Brent Toderian's blog

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

The Law of Traffic Congestion, according to "The Flash!"

Across the world, city-builders who understand the complex relationship between land-use, car infrastructure and road congestion, struggle to communicate it in a simple way that resonates with the public. It's now well-demonstrated in transportation demand management (TDM) research and practice that you can't build your way out of traffic congestion by building roads, and in fact the opposite is true - the more free-ways and car lanes you build, the more people drive and the more congestion and other negative results there are.

"And the Winners are...": re:CONNECT Stand-outs Announced!

Last week, at an event attended by over 300 Vancouverites, we announced the winners of our re:CONNECT Open Ideas Competition regarding the future of our Viaducts and Eastern Core. If you missed my past posts on the steps leading up to the big night, it might help to read here and here first.   

New Visions for the Viaducts - Vote for your Favourites!

As my last post profiled, Vancouver is creatively working to define the future of our Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaducts - infrastructure that I've referred to as "the asterix" beside the statement that Vancouver has no freeways within our city. One of several inputs into that process is an open ideas competition called re:CONNECT.

No Freeways, but what about those Viaducts? re:CONNECT Ideas Competition launched!

One of the bedrocks of the Vancouver city-building story, which we often refer to as "the most important decision Vancouver ever made", was the dramatic rejection of inner city freeways in the late 60's/early 70's.  This left our city frequently referenced as the only major North America city without a freeway. That decision led us down the very different and counter-intuitive path for livability, mobility, inner city density and urbanism that has come to be referred to as "the Vancouver Model".

Manhattan Urbanism, 9/11, and the "Security-Silo"

 

Are Championship runs good for a city's urbanism?

 As I heard a national reporter put it recently, it’s not often that an entire city is focused on one thing. In Vancouver it happened during the 2010 Winter Olympics. A year and a half later here, it’s happening again. 

An Election Call-to-Action for Canadian Urbanists!

Here in Canada, we're in the midst of a Federal election. It’s an election where if you’re interested in urban issues, you’re likely quite frustrated. 
 

City Livability Rankings, and the struggle for the Complete City

A few weeks ago, the Economist Intelligence Unit (the business side of Economist magazine) released its annual global Livable Cities rankings. Like the similar Mercer rankings, the EIU efforts aren't officially meant for urbanist's bragging rights - such rankings are used in human resource circles in corporate placements, related to such tools as "hardship allowances".

"Intelligent City Model" Complements Smart Growth - Doesn't Replace It!

Having read articles lately on Planetizen and elsewhere on how the "fresh new concept” of Intelligent Cities is replacing the stale old term "smart growth", I was moved to write a comment regarding the latest such article which compared smart growth to urban renewal in terms of its stale-dated coolness, and suggested that smart growth may be passé because of its successful take-over of main-stream thought and practice.

"Hidden Density" showing up across the City

Back when Vancouver was first discussing the concept of laneway housing as part of the EcoDensity Initiative in 2006-2008, we nick-named it "hidden density" because it didn't significantly change the way single-detached housing blocks looked from the street. We did so, recognizing that the word hidden is a relative term. 

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