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.
What does the future of transportation in (North) American cities look like? Ecolocalizer tackled this huge question in a recent post. Notably, they foresee fewer private cars on the road, identifying four key factors influencing mobility of the future: technology, a planning evolution, driverless cars, and policy. While they underline that the impacts are difficult to predict (especially for driverless cars), new technologies, good planning and well-crafted policy appear set to contribute to a future of increasingly people-friendly cities.
Resulting in a global agreement, COP21 was an important step towards limiting the impacts of climate change. However, as The Dirt writes, it was only a starting point. Transportation accounts for the second largest share of energy-related emissions and presents a major opportunity for improvement. Disruption to car-oriented planning, particularly in secondary cities, would have a major impact on CO2 emissions and can also be a major employment driver, as demonstrated in Copenhagen and Brazilian cities. Urban mobility – a catalyst for greener, more successful cities.
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.
“Will parking spaces in cities become more, or less, valuable in the future?” Architect This City asked. On the surface, it sounds innocent enough, but under the fresh pavement, the quiet rumble of disruption can be heard. As we’ve written about before, urban mobility in the not-too-distant-future could look quite different. ATC’s article focuses on cost, but if the cost of parking drops, how will underused parking lots and structures – the low-hanging fruit of infill development – be used?
Are streets for cars or people? As the environmental, social and equity impacts of the private car on cities are better understood, a complete streets approach, which provides an alternative to car-oriented planning and design is catching on around the world. The rise of complete streets, which accommodate the needs of a diversity of users, has been accompanied by a range of valuable new resource, which the Victoria Transportation Policy Institute‘s Todd Litman details in a recent Planetizen article.
Big news out of Oslo, Norway today. The capital city of a nation that produces nearly two billion barrels of oil a day announced that not only would its city centre be car free by 2019, it would also divest from fossil fuels by 2020. They also plan to halve emissions by 2020 and become fossil fuel free by 2030. In the run up to COP21, this is another indication that cities are leading the way on energy policy.
It’s clear that the arrival of the self-driving car is only a matter time. It’s a lot less clear what kind impact it will have on the city. Urban Land Magazine‘s Patrick J. Kiger tackled this question in a recent article, where he interviewed a number of city making experts about the implications on walkability, parking, architecture and more. Generally optimistic, the article challenges us to reimagine mobility and ownership while underlining the need to plan for the soon-to-arrive self-driving car.
In the wake of Uber releasing its new Smart Routes feature, which follows up on last year’s launch of UberPool, there has been considerable discussion about the company’s shift towards the realm of public transportation. As Planetizen succinctly underlines, whether this is good or bad for public transportation is open to debate.