Brent Toderian's blog

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Does Twitter Support a Better Global Urbanism?

A few weeks ago I had lunch with a friend and fellow urbanist, Bob Ransford. Lunches with Bob are never boring, as we get right into things, and often debate. Bob’s a communications specialist and a longtime member of the Twitteratti (@BobRansford), so amongst discussions about strengthening urbanism in the Cascadia Region, and affordability debates in Vancouver, I asked him a question that’s been on my mind for the last month: Is Twitter a positive tool for global urbanism? Put another way, is twitter facilitating smarter discussions on international city-building, or are we all getting dumber, 140 characters at a time?
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Olympic Cities and Advanced City-Making - Part 1

Today marks the two year anniversary of the closing ceremonies of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, and 150 days until the start of the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games. Soon millions around the World will turn their attention to London, and in fact to venues across the UK, for the largest sporting and cultural event on Earth.

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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.

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"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.   

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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.

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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".

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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. 

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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. 
 

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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".

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