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Posted on November 24, 2008
Hi everybody, There are a couple of articles we think you'll really enjoy. First is Storm Cunningham on reWealth, Renewal and Restoration by Mallika Naguran — this is a great article about ReNew columnist Storm Cunningham's newest novel. I saw someone reading a copy of ReWealth! on the subway a couple weeks ago, it's great to see people engaged with positive redevelopment strategies. And the second one is What happens to the environment industry in a downturn? by Alex Gill — From the ONEIA blog, a good article about the role the environment industry [...]

LEED for Neighbourhoods (ND): Open For Comments

Posted on November 19, 2008
The new LEED Neighbourhood (ND) rating system that has been in pilot since 2007 was posted for comment yesterday. There have been many critics of the LEED rating system, but the US Green Building Council's (USGBC) ability to respond constructively has helped it to continued to play a transformative role in the construction and realestate markets. Early versions of LEED applied only to individual buildings. Ignoring issues like land-use, density, and transportation produced uncomfortable contradictions. You could build a new building on a flood plain at [...]

PSAB Webinar

Posted on November 11, 2008
On October 2nd 2008, R.V. Anderson Associates Limited, in cooperation with TCA Consulting Limited, and media partner ReNew Canada Magazine, hosted a webinar addressing  key issues for the planning and implementation of PSAB 3150 requirements both for the January 1st 2009 reports, and beyond. Using two perspectives — engineering and accounting — this webinar outlines PSAB requirements in relation to broader asset management principles, and provides tips and tricks on how to navigate the planning and implementation process. It uses real-life [...]

"Perpetual" Pavement Helps Hamilton Meet Sustainability Goals

Posted on October 23, 2008
Written by Gary Moore, Ludomir Uzarowski and Karen Clarke-Whistler
By concentrating on a vital part of its road network, a new approach to paving is helping the City of Hamilton meet its sustainability priorities. The eight-kilometre, four-lane Red Hill Valley Parkway (RHVP) connects the Highway 403 corridor at the top of the Niagara Escarpment to the Queen Elizabeth Way along the Lake Ontario shore. As a transportation link for truck transports as well as other vehicles, the RHVP is an important part of helping keep Hamilton competitive as a manufacturing hub. When it was developed, one of the priorities was to limit [...]

Election 2008: Cities in the Parties' Platforms

Posted on October 9, 2008
Canadians concerned about our cities were doubtless disappointed by the Leaders Debate last week, and won't get much satisfaction from the long awaited Conservative platform that came out yesterday. It's not as if the Conservatives didn't have enough time to prepare: we've known about the seriousness of the infrastructure deficit since well before the last election, and during that campaign Harper was often accused of having a bias against cities. The fact that the new Conservative platform gives over more space to a photo of people standing in front of a [...]

The 100-Year Storm

Posted on September 26, 2008
Written by Todd Latham
Statistically, a 100-year storm is an event that has a one per cent chance of occurring in any one given year. In the last five years, North America has had a handful of these storms. There could be several more in the next year or none for hundreds of years. In theory. Climate change is skewing the odds-devastating storms affecting hundreds of thousands of people and causing billions of dollars in damage are becoming commonplace. Record-breaking rainfall in Ontario, flooding on the coasts, bizarre temperatures and erratic weather are wreaking havoc [...]

Building Resilient Cities

Posted on September 11, 2008
Unsurprisingly, most of the media seems to have stopped reading about two paragraphs into the executive summary of the new UN-World Bank publication "Building Resilient Cities." As a result coverage is based on the dramatic statistics about the size of Asia's cities and their vulnerability to extreme weather. On that front it doesn't offer up much news (although it does fit nicely with other similar coverage closer to home, this time from New York City). But "Building Resilient Cities" is a beast of a very different sort. While it does provide a useful [...]

Eco-Density / Condo-Destiny

Posted on August 14, 2008
I was a guest of Radio-Canada's national afternoon show "Ailleurs c'est ici" on Wednesday. They had me in to discuss Eco-Density, Vancouver's trade-marked take on denser mixed-use developments. You can listen (in French) here. It was a basic introduction to the plan and the environmental advantages of livable dense communities. A trickier issue that we didn't get a chance to cover though — and an important one — is the way these environmental and social benefits are being undercut by Vancouver's poor track record when it comes to protecting both office [...]

Access to Information

Posted on August 6, 2008
Vancouver is awash with climate change news recently (and may soon be awash in sewage). The Vancouver Sun published details from a Federal Engineers Report (link to report) detailing the vulnerability of infrastructure in seven communities across the country. The most consistent finding is that more concentrated periods of heavy rainfall threaten to overwhelm old combined storm water/sewage systems and flush raw sewage into local waters. (see why here) I've written about the problems and opportunities of aging infrastructure before and will again. The real [...]

Feedback on Planning for Employment in the GGH

Posted on July 30, 2008
Written by Andy Manahan
The Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) recognizes that Ontario faces a number of challenges and that it is vital for the province to lead regional prosperity efforts by taking a macro-economic policy approach. Diversification will continue to be critical to Ontario's economic prosperity but in order to maintain a competitive advantage over other metropolitan centres around the world, adaptive strategies will be essential. A prerequisite to enhancing productivity in both goods producing and services sectors will be to ensure [...]
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