Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'planners'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Real estate projects
    • Proposals
    • Going up
    • Completed
    • Mass Transit
    • Infrastructures
    • Cultural, entertainment and sport projects
    • Cancelled projects
  • General topics
    • City planning and architecture
    • Economy discussions
    • Technology, video games and gadgets
    • Urban tech
    • General discussions
    • Entertainment, food and culture
    • Current events
    • Off Topic
  • MTLYUL Aviation
    • General discussion
    • Spotting at YUL
  • Here and abroad
    • City of Québec
    • Around the province of Québec.
    • Toronto and the rest of Canada
    • USA
    • Europe
    • Projects elsewhere in the world
  • Photography and videos
    • Urban photography
    • Other pictures
    • Old pictures

Calendars

There are no results to display.

There are no results to display.

Blogs

There are no results to display.

There are no results to display.


Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


About Me


Biography


Location


Interests


Occupation


Type of dwelling

Found 8 results

  1. http://www.icisource.ca/commercial_real_estate_news/ When NIMBYism is warranted, and when it isn’t Of course, the question is whether a proposed development, infill project or new infrastructure build really does pose a risk to these cherished things. Developers and urban planners must always be cognizant of the fact that there is a segment of the population, a fringe element, who will object to just about anything “new” as a matter of principle. I’ve been to many open houses and public consultations for one proposed project or another over the years. There is almost always that contingent of dogged objectors who invariably fixate on the same things: Parking – Will there be enough if the development increases the population density of the neighbourhood or draws more shoppers/workers from elsewhere? Traffic – Will streets become unsafe and congested due to more cars on the road? Transit – Will this mean more busses on the road, increasing the safety hazard on residential streets, or conversely will there be a need for more? Shadowing – is the new build going to leave parts of the neighbourhood stuck in the shade of a skyscraper? These are all legitimate concerns, depending on the nature of the project in question. They are also easy targets for the activist obstructionist. Full and honest disclosure is the best defence Why? Because I see, time and again, some developers and urban planners who should know better fail to be prepared for objections rooted on any of these points. With any new development or infrastructure project, there has to be, as a simple matter of sound public policy, studies that examine and seek to mitigate impacts and effects related to parking, traffic, shadowing, transit and other considerations. It therefore only makes sense, during a public consult or open house, to address the most likely opposition head on by presenting the findings and recommendations of these studies up front in a clear and obvious manner. But too often, this isn’t done. I’ve was at an open house a few years ago where, when asked about traffic impact, the developer said there wouldn’t be any. Excuse me? If your project adds even one car to the street, there’s an impact. I expect he meant there would be only minimal impact, but that’s not what he said. The obstructionists had a field day with that – another greedy developer, trying to pull the wool over the eyes of honest residents. This is a marketing exercise – treat it like one This is ultimately a marketing exercise – you have to sell residents on the value and need of the development. Take another example – a retirement residence. With an aging population, we are obviously going to need more assisted living facilities in the years to come. But in this case, the developer, speaking to an audience full of grey hairs, didn’t even make the point that the new residence would give people a quality assisted-living option, without having to leave their community, when they were no longer able to live on their own. I also hear people who object to infill projects because they think their tax dollars have paid for infrastructure that a developer is now going to take advantage of – they think the developer is somehow getting a free ride. And yet, that developer must pay development charges to the city to proceed with construction. The new build will also pay its full utility costs and property taxes like the rest of the street. City hall gets more revenue for infrastructure that has already been paid for, and these additional development charges fund municipal projects throughout the city. Another point, often overlooked – when you take an underperforming property and redevelop it, its assessed value goes up, and its tax bill goes up. The local assessment base has just grown. City hall isn’t in the business of making a profit, just collecting enough property tax to cover the bills. The more properties there are in your neighbourhood, the further that tax burden is spread. In other words, that infill project will give everyone else a marginal reduction on their tax bill. It likely isn’t much, but still, it’s something. Developers must use the facts to defuse criticism Bottom line, development is necessary and good most of the time. If we didn’t have good regulated development, we would be living in horrid medieval conditions. Over the last century and a bit, ever growing regulation have given us safer communities, with more reliable utilities and key services such as policing and fire. Yes, there are examples of bad development, but if we had none, as some people seem to want, no one would have a decent place to live. It just astonishes me that developers and urban planners don’t make better use of the facts available to them to defuse criticism. It’s so easy to do it in the right way. Proper preparation for new development public information sessions is the proponent’s one opportunity to tell their story, and should not be wasted by failing to get the facts out and explaining why a project is a good idea. To discuss this or any other valuation topic in the context of your property, please contact me at [email protected] I am also interested in your feedback and suggestions for future articles. The post Why do public planning projects go off the rails? appeared first on Real Estate News Exchange (RENX). sent via Tapatalk
  2. Condos, costs squeeze Vancouver office space DAVID EBNER From Monday's Globe and Mail June 29, 2008 at 10:33 PM EDT VANCOUVER — The numbers, at first glance, couldn't look better for a commercial real estate developer. On the small peninsula that constitutes downtown Vancouver, there's barely any available office space. The 2.6-per-cent vacancy rate ranks as the lowest of any city core in North America. And rents are soaring, with the cost of prime office space jumping 25 per cent in just one year to more than $34 per square foot. Yet hardly any new commercial space is being built. Just 130,000 square feet is under construction in downtown Vancouver, which would add less than 1 per cent to what exists. It's a fraction of what's happening elsewhere: Calgary's downtown is expanding by 5.6 million square feet, or 17 per cent, and Toronto is growing by 3.8 million square feet, or 5 per cent. Construction costs have risen far faster than rents, driven by a Western Canadian construction boom that has made labour scarce and expensive, and the climbing cost of materials such as steel. Vancouver developers say they just can't make the numbers add up for new projects. In Calgary, for example, the energy boom allows developers to charge $45 a square foot, a third more than they can get in the Vancouver market. “It takes a lot of nerve to build today,” said Don Vassos, a senior vice-president at real estate services firm CB Richard Ellis Ltd. who opened the company's Vancouver office 24 years ago. Since then, the downtown has gone through a transformation that helped produce the current shortage of commercial space. It's a trend the city now hopes to reverse. In the 1980s and 1990s, planners and politicians set about creating the Vancouver that currently exists, one consistently on best-places-to-live lists. Under the rubric of “living first,” the city heavily promoted residential development downtown, pushing the population on the peninsula to 90,000, more than double the 40,000 or so in the mid-1980s. But the dozens of residential condominiums have begun to squeeze the commercial core. Four years ago, alarm bells started going off for planners when Duke Energy sold the landmark Westcoast Transmission building for a condo conversion. That provoked the city to impose a temporary halt on such changes in the central business district. With developers predicting that Vancouver will run out of space to build new commercial buildings in the next 20 years, city council is poised to encourage construction of more office space. In July, it will consider a series of proposals from planners that include an expanded central business district, tighter rules on condo conversions and proposals to allow taller towers with more density. Until things change, however, businesses will continue to feel the squeeze. Part of the problem, developers say, is that condos are far more profitable than commercial space because residential buyers are willing to pay large premiums for benefits such as views of the ocean and mountains. And unlike Calgary and Toronto, where large corporations drive demand for many storeys of commercial space, the typical Vancouver tenant is more likely to be a law firm or upstart technology company requiring far less space. Developers have to sign on many more tenants to make a project work instead of landing one big name. Some Vancouver developers say the city has to take measures to encourage new commercial buildings that go beyond the proposals city planners have put together. “They need to address costs,” said Tony Astles, executive vice-president for B.C. at Bentall Real Estate. “And they need to address the length of time it takes to go through the whole process, from zoning to approvals. “It's a clogged-up system. Right now, it's very difficult to rationalize a high-rise office tower in downtown Vancouver. The costs of construction have risen so fast that rents – even though they're at their all-time high – haven't kept up.” http://www.reportonbusiness.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080629.wrdowntown30/BNStory/Business/home
  3. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/06/nyregion/06broadway.html?_r=2&ref=michael_m_grynbaum&pagewanted=all Ceux qui n'aiment pas les "piétonisations" à Mtl devront s'y faire. C'est un mouvement de fond, et généralisé.....
  4. http://www.montrealgazette.com/Canada+driversdeserve+Roads+Czar/4434450/story.html I am not thinking highly of a federal office to solve problems. That said, the monies recieved from at least the federal gasoline and diesel excise tax & GST on gasoline should be invested in roads and highways and not the BS black hole it goes into currently (notwithstanding various federal-aid highway projects which seem to be common, like A-30, A-85, Montreal bridges, Calgary & Edmonton ring roads, NB Route 2 etc, the total investment is still much less than the excise revenues).
  5. http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/montreal-re-imagined/montreal-reimagined-cityscape-is-more-than-only-a-view The Montreal Re-Imagined section is presented by Concordia University Concordia University Montreal Reimagined: Cityscape is more than only a view MONTREAL, QUE.: April 02, 2015 -- Logo staff mugshot / headshot of Luca Barone in Montreal Thursday April 02, 2015. LUCA BARONE, SPECIAL TO MONTREAL GAZETTE Until I graduated, my daily hike up to McGill’s Faculty of Law on the corner of Peel St. and Dr. Penfield Ave. began at the corner of de Maisonneuve Blvd. W., where I would emerge into daylight from the métro station. Ascending into the world from the underground takes a little readjusting: you look around to get your bearings, check the weather, and let your eyes readjust to the sunlight. I was never afforded much to look at until I began walking north up Peel and glimpsed the mountain. The east-west view along de Maisonneuve is disappointing. Look left or right and the view is the same: dark towers pockmarked with windows rise up on the horizon. When a building obstructs a view down a street and becomes the focal point of what you see, it is known as a terminated vista. They can be a blessing and a curse. They also can help create a sense of destination and diversity in a city and can be manipulated to highlight significant landmarks. The view of McGill’s campus against the backdrop of Mount Royal from McGill College Ave. is one of Montreal’s iconic landscapes. Looking south down St. Urbain St., the view of the Art Deco waterfall of the Aldred Building on Place d’Armes is another example of a successful blocked view that beckons rather than repulses, as is the view of the dome of the Hôtel-Dieu looking north along Ste-Famille. These landmarks create a sense of place and they are symbols of our city. But look south down Parc Ave. toward Place du Parc (the Air Transat building) and the view is hardly inspiring. When the view down a street ends in a blank tower, the terminated vista does not help create a more livable city. Not every building should be monumental or iconic, but any urban building should make you want to walk toward it rather than avert your eyes. Downtown towers should be built because they have many virtues, from proximity to public transit to the lower environmental effect of higher population density, but we should not ignore how these buildings relate to their surroundings. Uniformity should not be the goal, either: a building should not have to look exactly like its neighbours, but it should complement them. Without exaggerating the importance of the look and shape of buildings, Montrealers deserve more than what we’re getting from urban planners, architects and real estate developers. We should trudge out of the métro and be delighted by what we see. In a city full of talented architects, much of the blame for uninspired buildings lies with real estate developers who don’t hire local talent, and city councillors and urban planners who give construction permits without paying sufficient attention to buildings’ visual impact. The Louis-Bohème building on the corner of Bleury and de Maisonneuve is an example of a building that succeeds on many levels. Its apartments make the best use of the land by increasing the density of residents in the area. It also has underground parking and shops at ground level, from where you can also access the Place-des-Arts métro station. In many ways, the building represents exactly the kind of development Montreal needs. But it fails as an element of the urban landscape. When you see it rising above Parc or de Maisonneuve, the view of its charcoal concrete panels leaves you unmoved at best and intimidated at worst. In a city that suffers from interminable winters exacerbated by short days and little sunlight, buildings clad in light-absorbing, dark materials are not merely ugly — they should be considered a public health concern. One way to improve urban design would be to develop a sustainable local architecture that is responsive to our climate. Initiatives like the Quartier des Spectacles’ Luminothérapie winter light installations are a great start, but the city should take a more active role in promoting architecture that makes long winters more bearable. For example, Edmonton has issued specific winter design guidelines that promote architectural features that block wind, maximize sunlight, and enliven the cityscape as part of its “WinterCity Strategy.” It is not easy for a building to enrich its surroundings while responding to the demands of a city and its inhabitants, the climate and the economy. But our buildings speak eloquently about who we are and what we value. We have to live with them for decades, if not centuries. It’s worth getting them right sent via Tapatalk
  6. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/how-cities-grow-up-is-in/article1571442/
  7. Un article, qui, je le sent, fera plaisir à Malek Should Downtown Crossing be reopened to traffic? Would car traffic bring back the crowds? Boston Globe, by Michael Levenson, Globe Staff | March 1, 2009 Downtown Crossing's problems have been well-documented: Crime has spawned fear, heightened by a stabbing and shooting in the midst of a bustling afternoon. Shops that once thrived next to Jordan Marsh and Filene's have shuttered, leaving empty storefronts cheek-by-jowl with pushcarts, discount jewelry stalls, and gaping construction sites. Sidewalks that teem with rowdy teenagers and office workers by day lie empty and forbidding at night. For years, city planners have been promising to restore the area to its former grandeur and make it a major urban destination. But as they have attempted solution after solution without success, they have never tried one idea: reopening the streets to traffic. Indeed, Downtown Crossing remains one of the last vestiges of a largely discredited idea, the Ameri can pedestrian mall, which municipal planners once believed would help cities compete with proliferating suburban malls. In the 1970s, at least 220 cities closed downtown thoroughfares, paved them with bricks or cobbles and waited for them to take hold as urban destinations. Since then, all but about two dozen have reopened the malls to traffic, as planners, developers, and municipal officials came to believe that the lack of cars had an effect opposite of what they had intended, driving away shoppers, stifling businesses, and making streets at night seem barren and forlorn. "Pedestrian malls never delivered the type of foot traffic and vitality they had expected," said Doug Loescher, director of The Main Street Center at The National Trust for Historic Preservation. "The sense of movement that a combination of transit modes provides - whether on foot or in car - really does make a difference," he said. "People feel safer, because there's some kind of movement through the district, other than a lone pedestrian at night. It just creates a sense of energy that makes people feel more comfortable and makes the district more appealing." Boston planners are against opening up Downtown Crossing, but as the district suffers the exodus of anchor businesses and a deepening malaise has settled in, some shop owners long for the energy, ease, and excitement they remember before Downtown Crossing closed to most traffic in 1978. "There was a constant flow of cars, stopping and going; it was very active, very busy, like a typical city street," said Steve Centamore, co-owner since 1965 of Bromfield Camera Co., on Bromfield Street, part of which is open only to commercial traffic. "There were people coming and going. It didn't seem to impede any pedestrians. It was a lot busier. People could just pull up and get what they needed. Now, it takes an act of Congress to even get through here." Pellegrino Bondanza, 72, who has sold vegetables in Downtown Crossing since he was a boy, said the pedestrian mall "didn't work out well." He hopes the city will reopen it to traffic. "Maybe it would bring some of the action back in town," he said. "I remember as a kid, I tried to squeeze in with a pushcart and, if I could locate at a corner, I could sell what I had in an hour and make a good living there. You had to be a little careful crossing the streets and everything, but don't forget the cars went slow when they were going up them streets there. There was no fast driving." Boston officials say they considered reopening Downtown Crossing to traffic and, in 2006, hired a team of consultants from London, Toronto, Berkeley, Calif., and Boston to study the idea. The consultants concluded that the mall should stay because the estimated 230,000 people who walk through Downtown Crossing every day should be enough to keep the place lively and economically vital. "What we heard from them pretty loudly was, 'Not just yet. Make it work. Give it your best effort,' " said Andrew Grace, senior planner and urban designer at the Boston Redevelopment Authority. "Lots of cities throughout the world make these districts work. The historic centers in most European cities function, and they thrive." Kristen Keefe, retail sector manager of the BRA, warned that bringing back traffic could squeeze out pedestrians who, she said, already contend with crowded sidewalks. "We just think these two things are in conflict," she said. Boston built its pedestrian mall after a study showed that six times more pedestrians than cars traveled down Washington Street - in front of what was then Filene's and Jordan Marsh - "so the impetus was to reassert the balance for pedestrians a little bit and improve the safety and amenities for pedestrians," said Jane Howard, who helped design the mall for the BRA and is now a planner in a private firm. It was a time when malls were being built across the country. Some are still considered successful - in Burlington, Vt., and Charlottesville, Va., for example. And New York City is experimenting with blocking traffic on Broadway through Times and Herald squares to create pedestrian-only zones. But those are the exceptions. Chicago, which turned downtown State Street into a pedestrian mall in 1979, reopened it to traffic in 1996, convinced that the mall had worsened the area's economic slump and left the street deserted and dangerous. Eugene, Ore., scrapped its mall in 1997, frustrated that "people went around downtown instead of through it," said Mayor Kitty Piercy. Tampa got rid of its mall in 2001 because it "didn't bring back any retail," as the city had hoped, said Christine M. Burdick president of Tampa Downtown Partnership. Buffalo, which has trolley service on its mall on Main Street, is currently reintroducing cars after finding that shoppers avoided stores that were cut off from traffic. "It takes a leap of faith to go somewhere nearby, pay to park, and then walk to someplace you haven't been yet," said Deborah Chernoff, Buffalo's planning director. "All the cities are dealing with the reality of how people actually behave." Downtown Crossing is not even a full pedestrian mall. Because Washington Street, its main thoroughfare, is open to commercial traffic, pedestrians mostly stick to the sidewalks, avoiding the cabs and police cruisers that often ply the route. After dark on a recent weeknight, just after 8:30 p.m., Downtown Crossing resembled a film noir scene, its deserted rain-slick streets glistening with the reflections of neon signs from a shuttered liquor store and a discount jewelry shop. The few pedestrians who hurried by were mostly teenagers and office workers descending into the subway or headed to the bustle on Tremont Street. They walked purposefully, scurrying past darkened store after darkened store with metal gates pulled shut. The only cars were a police cruiser that rumbled past, an idling garbage truck, and the occassional taxi. Yet some say the mall should stay. The developer Ronald M. Druker, who owns buildings on Washington Street, said he has "vivid memories of the conflict between cars and pedestrians," before the mall was built. "If you insinuated cars and trucks on a normal basis into that area, it would not enliven it," he said. "It would create the same problems that it created 30 years ago when we got rid of them." But others, particularly the shop owners struggling to survive the recession say they are eager to try just about anything that would bring back business. "Downtown Crossing definitely needs something - that's for sure," said Harry Gigian owner since 1970 of Harry Gigian Co. jewelers on Washington Street, which has seen a sharp dropoff in sales. "Nobody comes downtown anymore." De mon côté, j'adore les rues piétonnières européennes. Par contre, dans la plupart des cas, plusieurs des éléments qui font leur succès là bas ne sont pas réunis de ce côté ci de l'Altantique: - Bien qu'animées à certains moments de la journée ou de l'année, nos rues principales sont plutôt tranquilles la majorité du temps (les matins, les journées froides d'hiver, etc) - la présence d'itinérants, plus nombreux ici - il n'y a pas de "point focal", de destinations, ou point d'attraction majeure à chaque bout de nos rues qui ont le potentiel de devenir piétonnières. Par contre, il est très agréable de se promener dans la foule, l'été, sur une rue sans traffic automobile. Un compromis: avoir des rues piétonnières temporaires? par exemple, fermer Ste-Catherine les vendredis, samedis et dimanches de l'été, de midi à minuit? Bon, on ouvre les lignes! Les amateurs d'urbanisme, bonjour!