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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Spacing Saturday: Downtown Schools, Participatory Budgeting and Development Wars

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Spacing Saturday highlights posts from across Spacing’s blog network in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and the Atlantic region.

Gordon Price used his Prince Points column this week to talk about the drawn out of history of a West End Vancouver condominium proposal. That the final proposal will likely result in the loss of a heritage building shows how extended community consultation must be accompanied with a willingness to compromise.

Christine McLaren, resident blogger with the BMW Guggenheim Lab, tells the story of a trip to the first post-war planned suburb of Levittown, New York and subsequent interactions with leading authors with ideas of how to retrofit it.

As part of the Lansdowne Park redevelopment planners are predicting a 2-3% cycling modal share for sporting events. In his first post for Spacing, Alex Devries examines the issues with this prediction and suggests the infrastructure that will be needed to meet this ambitious goal.

Alex Baltz looks at the fascinating story of two downtown Ottawa schools that were slated for closure as recently as 2004 but are now desperately searching for expansion plans. The story raises questions about how planners think about downtown schools as intensification policies begin to bear fruit.

This week’s installment of The Sunday Building Project comes complete with anecdotes about the first substantial snowfall in Montreal this year and how winter serves as a test of the true passion of Montrealers.

Guillaume St-Jean uses the Montage du Jour feature to look back in history at the changing face of the intersection of Rue Saint-Catherine Ouest and Rue Guy.

As part of the ongoing Fourth Wall series looking at ways to break the barriers of citizen engagement at City Hall, Hillary Best takes a look at ways to help facilitate community association organizations and also examines the idea of participatory budgeting and its international best practices.

Continuing the discussion from the food theme in the latest issue of Spacing Magazine, Allie Hunwicks launches a series that will look at cafes and restaurants around the city that are expanding on their role to become community spaces.

Photograph by: Vincent Campbell