Brent Toderian is an international consultant on advanced urbanism with TODERIAN UrbanWORKS, Vancouver’s former Director of City Planning, and the President of the Council for Canadian Urbanism. Follow him on Twitter @BrentToderian
As we get ready to celebrate Christmas, let's remember all the "gifts" that our cities give us. Our cities deserve a Christmas Carol! Here is an Urbanist's "12 Days of Christmas."
Tuesday, December 24, 2013 - 7:00am PST
The following “top three” relatively quick wins for a more walkable city, written below from the perspective of Brent’s observations, reflect some relatively low-cost opportunities toward a more liveable & successful Auckland.
Monday, November 18, 2013 - 4:30pm PST
Any leader is only as good as their team, and supporting your team's work while earning their trust and respect is the number one responsibility of a good leader. Here are six additional thoughts on what makes a good municipal leader.
Thursday, August 8, 2013 - 4:30pm PDT
It’s an understatement to say that the “D-Word” is a controversial subject in cities across North America. It needn’t be so though, and shouldn't be, as when it’s done well, density is immensely important to the success of cities and regions.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013 - 4:00pm PDT
Vancouver's ahead-of-the-curve 1997 decision to prioritize active transport, rather than balance its ways of getting around, has affected everything about how the city has been designed since then.
Monday, February 25, 2013 - 2:48pm PST
We've known for decades the better ways to do things, for greater urban health, sustainability, resiliency, vibrancy and economic success. So this year, let's resolve to have the will and skill to get past the short-term politics, the rhetoric, the market momentum, and the financial self-interest that has kept our better solutions from being realized.
Monday, December 31, 2012 - 12:00pm PST
A few weeks back, I watched with concern Toronto having a rhetoric-heavy debate about removing the relatively new bike-lane on Jarvis Street. Last minute efforts to save the bike-lane were ultimately unsuccessful, although as small consolation, Council chose not to use bike-lane infrastructure funds to remove it – a previous intention that had been seen as adding budgeting insult to active mobility injury.
Monday, October 22, 2012 - 3:20pm PDT
A few months back, Toronto's Deputy Mayor started a political flap, stating on the floor of City Council that downtown was no place to raise kids! “Where’s little Ginny? Well, she’s downstairs playing in the traffic on her way to the park,” he exclaimed.
Flap, indeed. Urbanists and parents alike were quick to denounce the comment, including me. In a way though, we might thank the Deputy Mayor for saying candidly what unfortunately many politicians, and many parents, might still think.
I heard similar comments from a Calgary council member years ago while I was leading that city's Centre City Plan. We’re dreaming if we think families will move downtown, the Alderman told me.
Monday, September 24, 2012 - 2:19pm PDT
As Olympics excitement grows in the first week of the London 2012 Games, we in Vancouver watch with great interest, and occasional feelings of deja-vu. Last week in Atlantic Cities, I wrote about Vancouver’s 2010 Olympics experience with Olympic jitters and the host city funk, and the ability of the Games to change cities through the “power of the collective experience.”
Friday, August 3, 2012 - 1:51pm PDT
Returning home to Vancouver last week after taking in some of the 100th Anniversary world-famous Calgary Stampede, I find myself thinking about the relationship between city-defining events and place-making. I also couldn’t help remembering an unusual moment in my career that relates to the Stampede.
In 2006 when I was 36, after 4 rounds of interviews, I found myself in a closed-door session with Vancouver's City Council. I was being recommended to Council to become the new Director of City Planning, replacing former Co-Directors Larry Beasley and Dr. Ann McAfee. Council was meeting me for the first time, before going in-camera to officially decide on my hiring.
Monday, July 16, 2012 - 10:32am PDT