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Found 10 results

  1. For some reason yesterday I was thinking about what if PVM was one or two buildings it would be one of the tallest buildings on the planet, if the city did not have height restrictions. Seeing PVM is like 4 towers + the middle connecting everything together, just to make one. Each tower has 46 floors (188 meters). It would be like 230 floors (with the middle part connecting everything). If it was like 1 tower it be 940 meters. It would be bigger than both: Petronas Tower put together (though it would still have about 1/2 the amount of sq.ft). If it was two towers each one would be like 470 meters and it if was divided into 3 towers smaller towers of 313 meters. Something to think about.
  2. Twitter and Foursquare data shows where the well-to-do are likely to move next. Do you dread the thought of gentrification jacking up real estate prices (and stifling culture) in your neighborhood? In the future, you might only need to keep tabs on social networks to know when your part of town is changing -- British researchers have learned that Foursquare check-ins and Twitter posts can help predict gentrification. If many people start visiting unfamiliar locations in materially-deprived neighborhoods (say, trendy new restaurants) with their friends, that's usually a good sign that these areas will be gentrified before long. Accordingly, places that are dominated by locals and regulars tend to resist that shift, no matter the income levels. Moreover, the very people who tend to use Foursquare and Twitter work to the advantage of this predictive model. The researchers believe that the people who most often use these networks tend to be the affluent types who create gentrification. The very fact that they're showing up in a given region, however temporarily, may be proof enough that demographics are changing. There's only been a limited amount of testing so far, but it's promising. The check-ins and tweets accurately predicted the gentrification of London's Hackney area in recent years, and they've already identified a few additional areas (Greenwich, Hammersmith, Lambeth and Tower Hamlets) that could be next. Provided this method holds up, it could give communities a chance to mitigate the negative effects of gentrification before it's too late, such as by working on affordable housing. http://www.engadget.com/2016/04/18/predicting-gentrification-through-tweets/
  3. Lots to lose: how cities around the world are eliminating car parks | Cities | The Guardian Cities Lots to lose: how cities around the world are eliminating car parks It’s a traditional complaint about urban life: there’s never anywhere to park. But in the 21st century, do cities actually need less parking space, not more? Paris has banned traffic from half the city. Why can’t London? Houston, Texas Parking lots dominate the landscape in downtown, Houston, Texas. ‘Though the perception is always that there’s never enough parking, the reality is often different,’ says Hank Willson. Photograph: Alamy Cities is supported by Rockefeller Foundation's logoAbout this content Nate Berg Tuesday 27 September 2016 12.23 BST Last modified on Tuesday 27 September 2016 15.51 BST With space for roughly 20,000 cars, the parking lot that surrounds the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada, is recognised as the largest car park in the world. Spread across vast expanses of asphalt and multi-storey concrete structures, these parking spots take up about half the mall’s 5.2m sq ft, on what was once the edge of the city of Edmonton. A few blocks away, a similar amount of space is taken up by a neighbourhood of nearly 500 homes. Despite its huge scale, the West Edmonton Mall’s parking lot is not all that different from most car parks around the world. Requiring roughly 200 sq ft per car plus room to maneuvre, they tend to be big, flat and not fully occupied. Often their size eclipses the buildings they serve. Even when they’re hidden in underground structures or built into skyscrapers, car parks are big and often empty: parking at homes tends to be vacant during the workday, parking at work vacant at night. A 2010 study of Tippecanoe County, Indiana found there was an average of 2.2 parking spaces for each registered car. The US has long been the world leader in building parking spaces. During the mid 20th century, city zoning codes began to include requirements and quotas for most developments to include parking spaces. The supply skyrocketed. A 2011 study by the University of California, estimated there are upwards of 800m parking spaces in the US, covering about 25,000 square miles of land. Nobody goes to a city because it has great parking Michael Kodransky “As parking regulations were put into zoning codes, most of the downtowns in many cities were just completely decimated,” says Michael Kodransky, global research manager for the Institute of Transportation and Development Policy. “What the cities got, in effect, was great parking. But nobody goes to a city because it has great parking.” Increasingly, cities are rethinking this approach. As cities across the world begin to prioritise walkable urban development and the type of city living that does not require a car for every trip, city officials are beginning to move away from blanket policies of providing abundant parking. Many are adjusting zoning rules that require certain minimum amounts of parking for specific types of development. Others are tweaking prices to discourage driving as a default when other options are available. Some are even actively preventing new parking spaces from being built. A typical road in San Francisco. A road in San Francisco. Photograph: Getty To better understand how much parking they have and how much they can afford to lose, transportation officials in San Francisco in 2010 released the results of what’s believed to be the first citywide census of parking spaces. They counted every publicly accessible parking space in the city, including lots, garages, and free and metered street parking. They found that the city had 441,541 spaces, and more than half of them are free, on-street spaces. “The hope was that it would show that there’s actually a lot of parking here. We’re devoting a lot of space in San Francisco to parking cars,” says Hank Willson, principal analyst at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. “And though the perception is always that there’s never enough parking, the reality is different.” Knowing the parking inventory has made it easier for the city to pursue public space improvements such as adding bike lanes or parklets, using the data to quell inevitable neighbourhood concerns about parking loss. “We can show that removing 20 spaces can just equate to removing 0.1% of the parking spaces within walking distance of a location,” says Steph Nelson of the SFMTA. The data helps planners to understand when new developments actually need to provide parking spaces and when the available inventory is sufficient. More often, the data shows that the city can’t build its way out of a parking shortage – whether it’s perceived or real – and that the answers lie in alternative transportation options. Parking atop a supermarket roof in Budapest, Hungary. A parking lot on a supermarket roof in Budapest, Hungary. Photograph: Alamy With this in mind, the city has implemented the type of dynamic pricing system proposed by Donald Shoup, a distinguished research professor of urban planning at the University of California, Los Angeles. In his book The High Cost of Free Parking, Shoup explains that free or very cheap on-street parking contributes to traffic congestion in a major way. A study of the neighbourhood near UCLA’s campus showed that drivers cruised the area looking for parking for an average of 3.3 minutes. Based on the number of parking spaces there, that adds up to about 950,000 extra miles travelled over the course of a year, burning 47,000 gallons of gasoline and emitting 730 tons of CO2. After San Francisco implemented a pilot project with real-time data on parking availability and dynamic pricing for spaces, an evaluation found that the amount of time people spent looking for parking fell by 43%. And though there’s no data available on whether that’s meant more people deciding not to drive to San Francisco, various researchers have shown that a 10% increase in the price of parking can reduce demand between 3-10%. Sometimes, the supply of parking goes down because nobody needs it. Since 1990, the city of Philadelphia has conducted an inventory of parking every five years in the downtown Center City neighbourhood, counting publicly accessible parking spaces and analysing occupancy rates in facilities with 30 or more spaces. Because of plentiful transit options, a walkable environment and a high downtown residential population, Philadelphia is finding that it needs less parking. Between 2010 and 2015, the amount of off-street parking around downtown shrank by about 3,000 spaces, a 7% reduction. Most of that is tied to the replacement of surface lots with new development, according to Mason Austin, a planner at the Philadelphia City Planning Commission and co-author of the most recent parking inventory. Philadelphia Planners in Philadelphia have noted the decrease in demand for parking, and reduced spaces accordingly. Photograph: Andriy Prokopenko/Getty Images “At the same time, we’re seeing occupancy go down by a very small amount. So what that’s telling us is the demand for this public parking is going down slightly,” Austin says. “And that could be alarming if we were also seeing some decline of economic activity, but actually that’s happening at the same time as we’re seeing employment go up and retail vibrancy go up.” And though many cities in the US are changing zoning and parking requirements to reduce or even eliminate parking minimums, cities in Europe are taking a more forceful approach. Zurich, has been among the most aggressive. In 1996, the city decreed that there would be no more parking: officials placed a cap on the amount of parking spaces that would exist there, putting in place a trading system by which any developer proposing new parking spaces would be required to remove that many parking spaces from the city’s streets. The result has been that the city’s streets have become even more amenable to walking, cycling and transit use. Copenhagen has also been reducing the amount of parking in the central city. Pedestrianising shopping streets raising prices of parking and licences and developing underground facilites on the city’s outskirts has seen city-centre parking spaces shrink and the proportion of people driving to work fall from 22% to 16%. Paris has been even more aggressive. Starting in 2003, the city began eliminating on-street parking and replacing it with underground facilities. Roughly 15,000 surface parking spaces have been eliminated since. A world without cars: cities go car-free for the day - in pictures View gallery But progress is not limited to Europe. Kodransky says cities all over the world are rethinking their parking policies. São Paulo, for instance, got rid of its minimum parking requirements and implemented a maximum that could be built into specific projects. Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou are hoping to emulate San Francisco’s dynamic pricing approach. And as cities begin to think more carefully about how parking relates to their urban development, their density and their transit accessibility, it’s likely that parking spaces will continue to decline around the world. “Ultimately parking needs to be tackled as part of a package of issues,” Kodransky says. “It’s been viewed in this super-narrow way, it’s been an afterthought. But increasingly cities are waking up to the fact that they have this sleeping giant, these land uses that are not being used in the most optimal way.” Follow Guardian Cities on Twitter and Facebook to join the discussion.
  4. We happen to know of a housing development in Southern California that recently had its central road repaved. Out went the crumbling asphalt and nasty old speed bumps, and in went shiny new black pavement... and an additional helping of nasty new speed bumps. The paving company had actually doubled the number of bumps, presumably in an attempt to slow down traffic through this residential area. What actually resulted was cars now speeding up even quicker and slowing even faster between the bumps, wasting gas, wearing out brakes and putting out more emissions in the process. Too bad they didn't know about these new speed bumps from the fertile minds of designers Jae-yun Kim and Jong-Su Lee. These sleeping policemen actually flatten when the vehicle is traveling the speed limit, but stay upright when someone is speeding. The new design uses a small damper inside to flatten out when a car drives over it at low speed, but higher forces from a faster vehicle keep it upright, causing a nasty jolt. To make them more visible than your typical speed bump, they're outfitted with LEDs all around. The designers say their goal was to encourage drivers to maintain a constant slow speed, reducing the amount of stops and starts made, and thereby the amount of exhaust pollution from the car. The world's first green speed bumps? These are just a concept for now, but hopefully someone will put them into production soon, and bring them to So. Cal.
  5. http://www.mondev.ca/condo-for-sale-montreal/Plateau-Mont-Royal/QUARTIER+ST-DENIS-+28+NEW+CONDOS+IN+THE+PLATEAU/ - St-Denis and Ste-Gregoire, 3 floors. - 28-unit condos and lofts. - Ready: Fall 2015 Yet another project by Mondev, plate plate plate, yawwwwwwwn, if these guys were to be just a tiny bit more creative, with some minimal architectural effort, something distinctive!!! They could change the face of Montréal with the amount of construction they have at the moment, but as long as it sells, they will keep that recipe. That's unfortunate.
  6. Flat tax would make today's tax-filing ordeal simpler and more fair NIELS VELDHUISThe Gazette Wednesday, April 30, 2008 Today is the tax-filing deadline. As we hunkered down over our computers and waded through piles of receipts and pages of complicated forms this month, many of us rightly questioned the complexity of Canada's tax system. The total costs associated with paying personal income taxes and the cost of tax software and accounting services amount to upward of $3.9 billion a year. It need not be this way. If Canada adopted a flat tax, taxpayers could complete and file their taxes in about five minutes on a postcard-size tax form. A recent study, A Flat Tax for Canada, by tax expert and University of Stanford Professor Alvin Rabushka, proposes just that: a 15-per-cent flat tax and postcard-size tax returns for both individuals and businesses. The 15-per- cent flat tax would collect the same amount of revenue as the federal government currently collects but do so in a manner that is much less damaging and distorting. The flat tax would simplify Canada's tax code through the elimination of nearly all deductions, exemptions and credits that complicate the current tax system. For individuals, only a few basic calculations would be needed to determine the amount of tax owing or refund due. Simply add up one's income from wages, salaries, and retirement benefits; subtract the basic personal exemption (the amount of income individuals can earn tax free); and multiply the remainder by 15 per cent. Gone are the numerous and interlinked tax forms of the present personal-income-tax system; gone are the myriad of tax credits and deductions; and gone is the complicated and time-consuming paperwork. Individuals would no longer need to report income derived from such sources as dividends, capital gains, or interest, as these types of income would be taxed at their source - the business level. This means businesses would pay tax on all the income they generate except the income earned by workers. For approximately 85 per cent of Canadian taxpayers, filling out a postcard tax return would be all that is required to pay their income taxes. The self-employed and a few others would need to fill out an equally simple business tax form. For businesses, all income from the sale of goods and services would be subject to the flat tax. Deductions would be limited to the cost of materials, wages and salaries, and capital investments (buildings, equipment and land). Other income would be taxed at the same rate as individual income. Not only would a flat tax dramatically simplify the tax system, it would also have a significant impact on the Canadian economy. First, a flat tax would replace the existing four federal income-tax rates with one low rate thereby eliminating the barrier that discourages Canadians from saving, investing or working harder to earn more money. Research clearly shows that tax rates that increase as individuals earn more money through hard work act as a disincentive for such work. A flat tax would also have a significant impact on investment in Canada. Since businesses are permitted to deduct the full value of capital investments (buildings, equipment and land) in the year of purchase, the tax burden on investments would be significantly reduced and would increase the amount of investment undertaken by businesses. International evidence clearly shows that Canada would benefit greatly from a flat tax. In fact, more than 20 jurisdictions around the world, most notably Hong Kong and more recently a number of former Soviet republics, have implemented flat taxes. Hong Kong built itself into an economic giant using the flat tax as its fiscal anchor. Similarly, Slovakia, which adopted a flat tax in 2004, has since become Europe's fastest growing economy and a beacon for foreign investment. At this time of year most Canadians become frustrated at just how unwieldy, complicated, and littered with exemptions for special interests our tax code has become. Replacing Canada's personal and business income-tax system with a flat tax will save money, make everyone's taxes easier to calculate, and strengthen the Canadian economy. A few key strokes on a calculator, a minute or two to fill out a postcard return, and voilà, off to Ottawa, with love. Niels Veldhuis is director of fiscal studies at the Fraser Institute. http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=1bf2b616-0b3e-456d-9a44-5d51eeeb04b0