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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

World Wide Wednesday: Where in the world?

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Each week we will be focusing on blogs from around the world dealing specifically with urban environments. We’ll be on the lookout for websites outside the country that approach themes related to urban experiences and issues.


• A report released Monday by the New York City Department of Transportation paints a fascinating picture of pedestrian safety. The study examined over 7000 crashes between 2002 and 2006 resulting in death or serious injury and yields some startling statistics. “Jaywalkers were involved in fewer collisions than their law-abiding counterparts who waited for the “walk” sign, though they were likelier to be killed or seriously hurt by the collision.” “80 percent of city accidents that resulted in a pedestrian’s death or serious injury, a male driver was behind the wheel.” “[L]eft-hand turns were three times as likely to cause a deadly crash as right-hand turns.” “[T]hree-quarters of the crashes occurred [at intersections”. As the New York Times reports, the study is providing a quantitative basis for the city to continue its program of re-engineering the street grid.

• Portland, Oregon is the proud owner of new and improved bike wayfinding signs. The green signs feature distances and directions and travel times to popular destinations. Residents can thank a $1 million federal stimulus grant for the improvement, says

• Not one to be outdone by Portland, Copenhagen also boasts a new bicycle wayfinding technology this week. Copenhagenize reports that a student at the University of Copenhagen has developed a bicycle route planner which can find the shortest, optimal, safest, greenest or quietest route depending on user preferences. The route planner is currently in its beta form and the creator has plans for further adaptation to various thematic routes.

Fantastic Journal asks: what happens when modernism is no longer modern? Many modern buildings are showing their age: problematic for buildings meant to “live in a perpetual present”.  The author explores the decay of the Melnikov House, a private residence in Moscow built in the 1920s.

Photo by raisindetre