Olympic City Building Doesn’t Work

Calgary's Olympic dream is over. Residents voted not to proceed with a bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics. Calgary hosted the 1988 Winter Games, which left a lasting legacy of outstanding facilities and civic pride. But playing host to the world gets more expensive every year. The overall cost of hosting the games has topped… Read More

The Suburbs

I have to admit, I'm lukewarm on The Suburbs. It's a good album, but Arcade Fire's masterpiece is beyond doubt Funeral. It's a rich, sophisticated album, more adventurous than their other works, a classic. Wait. This is an urban planning blog, not music criticism. I will try again. I have to admit, I'm lukewarm on… Read More

Not knowing

On Wednesday, I was lucky to attend both a walking tour and a public lecture with Chuck Marohn, president of Strong Towns. Chuck was in town for one day, and in that short time he delivered two lectures, a walking tour and was a guest on Global Morning. That's a busy visit, but not out… Read More

Ferries: what are they good for?

Two weeks ago, Halifax launched its fifth new ferry. Residents of Halifax voted to name the ferry after Mi'kmaq poet Rita Joe, from Eskasoni First Nation in Cape Breton. Rita Joe is considered the poet laureate of the Mi'kmaq nation. The ferries are a popular part of the Halifax Transit network, running on two routes… Read More

City Building Events to Check Out

Halifax is lucky to have dedicated residents who care about their city. With so many talented professionals and passionate activists, it's not surprising there are great city building events coming up. The term 'world-class' gets used too often, but all of the speakers at these events are absolutely world class. Come out and learn about… Read More

Toronto – Missed Connections

I will start my post about Toronto with some qualifiers. I don't know the city too well. The politics of transit in Toronto are pretty brutal, so where I can I'll focus elsewhere - although it's impossible to avoid the politics entirely. So if you know Toronto well and find my comments inane or uneducated,… Read More

Think Pink in Montreal

Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montreal, got elected promising to get Montrealers moving. Her signature campaign promise is to deliver a new Metro line: the Pink Line, with 29 stations over 29 km. I love this idea, for so many reasons. The bold proposal to extend Montreal's rapid transit network - the… Read More

Density: What’s the goal?

When you think of urban density, what do you picture? Hong Kong, Manhattan, and Sao Paulo pack in high-rises to create extreme population densities. Older European cities like Paris, Barcelona and Athens create high densities with mostly mid-rise buildings. Informal settlements in global mega cities can squeeze hundreds of thousands of people into each kilometer,… Read More

Hop on a bike and cut emissions

The newest report on climate change is grim: we have 12 years to dramatically cut our carbon emissions. If we don't, there are enormous risks: worse heat waves, more droughts, species loss, melting ice sheets, rising sea levels. It's already too late to stop climate change, but we have just 12 years to avert the… Read More

Uber Hype

Uber wants to come to Halifax. There is huge hype around Uber. The company operates across the globe, and in hundreds of North American cities. It's a ride-sharing business, using an app to connect travelers with Uber drivers. Uber sells itself as a disruptive company, shaking up the transportation business. People are excited by Uber, and… Read More