists are:

- Rino Mostacci from the Town of Fort Erie, Ontario
- Ron Marini, City of Hamilton, Ontario
- Paul Smithson, City of Burlington, Ontario
- Ann McAfee, City of Vancouver,BC (retired), consultant, City Choice

Today’s discussion took the form of a brainstorming session between the audience and an expert panel about how planners can best do their work in the context of economic collapse. Highlights are summarized below, at some length. The conversation was rich and spirited – the topic and seem to have hit a nerve!

A planner from the Maritimes opened the dialogue by sharing his long experience working in places where economic hardship … Continue Reading

Can Walmart Anchor Transit-Oriented Development?

Amity Gardens Shopping Center, 2007 via Groceteria

Amity Gardens Shopping Center, 2007 via Groceteria

Amity Gardens Shopping Center was a popular shopping center in Charlotte, NC, during the 1950s. Now, the blighted strip mall is slated to be bulldozed and replaced with a Walmart with the hopes of revitalizing the area.

According to Groceteria:
The Winn-Dixie at Charlotte’s Amity Gardens Shopping Center opened in November of 1958, right in the middle of the most thriving retail strip in the city. The center also included Woolworth’s and a Barclay Cafeteria. By 1961, it also included Charlotte’s first (and only) branch of Clark’s, an early “supercenter” with both general merchandise and groceries.

Winn-Dixie, 3830 East Independence Boulevard, Charlotte. Photo courtesy Pat Richardson via Groceteria

Continue Reading

Green Infrastructure: Paying for Utopia (Feature)

The term ‘green infrastructure’ typically conjures up ideas of LEED-buildings, green roofs, grey-water recycling and emerging clean energy technologies such as solar panels and wind turbines. This type of ‘green infrastructure’ investment is sometimes heralded as an economic save-all, a way to meet the goals of the planning profession while investing in the world of tomorrow. Pundits suggest that investment in green infrastructure will create the backbone of future communities, places that are energy efficient, multi-modal, carbon-neutral and in harmony with natural systems.

However, “green infrastructure” could also have an entirely new meaning. Exploring this expanded definition is going to test our beliefs and will require keeping an open mind. Planners should be up for the task; as a profession we are open to idea exploration, we experiment with new technologies and we utilize our creative instincts when planning for communities … Continue Reading