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The Daily Durning: Friday Funny

November 21, 2014


And I’m going to meetings.   Light blogging today.

“No Parents Allowed:” Playbourhoods in Berlin

November 20, 2014

Hazel Borys compares her Winnipeg neighbourhood with Berlin’s from the point of view her 10-year-old, in Better Cities & Towns:.

… walking around Berlin, my 10-year old pointed out the exceptional numbers of downtown kids, and really enjoyed hanging out in some of the neighborhood parks.

Our favorite was Kolle 37, which for a kid’s experience truly hit it out of the parkProject for Public Spaces does a great job of telling why it works …

Kolle 37 introduces kids to some rather lethal tools – hatchets, fire, hammers, nails – with some coaches close-by to keep the Lord of the Flies away. Within relative safety, the kids have built their own play houses, bake bread in a wood-burning oven, throw some good-looking earthenware at the wheel, grow their own food, and raise some rabbits.


Berlin 1

Berlin 2


I have to admit, as a somewhat safety-conscious mom, at first climbing into the 3-story kid-built structures had me on high alert. Aside from watching out for foot placement and taking responsibility for my own safety, watching how the kids interacted with each other and their tools made me feel that same sort of pride that I did during my first game of watching street hockey – realizing that the kids had the basic skills they need to stay out of harms way, and work through their internal striving.

This sort of cultural inclination to allow and encourage hands-on building must contribute to German engineering prowess? Just as Canadian embrace of our wintriness likely nurtures winter Olympic gold?

My only complaint about the park was that I got thrown out in the end. I hadn’t noticed the signs that said, “No parents allowed,” except in the entrance and exit areas. …

The other thing that makes this a playborhood is the exceptionally safe cycling network. When the streets are narrow and slow with a strong sense of enclosure, cyclists mix with the slow-moving cars. On busier streets, the separated cycling lane mounts the curb, and is separated from the pedestrian sidewalk by punitively bumpy pavers.


Berlin 3


Full article here.

The Two Worlds of Housing in Vancouver

November 20, 2014

Captured in a single juxtaposition of stories in Business in Vancouver:



How brick streets are laid in The Netherlands

November 20, 2014

From a tweet by way of Jennifer Keesmaat:



Report: “Infrastructure Crisis, Sustainable Solutions”

November 20, 2014

From the Center for Sustainable Infrastructure:

Infrastructure CrisisInfrastructure Crisis, Sustainable Solutions: Rethinking Our Infrastructure Investment Strategies distills the insights from 70 of the Pacific Northwest’s top infrastructure innovators and thought leaders …

Bottom line:  We are going to have to spend many billions of dollars on our infrastructure just to keep our society and economy functioning.  This is the reality.  The question is: how do we get smart about how we’ll invest that money?

Infrastructure Crisis, Sustainable Solutions will provide inspiration and valuable guidance to the region’s current and future infrastructure leaders, policymakers, and change agents.

Take a look at what key leaders are saying about the report.


Free Lecture: “Changing Profile of Aging Families in Canada” – Nov 21

November 20, 2014

12th Annual Ellen M Gee Memorial Lecture:.


The Changing Profile of Aging Families in Canada: Why Demographic Shifts in Immigration and Ethnic Diversity Matter


Paying tribute to Ellen’s innovative research on aging, health, ethnicity, and the family, this presentation will explore the changing profile of aging families in Canada and its implications for social and health care policy and practice in the second decade of the new millennium. With a focus on the increasing ethno-cultural diversity of the older adult population, we will address issues related to immigration, generation, gender, class, and power, as they have emerged in the context of recent research discussions on social support and family relations in later life.

Friday, November 21

4 pm

Room 1425, 515 West Hastings Street

Free, register with

The Real Cost of Detached Housing

November 20, 2014

Penny Coupland has a question for you excellently informed people:

I wonder if there’s anyone on your blog who can comment on the whole (local, BC, global) economics/personal economics of  living downtown without a car versus in the ‘burbs and driving for everything.  Maybe your blog commenters can provide some up-to-date numbers.

You have some excellently informed people on the blog – really enjoyed the stuff on the economics of home building in Vancouver.


She’s wondering because of this:


Brookfield RPS crunched the data for Maclean’s, looking at how much prices for a detached home decline the farther you get from downtown. … With just one exception, prices dropped steadily the farther you get from each city’s central business district, although the rate of depreciation varies widely.

In Vancouver, where average prices within a 10-minute drive of downtown top the list at $1.5 million, real estate values fall by an average of $20,600 per minute, as one speeds over a bridge or two into surrounding communities.


(Click on the image to the right to explore interactive maps showing how house prices change for each minute you drive away from downtown in Vancouver ….)


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