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Found 24 results

  1. Dieppe (Moncton,NB) pushes French, bilingual sign bylaw Proposed sign law open for discussion in January Tuesday, November 10, 2009 | 6:13 AM AT CBC News Dieppe is proposing a bylaw that will require all future commercial signs on the exterior of buildings in the southeastern New Brunswick city to be either in French or bilingual. Dieppe city councillors brought forward the sign bylaw on Monday night in an attempt to quell a long-simmering debate in the francophone city over the number of English-only signs. The proposed bylaw is not in force yet and the city will give people opposed to the idea a chance to speak at a public meeting in January. The move was greeted with applause by people in the audience at Monday night's meeting, including Martin Rioux-LeBlanc, who ignited the debate after gathering 4,000 names on a petition in January in an attempt to get bilingual signs in the city. "It's a big step for New Brunswickers, it's a big step for Dieppe and we can be proud of that," Rioux-LeBlanc said. The bylaw states that any new signs that go up in Dieppe will have to be either in French or bilingual, but existing signs would not be affected. Dieppe, a city of roughly 18,000 people, is the province's only francophone city that offers municipal services in both official languages. Natural progression Dieppe Mayor Jean LeBlanc said the proposal is a natural progression from years of trying to convince businesses through education to switch from English-only signs. "Dieppe has been promoting French and promoting French culture — the linguistic landscape of our city — for a long time. This is just a continued progression towards making sure our community is well reflected," the mayor said. Dieppe, along with its neighbouring Moncton, are popular shopping destinations for people in the Maritimes and have attracted a large number of businesses in recent years. However, most business signs are still in English only, which is what instigated the petition to adopt a new sign bylaw. Although New Brunswick is officially bilingual, the province's language law does not cover the private sector. So any regulation over the language on signs in municipalities must come from the local government. Municipalities are covered under the Official Languages Act, if they are designated as a city or have an official language minority that forms 20 per cent of the population. That would require, for instance, local bylaws to be published in both official languages, but it would not extend to commercial signs. Positive regulation Michel Doucet, a prominent constitutional lawyer who specializes in language law at the University of Moncton, has been pushing the city to pass such a bylaw. Doucet said this is a step forward for bilingualism. "It's something that will be very difficult for somebody, who is in good faith, to oppose this," Doucet said. "What the municipality has done is ensure that the linguistic image for this municipality transpires through its sign law. And I believe that the council now needs the support of the people of Dieppe to come forward and to congratulate what the council has done." Along with the public meeting on the bylaw that is planned for January, Dieppe city council is also seeking an opinion from the Greater Moncton Planning Commission on the bylaw.
  2. By Brendan Kelly, The Gazette November 5, 2009 7:02 PM Tammy Forsythe is a recipient of the Canada Council 2009 Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Awards. Photograph by: c/o Tammy Forsythe, MONTREAL - Several Montreal-based artists have won Canada Council for the Arts Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Awards. The winners include Montreal-based choreographer Tammy Forsythe, who founded her own company, Tusketdance, in 1996 and is currently working on Golpe, which will premiere in Montreal in May 2010. Also on the winners’ list is Montreal-based transdisciplinary duo 2boys.tv, which is made up of Stephen Lawson and Aaron Pollard. The award winners were announced yesterday. Other local winners include visual artist Adad Hannah, who works at the intersection of video, photography and performance. Another winner is novelist André Girard, whose next novel, Moscou Cosmos, is coming out in the spring of 2010. The awards were also given to Mohawk multimedia artist Jackson 2bears, Toronto saxophonist and composer Kirk MacDonald, and playwright, author and filmmaker Drew Hayden Taylor. The annual awards come with $15,000 each and are given to mid-career artists in different disciplines. Prizes were created with a bequest made by the late Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton. © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette http://www.montrealgazette.com/entertainment/Montreal+artists+Canada+Council+prizes/2189443/story.html
  3. Merci à MTLskyline sur SSP Developer’s third design for riverside condo project up for approval http://westislandgazette.com/news/st...-for-approval/ Cheryl Cornacchia | From The Gazette | June 25, 2013 Other News Preliminary approval has been granted to a Montreal developer who wants to build a condominium complex in Pierrefonds-Roxboro alongside the Maison Joseph Théorêt and facing Rivière des Prairies. At a special borough council meeting June 19, council unanimously adopted a draft bylaw to rezone three lots on Gouin Blvd. at Aumais St. so that the Vered Group could build a 115-unit, six-story condominium alongside the heritage home recognized by Montreal’s Conseil de Patrimoine. The draft bylaw is now expected to come up for a second vote at another special borough council meeting, August 5, at which point, if passed, the bylaw would pave the way for the project could to go forward, at least, in theory. On Tuesday, André Giguere said he and other neighbours of the proposed project plan to request the borough open a register that could in effect tie up, if not halt, the condo project entirely, should sufficient number of neighbours sign it and signal their opposition to the project. Johanne Palladini, a borough spokesperson said on Tuesday once a register is opened, area residents would be given a specified day to sign it. If the project is opposed by a certain percentage of area residents, determined by the number of electoral voters, Palladini said, the borough would be forced to hold a costly, borough-wide referendum on the project. http://westislandgazette.com/news/story/2013/06/17/developers-third-design-for-riverside-condo-project-up-for-approval/
  4. monctezuma

    Apple new HQ

    Foster’s Apple Headquarters Exceeds Budget by $2 Billion © Foster + Partners, ARUP, Kier + Wright, Apple The estimated cost of Apple’s Cupertino City headquarters has escalated from an already hefty price of $3 billion to $5 billion (more than $1,500 per square foot), reportedly pushing back the original completion date to 2016. According to Bloomberg, Apple is working with lead architect Foster & Partners to shave $1 billion from the “ballooning budget”. Most of the cost is seemly due to Steve Job’s “sky-high requirements for fit and finish”, as the tech legend called for the 2.8 million square foot, circular monolith to be clad 40-foot panes of German concave glass, along with its four-story office spaces be lined with museum-quality terrazzo floors and capped with polished concrete ceilings. Although lambasted for his ambitious plans and “doughnut-shaped” design, Steve Jobs wanted to create a masterpiece that looked as good as it functioned, just like his products. During a 2011 presentation to the Cupertino City Council, Jobs stated, “This is not the cheapest way to build something… there is not a straight piece of glass in this building.” He continued, “We have a shot… at building the best office building in the world. I really do think that architecture students will come here to see it.” © Foster + Partners, ARUP, Kier + Wright, Apple The spaceship-like headquarters, as Jobs would describe, is intended to accommodate more than 12,000 employees. It will be one of six visible structures planned for the 176 acre parcel - including the headquarters, a lobby to a 1000-seat underground auditorium, a four-story parking garage near Interstate 280, a corporate fitness center, a research facility and central plant - all of which will be accessed by a network of underground roads and parking lots, hidden by 6,000 trees. In addition, Jobs envisioned the campus to achieve “net-zero energy” by offsetting energy use with 700,000 square feet of rooftop solar panels (enough to generate 8 megawatts of power), along with additional contracts for solar and wind power, climate responsive window dressings, and more (additional project information, including plans and images, can be found here). © Foster + Partners, ARUP, Kier + Wright, Apple Despite the cost, Bloomberg states, “There’s no indication that Apple is getting cold feet.” Site excavation is planned to commence in June. In related news, Facebook’s quarter-mile-long West Campus by Frank Gehry was just awarded approval from city council. All the details here. Reference: Bloomberg
  5. C'est l'Abu Dhabi Investment Council qui met la main sur l'édifice de 77 étages qui a déjà été la plus haute tour du monde. Pour en lire plus...
  6. Lamest Excuse of the Week: Potholes as a "natural traffic calming measure" by Sam Abuelsamid on Apr 17th 2009 at 7:31PM Here in Michigan, we're used to hearing plenty of worthless excuses about the crap condition of our roads. However, this one takes the cake. A local council in Essex, England has deemed broken roads a "natural traffic calming measure." If you didn't catch that, "traffic calming" is a euphemism used by politicians when discussing measures to slow the traffic flow through an area. Generally, the "calming" involves taking active measures, such as installing speed bumps, round-abouts or narrowing the road. To our knowledge it's never been (openly) done by neglecting what most people would consider one of the duties of a government -- maintaining basic infrastructure. According to a councillor in Navestock, repairing roads just encourages people to drive faster. Of course, the counter argument involves safety. Leaving a road marked with craters causes drivers to swerve, as well as damaging suspension components and wheels. It also poses a hazard to motorcyclists and bike riders. Fortunately, the county council appears to be less short-sighted and plans to over-ride the local council and fix the roads. http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle.ASpx?AR=239565
  7. nephersir7

    Gare Kahnawake

    C'est passé sous le radar, mais depuis quelques temps, Kahnawake est en train de sonder l'intérêt pour la mise en service d'une nouvelle gare de la ligne Candiac sur son territoire. http://www.kahnawake.com/pr_text.asp?ID=2904 http://www.kahnawake.com/pr_text.asp?ID=2932 On sait que l'AMT avait déjà investi 100k$ pour une étude de concept entre 2010 et 2012 On peut donc imaginer que le projet pourrait se concrétiser quand le MTQ décidera finalement de s'occuper de son pont qui tombe en ruines.
  8. City, 'burbs broker pact 'A win-win scenario' Montreal gets more autonomy and new powers of taxation; island suburbs spared millions in shared costs; property owners to get single tax bill Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay leads Municipal Affairs Minister Nathalie Normandeau (left) and Westmount Mayor Karin Marks to a news conference at city hall. Two deals signed yesterday amend Bill 22, a bid to resolve a power feud between Montreal and the suburbs. LINDA GYULAI AND DAVID JOHNSTON, The Gazette Published: 6 hours ago Peace was declared yesterday by the municipalities of Montreal Island, and with it comes new tax powers, greater autonomy and special status for the city of Montreal. Mayor Gérald Tremblay, the mayors of the 15 island suburbs and prominent Quebec cabinet ministers announced they had brokered an accord to revamp the agglomeration council that manages island-wide services and has been a source of acrimony since the suburbs demerged from Montreal in 2006. Taxpayers in the suburbs would now receive one tax bill instead of two, while their cities and towns would regain control over maintenance of major roads in their areas and be spared millions of dollars in shared costs with Montreal. And, under a separate deal with Montreal, Quebec agrees to grant a long-standing wish of Tremblay and previous Montreal mayors for more clout and for the power to raise revenue through new forms of taxation. Both deals, signed at Montreal city hall yesterday, provide a package of amendments to Bill 22, legislation that was tabled in the National Assembly last year to resolve a power feud between Montreal and the suburbs. The amendments will be submitted to the National Assembly for a vote before the current session ends late next week. "In every step of this negotiation, we were looking for a win-win scenario," Municipal Affairs Minister Nathalie Normandeau said of the deals. "Today, we can say, 'Mission accomplished.' " Montreal acquires new power to tax assets and property in its territory and to claim royalties for use of resources. The deal also allows Montreal to walk away with $25 million a year in aid from the province starting in 2009, the power to unilaterally set the rate it charges for the "welcome tax" on property sales above $500,000 and a cheque of $9 million a year from the province to cover property tax on the Palais des congrès. The new, potentially sweeping tax power was inspired by the City of Toronto Act, Normandeau said. Using that legislation, Toronto is now creating a personal vehicle tax that it will begin charging car owners this fall. The Montreal deal would overhaul the governance of the downtown Ville Marie borough. It would also bestow status on the city as the metropolis of Quebec, which would be written into the city charter. As well, the deal would allow city council to centralize any borough responsibility in case of danger to health or safety by a majority vote for up to two years. And in response to criticism of the way the city bypassed its independent public-consultation office to approve the redevelopment of Griffintown this spring, the deal would extend the boroughs' power to initiate changes to the city's urban plan to the city council and require such changes to be sent to hearings by the public-consultation office. Tremblay refused to say what new taxes he would create. "We're not going to identify an additional source of taxation today," he said, adding that Toronto spent a year consulting businesses and groups before deciding what new taxes to create. http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/index.html
  9. Ce n'est peut-être pas la meilleure source sur le recyclage montréalais, mais bon, je suis tombé sur cet article qui décrivait la situation à travers le pays... Recycling rates vary greatly across nation Municipalities that make it easy for people to dispose of garbage have higher diversion rate Jul 16, 2007 04:30 AM Kristine Owram Canadian Press Statistics Canada says Canadians are recycling and composting more than ever before, but whether they compost their coffee grounds or recycle their milk cartons seems to have a lot to do with where they live. While cities like Montreal and Calgary struggle to divert even a third of their waste from landfills, others expect to be recycling or re-using up to 90 per cent of their solid waste within a few years. In Markham council has been working for years to find ways to divert as much waste as possible from landfills. Through a combination of public education and pilot projects, they've managed to reduce the amount of waste headed to the dump to just 30 per cent. Regional councillor Jack Heath, chairman of Markham's waste diversion committee, said the solution was simple: picking up recyclable and organic waste – blue boxes and green bins – twice as often as garbage. "If you want to throw your banana peels and your dirty diapers in the garbage, you can hang onto them for two weeks," Heath said. "Or, you can throw them in the green bin and we'll collect them every week." Heath said all it took to reach 70 per cent diversion – a rate Toronto, which currently sits at about 42 per cent, has set as a "long-term goal" – was a little political will. "People had some trepidation, but after a few weeks they said, `This isn't that difficult,'" he said. "It was the strong will of council to solve the problem that basically changed the system, and that's how we got to where we are." Statistics Canada's Households and the Environment Survey, released Friday, found the proportion of household waste recycled by Canadians increased from 19 per cent in 2000 to 27 per cent in 2004. The survey also found that 27 per cent of Canadian households composted in 2006, up from 23 per cent in 1994. In Edmonton, councillors brought the public on board by making it easy for them to recycle, said Garry Spotowski, a spokesperson for the city's waste management division. Edmonton has been a trailblazer in the field of waste diversion since 1988, when the city became one of the first in North America to introduce a blue-box recycling program. Many cities, including Ottawa and Vancouver, ask residents to separate paper from metals, plastics and glass. Most cities ask residents to throw organic waste in green bins, separate from the rest of their garbage. Edmonton residents, however, need only put recyclables in blue bags and the rest into garbage bags; the city takes care of all the sorting, Spotowski said. "Instead of going to a landfill, it goes to the Edmonton composting facility, where it's sorted and any material that doesn't compost is screened out," he said. "It's actually very simple. We emphasize convenience as much as possible." The city currently diverts about 60 per cent of its waste from the dump, but that figure is expected to reach 90 per cent within a few years once a new "gasification" facility opens to convert residual waste into gas for heating, transportation and producing electricity, said Spotowski. Larger cities like Toronto, however, are struggling to catch up. In 2002, Toronto's Keele Valley landfill site was closed and the city began shipping its garbage to Michigan for disposal. At that point, the city had a waste diversion rate of only about 25 per cent, said Geoff Rathbone, Toronto's director of solid waste programming. Since then, the city has introduced a green bin program, which it will extend to apartment buildings and other multi-family homes by next year. It also plans to introduce a new pay-as-you-toss system for garbage. All this will contribute to the city's 10-year plan to increase diversion to 70 per cent, Rathbone said. Halifax is close behind Edmonton with a diversion rate of 55 per cent. Although they ask residents to separate organics from recyclable containers from newspapers from garbage, they take a similar approach to ensure nothing gets left behind. "You know you'll never have 100 per cent compliance, meaning that hidden inside that black garbage bag, you'll still have some items that shouldn't be there," said Jim Bauld, manager of solid waste resources for the Halifax Regional Municipality. "So every bag is opened." http://www.thestar.com/News/article/236301
  10. s McGill University becoming the Donald Trump of higher education? First the school purchased the Renaissance Hotel on Park Ave. in 2003 to turn it into a dormitory, and now it’s apparently in the market to buy the Four Points Sheraton on Sherbrooke St. W., two blocks east of the downtown campus. Science student Billi Wun, vice-president of the First Year Council, told the students’ society newspaper The McGill Tribune this week that FYC president Sean Husband confirmed the news. Husband, whom Wun described as the liaison with the First Year Office, informed the council there are negotiations between McGill and the hotel. Spokespeople for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., parent company of the 196-room Four Points, didn’t return calls to headquarters in White Plains, N.Y. “McGill has a policy of not discussing real estate transactions in public,” university spokesman Doug Sweet said on Thursday. Maintaining that no-comment rule, the executive director of residences and student housing did acknowledge that McGill operates at a 97.5 per cent occupancy rate. “We’re generally full and over at the beginning of the year,” Michael Porritt said, referring to the approximately 2,800 mostly first-year students housed annually. Porritt said the former Renaissance Hotel that McGill transformed into a 700-bed dorm in the the fall of 2003 is regularly at 99 per cent occupancy. There is other off-campus housing at McGill-owned Selwyn Hall in St. Henri as well as property leased at the Presbyterian College on University St. and an apartment building on Ste. Catherine St. W. Jean Lortie, president of the Confédération des syndicats nationaux’s commercial wing that represents hotel workers, said he is skeptical about such a deal. A search by the union found no proof of a transaction or request with the city for a zoning change. Instead, he suggested it’s an employer pressure tactic to end a labour conflict at the Four Points – where about 90 workers have been on strike since last Aug. 25. Lortie recalled that when there was a walkout at the Hotel Omni Mont-Royal further west on Sherbrooke in 2005, “there were rumours it was being sold to McGill.” The university never disclosed what it paid for the Renaissance, but it did cash in a $150-million, 40-year bond for the acquisition. [email protected]
  11. Another day another poor article about our fair city. Montreal: the jobless capital of Canada Posted on 8/13/2015 10:56:00 PM by Andrew Brennan Inside CAE, which announced Wednesday it was cutting nearly 300 jobs from its flight-simulator facility. Montreal is the jobless capital of Canada, according to Statistics Canada figures. PHOTO: CTV MONTREAL Montreal was once Canada's commercial capital and is considered by many to be its cultural capital—but according to new Stats Can figures it is definitely the unemployment capital of Canada. The latest figures from Statistics Canada puts the jobless rate for metropolitan Montreal at 8.9 per cent, starkly higher than the national average of 6.8 per cent. Some attribute this to taxes. "In Montreal business tax rates are four times what you have in the residential sector, it's one of the highest in Quebec," Senior Vice-President of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business Martine Hébert told CTV News. Others point to demographics, with a metro population growing faster than the jobs can be created. "We want to reverse a little bit the mood right now that is more austerity to prosperity because we need to create an environment where people will feel that it's time to invest," President of Quebec's Council of Employers Yves-Thomas Dorval admitted. The council has other good news. According to the QCE, Quebec has actually created about 40,000 net jobs since the Couillard Liberals were elected. Over 20,000 jobs were created in Quebec last month, but high-paying careers such as in aerospace and engineering are still seeing huge layoffs. On Wednesday, CAE announced it was eliminating nearly 300 jobs from its flight-simulator facility. Other aerospace companies, like Bell Helicopter and Bombardier, have also laid off hundreds of Montreal workers in 2015.
  12. The whole blogosphere and media in Canada has said a lot of things about two mayoral elections in two of Canada's major cities the past month. Both of them had the guy expected to come in 3rd place, win the elections with a majority of votes, with high voter turnouts as well. Everyone was surprised because a "progressive", brown, unmarried and Muslim guy won the mayoralty in Calgary (of all places) and a "hyper-conservative" fat white guy won the mayoralty in Toronto, which just shatters everyone's stereotypes of both cities. Some say they should have happened the other way around But it seems that the "progressive" Mr. Nenshi is also quite respectful of the taxpayers, which is always very nice to hear of and would be most welcome in Montreal or any city. He has said he has "a lot in common" with Mr. Ford, and has been trying to find ways to cut spending in his city to reduce a planned property tax hike. So I liked this article: As for Rob Ford, I don't think he has actually become Mayor of Toronto yet or at least has done anything, except meet with all the elected councillors to get to know them. Who said things about "angry politics", he seems like he is actually trying to make the council work An interesting, contemporary TO article: This article about spending by TO city councillors is also illuminating: http://www.nationalpost.com/high+costs+council/3780393/story.html Some highlights: I don't think I even want to know what the books look like for Montreal's city council
  13. http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/09/06/whos-the-smartest/ Comment? Le gouvernement Harper ferait-il ce genre de coupes? Nooooooooooooonnnnn............
  14. Bachand attacks Feds over funding cut Don Macdonald, The Gazette Published: Wednesday, June 04 Quebec's economic development minister is on the warpath over federal funding cuts to about 60 non-profit organizations involved in economic development across the province. Raymond Bachand said he's been unable to persuade federal minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn to reconsider the cuts so now he's taking the battle public. Bachand said the policy will damage the province's economy and called for the intervention of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. "This is going to be a political fight," he said in an interview. "It's a bad policy of that minister. And, at the end of the day, it's a bad policy of the government if the prime minister does not intervene to change that policy, or change the minister." The federal agency is eliminating operating grants over three years to non-profit organizations across a wide swath of sectors including such groups as Montréal International, the Quebec Film and Television Council, Aéro Montreal, Institut National d'Optique and Fur Council of Canada, according to a list provided by Bachand's office. Bachand said the organizations play an important role in developing the economy. They bring companies, government and research centres around the same table and work together on common initiatives such as marketing campaigns and making international contacts, he said. The mininster calculated the cuts will total between $20 million and $30 million by the third year. "It doesn't make sense," Bachand said. "You need people do that job. It's part of the infrastructure...How do you make progress without having the specific players of an industry around the table and developing business plans?" A Blackburn aide said the economic development agency is eliminating its funding for operating budgets to redirect the money to assisting small and medium-sized businesses "that are in a position to actually create jobs." Pierre Miquelon, a senior adviser to Blackburn, said about 70 per cent of the agency's budget has been going to the non-profits and it's time for the companies in the different sectors to pony up more money to support the groups if they believe it's deserved. "Maybe it's time that the community pays for the operations of the non-profit in question," Miquelon said. "If the community will not provide the cash for operating costs why should the Canadian taxpayer do so?" He added the agency will continue to subsidize organizations for individual projects with "a beginning, a middle and an end." But Bachand suggested there's a political motive behind the cuts. "Politicians like to give money and have their picture in newspapers," he said. "And if you give money to Montréal International and these groups...you don't get your photo in the newspaper." Hans Fraiken, head of the Quebec Film and Television Council, said his organization, which promotes Quebec as a shooting location, has lost $400,000 in federal funding plus another $200,000 in municipal money that was contingent on it. Those cuts, on a $1.5 million budget, may force the closure of the two-year-old organization that Fraiken said brought $260 million in foreign capital to the province last year and generated $12 million to $14 million in federal revenue. Alan Herscovici, executive vice president of the Fur Council of Canada, said Blackburn's agency cut $50,000 in funding to promote the annual North American Fur and Fashion Exposition in Montreal to foreign buyers. Bachand's department ended up replacing the federal funding but Herscovici questioned the wisdom of the cuts for what is the largest fashion trade show in Canada. "We know that manufacturers are under siege with the rise of the Canadian dollar and the weakening U.S. economy," said Hersovici, who noted the Fur Council receives federal funding for other initiatives. "In supporting the show they support all the manufacturers. They don't have to pick winners and losers." "It's a small investment to help a lot of people." [email protected] http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/business/story.html?id=473e52e9-b789-4f48-9cee-b296c5b86cfe
  15. Scraping the Sky, and Then Some Renderings from left, Eka/Civicarts; Prnewsfoto, via Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Llp; Foster + Partners; John Portman & Associates; Dbox/Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, via Associated Press; Weber Shandwick, via Bloomberg News Among many new skyscrapers being planned are, from left, the Mubarak al-Kabir tower in Kuwait, Burj Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Russia Tower in Moscow, Incheon Tower in South Korea, the Freedom Tower in New York, and the Chicago Spire. By AMY CORTESE Published: June 15, 2008 THE world’s population is expected to climb to nine billion by the middle of the century, from six and a half billion today, according to the United Nations, and a staggering number of those people are likely to be living in big cities. A pressing question for developers and urban planners is how to accommodate the growing urban masses, especially in developing countries of Asia and Africa. But one point is clear: The skyscraper will play a central role. Nearly seven years after the collapse of the World Trade Center in New York portended a pullback from cloud-grazing construction, the world is in the midst of a huge wave of tall building construction, both in number and in size. Some 36 buildings rise more than 300 meters, or roughly 1,000 feet, the threshold generally used to define “supertall” buildings, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, a nonprofit organization based at the Illinois Institute of Technology. An additional 69 supertalls are under construction, the council estimates. Some of the most ambitious developments are in the petro-fueled economies of the Middle East and Russia. Among the most anticipated is the $1 billion Burj Dubai, a massive tower being developed by Emaar Properties in the United Arab Emirates. Although it is not yet complete, the tower has already surpassed the current record holder: Taipei 101 in Taiwan. The final height has been a closely guarded secret, though the Burj Dubai’s 160-plus floors and spire are expected to reach more than 2,600 feet into the sky when it is completed next year, nearly 1,000 feet more than Taipei 101, which was completed in 2004. To put it in perspective, that’s almost an entire Chrysler Building higher. Not to be outdone, the Saudi Arabian multibillionaire Prince al-Walid bin Talal recently unveiled plans for a mile-high tower near the Red Sea port of Jeddah that, if built, would be twice the height of the Burj Dubai. “It is the modern equivalent of New York in the 1920s,” said David Scott, a principal at Arup, an engineering firm, and the chairman of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. A three-part exhibition in Manhattan at the Skyscraper Museum — “Future City: 20|21” — explores this theme by comparing New York in the 1920s and ’30s, when audacious skyscrapers rose up and captured the public’s imagination, with its modern-day peers in Asia, namely Hong Kong and Shanghai. “New York Modern,” the first leg of the exhibit, concludes later this month, and will be followed by “Vertical Cities: Hong Kong|New York.” An examination of Shanghai is planned for next year. As the show suggests, the center of gravity today has shifted from North America and Europe to Asia and the Middle East, where supertalls are rising at a frenetic pace. (In Dubai, the construction crane is jokingly called the national bird.) Supertalls are also going up in countries like India, Kazakhstan and Brazil. The trend, said Carol Willis, an urban historian and director of the Skyscraper Museum, reflects the expanding economies of those regions and their desire to compete for international status and business. In contrast, she says that large developments in New York and other Western cities these days are likely to encounter public opposition — as evidenced by initial public reaction to Forrest City Ratner’s plan for the 22-acre Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, and Jean Nouvel’s soaring Midtown Manhattan tower, commissioned by Hines, an international real estate developer. And tighter credit in the United States has developers increasingly looking at emerging markets. “People are looking at where else they can put their money to work,” said Jeff Cushman, executive managing director of Cushman & Wakefield, the real estate services firm. The newest skyscrapers are breaking old molds. In the United States, the tallest buildings have tended to be office towers, but in Asia and the Middle East, the towers now going up are often residential or mixed-use buildings, with developers selling off residential units to generate cash flow. The new towers are also likely to be built from concrete or composite materials rather than traditional steel and to incorporate so-called green design features. In many cases, they serve as a focal point for larger-scale master plans. The Burj, for example, is at the center of a $20 billion, 500-acre development of downtown Dubai. Residential units in the Burj are selling for as high as $3,500 a square foot. The tower’s presence has already increased the value of nearby properties by as much as 60 percent, according to Emaar. To get a sense of the pace of change, the Council on Tall Buildings has projected what will be the tallest 20 buildings in 2020, measured by height from sidewalk to their architectural top. (Its researchers included only buildings that have developers and financing and have moved beyond the concept phase, but there is no certainty that they will be built, especially given the current economic downturn. The list does not include developments that are being planned but kept under wraps, like the Saudi mile-high tower.) Icons like the Empire State Building in New York and the Sears Tower in Chicago, which have long been enshrined among the tallest buildings in the world, are bumped from the list. The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, currently just behind Taipei 101, fall to 20th place. Only two towers in the United States make the list. At 2,000 feet and 150 stories, the Chicago Spire, a twisting residential tower designed by Santiago Calatrava that broke ground last summer, ranks sixth on the list. It is being developed by the Shelbourne Development Group, a developer based in Dublin that took over the project from Fordham Development. One World Trade Center in New York, also known as the Freedom Tower, from Silverstein Properties and designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, comes in at No. 11, at a symbolic 1,776 feet. By that time, the fruits of other urban-planning ideas may emerge. At the World Science Festival last month, a session titled “Future Cities” explored ideas like vertical urban farms growing local produce and zero-carbon mini cars that can nest like airport luggage carts when not in use. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/15/realestate/commercial/15sqft.html?_r=1&ref=world&oref=slogin
  16. Westmount building plans hush-hush Court testimony. Westmount neighbours battle over scenic view JAN RAVENSBERGEN, The Gazette Published: 6 hours ago Anytime a Westmount homeowner wants to renovate part of a building or add an extension, their plans are considered confidential - and not the business of any of their neighbours. That's longtime Westmount policy, architect Julia Gersovitz, chairperson since 2001 of the municipality's powerful planning advisory committee, testified in Quebec Superior Court yesterday. Other than Westmount urban-planning staff, city councillors and the mayor, "we at the (advisory committee) do not discuss the cases that are brought to us with anyone because it seems to us that would be a breach of confidentiality," Gersovitz told Justice Robert Mongeon. Two other architects and city councillor Cynthia Lulham sit with Gersovitz on the committee, which she told the court operates by consensus, never takes votes and is responsible for vetting all proposed building-exterior work that requires a municipal permit. Gersovitz is a historic-preservation specialist who is a longtime board member of Heritage Montreal, a practising architect and an auxiliary professor of design at McGill University. A green light her committee gave last March to homeowner Steven Goldberg to add another storey to his home at 27 Bellevue Ave., near the top of Mount Royal, did not require any consultation with nearby homeowners whose panoramic views of Montreal, the St. Lawrence River and the Montérégie vista would be affected, Gersovitz testified. "We have no mechanism for that," she told the court. In a case that has aroused considerable interest, Mongeon has been asked by Mireille Raymond, of 20 Sunnyside Ave., to quash Goldberg's permit. A higher roofline, Raymond contends, would substantially destroy her south-facing view of the city and environs. Hearings on the case continue today. In a related development, at an 8 a.m. council meeting yesterday, councillors Nicole Forbes and John de Castell reversed positions they'd taken Aug. 25 - and voted in favour of a modified version of the permit for Goldberg which would allow him his extra storey. The council vote was 5-2 in favour. On Aug. 25, a similar motion had been defeated 4-3. While de Castell complained about missing information earlier in the Goldberg permit process, he told council that "from everything that I've learned in this file, it (the Goldberg permit) appears to be legal." [email protected]
  17. Quebec City seeks to ban billboards Ontario's top court overturns similar bid MARIANNE WHITE, Canwest News Service Published: 13 hours ago For many Canadians, roadside billboards are part of everyday life. But historic Quebec City wants to make them a thing of the past. The municipality said this week it is moving ahead with a plan to ban all billboards across the 400-year-old city, just as Ontario's top court overturned Oakville's attempt to restrict their use. Oakville's city council has been fighting for years to keep billboards out of its community and the recent ruling dealt a major blow to their attempt. The Ontario Court of Appeal found Monday that the bylaw was an unreasonable "intrusion" on freedom of expression and sent Oakville back to the drawing board. But that decision isn't stopping Quebec City council. "We are aware of the situation, but we are sticking to our position," spokesman François Moisan said. "People come to Quebec City because it's beautiful and we want to make it even more beautiful." The city celebrated the 400th anniversary of its founding this year. Quebec is the latest Canadian city to move to restrict billboards. Vancouver has banned large signs on rooftops while some Ottawa city councillors are asking for the power to veto billboards in their wards. Last year, one of the world's most populous cities, Sao Paulo, Brazil, unplugged its neon signs and banned all types of outdoor advertising. But taking down billboards isn't always easy. The case of Oakville has been a long-running legal battle between the city and a billboard firm and it took Vancouver 10 years to finally be able to get rid of its some 300 billboards. Oakville councillor Tom Adams, who has worked on drafting the billboard bylaw, said other Canadian cities are going to benefit from his city carrying the banner on this issue. "This battle is not over yet and other municipalities will obviously be interested in the outcome," Adams said. Rawi Tabello, who runs the Toronto-based website illegalsigns.ca, which keeps track of sign wars, said advertising firms are eager to put up a fight. "Advertisers are getting desperate to attract people because now you don't have to watch ads on TV. So billboards are proliferating because you have no choice but to look at them," he added.
  18. Westmount needs you! With this mailing, we are appealing to your civic duty. We need your input on the most important project the City of Westmount has put forward in its long history: the rebuilding of the Westmount arena and pool. Council would like to proceed with this project, but only if a majority of taxpayers is behind it. It is your money, after all, that will help pay for it. I shall not pretend that the history of this rebuilding project so far has been a smooth one. Mind you, nor was the struggle to restore and expand the Westmount Library in the 1990s, but it was a project most citizens became very proud of. Your Council feels this same success can be repeated with the arena/pool project. But only if it is a rallying point and not a focus of division and rancour. There were two separate designs suggested for the arena/pool project by the previous Council during 2009. A great deal of work went into these proposals, but they received mixed reviews in a series of public meetings. The whole of Westmount, however, was never canvassed. The new Council, since its election in November 2009, has been working on ways to address the objections raised by citizens to the prior proposals. Objectors fell into two broad camps: people in the neighbourhood saw the new arena as a massive intrusion, a wall 30 feet high by 500 feet long from St Catherine Street to de Maisonneuve, jutting into Westmount Park; meanwhile, the pool itself ate up precious green space. For the rest of Westmount, concerns had more to do with the cost: do we really need to go from one-and-one-half to two rinks? Why can’t we just fix up the existing arena? Others felt we needed an indoor pool more than a replication of our current sports mix. The cost concerns were substantially mitigated by the crowning achievement of my predecessor Mayor Karin Marks: she managed, by dint of incredible perseverance - and the help of Jacques Chagnon, our local MNA - to get $20 million of infrastructure grants for the project. It is Canada’s and Quebec’s contribution that allows us to build a $37 million arena/pool complex that will cost Westmounters $17 million. In fact, the cost to taxpayers will probably be closer to $12 million, thanks to contributions from Westmount schools, foundations, and private donors. This cost translates into an additional $200 a year in taxes for the average single-family dwelling. What about the neighbours and the sheer bulk of the arena? Well, if we had to describe the essence of our city, we would surely be torn between invoking Westmount’s unique architectural heritage and Westmount’s prized greenspace. This Council wants a project that respects both. We want the park to win the battle between it and the arena. We do not wish to plunk a massive piece of architecture down in an established greenspace. So we have gone underground. Council’s plan is to bury the ice rinks, putting tennis courts and grass on top of them - creating the ultimate green roof. Skylights will bring in natural light. Only the entrance pavilion and Teen Centre will be above-ground. more pics and full desc. http://www.westmount.org/pdf_files/ArenaPool_Proposal.pdf
  19. Madrid installing nitrogen-oxide capturing asphalt Posted Aug 12th 2008 at 4:03PM by Xavier Navarro Filed under: Etc., European Union Cities get some face lifts during summer months, when traffic is lower and most of its dwellers escape for vacations. Such is the case of Spain's capital city Madrid, which is renewing some of the asphalt on its streets with a bituminous mix called noxer that includes titanium oxide. This substance is claimed to capture the nitrogen oxides (NOx) at diesel pumps and catalyzes and stores the resulting less-polluting oxides until they're washed away by rainwater. It uses solar radiation to work and Madrid city council claims that it can capture up to 90 percent of these oxides on a sunny day. Additionally, the city is installing asphalt which used recycled tires on one of the city's main entries to reduce noise pollution. [source: Europa Press] Tags: asphalt, madrid, nox-capture, noxar, spain, titanium oxide, titanium-oxide, TitaniumOxide Source http://www.ecoticias.com/20080808-madrid-es-la-primera-ciudad-espanola-que-emplea-un-tipo-de-asfalto-que-absorbe-la-contaminacion-de-los-tubos-de-escape.html