It would look like this:
As opposed to this, with existing parking:
Matt Taylor took the City of Surrey Transportation Lecture Program put on by SFU. This is the presentation he did at the end – and when he gets into the economic implications for small business, it’s devastating:
Charles Marohn will be impressed.
An idea, based on a Sightline suggestion, from Chris Smith, Portland’s Planning and Sustainability Commissioner:
Instead of the current system (taxing the public so the city can provide free on-street auto parking to everyone who wants it) or the simplest alternative to it (charging people whatever they’re willing to pay for auto parking, like we do downtown), city Planning and Sustainability Commissioner Chris Smith suggests a compromise: when a neighborhood starts running short of on-street parking, give everybody who lives in it a free, transferable pass to park a car in the area.
And here’s the interesting idea: if you didn’t need it, you could sell it to someone who does.
Here’s how it works if you live in Metro Vancouver.
The provincial government thinks you should have a vote on whether and how you want to pay for transit. It does not think you should have a vote on major highway infrastructure, like the Massey Bridge.
So if you vote yes on the transit referendum, that means you will get a tax bill (one way or the other) for (1) transit, and (2) highway infrastructure. You’ll pay for both buses and bridges. And, since you are also a provincial taxpayer, those bridges could be anywhere in the province.
If, however, you live outside Metro, you get one bill. Fortunately, since about half the provincial taxpayers live in Metro, it is considerably less than it would be if you were paying only for what gets built in your part of the province.
One imagines the Premier thought it would be appealing to assure non-Metro taxpayers that they weren’t paying for goodies going to the city slickers. If Vancouver wants a subway, Vancouver will have to pay for a subway. (Though in the end, the Province would be expected to contribute.)
Here’s the irony: if regional taxpayers vote no on the referendum, it may well be because they realize they are being double billed. And if they say no to more transit-related taxes, the Province, in the end, will have to use provincial dollars to pay for whatever major transit expansion occurs – unless it’s really prepared to say that nope, that’s it, no more transit unless you pass another referendum sometime in the unforeseeable future.
And then it will have done what the Opposition can only dream of: it will have created a sense of unfairness - and a political movement – that will unite all of Metro Vancouver.
That’s a pretty steep price to pay for a political maneuver. A double bill, if you will.
An idea whose time is now: container housing. (It’s actually been around for awhile; ask Michael Geller.)
Approximately 30 million steel shipping containers are in existence, filled and floating, or standing about empty in a port. Eight feet wide by 8.5 feet high, and either 20 or 40 feet long, the steel shipping container has been the globally standardized transportation module since 1956.
Costs of shipping empty containers back to their origin are high, so oft times the containers sit unused in ports. If one lives near a port with abundant containers, then the energy required to transport the steel container to a local building site will be lower than an inland location, far from the port.
But buyer beware, as that used container might have been sprayed with insecticides or fungicides inside, and coated with lead or heavy metal paints on the outside.
Two shipping containers surround a taller common space. The containers house sleeping and work areas while the center space hosts dining, living and a loft above. The Studio H:T project in Nederland, Colorado is off-the-grid
Crossbox House, by CG Architectes Pont-Péan, France, 2009
London Container City, by Urban Space Management, London, UK from 2001.
A wooden sided container sits atop an existing stone foundation in Portugal.
The NRW-Forum Düsseldorf invited renowned architects, designers, and artists from around the world to submit existing and new designs for container architecture.
It’s likely to be this. It’s also one of the coolest: it doesn’t even need to be heated.
As more and more small housing units get built, demand for mini storage units goes up – and small businesses use their services as well. Some of the existing buildings that meet the need for storage are also disappearing, especially Downtown. So the new buildings that are being developed are getting bigger – but none as much as this 8-storey design by Christopher Bozyk for a small site on the north side of Powell Street near the railtracks.
From In Defence of Farmland:
Save the Agricultural Land Reserve Rally
Friday, December 13, 2013 – noon to 2 pm
Lawn of the Vancouver Art Gallery in downtown Vancouver.
We have six weeks to save our beloved Agricultural Land Reserve. Groups of people are coming from all over the province to raise their voices in favour of protection of the Agricultural Land Reserve and political and corporate independence for the Agricultural Land Commission. Volunteers needed – please contact donnapassmore7 (at ) gmail.com
The latest entry at Changing Vancouver is a good reminder of how quickly the urban landscape has been transformed as a consequence of the massive tree planting that occurred in cities in the 1970s – very much a reaction to the world created by Motordom. All those road-widenings and surface parking lots had removed much of the treescapes that managed to survive, leaving behind the ‘asphalt jungle.’
Doesn’t seem that along ago, does it? (At least for those of us of a certain age.) But in that last 40 or so years, street trees have grown enough to dominate the view – notably on Hornby Street, where Arthur Erickson and his landscape architect, Cornelia Oberlander, were able to ignore the city engineers and plant the double row of trees that has now become the new standard.
Here’s the entry from Changing Vancouver:
Our 1965 image shows just how much this area of Downtown has grown in under 50 years. There were plenty of surface parking lots in those days, and the greenery consisted of untended sidewalks rather than proliferating street trees. In winter the view is a little less lush, and it’s possible to see a little of the Hotel Vancouver and the Art Gallery (still the court building) in the 700 block to the north.
Vancouver is not alone. Even in such unlikely cities as Los Angeles (at least in the more affluent sections), street trees have grown enough to rise about the residential roof lines of this largely low-rise city.
An unbroken urban forest, where the only punctuation is the occasional highrise, is even more common in eastern urban regions. Here’s the view of the Washington, D.C. suburbs looking north from a hotel in Silver Spring at the bottom of this map.
And then, of course, there’s the West End in Vancouver – our most highrisey neighbourhood. But looking down Cardero Street, you might not know that.
Urban or suburban, we live among the trees.