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All Eyes

Designing for safety often relies on “eyes on the street“. After recent moves from Vancouver to Whitehorse to Toronto, I have been considering how living in a much bigger city affects my safety.

Rioters and vandals in Vancouver's Stanley Cup riots earlier this month have since found themselves tagged and identified using social media. Thanks to Dustan Sept on Flickr for this evocative Creative Commons photo.

The assumption that urban anonymity leads to more crime is likely true. It makes sense that safety in smaller places is due to tighter networks and the increased likelihood of being caught or ostracized due to actions.

Fortunately, the digital shrinking of the world is mimicking the surveillance of a small town. Paired … Continue Reading

CTRF 2010 – Active Transportation Part Two: Cyclists in the big city, what are you worried about?

The second part of the active transportation series included a more specific paper presentation on cyclists which I thought was deserving of its own post due to the appropriate season and continuing push for bike plans across North America.

Cycling as a mode of transport for utilitarian purposes was the focus of Asya Bidodinova’s presentation. Asya is a MA candidate at the University of Toronto, where the research took focus, studying the policies and infrastructure that accommodated for cyclists making utilitarian trips. While her research focused primarily on the downtown campus of the University of Toronto, the implications of her study apply to the city at large and any city seeking ways to encourage bike use to current- and non-users. The study highlighted the concerns of cyclists (and non cyclists) in order of priority to what deterred cycling for utilitarian purposes … Continue Reading