Healthy Urban Planning

“In promoting equity, central to healthy urban planning in a need to implement policies aimed at improving the living standards of disadvantaged and vulnerable populations and to bear in mind the diversity of city users in terms of age, gender, physical ability, ethnic origin, and economic circumstances. Putting the principles of equity at heart of urban planning practices reduces the imbalance in the urban fabric and problems associated with access to transport, air, and noise pollution and increase the quality of public spaces, social cohesion, healthy lifestyles and employment opportunities” (p. 23).


Barton, H & Tsourou, C. (2000). Healthy Urban Planning. New York, New York: World Health Organization.

Photo  by: Ian Muttoo


Buses: they don’t have to suck

A great post by Daniel Hertz examining public transportation and looking at methods that can both approve and attract ridership for pubic transit.

Daniel Kay Hertz

Very often when I say the word “bus” out loud, someone will volunteer that they hate buses. The conversation might go like this:

ME: Bus ridership is down. It’s not clear why.

FRIEND: Have you considered the possibility that buses just suck?

I find these conversations frustrating, because the people I’m talking to are wrong, but I can’t actually get into why that is in a casual setting without being pedantic and annoying.

Fortunately, I have this blog, where the cost of being pedantic and annoying is much lower. So here we go: buses don’t suck. They suck because we make them suck.

Let’s take, for example, the boarding situation on the Fullerton bus at the Red/Brown/Purple L station heading west. This is a stop I board at a lot, because it’s the main way to get to Logan Square from the north lakefront neighborhoods. I am not the only…

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Knocking the Corners off the Square Mile

The Chief Planner of London, Peter Wynne Rees discusses some of the methods use in planning the City of London and the difficulties of planning a historic city. During his presentation he mentions vertical development and comments:

“Building tall is a last resort, it is not a first resort. Only build tall if you run out of land and you still need to accommodate people because you are an amazingly successful. Don’t build tall because you think it will make your more successful than you were before.”

This comment echoes the current condo boom taking place in Toronto, were a majority of these condos are built mainly for economic reasons, than actually solving the problem of sprawl and or housing inequality.


Read more: An urban planner warns: Beware of the too-cheap Toronto condo

Read more: Condominium development and gentrification: the relationship between policies, building activities and socio-economic development in Toronto.

Photo by: Kirill Strax 



Some positive news on wind power

The arrival of wind power on a large-scale has been able to push electricity prices down. Thus, eroding the probability of fossil power stations.

Read more: Wind blows away fossil power in the Nordics, the Baltics next

Photo By: Green Energy Futures

Climate Change

Looking at Cities through Spatial Analysis

Some of you may find this interesting. Esri collected satellite imagery and did spatial analysis to show the growth of a number of cities from the 1970’s till now. The growth is astonishing. Unfortunately, Toronto did not make the cut.


Toronto Vital Signs Report 2014

Take a look at Toronto’s Vital Signs report and examine the current issues that affect our city. Plus, it highlights some of the improvements the city has made in a number of categories.

To learn more about the report, read more: Toronto Vital Signs



Some great words on how we both think and interact within cities. To me, this piece has a lot to do with space and place and how we perceive and interact with it.