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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Spacing Saturday: Affordability, Lighting Winter Space and LRT

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

European Lights Festivals may be a way to enliven public space in the Canadian winter. 

Ottawa’s pedestrian-only Sparks Street has long been fodder for ideas to increase its vitality. Marie-Judith Jean-Louis puts forward some stricking images of the Light Festival Ghent in Belgium has an idea to liven the pedestrian space in the winter time.

Alexandre Laquerre takes a look at 102 years of change at the corner of Sussex and Rideau in Central Ottawa.

Allanah Heffez writes about the challenges, opportunities and frustrations of dealing with the CP Rail tracks that separate Montreal’s Plateau and Rosemont-Petite-Patrie neighbourhoods; the barrier is not the tracks themselves but bureaucratic inflexibility.

The Photo du Jour feature took a look this week at, amongst other things, various scenes of outdoor pick-up hockey in Montreal’s parks. 

In response to Mayor Ford’s claims that LRT technology is the same as streetcars and trams, Noah van der Laan has undertaken a new feature showcasing some of the world’s most impressive modern LRT systems. This week the feature looked at the world’s largest LRT system in Melbourne and an impressive suburban system in Stockholm.

Responding to the need for traffic calming on urban streets, Dylan Reid looks beyond the speed bump at examples of other effective design features in use both in Canada and around the world.

With Vancouver having been many times named one of the world’s least affordable cities Mayor Gregor Robinson has appointed a ‘Blue Ribbon Affordability Task Force.’ Sean Antrim profiles the appointees to the task force and critiques its composition.

The theme of affordability was tied heavily with a discussion about the Downtown East Side, another major theme on the Vancouver Blog this week. Sean Ruthen profiles the interesting redevelopment of the historic Burns Block while Caroline Toth’s Video Vancouver feature showcases an interview on the Gastown Project.

Photograph by: ANBerlin