Across Canada, a renewed interest in urbanity is leading to density increases unheard of in more than a generation. As Corporate Knights writes, not all density is equal however. As the country works to reduce its carbon footprint, accommodate new residents and improve the cost efficiency of its infrastructure, creating “density done well” is essential. Smart policy and strategic planning coupled with an eye for the human scale will be imperative to successful density in Canada.
Drones are expected have big impacts on a range of industries, but also represent new security risks. In response, London Police are training eagles to handle this high-tech security headache, another example of the reapplication of ancient technology, while Michigan Tech created a robotic drone catcher. Conversely, the FDA recently loosened restrictions on “micro” drones, as Amazon moves full speed ahead with its own project. What creative ideas and/or concerns about the spreading drones do you have?
Canada’s infrastructure deficit is estimated to be $123 billion and growing. This wasn’t lost on national politicians during the recent national election, with the winning Liberal party promising $125 billion for infrastructure over the next decade. In the lead up to the new federal budget, ReNew Canada outlined what they expect to see. It includes major funding for Canada’s big cities, big investments in public transit, and consistent, long-term funding for municipalities. As Renew Canada notes, “If you build stuff, it should be a busy few years ahead.”
As drones move from a rare novelty to ubiquitous tool, questions about their role in cities have steadily increased. While many concerns persist, according to New York magazine, the proliferation of drones could also help solve many challenges cities face today. Car-free delivery, infrastructure analysis and disaster relief or noise, chaos and crashes? The urban impact of drones could be widespread. The big question is whether they will be a good thing for cities.
Major increases in city land values, a side-effect of a revived appreciation for urbanity, have pushed planners, developers and designers to reconsider formerly overlooked spaces. A creative and pragmatic outlook is useful to maximize the value of these spaces, including New York’s Highline and Miami’s Underline. Now an exciting new generation of designs are emerging, such as Toronto’s Under Gardiner and New York’s Lowline. The marriage of market and creativity is a powerful force to enhance our cities.
Facing an unprecedented drought, Los Angeles is turning to an ancient water-management solution, cisterns, combined with new technology, the cloud. As Next City writes, the project, initiated by Tree People, is a small test that is part of a broader effort to retain a quarter of the city’s groundwater by 2024, a 100% increase over today. This is particularly important with a great deal of wet weather expected with this winter’s El Nino phenomenon. New innovations on ancient ideas, another opportunity to create a sustainable future.
Public private partnerships (PPPs) have become an important tool for realizing large-scale infrastructure and development projects in many countries. Among them, Canada has been identified as a key innovator. As ReNew Canada highlights, not all PPPs are equal however; and a multitude of approaches are evident across the country. Could some of these PPP arrangements facilitate building the cities of tomorrow? Read on to find out.