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The New Urban Normal

Posted on October 15, 2015
Written by Marcy Burchfield and Anna Kramer

New research uncovers the new reality of population patterns and urban planning challenges faced by Metro Vancouver and Toronto over the past 20 years. Do Canada’s big cities have room to grow?

Long-term efforts to build sustainable city-regions are rooted in attempts to slow down sprawl by building more compact communities that can be served effectively by transit. Two of Canada’s largest and fastest-growing city-regions—Metro Vancouver and the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA)—have [...]

Get Smart

Posted on October 13, 2015
Written by Pam MacGillivray

Solving the age-old dilemma of limited budgets and aging infrastructure with smart modernization strategies for water and wastewater operators.

Water and wastewater operators across Canada are facing a challenging business environment. As with managers across many industries, they are being asked to do more with increasingly scarce resources. With fewer employees and extremely limited budgets, it is not surprising that many communities are hesitant [...]

Planning for Uncertainties

Posted on October 7, 2015
Written by Nathanael Couperus and Natalija Fisher

Canadian municipalities should see the opportunities in stormwater management—not only the threats.

Cities across Canada are looking for solutions to reduce their vulnerabilities to infrastructure deficits, rapid urban growth, and climate change. Planning for uncertainties requires a diverse portfolio of solutions to decrease the quantity and improve the quality of stormwater entering local drainage [...]

A Tale of Three Cities

Posted on October 7, 2015
Written by Saul Chernos

Raised expressways nearing the end of their life cycle ramp up debates about urban planning.

Toronto Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway runs over-top the downtown core, uncomfortably close to the city’s waterfront, and has long been deteriorating, much to the consternation of pedestrians and motorists underneath who periodically dodge falling bits and pieces. After decades of heated debate [...]

Canada’s P3 Landscape

Posted on September 29, 2015
Written by David Caplan

Canada is seen as a global leader in the adoption of the P3 model, but there is a range of project-funding approaches being rolled out across the country.

Infrastructure has at last become sexy—in political circles at least. With a yawning infrastructure gap and votes to play for in the upcoming federal election, promises of infrastructure investments and ideas for funding them are eating up column inches like never before. Infrastructure was once [...]

The Renewal Imperative

Posted on August 31, 2015
Written by Glenn Miller

London shows Canada how a city can protect its priceless infrastructure assets.

Wrap-around screens show dramatic photographs of England’s capital city, entertaining us as we file into the high-speed elevator of the Shard, London’s newest, most outrageous mixed-use tower. We have paid a Queen’s ransom for the privilege of accessing the Shard’s observation platform, stretching [...]

The Long View

Posted on August 28, 2015
Written by Eve Krakow

Multi-year budgets are an emerging trend as municipalities seek more support for their long-term capital plans.

In 2009, the City of Edmonton began its Neighbourhood Renewal Project, a long-term strategic approach to address infrastructure needs such as rebuilding and renewing roads, sidewalks, and streetlights in Edmonton’s neighbourhoods and on collector roadways. That same year, Edmonton switched from an [...]

A Modern Grid

Posted on August 28, 2015
Written by Devin McCarthy

There is no one-size-fits-all solution. What are the technology opportunities to help utilities deliver on their expanding mandate?

Traditionally, the utility mandate has been to generate, transmit, and distribute electrical energy in a safe, reliable, and cost-effective way. Equipment exceeding its expected useful life was typically replaced “like for like,” with the suppliers of that equipment focused on incremental improvements [...]

Measuring the Impact

Posted on August 28, 2015
Written by Ken Church

Estimating the socio-economic impact of district-energy systems within Canadian communities.

District-energy proponents often promise socio-economic benefits in addition to conventional financial return. However, a lack of data from reputable sources often becomes a proposal’s Achilles heel—and a council’s support for the project almost requires a political leap of faith. Economic versus [...]

The Full Picture

Posted on August 11, 2015
Written by Jeff Ranson

Can we leverage urban systems modelling to drive community-scale emissions reductions?

If the first decade of the 2000s brought green building to the mainstream through programs like LEED and BOMA BESt (Building Environmental Standards), then the current decade may well be the era of sustainable communities. Transit-oriented development, community energy planning, neighbourhood certifications [...]
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