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. Opinion
Dec 31, 2012   By Brent Toderian
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. Opinion
Oct 22, 2012   By Brent Toderian
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. Opinion
Sep 24, 2012   By Brent Toderian
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.” Opinion
Aug 3, 2012   By Brent Toderian
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. Opinion
Jul 16, 2012   By Brent Toderian
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? Opinion
May 9, 2012   By Brent Toderian
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. Opinion
Feb 28, 2012   By Brent Toderian
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. Opinion
Jan 10, 2012   By Brent Toderian
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.    Opinion
Dec 5, 2011   By Brent Toderian
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. Opinion
Nov 21, 2011   By Brent Toderian