* You are viewing Posts Tagged ‘Land Use’

PICS Lecture – Climate Change and Health Impacts

The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions hosts free monthly lectures from many academic disciplines that focus on climate change. This lecture by Michael Bower from UBC and Tim Takaro from SFU focuses on the intersection of climate change and health impacts.

The World Health Organization estimates that climate change causes 150,000 deaths a year (2000). The health impacts of climate change are direct and indirect. Direct impacts include temperatures, and indirect ones include asthma, infectious diseases, malnutrition, mental health, etc.

Climate change impacts in Canada include extreme weather, air quality, the spread of infectious diseases, and increased population from migration, drought, and sea level rise. Canada will also see an uneven distribution of impacts, with some areas being less able to adapt, like rural areas ability to adapt. Luckily we have good infrastructure and public health systems so we will see … Continue Reading

Integrated Systems Planning for Energy Efficiency and Conservation

Planning Pool authors, Daniella F. and Dylan M. are at the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Charlotte, NC, for the next few days. We’re going to be liveblogging the more interesting conference proceedings. You can follow us on twitter @planningpool or with the hashtag #np4sg2011.

Who here works for a local government?

HDR is an architecture/engineering/consulting firm headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, that has over 180 locations worldwide. The company was commissioned by Corpus Christi to formulate the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy necessary for the City to receive ARRA funds (stimulus funds) in the form of Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG). The $3.2 billion EECBG program was modeled after the Community Block Grant program. Corpus Christi was awarded $2.5 million. … Continue Reading

Vancouver Master Plan Project

This fall, I had the honor of participating in the creation of the first large-scale master plan for the city of Vancouver, Canada since the 1920s. Fourteen landscape architecture and three planning graduate students contributed to the plan, which tackles envisioning how the lower density portion of the city outside the downtown core will accommodate the growth expected over the next 40 years. View the finished document here (35MB PDF file behind the link). 

Student Mary Wong’s depiction of a Production, Distribution, Repair Typology transitioning to an existing single family home with residential densities in between. Used with permission.

Professor Patrick Condon’s recent book Seven Rules for Sustainable Communities provided a basis for the interdisciplinary studio, and Condon required that the plan reflect a doubling of Vancouver’s population … Continue Reading

Location, location, location

Reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that cause global warming is on most current political agendas. At 36%, the largest GHG source in British Columbia is transportation. GHG emissions are a product of vehicle miles traveled (VMT); therefore, a reduction in the latter contributes towards GHG reduction goals.

Thanks to Jeff Turner for this great Creative Commons photo of freeway infrastructure outside Los Angeles.

According to Philip Langdon of the New Urban Network, this is a “data problem” because achieving significant VMT reduction requires precise knowledge of vehicle trips and how they are impacted by mass transit, different development patterns and public policy interventions.

Location determines trips; no additional data is required. Langdon’s article cites a goal of 12% VMT reduction which could be accomplished simply … Continue Reading

“The First Step of Cultivation” in Little City Gardens: Zoning for Urban Agriculture

Inch by inch, row by row...urban agriculture challenges residential zoning in San Francisco. (Thanks to Little City Gardens for this great photo!)

Earlier this spring in San Francisco a team of experienced urban farmers signed a land use agreement for a plot of land to expand their growing market-garden business.  Unlike most productive urban landscape in cities, which are community gardens or NGOs, Little City Gardens is a for profit enterprise. Owners Brooke Budner and Caitlyn Galloway have set out to experiment with the economic viability of urban farming by designing a financially self-sustaining urban farm business.  The new plot is an expansion of a smaller garden that was started in the Mission District, where they have been providing specialty salad mixes and organic produce to local … Continue Reading

Growth Patterns Across Canada

The Neptis Foundation study learned that 80 per cent of Calgary's growth in the 1990s had occurred through greenfield development. Yikes! Thanks to Michael Soron on Flickr for the stunning Creative Commons aerial photo.

It’s been almost two years since I transplanted myself from Ontario to British Columbia, and I continue to be fascinated by the differences in attitude and political will around planning issues in the two provinces. I recently stumbled across an interesting study by the Neptis Foundation that compared recent growth patterns of three Canadian metropolitan regions: Calgary, Toronto, and Vancouver.

It’s a thought-provoking study, if not altogether surprising. It’s no secret that Vancouver is reputed as a model of sustainable development and good planning while … Continue Reading

CTRF 2010: Linking land use and transit

Transit service and land use patterns are inextricably linked. Thanks to Wylie Poon on Flickr for this Creative Commons photo showing a transit expansion in Toronto!

One of the session topics on the last day of the CTRF 2010 conference was Urban Transit, which for the transit planner at heart was a great way to close off the event! The first paper was presented by Sybil Derrible, a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. The paper, prepared with Bilal Farooq, categorized four types of neighbourhoods based on the type of land use development and corresponding transit potential. The four styles were exemplified by Toronto-based developments, but can be applied to most North American settlement patterns. They are: urban sprawled, … Continue Reading

Five of the most unwalkable places in the world

For this final instalment of FAIL Week, we take a look at a few places that you would never want to set foot in. These cities and neighbourhoods are meant to be experienced in a bucket seat, and it shows!

1. Eagle Bend, Jacksonville, Florida (The entrance has no sidewalk.)

View Larger Map

According to Walkscore.com, this is the least walkable neighbourhood in the least walkable major city in America, which I think is saying quite a bit. They rank areas based on proximity to services, stores and transit –  all of which are next to non-existent in Eagle Bend, earning them a flat zero. Based on the Google Map view, it isn’t difficult to see why. The gated community is adjacent to a river but not any … Continue Reading