This is a compilation of videos taken from the YouTube channel of one Russian bus driver. He often encounters with drivers who don’t respect traffic rules, and uses his bus to teach them a lesson.
Brent Toderian (@BrentToderian), Consulting City Planner and Urbanist at TODERIAN UrbanWORKS discussing the concept of “density done well” at Downtown Seattle Association’s 2013 State of Downtown Economic Forum on February 13, 2013. Brent is the former Planner at the City of Vancouver.
A short, point-of-view documentary on how a family of four can get from point A to point B by foot, bike, or public transit.
Director, Second Camera, Editor: Brigitte Patenaude
Producer, Transportation: Ian Deichen
Camera, Editor: Devon Mussett
Follow their blog at velofamilydiaries.blogspot.ca.
Yet again, the ad that won the “Superbowl Commercial Sweepstakes” paid homage to the automobile. This stuck a nerve with Diana Lind of Next City, who created a brilliant two-minute riposte highlighting what’s great about public transit. According to Lind:
And yet the ad, like the one about soldiers for Jeep, conflated the merits of people with those of cars. Which seems a bit sad for 2013, when in the past six months climate change has reared its ugly head and begged us to change our consumption economy for something a bit more sustainable. And the nostalgic imagery — as if we only believe in farmers and soldiers to represent the best of humanity, and as if buying a car is a noble act — started to offend me.
Here is the video:
How can we fit more people into cities without overcrowding? In this TEDxBoston 2012 talk, Kent Larson shows off folding cars, quick-change apartments and other innovations that could make the city of the future work a lot like a small village of the past.
- 6 TEDxTalks envisioning the city of the future
- Discovering the Startup City
- Paperman: Serendipity in the City [Weekend Watch]
- Urbanism done right in Vancouver’s Olympic Village [Weekend Watch]
Earlier this month, I was honoured to be asked to be the first interviewee for ‘Urbanism Speakeasy” a great new urbanism podcast by Andy Boenau, an urbanist and transportation engineer from Richmond Virgina.
The audio podcast can be found on Chirb.it.
Here is an overview of what we talked about:
The influence of an unqualified urban planner
The Yurbanism brand is about 3 years old. In short, it is Yuri’s views on urbanism. What’s particularly interesting about Yuri’s views is that they are not bound to traditional schools of thought. His background is in public policy and administration, not urban planning or city planning.
Yuri’s strong online influence is probably rooted in his curation of articles and stories he picks up from around the globe. He has over 5,000 Twitter followers, and estimates he’s personally met 20% of those people at tweetups and conferences.
Turning community ideas into action
What inspiration or optimism can be shared with people who want to improve their hometown but don’t have any idea where to begin? Yuri talks about answering the question of who was responsible for urban decay, and who was now doing work to revitalize Phoenix? He also talks about encouraging people to get involved in the planning and development of projects early on – before bulldozers start moving dirt or demolishing buildings.
One way to get people more familiar with their community’s character and physical traits is organizing walking tours. To get to know a city, you have to get out and walk it. Yuri describes the Jane’s Walk initiative, how it was introduced in Phoenix, and the momentum that followed. Rather than simply having participants follow around an “expert” tour guide, Yuri describes the events as walking conversations. Politicians and professional planners have an opportunity to hear firsthand what the community observes and what they’d like to see change in their community. See things you might not normally see and hear stories you might not otherwise hear.
The Jane Jacobs factor
Jane Jacobs famously said design is people. Yuri agrees, and adds his own spin: design is dialogue. He talks about ways to defuse tensions from opposing parties. The first step can be as simple as inviting people over for a coffee or beer. Writing boisterous or nasty letters and emails grabs headlines, but sitting down and listening to all points of view can help build relationships that might otherwise not have existed. (Editor’s note: the Urbanism Speakeasy vouches for the neighborly empowerment of hops and barley.)
The one constant about urban planning is that nothing stays the same. Even when the physical structure and character of a neighborhood stays in place, the dynamics still change. People age, children move out of the house, new people move in, etc. This is both an exciting part of community evolution as well as a significant challenge for planners.
Social media in community planning
With the explosion of social media tools like Twitter and Facebook, the public involvement process is far different from just a decade ago. Yuri describes traditional, face-to-face engagement strategies and modern, high-tech strategies as part of the same continuum. Not only can both forms of engagement coexist—they need to coexist. He observes that the average age of people in a formal public hearing is about 60. Young people are often not interested in an evening meeting about a road project, for example. And parents with school-aged children often can’t get away from home for a 7 PM public meeting. Social media allows for information sharing without every person filling a physical meeting hall.
One of Yuri’s current ventures is PlaceSpeak, an online consultation platform. He talks about what makes it unique in today’s crowded technology world and why you should be interested in it. Find out how anonymity can breed contempt and how PlaceSpeak fosters productive dialogue among neighbors. Yuri talks in-depth about ways to convert a public process into an online process.
Translating technical jargon to regular people
Describing the technical process of a public works project is always challenging. Basic concepts are often lost amidst jargon like road deficiencies, design speeds, floor space ratios, density, and more. Yuri acknowledges that different people learn in different ways, and he describes how the average person can become better informed about public projects.
Connect with our guest
If you want to connect with Yuri or just watch him from a distance, check out his Yurbanism blog, his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter. As far as we can tell, there is only one Yuri Artibise out there. So you can also track him down by just searching online for his name.
Here is a video segment I did on what I love about living in Vancouver’s Olympic Village.for Sam Sullivan and his campaign for the BC Liberal nomination in Vancouver-False Creek
While I’m a political junkie, I’ve never been too active in partisan politics before. I’m also by no means a fan of the current BC provincial Liberal government but I think it is important to support intelligent and thoughtful people when they put their name forward for office. Former Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan is one of those people.
No matter your politics, Sam has played a large part in reshaping how Vancouver thinks about our city, both as mayor—he was the deciding vote on the Canada Line, involved in planning and approving Vancouver’s Olympic Village (where I now call home), and spearheaded the city’s EcoDensity program; and more recently through his Global Civic Society and Vancouver Urban Forum.
I believe the insights and experience he has gained in his political and community work in Vancouver are much-needed in provincial politics. Check out what he has to say, and if you feel comfortable doing so, support Sams’ campaign for the BC Liberal nomination in Vancouver-False Creek . Note the deadline for membership is January 29, 2012.
Here’s Sam’s full campaign video:
The Planning Students Association at the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP) announce the 5th annual SCARP Student Symposium, which will take place on the UBC Vancouver campus Friday, February 8, 2013.
The 2013 Symposium, which aims to bring together planning practitioners, students, business owners, developers, and engaged citizens, will be focused on topics around ‘Beyond Downtown & Outside the Box‘.
With the overwhelming majority of population growth taking place in suburban areas the need for a modern take on suburban design has become critical. Innovative planning and design ideas are needed to move towards sustainability across British Columbia and beyond. At the UBC SCARP Student Symposium, we will explore fresh new ideas to guide and revitalize our urban, rural, and first nations communities in the years to come.
We’re excited to welcome our keynote speakers Ellen Dunham-Jones, co-author of Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs, and Patrick Stewart, the first Aboriginal architect to become President of the Architectural Institute of BC. They’ll be joined by a panel of local leaders in the community planning sector including Vancouver’s Brian Jackson, Surrey’s Jean Lamontagne, Coquitlam’s Jim McIntyre, and New Westminster’s Lisa Spitale.
This year we’ve partnered with the Planning Institute of British Columbia to offer 6.25 Organized/Structured CPD Learning Units to PIBC members. Everyone is welcome but space is limited so register today!
How to Register
To register and find more information including a schedule of panel sessions, visit the Symposium website at http://www.scarpsymposium.ca
About SCARP Planning Students Association
The SCARP Planning Students Association is dedicated to serving the planning students of UBC. We advocate on behalf of student issues and initiate projects, learning opportunities, and represent SCARP students in professional planning organizations.
To learn more about the 2013 SCARP Student Symposium, please contact:
As regular readers of my blog will know, I have worked with PlaceSpeak, an online conslusation platform for the past year and a half. This month we launched a new and improved platform to make it even easier to claim your place and speak your mind.
Introducing PlaceSpeak 2.0
PlaceSpeak 2.0 is the next iteration of the location-based platform that authenticates public input providing verifiable evidence to inform public policy and decision-making.
Our new design emphasizes the geo-social nature of our participant experience , providing a cleaner, simpler layout for easy navigation encouraging increased civic engagement. This builds upon the original toolkit designed for organizations conducting public consultations that provides them with defensible geo-verified feedback data. There are advances in overall functionality as well as the introduction of new features including an API for integration with third party applications.
“The new improved PlaceSpeak takes us one step closer to delivering truly authenticated public consultation online” says founder and CEO, Colleen Hardwick. “People want to genuinely affect the outcomes of local decisions, and proponents want defensible data to inform their policies. Aligning with this wina-win situation has taken us from prototype to beta to 2.0 within eighteen months,” continues Hardwick.
“More and more organizations are using PlaceSpeak everyday to connect with their communities, and at the same time citizens are contributing feedback with the knowledge their input is being taken seriously”.
“PlaceSpeak has served as a valuable tool for the City of New Westminster to engage with our residents and allow them to participate and share feedback on various issues in a practical and meaningful way,” said Blair Fryer, Communications Manager, City of New Westminster. “It also provides another way for us to connect with community members within specific areas to ensure we are hearing from those most affected by the issue being canvassed.”
“We are extremely proud of our new PlaceSpeak 2.0 platform and the collaboration in its development with FCV (www.fcv.ca), one of Canada’s leading interactive, digital advertising agencies. PlaceSpeak 2.0 clearly reflects our position in the online public engagement arena,” stated Will Cadell, Chief Technology Officer at New City Ventures. “For Proponents, we have included new topic layout, easy access to surveys and a new streamlined consultation topic management feature, while providing a user-friendly and secure sign up process for Participants.”
“PlaceSpeak provides real-time, relevant, geo-specific data that transforms the way decision-makers are able to interact with the public.” says John Starke, President and CEO at FCV.
“It represents better than anything I have seen in modern public engagement the current trend toward convenient, social user experiences that truly engage participant users and provide extremely valuable data to decision-makers.”
You can check out the new site at https://www.placespeak.com
Through his Yurbanism brand, Yuri Artibise explores the ‘Y’ of urbanism by sharing ways to make our cities more livable, community-oriented places one block at a time.