Wednesday, December 13, 2017

South Downtown Waterfront Lands
draft master plan

The South Downtown Waterfront Lands draft master plan is on Monday’s Council agenda. PDF:

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Nanaimo City Hall —
from a parking lot to an urban square

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Democratic Values in Planning —
Urban Design for the Public Good:
Assignment 7, Structure Transformed

5. Uses This was a massing and mixed-uses study for a portion of a City-owned south downtown property. A mostly single-use City-owned multiplex hockey arena was proposed and defeated in a referendum. Objective here was to imagine a productive mix of mid-denstiy low-rise residential with commercial and institutional components.

4. Buildings The short-block street grid illustrated here allows for a dynamic range of land ownership possibilities including the long-term leasing of some sub-divided parcels by the City on which it could partner with non-profit organizations to build non-market housing, social, co-op, assisted, etc. Some properties would be divested to the marketplace bringing a range of uses and new capital for development. An institutional presence, Vancouver Island University, the Snuneymuxw First Nations, Federal and Provincial governments should be encouraged.

3. Public Space The precinct is anchored in the adjoining acreage between here the harbour, the Strait of Georgia (the Salish Sea). This area in its entirity should be maintained in the public domain in perpetuity and should become a brilliant new urban plaza on the waterfront. The 4 and 5 storey office and  institutional buildings in the southwest corner of the site have generous setbacks from the street allowing for green space and public use.

2. Urban Plan A visioning and guiding principles process was completed in 2013 and its reports presented to Council. The guiding principles establish the importance of connectivity, the working harbour and “bold, resilient and visionary” land use. There are rail rights-of-way on the site but it is not presently used for rail freight.

1. Terrain The site is relatively flat and has been used for industrial purposes of many years. Some remediation work has been done and it has been cleared for development with some restrictions. Its elevation is just above sea level, restricting some below grade possibilities. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Democratic Values in Planning —
Urban Design for the Public Good: Assignment 6, Modelling in Urban Planning

1. Shadow analysis in SketchUp showing shadow impacts of a 10 storey building at Fitzwilliam and Selby Streets. June 1, 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM

2. The ideal map. As 2D mapping transitions to 3D, enabling more and more layered information, the new Google Earth is currently, arguably, the best mapping format available. These are examples of the kinds of data (more is being added every day) available with this kind of mapping technologies —
  • Distance measures by car, bike, walk.
  • Ruler tool for detailed measurements.
  • Info cards link to points of interest details.
  • Layers for user inputs.
  • 3D building models.
  • Street view.
  • Photo galleries.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

From Streetsblog San Francisco
Cities and Autonomous Vehicles

Hundreds of people from the automobile and technology industries gathered at the Automated Vehicles Symposium in San Francisco this week to exchange notes and speculate about the ways autonomous vehicles might change our lives. If this year’s symposium is like others, few of the attendees will be from city agencies like transportation and planning departments.
That’s a shame....

Read more:
Cities and the Autonomous Vehicle Revolution – Streetsblog San Francisco 
From City of Guelph: What is Transportation Demand Management (TDM)?

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Democratic Values in Planning —
Urban Design for the Public Good: Assignment 5, The Fair City

Choose an uninviting public place in your neighbourhood whose layout and structure make you feel uncomfortable or unwel­come. This may be for any reason and must not be restricted to traffic. There may be social issues, or safety issues such as criminality. Maybe a space has been taken over by tourism, by taxis or maybe there are just too many claims so people start encroaching on each other. Many of these issues, planners or designers can do nothing about, but as far as the spatial di­mension is concerned, we can use our skills to propose solutions. 

There have been several private sector projects in downtown Nanaimo that have made considerable contributions to its urbanization. City Hall transportation and urban design policies — especially in the areas of walkable neighbourhoods and neighbourhood public places — have not kept pace. In Assignment 5 in the Technical University of Delft on-line course, Urban Design for the Public Good: Dutch Urbanism, I have proposed a solution to a public space on our City Hall's formal grounds that is presently used only to park a few cars and extends to and eliminated what was once the adjoining sidewalk. I have proposed the creation of a new public square on the site. This square would take advantage of the view from here across downtown to the harbour and be a very welcome addition to the steadily densifying Old City neighbourhood.



Top view

Thursday, July 20, 2017

On-line course —
Democratic Values in Planning
Urban Design for the Public Good:
Assignment 4, Urban Metabolism

Looking spatially at Nanaimo's mobility and transportation systems with inputs and outputs, storage and using a "circular urban metabolism" approach and the principles "reduce, reuse and recycle."
See your city or town as an ecosystem with inputs and outputs. Choose one flow with a particular relevance for this ecosystem. The assignment is to analyze this flow. Not in a quantitative way, but in a spatial way. What are the inputs and outputs? Where do they enter, stay and leave your ecosystem? Where do spatial problems arise? Try to visualize them in the way shown in the Definition part of this tutorial. Draw a miniature or simplified version of “your town” in the diagram below.

You can use the subsoil, the surface or the sky above to represent your flow. Try to think of spatial solutions or improvements using the circular urban metabolism approach in which you try to “reduce, re-use and recycle” your flow. Please note: this is an explorative exercise. It is about generating spatial ideas. Your contribution may be speculative!

Pinterest Assignment 4: Urban Metabolism

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The difference between equality and equity. Via International Federation of Pedestrians @IFPedestrians