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Complete Communities

Posted on July 15, 2008
Written by Glenn Miller and Michelle Drylie

A new test to tell those who are sustainable from those stuck in the past.

Although many trees have been sacrificed documenting earnest discussions about sustainability, there is still a disturbing sense of unreality about these debates. The language typically used to describe the challenge of achieving sustainability is often evangelical in tone and lacking rigour. As a result [...]

Forecast: High Winds

Posted on July 15, 2008

So many public and private entities are jumping on clean technologies like wind power, they're weighing down the bandwagon.

A riotous scene with police standing by outside a town hall while Windrush Energy president John Pennie faces a crowd of protesters-it's your average public consultation on a proposed wind farm, somewhere in Ontario. There are as many anti-wind groups in Canada as there are wind developers. But CanWEA [...]

Secret Spaces

Posted on May 1, 2008

The fascination with underground infrastructure

This April, Toronto council’s public works committee adopted a city plan to entrench and refill two blocks of York Street, adding a new tunnel to the underground network that connects Toronto’s office core (PATH). The price tag for two blocks of underground space: $65-million. During rush hour [...]

Tunnel Vision

Posted on May 1, 2008
Written by Saul Chernos

Do Subways Make a City World-Class?

The Montreal subway had three lines and 26 stations when it opened in 1966, a year before the city leapt onto the world stage to host Expo 67. Today, with four lines, 68 stations and more than 65 kilometres of track, the metro is the second largest in Canada and is considered a key contributor to a redefined [...]

The Worst-Laid Plans

Posted on May 1, 2008
Written by Jason Magder

If the redevelopment of Griffintown is “the future of downtown” as it’s been touted, maybe somebody should have let its residents know.

It’s one of Montreal’s oldest neighbourhoods, but for the past half century, Griffintown has mostly stood as a collection of abandoned buildings in the shadow of downtown Montreal’s skyscrapers. Now Devimco Inc., best known for its massive Quartier Dix 30 commercial development on Montreal’s [...]

Eco Justice

Posted on March 1, 2008
Written by Pamela Shapiro

The legal consequences of refusing to keep our promise to the environment.

It has been over five years since Canada ratified the Kyoto Protocol, and we’re still arguing over how to fulfill our commitments. Although the federal government’s lack of action with regards to Kyoto has become more controversial since the Conservatives took office, leading to widespread criticism [...]

Networking

Posted on March 1, 2008

Cities are banding together to become the new national power players in a country struggling, and failing, to address climate change.

Spurred initially by frustration with the political deadlock that has surrounded Kyoto, municipal climate policy is asking for, and getting, more time in the spotlight. Last year—for the second UN climate change conference in a row—municipal leaders upstaged their national counterparts by pledging [...]

The Spreading Suburbs

Posted on March 1, 2008
Written by Enid Slack

By now, urban sprawl is almost a dirty phrase among planners. Its negative impact on the environment is well understood—less well understood is how cities are actually subsidizing sprawl through taxes and fees.

Air and water pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, loss of farmland, green space, and natural resources—all of these problems stem, in large part, from the way we’ve planned and built our cities. We know, for example, that compact urban development is more environmentally sustainable than suburbanization [...]

Wall-to-Wall Gardening

Posted on January 28, 2008
Written by Eddie Wu and Ashley Smith

Green technology goes vertical

The practice of planting ivy to climb up the walls of buildings has existed for centuries. Now, the trend towards sustainability and green building practices can lead to the development and use of living walls as a means of filtering and improving a building's indoor air quality. Green walls are [...]

Bill Power

Posted on January 1, 2008
Written by Glenn Miller

How Ontario’s Bill 51 Launched a Quiet Revolution in Planning

When Ontario brought in its first planning act some 60 years ago, the goal was to instill some order into post-war growth. This groundbreaking legislation not only set out basic ground rules and responsibilities for directing changes in land use, but was instrumental in launching planning as a professional [...]
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