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Q&A with Morrison Hershfield’s Jim Lew

Posted on August 6, 2014
Written by André Voshart
What do you see as a critical trend in public-private partnerships (P3s)? Broadly speaking, the U.S. national picture looks extremely positive with more than 600 deals expected to work their way through the system over the next 10 years (54 per cent in transportation). However, the jurisdictional landscape is a patchwork with a much higher rate of diversity than Canada; therefore, pursuit of sustainable deal flow currently requires aggregating opportunities across numerous states/regions with less chance of encountering standardization. I liken the current [...]

Public Procurement in Quebec: AMF’s Discretionary Powers Confirmed

Posted on August 2, 2014
Written by Liviu Kaufman
A series of recent judicial decisions have strengthened the broad powers of the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), Quebec’s financial markets regulator, to decide whether a company can be authorized to participate in public contracts in Québec. To the dismay and surprise of enterprises interested in doing business with the government, the courts not only accepted allegations of fraudulent commercial practices made before the Charbonneau Commission (in the absence of a formal indictment or condemnation) as sufficient to warrant a refusal, but have [...]

VIDEO: Asset Management Meltdown

Posted on June 3, 2014
Written by André Voshart
This is a must-see video: Ian Woodbury, CEO of Riva Modeling Systems, addresses aging infrastructure and asset management in this rant-style YouTube video:   [...]

VIDEO: Urban Sinkhole Devours Cars and Pavement

Posted on May 2, 2014
Written by André Voshart
Watch this astounding landslide which took place earlier this week in Baltimore: [...]

How Will History Remember Us?

Posted on May 1, 2014
Written by Alec Hay
Do you ever wonder what kind of city our children will inherit? The fact of the matter is that our generation is consuming more than we produce. We are also investing less in our infrastructure than previous generations, and our legacy will be more liability than asset, constraining the next generation’s economic progress before it has even begun. Irrespective of why and how we have got here, what we are going to do about it? What distinguishes dreams from vision is a clear understanding of our current situation. Our context is changing. Extreme weather [...]

VIDEO: Todd Latham on Infrastructure Spending

Posted on April 8, 2014
Written by Todd Latham
ReNew publisher Todd Latham talks about how Canada needs to catch up on infrastructure spending: [...]

Celebrating 30 Years of the Mac: A Triumph for City Builders?

Posted on February 11, 2014
Written by Glenn Miller
Thirty years ago this January, Steve Jobs unveiled the Macintosh—the first mass-market personal computer. The Mac was a compact beige box that allowed high-tech neophytes like myself instant access to the world of word processing and more. It was on one of those early Macs that I wrote the script for a short corporate video for Marathon Realty in 1987—literally the first time I had ever touched a computer. A lot has happened in the intervening decades—to the City of Toronto as well as computers. I am writing this blog on a paper-thin Apple laptop [...]

What Snow Tells Us About Urban Design

Posted on February 7, 2014
Written by André Voshart
Massive snowfalls may provide a glimpse into the inefficiencies designed into our transport networks. In response, North Americans are using the snow, and Twitter with the #sneckdownhashtag (a combination of "snow" and "neckdown," another name for a curb expansion), to show how roads and sidewalks could take vehicle-made snow patterns into consideration when reconsidering how to approach urban design. During this week's massive snowstorm, ReNew Canada publisher Todd Latham took to the chilly streets of downtown Toronto and photographed the following at Adelaide [...]

VIDEO: Crocheted Locomotive

Posted on February 4, 2014
Written by Renew Admin
Polish artist Olek has just completed work on what may be her largest piece ever: a four-car locomotive covered in crocheted yarn in Lodz, Poland. The eye-catching project was completed over a four-day period, working tirelessly with four assistants until the technicolor train emerged.   [...]

Investing in Ourselves

Posted on January 9, 2014
Written by Chris Loreto and J.C. Bourque
Canadian governments at all levels are facing an increasing state of disrepair in important public infrastructure. The 2012 Canadian Infrastructure Report Card estimates that, on average, 30 per cent of municipal infrastructure (water, wastewater, stormwater, and road systems) is in fair or worse condition, with an estimated replacement cost of more than $170 billion. This same report also laments the inability of governments to properly monitor and manage their infrastructure assets. Years of under-investment combined with a fundamental lack of asset management [...]
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