The 12 Japanese zones, taken from this awesome post on Japanese Zoning by an anonymous Quebec transportation engineer. Definitely one to follow.
Imagine Squamish, BC.
(Design drawings for Cottonwood Mall retrofit in Holladay, Utah.)
Cremona, Italy. Population 65 000, and very hard to find anything over four floors.
In case you missed it, they’re hiring.
Big Picture - The Model
The two-point plan for prosperity:
An important part of the latter is that too much money doesn’t ‘leak out’, for example on fuel, vehicle repairs, when the same economic benefits could be had via another transport mode (e.g. feet) or shorter travel distances.
In terms of policy and infrastructure, this needs the three-point plan:
To link this to the previous two-point plan: the Roads are the route to exports; the Streets and Gardening are the route to high money velocity.
Fort St John’s Assets
First 100 days
Here’s 100 Avenue today:
Here it is in the 1960s:
Here’s an idea you could paint out tomorrow. Central parking, a slow thinner car lane, and a separated bus/bike lane:
Here’s a Spruce in a Giant Planter. Get a local source for these and bulk buy.
Here’s a parking-protected bikelane you could throw out in a day. Note that you need a team to do every street in a 5-minute walk area. The intersection part is just as important.
Here’s how some paint can narrow a street. The pedestrian crossing is important too.
Growth planning (almost sprawl repair) with Siegfried Sitte, Camillo’s son. In 1905, as best I can tell, Hruschau (Ostrava) was part of the Habsburgs’ Kingdom of Bohemia, ruled by Czech kings, but with those kings appointed by Germans I think.
This plan shows existing buildings in black, and a plan to link them with an urban form of streets and squares.
It appears early on in The New Civic Art: Elements of Town Planning by Duany, Plater-Zyberk and Alminana which is a classic tome that I’m getting to late in my urbanist education, and which is blowing my mind.
Give me a shout if you understand what I’m trying to show here, and think you can help make it happen.
The two grey rectangles, with the dashed rectangle bounding boxes, can be dragged around separately, resized and rotated. And you could have dozens of them connected or layered onscreen, and interacting like this. HTML5 implementation: probably fabric.js for drag-and-drop and d3.js for voronoi.
Join us in Fort St John – the Energetic City! We are blessed with not only a strong economy but also a sense of community and a quality of life second to none. Fort St John is a haven for adventure at all times of the year, with various active sport and leisure clubs, state of the art recreation facilities, special events and a standing commitment to promoting the community.
The Planning Manager is a new position that will be responsible for supervising a skilled technical team responsible for work related to the current and long range planning programs of the City including development and implementation of land use, sustainability, and related municipal plans and policies. Ideal candidates will have excellent organizational, interpersonal and communication skills, a degree in a related field, MCIP designation and a minimum of three years’ experience in a supervisory role, preferably in a Union environment
The City of Fort St. John offers a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits package for this full-time exempt position. Interested applicants are requested to send their resume AND covering letter to the undersigned prior to 4:00 p.m., Thursday, April 10, 2014.
Best of luck to all applicants!
The mining town of Kiruna in northern Sweden is being eaten by the mine. Huge fissures are appearing across the city, which has a population of around 20,000 and winter lows of -15°C.
So the plan is to build a new town, down the road.
The Stockholm-based architects White Arkitekter AB, which won the contract to design the new Kiruna, envisage a denser city centre with a greater focus on sustainability, pedestrians and public transport than automobiles.
The city’s location 145km (90 miles) north of the Arctic Circle means that it’s in perpetual daylight from May to August and perpetual darkness from December to late January. Temperatures remain below -15C (5F) for much of the year, with snowfall all year round.
“Narrow streets in the designs will break the wind and cold better, but then the city will be harder to navigate,” says Stenqvist. “We have specialists looking at how to construct houses and buildings in this climate while still having a low energy impact.”
A new town hall, planned for completion in 2016, will be accompanied by a public square and a train station, on a plot that currently houses a half-occupied industrial estate.
New developments currently planned in Northern BC include BC Hydro’s expansion of Fort St John and Fort Nelson’s plan to add 15,000 people in a new sprawling subdivision. The Vancouver Sun has reported on the need for cost-effective muncipal infrastructure provision to accommodate the population explosion facing Terrace, Kitimat and Prince Rupert.
I haven’t heard much talk of narrow streets, public squares and sustainability here in BC. Just more of this waste(d) land:
The blog-mission scope creep continues, with these photos by @wisemonkeysblog. Oh well. I just like the incrementalism. And it’s funny to imagine the City Hall ‘meeting’ that would ensue, were Vancouver’s RS zones to have their use regulations eased.
The aesthetic controller in me would still like some form/design regs, but ideally as voluntary and local as possible (subsidiarity, peer pressure).
For want of a better place to post this (this poor blog has become my built-form/transects outlet) here is the Pink Code for High Point, NC which I just stumbled across. It’s basically a modified, reduced Smart Code, with preamble.
I liked this image, showing how to attract pedestrians by frontage design:
Fort Nelson needs BC to give the Natural Gas companies the tax (break) certainty they need to invest. So says the Mayor:
“I think this government ought to hurry up and think about what they’re doing,” he said. “LNG right now is very time-sensitive. You’ve got a lot of other countries in the world that are gearing up for LNG. [Asia] wants it. They want certainty. They want to know when they can get it, and I think we’ve got to get the LNG in British Columbia off and running as quickly as possible.”
“This is a lifeline for Fort Nelson. We have no other major source [of jobs] right now,” said Streeper.
Fort Nelson epitomizes the small town community spirit and legendary hospitality of the North. The town has a population of around 4000 people, and a beautiful setting in the Northern Rockies.
Here are some photographs of towns of around that size, in similar northern climates.
And here is Fort Nelson:
Okay. Now lets look at all that infrastructure investment. In fact, look at that sidewalk: why is there a sidewalk there? Who is going to walk on that sidewalk, with no buildings there. In a town that is so desperate for tax-breaks, why are taxes being wasted?
Speaking of buildings, where are they? Where is the local property tax base that pays to maintain this infrastructure? There are 4000 people living here. Go to google maps: I challenge you to find the town square on which 4000 people gather to celebrate New Year’s.
Before offering tax breaks to encourage investment and jobs in the town of Fort Nelson, I’d like to know that the town management have fully reformed (or removed) all land regulations - zoning, street design etc. - so that every dollar that comes to town gets it one step closer to the images above, i.e. thin streets of live-work or mixed-use buildings. The kind of buildings that enable local entrepreneurs to build the local economy. The kind of buildings and arrangements that attract people.
Here’s the kicker:
Mayor Streeper predicts that if a number of companies make affirmative final investment decisions and large amounts of gas begin coming out of the ground in the near future, Fort Nelson will grow in population by four times, reaching 15,000 or 20,000 people by 2030.
He said the town has plans for subdivisions that can ultimately service a population of 15,000 people.
Fort Nelson doesn’t need new subdivisions. It desperately needs to repair the subdivisions it’s already got. The town management have got to give their young people the opportunity to build a cluster of live-works around a square, and grow streets from there, not tie them into isolated pods and expensive fossil dependency, for both their livelihood and daily needs.
Here are the keywords from the community’s plan.
Here’s what Fort Nelson spent their last $35 million (that’s almost $15 000 per taxpayer) on:
The new Recreation Centre received a significant amount of funding through grants and donations. The Governments of Canada and British Columbia jointly contributed $10 million toward the project, through the Canada - British Columbia Building Canada Fund - Communities Component. The project, which cost an estimated $34 million, was also possible thanks to funding from the municipal government. Over $1 million of the municipal portion came from private industry.
The importance of pedestrian appeal is apparently not lost on community leaders. The municipal website offers grants to improve business facades, noting that:
The physical environment in which we live and work has a great effect on us. A community that is more appealing and interesting to the eye gives its residents a greater sense of place.