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Found 7 results

  1. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/22/bu...t.html?_r=1&hp FLINT, Mich. — Dozens of proposals have been floated over the years to slow this city’s endless decline. Now another idea is gaining support: speed it up. Instead of waiting for houses to become abandoned and then pulling them down, local leaders are talking about demolishing entire blocks and even whole neighborhoods. The population would be condensed into a few viable areas. So would stores and services. A city built to manufacture cars would be returned in large measure to the forest primeval. “Decline in Flint is like gravity, a fact of life,” said Dan Kildee, the Genesee County treasurer and chief spokesman for the movement to shrink Flint. “We need to control it instead of letting it control us.” The recession in Flint, as in many old-line manufacturing cities, is quickly making a bad situation worse. Firefighters and police officers are being laid off as the city struggles with a $15 million budget deficit. Many public schools are likely to be closed. “A lot of people remember the past, when we were a successful city that others looked to as a model, and they hope. But you can’t base government policy on hope,” said Jim Ananich, president of the Flint City Council. “We have to do something drastic.” In searching for a way out, Flint is becoming a model for a different era.
  2. Toshiba's building a "Micro Nuclear" reactor for your garage? Posted Dec 19th 2007 11:40AM by Paul Miller Filed under: Household Alright, details are slim, and we really have no idea if Toshiba has any plans whatsoever to sell these nuclear reactors to consumers -- in fact, we hope it doesn't -- but it does seem like the company is well on its way to commercializing the design. Toshiba's Micro Nuclear reactors are designed to power a single apartment building or city block, and measure a mere 20-feet by 6-feet. The 200 kilowatt reactor is fully automatic and fail-safe, and is completely self-sustaining. It uses special liquid lithium-6 reservoirs instead of traditional control rods, and can last up to 40 years, making energy for about 5 cents per kilowatt hour. Toshiba has been testing the reactors since 2005, and hopes to install its first reactor in Japan in 2008, with marketing to Europe and America in 2009. Oh, and we lied: we totally want one of these in our garage. [Via Dvorak Uncensored]
  3. Halifax could learn a lot from Montreal VICTOR SYPEREK The Daily News You know, as you travel through this wonderful country, you realize just how lucky we are to be Canadians. From the majestic Rocky Mountains to the restless Atlantic Ocean. And what diverse populations. Bringing the best from all of our homelands. Leaving Toronto and heading East quickened my heart, as heading home always does. This is probably what is so compelling about travel. All we see and eat and do can be brought home to add a little diversity to our verdant region. I stopped in Kingston, Ont., which was celebrating the last day of its Busker Festival. It's hard to say how big theirs is, as on the last day, everyone joins together in the main area to watch the best of the week. They had closed a large portion of the downtown and besides the theatrical antics, parking lots were 1/2lled with 3/4ea markets, antique sales, baking and general city groups adding to the fun. After a Guinness, a bite and a leisurely chat with some locals, on I pushed to Montreal. I used to live there about 30 years ago. After the referendum, big business left in droves. Many Anglos followed. Toronto surpassed Montreal as Canada's No. 1 city. I think they went a little over board on their French-only bent, isolating them even further. But a funny thing happened. Rents stayed low. Houses remained affordable. It was the perfect environment for artists and artist expression. Montreal became an incubator and gave birth to the largest comedy festival and one of the largest jazz festivals and, of course, the world's most famous circus troupe, Cirque du Soleil. To some degree, this is all serendipity, the right place and the right time. But that isn't enough. You still need the people with the control and the money to pave the way or, at least, remove the road- blocks. And I chose this word for it's meaning. Obviously a city must function at many levels. Business must function, deliveries must be made, people must get to work and home again. But these days tourism is big business and as well talented people must be attracted to our fair cities. Besides just jobs, we have to address quality of life. Now this means many things. Besides a comfortable and safe place to live, we have to do things. We need theatre, 1/2lm, good food and entertainment. And entertainment can be so many things - from buskers to book fairs, car shows, huge 3/4ea markets, a literal day at the beach and sailing. If we have a happy population, it shows. The tourists 1/2nd out and they come to see why. And at the bottom of it all, you will 1/2nd a progressive administration. As in Montreal, where the arts had the perfect place to be. Flowers won't grow without the proper conditions, they must be encouraged. Montreal gets it. During the jazz festival, most of Montreal's streets are closed around the arts centre. During the Grand Prix the Main St. Laurent is closed and turned into a giant terrace; bars and restaurants spill out onto the street. The comedy fest, for two weeks, shuts down the blocks from St. Laurent past St. Dennis, south of Sherbrooke. The area is the size of downtown Halifax. There were hundreds of thousands of people on the streets. Roaming troupes of stilt walkers, parade 3/4oats, lights everywhere, sound and long lineups at all of the venues. It was a festival 20 years in the making. About 20 years ago, in Halifax, Dale Thompson started the Buskers' Festival and Mardi Gras, a Halloween night to remember. Buskers were a downtown-wide street show. They were everywhere. What could have grown into something approaching Montreal's festival was safely place in a sterile (read boring) package on the crowded waterfront. Same with Mardi Gras. It got out of control. Instead of managing it, it was cancelled, or at least the cost of police and 1/2re control became prohibitive. There is something wrong with our attitude. Mayor Peter Kelly and a few councillors should go on a paid junket to Montreal to 1/2nd out how it's done. There is no need to recreate the wheel. It's been done in Rio, New Orleans and in Montreal. I saw very few police, just on the gates to the streets. A couple of 1/2remen leaning on their 1/2re truck were there just in case. And there were hundreds of thousands of people of all ages with smiles on their faces. Heck, I'll even offer to go with them as translator, to translate into common sense. The film festival in Halifax is in its 21st year and yet the city is still dithering over permits to use Parade Square and surrounding streets. This festival has the potential to put us on the international 1/2lm map, but we need the nurturing and help of our city fathers. And speaking of 1/2lms, I wish our 1/2lm development board would get off their chairs and try to stem the 3/4ow of production from Nova Scotia to New Brunswick and the rest of the country. This was a $200- million-a-year business. Now I know there are circumstances, but let's start with local production. A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I hadn't seen many cops walking the beat late at night. Well just to prove me wrong, there they were Wednesday night, handing out parking tickets. C'mon. What gives? We have a world hockey tournament or curling or the Greek Festival or whatever - and the parking commission has a 1/2eld day. You know, if they are not blocking a hydrant or some emergency exit or driveway, do we have to be so fanatical? If it weren't about the revenue, you know you will be towed, if necessary. Let's give our visitors a break. But I guess we have to pay for the parking at Dartmouth Crossing somehow. Well, I'm off to enjoy our jazz festival. It's good here, but it could be better. Have a good one.
  4. http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/apr/23/sane-way-run-megalopolis-urban-governance?utm_source=SFFB Protesters march through the streets of Ferguson in August. Aaron M Renn Thursday 23 April 2015 15.39 BST Last modified on Thursday 23 April 2015 16.57 BST The death of Michael Brown, shot by a police officer last year in Ferguson, Missouri, triggered civil unrest and protests that have yet to subside, with two police officers recently shot in the city. The media has blamed lots of things for the chaos that has engulfed Ferguson, from racism to inequality, but one factor might raise an eyebrow: municipal fragmentation in the St Louis area. There are 90 separate cities and towns in St Louis County alone, which has created a landscape of small, cash-strapped cities pulling on tiny tax bases to finance their governments. The US Justice Department has specifically accused Ferguson of using its police department as a revenue-raising arm, with a racial bias and as such it could be argued that municipal fragmentation played a role in creating the conditions that produced police-community tensions in Ferguson. A few year earlier, in 2010 and 800 miles to the north-east, Toronto elected the suburban politician Rob Ford from Etobicoke as mayor. Ford swept into office pledging to “stop the gravy train” and cut spending, cancelling bike infrastructure and streetcars. His sensibilities appalled urban Torontonians. The urban studies theorist Richard Florida called him “the worst and most anti-urban mayor in the history of any major city”. His mayoralty ultimately collapsed in a wave of scandals, including when he got caught on video smoking crack. People in ​​living in cities and those in their suburbs often have different values, priorities and cultures One of the factors blamed for the Rob Ford phenomenon? Amalgamation, or the consolidation of the city of Toronto with several formerly independent municipalities, including Etobicoke. It is amalgamation that allowed suburbanites to take control of governance over the inner city by electing one of their own as mayor. Welcome to the wonderful world of governing urban regions, where between fragmentation and amalgamation no one actually knows what the right-sized box for local government is or how to change it – but everyone can see the problems of most of the existing governance models. An election on 7 April was seen as a critical step toward ending racially discriminatory practices that thrust the St. Louis suburb into the national spotlight last year. An election on 7 April was seen as a critical step toward ending racially discriminatory practices that thrust the St Louis suburb into the national spotlight last year. Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters Municipal fragmentation has been criticised for decades. In Cities Without Suburbs, his influential 1993 book, former Albuquerque mayor David Rusk argued that Rust Belt cities in the US failed to succeed in part because they were unable to expand, and found themselves hemmed in by a jigsaw puzzle of independent suburbs. Advertisement But with cities having become central to national governance in the 21st century, institutions like the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank are weighing in, too. Both recently sounded the alarm about the risks of urban fragmentation on a global level, for the developed and the developing world. “Often, administrative boundaries between municipalities are based on centuries-old borders that do not correspond to contemporary patterns of human settlement and economic activity,” the OECD observed in a recent report. The thinktank argued that governance structures failed to reflect modern realities of metropolitan life into account. Behind the report’s dry prose lies a real problem. Fragmentation affects a whole range of things, including the economy. The OECD estimates that for regions of equal population, doubling the number of governments reduces productivity by 6%. It recommends reducing this effect with a regional coordinating body, which can also reduce sprawl, increase public transport satisfaction (by 14 percentage points, apparently) and improve air quality. The World Bank, meanwhile, is worried about the way rapid growth in developing cities has created fragmentation there, too. Metropolises often sprawl well beyond government boundaries: Jakarta, for example, has spread into three separate provinces. The World Bank calls fragmentation “a significant challenge in the East Asia region”. Urban fragmentation in Jakarta Urban fragmentation in Jakarta. The urban area covers 1,600 sq km and 12 jurisdictions. Photograph: World Bank/University of Wisconsin-Madison “It’s quite a surprise how much fragmentation there is,” says Judy Baker, one of the authors of the World Bank’s recent report titled East Asia’s Changing Urban Landscape. “It’s a challenge for almost every city.” Among the surprising findings of the report is that 135 of the nearly 350 urban regions they surveyed in East Asia had no dominant local jurisdiction. The glaring example here is of course the largest urban area in the world, the Pearl River Delta region in China, a megapolitan region that includes many major cities, including Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and others. In Manila in the Philippines, no less than 85 municipalities are involved in the megacity’s governance. Advertisement Planners love efficiency, but even on a piece of paper it can be hard to know what size box to draw. As the OECD put it: “Even if policymakers try to reorganise local governments according to functional relations within urban agglomerations, it is often difficult to identify boundaries between functionally integrated areas.” In plain English: nobody really knows where to draw the lines. And as the Toronto example shows, amalgamation – bringing fragmented government regions together – comes with downsides of its own. Of course, you can put people in the same governmental box, but that won’t necessarily create common ground – instead, it can create a zero-sum, winner-takes-all dynamic. People in living in cities and those in their suburbs often have different values, priorities and even a different culture. They can be, as was famously said of English and French Canada, “two solitudes”. Urbanites who support regional governance frequently assume that means more power, money and resources for the central city. But as Rob Ford so richly illustrated, that’s not always the case. Among those who stand to lose from regional government are minorities. In Ferguson, black residents were already under-represented in government relative to their population. But as a voting block they would find their strength heavily diluted in a merged government: Ferguson is more than two-thirds African-American, while St Louis County plus the city of St Louis together are about 70% white. Unsurprisingly, central cities tend to prefer regional revenue-sharing without giving up political control. Detroit, despite serious financial problems, has viciously fought sharing control over city assets, even where they serve a broader region. Detroit’s convention centre is a good example of the tensions that can arise: it took years to agree renovations to the building, as despite arguing the suburbs should help pay for the building they partly enjoy, the city did not want to cede any control over it. Part of the city’s bankruptcy “grand bargain” involved raising regional water rates to funnel money back into the city while retaining city ownership over a regional water utility. But simply creating revenue streams, via regional cash sharing or consolidation, doesn’t guarantee better governance, as Detroit proves. Putting people in the same governmental box doesn’t necessarily create common ground, as the example of Toronto shows. Putting people in the same governmental box doesn’t necessarily create common ground, as the example of Toronto shows. Photograph: Alamy Indianapolis is also an instructive case. The city established a consolidated regional government in 1970 called Unigov (which Rusk hailed as a model). Unigov expanded the city’s tax base by amalgamating most of its new, fast-growing suburbs into the city. But the urban region continued to sprawl, eventually going beyond even the newly consolidated boundaries. Today’s growth in Indianapolis is all happening outside Unigov’s borders, and the city now finds itself supporting ageing suburban areas – just like Ferguson in St Louis – that it can’t afford. Consolidated government arguably gave Indianapolis four decades of financial breathing room, but that simply let it put off reform. Similarly, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was originally a well-functioning regional governance body, but is now a quagmire of dysfunction. The soaring costs of Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava’s $4.2bn PATH subway station at the World Trade Centre – and a proposal to spend $10bn to replace a bus station – are examples of an agency that has lost its grip on fiscal reality. No perfect solution exists, some cities have got it more right than others If no perfect solution exists, some cities have got it more right than others. The Greater London Authority (GLA) – because of its limited scope mostly focused on transport, public safety and economic development – has focused on doing a few things well. Its focus on transportation is targeted at an area where regional coordination really is crucial. Clearly, transport has to be designed and implemented on a regional basis, at least for major infrastructure. New York’s Port Authority arguably went off the rails in the late 1960s when it expanded beyond transportation and got into the real estate business by building the World Trade Centre. So the best way to start charting a middle ground between fragmentation and amalgamation might be for cities to look for ways to better regionalise transport governance. It won’t be easy, not least because of the common fighting over territory, both geographical and bureaucratic. London’s success with the GLA, compared with how amalgamation set Toronto’s transport planning back a decade or more, shows that creating a regional entity is only half the battle. The real drive is to create regional agreement and consensus . As cities mushroom and fragmentation increases, that consensus is becoming more crucial – and harder to achieve – than ever. sent via Tapatalk
  5. Tiré du site de Nikon: Le reste sur Nikon: http://nikon.ca/en/product.aspx?m=17090 Ce qui est bien, c'est qu'elle hérite de la qualité d'image des D300/D3, dont leur incroyable gestion des ISO. J'ai aussi vu des exemples de vidéos avec la nouvelle fonction et c'est assez impressionnant. Le boîtier seul est 1119$ apparemment chez Lozeau.