Policy & Planning
May 13, 2007

How do you say "sustainability" in Arabic?

Looks like the Canadians are having an impact. Past-Co-director of Planning, Larry Beasley, and other locals have been consulting in Abu Dhabi – one of the emirates undergoing cataclysmic growth. Possibly because they can look at the excesses of Dubai, they’ve taken the advice to purse a more sustainable approach:

Abu Dhabi will respect, be scaled to and shaped by the natural environment of sensitive coastal and desert ecologies,” [Falah Mohammed Al Ahbabi, associate director of urban planning] said, commenting on the potential environmental impacts of the developments.

More here.
And more here on Masdar – the proposed new town being designed by Foster and Partners – in the current issue of Car-Free Times (scroll down a bit).

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If the Cheonggyecheon – the daylighted stream that runs through Seoul – was (a) in an English-speaking country or (b) could be pronounced easily in English, everyone reading this blog would likely know of it.   I’d say that it’s the most extraordinary public space created anywhere in the world in this still-young century.
Here are some shots taken by Hye-Yeon Park, an associate at the San Francisco architectural firm of Field Paoli.

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May 13, 2007

Canal + The March of the Emperor (English Subt.)

From the London International Awards for commercials. (Thanks Freshlist.)

Here’s a “myth” –

 The Metro Core is becoming a ‘resort’ economy.

Here are the “facts” –

The largest and fastest growing sector in the Metro Core is business services: computer services, law, accounting, management consulting, advertising, engineering, etc.   (The number of these jobs has more than doubled in 20 years.)

This comes from “Myth and Fact – Metropolitan Core Jobs and Economy Land Use Plan” – a summary of the most common perceptions about the state of downtown Vancouver (including the Broadway corridor).  You can find more about the study here.
Here’s the area the study covers:

I’m not sure this will settle the debate (which is largely conjecture and perception of the future), but it’s a helpful start.

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It’s taken awhile, but finally some in the media have made the connection between climate change and the Gateway Project.   Saturday, the Sun’s Suzuki issue.  Today, from the Globe and Mail ….

Campbell’s expansion plans at odds with going green

GARY MASON
VANCOUVER — Only a few short months ago, he was the toast of tree huggers everywhere.
Gordon Campbell had pledged to do his bit to save the planet, and even British Columbia’s notoriously skeptical greenies felt compelled to raise a glass of carrot juice in his honour.
But that was February, this is May. Now some of the country’s leading voices on climate change are coming out against the Liberal Premier. The shift in wind direction has been astonishing.
Behind the mood change is the provincial government’s Pacific Gateway initiative. Under the $3-billion plan, highways in the Lower Mainland will be expanded and a bridge twinned to alleviate the worst traffic congestion in the country.

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Liberal MLA Ralph Sultan in Legislature Monday during debate on merits of gas price caps:

A recent Ministry of Transport study of highway congestion on the North Shore, in my riding, in connection with the Lions Gate Bridge pointed out what we should have realized all along: that we must rely more and more upon mass transit to make our way around metro Vancouver. So it’s really hard to conceive of any meaningful tax or price relief on that front.


          

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The SFU City Program has just added TWO new lectures to our Spring schedule:
Congestion Pricing: An alternative to highway expansion in the region?
Wednesday, May 16, 7-8:30 pm
Venue: SFU Harbour Centre, 515 W.Hastings Street, Vancouver
Admission free, but reservations are required.
Email cs_hc@sfu.ca or Call 604.291.5100
Other cities in Europe, Asia and North America are increasingly turning to various forms of road and congestion pricing to reduce crippling levels of traffic congestion. Find out how metropolitan areas around the world are using road pricing as an alternative to the traditional approach of simply expanding road networks to meet demand. Speaker: Lee Munnich, University of Minnesota, leading expert on congestion pricing. Co-sponsored by Better Environmentally Sound Transportation (BEST) and by the SFU City Program.
Transportation: On the right track for EcoDensity
Thursday, May 24, 2007, 7-9 pm
Venue: SFU Harbour Centre, Room 1400, 515 W.Hastings Street, Vancouver
Free event. Reservations required: 604.873.7707 or ecodensity@vancouver.ca
Join us for a panel discussion with Dr. Larry Frank, architect Peter Busby and transportation engineer Lon LaClaire. Dr. Frank, the Bombardier Chair holder in Sustainable Transportation at UBC’s School of Community and Regional Planning, specializes in the interaction between land use, travel behaviour, air quality and health. Mr. Busby will comment on the relationship between parking and the development and financing of higher density housing and Mr. LaClaire will focus on density and transit. Co-sponsored by the City of Vancouver and the City Program at Simon Fraser University.

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