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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Spacing Saturday: Downtown Moves, Cosmopolitanism and Ho Chi Minh City

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

Erick Villagomez recaps the results of the exciting re:CONNECT design competition to rethink the space currently occupied by Vancouver’s downtown traffic viaducts. The story includes links to the winning designs.

As part of the ongoing Video Vancouver series Caroline Toth features an incredible video by Rob Whitworth of the captivating flows of traffic in Vietnam’s emerging metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City.

Eric Darwin used two posts in the Walk Space feature this week to give a “biased, slanted and opinionated” overview of Ottawa’s Downtown Moves initiative to improve downtown connections and prepare for the upcoming underground LRT. The first post focuses on connections to the west end as well as what to do about key streets including the Sparks Street pedestrian mall.

In the second part of his post on the Downtown Moves initiative Eric Darwin focuses on pedestrian experience and how to avoid and correct the deadening effects of certain buildings that ignore the street.

Gregory McCormick’s Montreal Lit feature returned this week featuring excerpts from author Dany Laferrière reflecting on the Point St-Charles neighbourhood and the experiences of a newcomer.

The Regionalist Joel Thibert explores the question of whether regionalism, rooted in the systems that surround us, and cosmopolitanism, concerning itself with the broader human community, are really fundamentally at odds with each other. In doing so Thibert looks back to the origins of both ideas and their respective strengths and shortcomings.

Hilary Best continued the discussion on breaking barriers to citizen engagement through The Fourth Wall series this week. The series looked at the increasing size of local government, analyzing the history of Toronto’s amalgamations and comparing councillor to constituent ratios around the world. The series also began a look at the election process by suggesting ways improve outreach to run for office.

Concerned about the way that cities are often neglected or portrayed darkly in children’s books, Todd Harrison presents a selection from his family library of books for children that celebrate and take place in cities, just in time for Christmas.

Photograph by: lytfyre