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  1. Nom: 30 St-Jacques Hauteur (étages): 11 étages Hauteur (mètres): TBD Coût du projet: TBD Promoteur: Dev McGill Emplacement Début de construction: TBD Site internet: http://www.devmcgill.com/fr/30-st-jacques-place-d-armes Infos:Cette magnifique image panoramique de la Place d’Armes n’est pas un montage, c’est la réalité et vous pourriez un jour habiter tout juste à côté… Nous sommes fiers de vous annoncer que le promoteur DevMcGill et ses partenaires ont remporté un concours public de la Ville de Montréal leur permettant de donner vie à un nouveau projet de condominiums très attendu, le 30 St-Jacques. Situé sur l’un des très rares terrains vacants et développables du Vieux-Montréal, le 30 St-Jacques est voisin de la Place d’Armes, un secteur qui figure parmi les plus remarquables en Amérique du Nord grâce à son architecture. Environ 150 nouvelles résidences, dotées de commodités enviables, sont prévues sur ce site convoité depuis des années par de nombreux promoteurs. À un coin de rue de la station de Métro Place d’Armes et d’un accès à la ville souterraine de Montréal (RÉSO), les futurs résidents de cette copropriété pourront se rendre sans voiture et à l’abri des intempéries, à des milliers de commerces, services et entreprises. Il s’agit là d’un des rares développements de condominiums de Montréal à s’être vu accorder une note parfaite, soit de 100 %, sur le site Web indépendant « WalkScore.com ». Ce dernier compare l’arrondissement à un réel paradis pour le piéton.
  2. http://www.wintercities.com/ On Facebook https://www.facebook.com/WinterCitiesInstitute Those who live and work in northern cities recognize the need for better planning and design. The sustainability of winter cities requires a creative approach that addresses the problems of snow and cold while enhancing the advantages, opportunities and beauty of the winter season. A positive approach benefits the attitudes of residents, and bolsters the community’s ability to attract new business and residents. The Winter Cities Institute was organized in 2008 to identify, promote and share the positive attributes of winter living, new concepts in architecture and urban design, and success stories from those places that are thriving in the north. The Institute was founded by Patrick Coleman, AICP, recognized for his work with the Livable Winter Cities Association (WCA). From 1982-2005, the WCA organized conferences, published books and the quarterly magazine “Winter Cities”. A totally volunteer staff made the WCA difficult to sustain and in the end it struggled with its mission. As Coleman incorporated winter enhancement strategies in his planning practice with multi-disciplinary design firms in Alaska and northern Michigan, he found enthusiastic reception to the idea of making winter a better time of year. “People are looking for answers to common winter problems and issues”, he said. “I experienced firsthand and heard from many the need for a source of information, networking and resources, and decided to launch the Institute as a web-based network and resource sharing project”. The Winter Cites Institute offers a place for those looking to improve the quality of life in wintertime and need information on what is being done in other northern places. Our members are from around the world and include: cities and towns architects planners engineers parks and recreation professionals economic development and tourism officials Welcome to the resources available on this site and consider joining the network to get even more benefits.
  3. Middle-class communities disappearing Big increase in poor neighbourhoods in Toronto and more rich districts, according to U of T study February 08, 2009 Daniel Dale STAFF REPORTER "PRIMO PIZZA," the sign reads. "SINCE 1965." Like the store's walls, it is green and white and red, the colours of the Italian flag, and, on the left, there is a cartoonishly mustachioed man carrying a pepperoni pie above his head. This could be any Italian-owned pizza joint in the city. It was indeed Italian-owned until last year. Then a man named Rocky sold it to a man named Abdul. Abdul Malik, a 43-year-old Indian immigrant, kept its name and its oven and its sauce and its dough. He made just one addition to the top right corner of the sign, easy to miss if you're darting in from the cold, above the shop's phone number. "Halal 100%." "Some people, when they see the sign `halal,' they don't come," said Malik, who also drives a taxi. "We're losing some customers. But we're gaining other types of customers." The neighbourhood known to Statistics Canada as Census Tract 354 is changing. A community of 1950s red-brick bungalows, sturdy front-lawn maple trees and long, narrow driveways, it seems the very embodiment of white middle-class suburban Canadiana. But like the rest of Scarborough, it is decreasingly white. And by University of Toronto Professor David Hulchanski's definition, it is no longer middle-class. Later this year, Hulchanski – associate director for research at the U of T's Cities Centre – and a team of researchers will release an update of their 2007 report The Three Cities within Toronto. Their new analysis of data from the 2006 census confirms a trend they found in the first study: the income gap between Toronto's rich areas and poor areas is growing, while its middle-income neighbourhoods are disappearing. Hulchanski's findings, in aggregate, are dramatic. At the micro-level of this individual neighbourhood, however, the impact of relative economic decline is not unlike Malik's change to the pizza shop's sign. Significant, certainly, but subtle. Between 1995 and 2005, the 5,225-person census district, roughly bordered by Lawrence Ave. E. to the north, Knob Hill Park to the south, Brimley Rd. to the west and McCowan Park to the east, gained 1,020 members of visible minority groups. They now comprise more than 55 per cent of the population, up from about a third in the 1990s. Most of the newcomers came to Canada this decade or last from South Asian countries – predominantly India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Like recent immigrants of all types, many of them struggle to make an adequate living. The area's average individual income in 2006 – $29,929 – was 25 per cent lower than the average for Toronto census districts: $40,074. Hulchanski classifies areas 20 per cent or more below the city-wide average as low-income; according to him, this area has been low-income since at least 2000. Yet ask long-time white residents to classify their neighbourhood and they will inevitably call it middle-class. Ask them to describe recent demographic changes and they will think for a moment, then point down the street to a house an Indian family bought from a British couple, or around the corner to another now owned by Sri Lankans. "When we moved in almost 30 years ago – we moved in '79 – there were more Anglo-Saxon people," said Filomena Polidoro, 53. "Now there are more ethnic people. It's more mixed. And it's nice, still nice. We like it." The old-timers' shrugs about its low-income status reflect a key caveat to the discussion of the disappearance of the city's middle-class census tracts: to fall from "middle-income" to "low-income," in relative terms, a neighbourhood need not get significantly poorer. Since the city's high-income neighbourhoods are getting richer, a middle-class neighbourhood that maintains its income level will be relatively poorer. The influx of South Asians has not made this one destitute; it remains largely populated, said Polidoro, by people who work as teachers, nurses, and factory and construction workers, among other unpretentious jobs. But the new arrivals contributed to a decline of about $1,000 in the neighbourhood's inflation-adjusted average individual income between 2000 and 2005. Two local real estate agents said about 70 per cent of people now inquiring about houses in the neighbourhood are South Asian. Many recent buyers, said Coldwell Banker agent Raffi Boghossian, are large extended families who have pooled limited incomes, sometimes "not much more than minimum wage," to acquire property. Local businesses have adjusted accordingly. At Reliable Parts, an appliance parts shop beside Primo Pizza, employee Warren Lastewka has a polite "the price is the price" speech he delivers when cash-strapped customers reared in haggling-friendly countries ask for unadvertised discounts. The Paperback Exchange, a bookstore in the plaza since the 1970s, now stocks elementary educational books with titles like Basic Learning Skills and Parts of Speech near its sci-fi novels. "I'll get a family of Pakistanis in when the teacher says to them, `Your kid's not going to make it if they can't read English.' From now through to June, that's when they usually get the notice," said Joy Ritchie, 64, the mother of owner Troy Ritchie. "I keep those books on the wall there. And I do very good business on that from now to June." Low-income areas sometimes lack proximity to social services and other essential conveniences. This one is served by Scarborough General Hospital, a Royal Bank, a Shoppers Drug Mart, a library and a Price Chopper. "Everything is convenient for us in this area," said Kaushik Maisuria, 28, an India-born auto garage employee who lives with his two uncles and two young cousins. "We can get whatever we want." Including, increasingly, products and services targeted to them, like Malik's halal pizza or the plaza's JD's Market and Halal Meat, where large bags of basmati rice line the aisles and a butcher works out back. Once a Becker's Milk, the location was a standard convenience store until October, when Jaffer Derwish's Afghanistan-born family converted it into a small grocery. In a tough economy, business is slow, said Derwish, 23. So is demand for local real estate. "The market is sort of dead in the area," Boghossian said. Many prospective buyers, he said, "are people with income that is not certain." "Typical Scarborough," said Royal LePage Signature realtor Joan Manuel. "You're not getting multiple offers. And if you do, you're not getting them over (the listed price)." Those people still making offers, however, are drawn to the neighbourhood's increasing ability to meet distinct South Asian needs. About 800 metres from Brimley Rd. is the large new Jame Abu Bakr Siddique mosque, a gleaming white facility whose minarets loom over another halal pizzeria. Prospective buyers have cited the mosque as a key lure to the area, said Manuel. And other attractions abound. Down the street is the bustling Bombay Bazaar grocery store in a Lawrence Ave. plaza so busy people park their cars in the middle of the parking lot, preventing those lucky enough to find spots from backing out. Nearby are a Hindi video rental store-slash-hair salon and a fish market. It is, for some, a sight to behold. "Where there used to be an old mom-and-pop operation," said Joy Ritchie, a touch of wonderment in her voice, "now they're selling saris." http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/584203 Poor neighbourhoods growing across Toronto RENÉ JOHNSTON/TORONTO STAR Newspapers in South Asian languages serve the city's many new immigrants. Toronto's middle class is disappearing. Since 2001, 15 of the city's middle-income neighbourhoods have vanished, according to a yet-to-be released University of Toronto report. The majority became low-income areas, where individual earnings are 20 to 40 per cent below the city average. Hardest hit are the suburbs. Declines in Scarborough and north Etobicoke have continued. Falling income is also affecting parts of Brampton, Mississauga and Durham. In 1970, 86 per cent of 905 neighbourhoods were middle class. In 2005, that number had tumbled to 61 per cent. From 2000 to 2005, the number of city neighbourhoods with very low earnings – more than 40 per cent below the Toronto-area average – grew by almost 50 per cent. Residents in these neighbourhoods live on welfare-level earnings, says U of T researcher David Hulchanski. The report, due out this year, is an update of the groundbreaking 2007 The Three Cities within Toronto report by Hulchanski and a team of university researchers. It analyzed and mapped Statistics Canada census data from 1971 to 2001, finding that not only were middle-class neighbourhoods disappearing, but Toronto was divided into three distinct geographic areas: City 1, which consistently gained income; City 2, which maintained its income but shrunk in size; and City 3, whose residents saw their earnings fall over the 30-year period. Hulchanski says municipal governments are not to blame. "The people of Toronto did not do this to themselves. This is a national trend. What we're showing on these maps is the way federal and provincial policies, as well as the economy, have played out in Toronto's neighbourhoods." He says policies such as universal health care and social assistance helped build the middle class. Cutbacks, including downloading of social services from the province to cities and a lack of affordable housing and job protection, are leading to its destruction. "You didn't talk about McJobs in the 1970s, or even part-time jobs without benefits. Whoever heard of a job that wasn't full-time without benefits?" he asks. "That would be shocking 25 years ago. Now it's normal." Hulchanski's updated study, with another five years of data from the 2006 census, confirms the decline of the middle class and the continued polarization of rich and poor neighbourhoods. From 2001 to 2006, individual incomes in wealthy areas grew 14 per cent, while residents of low-income neighbourhoods made only modest gains. During the 1970s, Toronto was a predominantly middle-class city, with 341 of its 520 census tracts – neighbourhood areas determined by Statistics Canada so that they have roughly 4,000 residents each – in the middle-income category. Poverty was contained in the city's urban core. Thirty years later, it's a city divided. Richer residents live along the Yonge St. corridor, close to services and transit. Individual incomes average almost $90,000 a year. The proliferating poorer communities are located in Toronto's pre-amalgamation suburbs, the middle-class bastion of the 1950s. In 2006 that area included 40 per cent of the city's census tracts. Sixty-one per cent are immigrants. There is little rapid transit and an average income of $26,900. Sandwiched between the two areas is a shrinking City 2, neighbourhoods with static income where the average income is about $35,700. Hulchanski began his research in 2005 with a $1 million grant (spread over five years) from the Social Science Humanities Research Council of Canada. He teamed with St. Christopher House, an omnibus social service agency in the city's west end, to examine how gentrification was changing the neighbourhood. The data was difficult to analyze. Within the 30-year period, census boundaries had changed and some of the information wasn't available electronically. A U of T data analyst took more than a year to get it into shape. By the time Hulchanski began his work, Toronto and the United Way had completed research showing the city's poverty was highest in 13 priority neighbourhoods. "The trend line was clearly there. Researchers saw it and the city's work with the United Way was going on," says Fiona Chapman, manager of social research and analysis for Toronto. "What David's work has done is absolutely confirmed the concerns. And I think why everybody doffs their cap to David is (that) he's been very good at helping the public understand these concerns." BY THE NUMBERS How the income decline affects the outer suburbs $40,074 Average 2005 individual income, all Toronto census districts 61 Percentage of population comprising immigrants in districts where incomes have declined more than 20 per cent since 1970 34 Percentage of population comprising whites in such districts 19 Number of subway stations within 300 metres of such districts, versus 40 for biggest-gaining districts 54 Percentage of 2005-07 homicides in such districts, versus 12 per cent for biggest-gaining districts Source: University of Toronto Cities Centre U of T analysis of census data shows middle class shrinking, especially in Scarborough, Etobicoke February 08, 2009 Patty Winsa STAFF REPORTER http://www.thestar.com/Article/584204 interactive map: http://www3.thestar.com/static/Flash/map_middleclass.html PDF:http://multimedia.thestar.com/acrobat/51/c7/2cc835a5403d8d76478fae97bba0.pdf
  4. Le jeudi 9 octobre 2014, en présence de la mairesse de la Ville de Longueuil, Madame Caroline St-Hilaire, de Madame France Dubé, conseillère à la Ville de Longueuil, de Monsieur Mathieu Duguay, président Société de gestion Cogir, de l’équipe de Jazz Longueuil, des cadres de Société de gestion Cogir et des résidents de Jazz Longueuil, se tenait la cérémonie de pelletée de terre protocolaire marquant le début de la construction de la tour II de la résidence privée pour aînés JAZZ Longueuil. Du même coup, la capsule temporelle contenant divers objets et souvenirs des résidents actuels de Jazz Longueuil a été scellée officiellement. Cette capsule sera installée dans la structure de béton de la tour II avec à son bord, à tout jamais, une petite partie de l'âme des résidents de la phase I. Résidence importante située au cœur de Longueuil, Jazz Longueuil s’agrandit pour accueillir une clientèle d’aînés autonomes de l’agglomération et ses environs. En plus d’offrir plus de 180 nouveaux logements au look contemporain, cette nouvelle résidence offrira des services à valeurs ajoutées à sa clientèle existante et future. Ce projet d’agrandissement, nécessitant un investissement de près de 30 millions de dollars, créera jusqu’à 26 nouveaux emplois. Située face à l’Hôpital Pierre-Boucher et à proximité de tous les services, la résidence Jazz Longueuil était louée à pleine capacité depuis quelques années. L’ajout de la tour II permettra d’offrir des opportunités de location à plusieurs aînés de la grande région qui désirent goûter à l’expérience Jazz. La construction de cette nouvelle tour sera réalisée entièrement par Société de gestion Cogir, l’un des plus importants gestionnaires d’immeubles au Québec. http://www.jazzlongueuil.ca ----
  5. 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/
  6. http://www.westislandgazette.com/news/28915 Dorval considering options for major facelift City wants public input on its draft of master urban plan Albert Kramberger The Gazette Wednesday, March 14, 2012 The city of Dorval is looking to make a few changes in how it looks - everything from revitalizing its waterfront to giving Dorval Ave. a facelift. The next step in preparing a new sustainable master urban plan is a public consultation set for March 26. The city has prepared a draft of its master plan, a general statement of the direction the city should follow over the next two decades regarding development, zoning and quality of life concerns as well as promoting and encouraging "greener" options. It now hopes to gauge input from citizens before adopting the formal version later this fall, said Mayor Edgar Rouleau. Among its proposals, the city aims to make its waterfront along Lake St. Louis more user-friendly and animated, possibly installing outdoor exercise equipment at Millennium Park. As well, it will consider purchasing select private lands near existing cityowned sites, like the Forest and Stream Club, should they ever come on the market, the mayor said. "There are sites along Lakeshore that may, in five or 10 years, become available and the council should at that time evaluate if it's worthwhile to acquire," Rouleau said of potentially adding to publicly owned space along the lake. "Is it going to expensive? As you know, yes." While the city is also looking at encouraging highdensity residential develop-ment, especially around the Pine Beach and Dorval train stations and along Bouchard Blvd., it will have to be measured in light of respecting the single-family home residential character in much of the city. There is also a goal to reverse an aging demographic trend by attracting young families and immigrants, the latter of which are expected to account for more than 30 per cent of Dorval's population by 2024. As of 2011, Dorval had about 18,615 residents and approximately 8,000 households, with an additional 2,000 housing units envisioned by the city within a decade, including more affordable housing. "Residents want the population to increase, but they don't want to lose that residential sector that we have," Rouleau said. "We're not going to change that, except those few big lots we have, like the one at the corner of De la Presentation and Lakeshore, which will soon be developed," he said. The city also aims to revitalize the commercial area on Dorval Ave. and make it more attractive. For example, by allowing outdoor terraces, and making it safer for both pedestrians and cyclists. A study has already been commissioned to prepare some proposals, the mayor said. "We want it more friendly, but the challenge is that we cannot widen the road," Rouleau said of Dorval Ave. "Whatever we extend, we have to take it from somewhere else. Right now it's two lanes each way with an island in the middle and sidewalks on both sides," he said, adding that perhaps the avenue could be reduced to one lane in each direction with a narrow median strip to allow for something like a bike path.
  7. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/18/business/global/hip-cities-that-think-about-how-they-work.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&smid=fb-share The story of young people, full of ambition, energy, skill and talent, moving to enticing cities that call to them like a siren’s song is as old as modern civilization. And in a world where national borders are easier to traverse, where more countries are joining the prosperous global middle class and where the cost of a one-way plane ticket is more affordable, young professionals probably have more cities to choose from than ever before. This survey is not based solely on quality of life, number of trees or the cost of a month’s rent. Instead, we examine some cities that aim to be both smart and well managed, yet have an undeniably hip vibe. Our pick of cities that are, in a phrase, both great and good: Auckland With its beaches, inlets and lush coastal climate, the Kiwi metropolis has always had great natural beauty going for it (and, now, for the first time in 24 years, it is the home to the World Cup Rugby Champions). But we digress. Currently counting 1.5 million residents , the government is projecting the city to hit the two million-mark in just 30 years. The city has recently voted to create a new central core that mixes sustainable housing and mixed-use development. The public transportation system, which includes subways, trams, busses and ferries, is constantly being expanded. Measures to increase the density of the urban landscape, meant to ultimately prevent encroachment on surrounding lands, as well as planting “green carpets” along urban roads demonstrate a keen eye toward creating a greener future. Plus, the city is expanding its free Wi-Fi coverage, according to a city official. Auckland is doing its best to “up their game with urban design,” said Angela Jones, a spokesperson for the city, turning a beautiful but provincial capital into a smart city. Berlin This culture capital combines low rents, a white-hot arts scene, good public transportation and myriad creative types — from media to design to technology — from all over the world. Known as Europe’s largest construction zone for at least 10 of the past 20 years, 4.4-million-strong Berlin has probably changed more in that time than any other large European city. And while the restaurants have become more expensive, the clothes are now more stylish and the D.J.’s have added more attitude, there is still plenty of real city left to be discovered by the thousands of artists and young professionals who move here every year to make this the pulsing center of Germany, the powerhouse of Europe. Besides radical renovations to the government center, main train station and the old Potsdamer Platz, the city recently turned a historic airport in its heart into a vast urban park. A short-term bike-rental system is in place and the old subway system, reunited after the fall of the wall, like the city itself, is as efficient as ever. Besides artists and bohemians looking for the vibe, the city — home to several prestigious universities, research institutes and many a company headquarter — is brimming with smart scientists and savvy businessmen. Barcelona Anyone who has walked down Las Ramblas on a summer evening or has stared at the Sagrada Familia for long enough understands why this city attracts planeloads of tourists. Music, good food, great weather and strong technology and service sectors compete to make this city of 1.6 million a home for all those who want to stay beyond summer break. If all the traditional charms of Barcelona were not enough, an active city government is trying to keep this city smart, too. Under its auspices, photovoltaic solar cells have been installed on many public and private rooftops. Charging stations for electrical cars and scooters have recently been set up around the city, in preparation for the day when residents will be tooling around in their electric vehicles. A biomass processing plant is being built that will use the detritus from city parks to generate heat and electricity, and free Wi-Fi is available at hotspots around the city. Cape Town Wedged between sea and mountain, Cape Town’s natural setting is stunning. Nor does the city — with its colorful neighborhoods, historic sites, and easy charm — disappoint. And while its one of Africa’s top tourist destinations, it also attracts many new residents from around the globe. The local government is trying to lead the growing city of 3.5 million with a more inclusive government and development structure, to overcome the gross inequities of South Africa’s past. Four major universities and many research institutes make Cape Town one of the continent’s bustling research centers. Named the 2014 World Design Capital last month, the city government is encouraging a cluster of design and creative firms in a neighborhood called the Fringe. The 2010 World Cup of soccer was a boon for infrastructure, especially public transportation. A new bus system, with dedicated lanes, has been rolled out in recent years to keep the many suburbs connected and alleviate crushing traffic. Under a program called Smart Cape, libraries and civic centers have computer terminals with free Internet access. Poverty and crime are still issues in Cape Town, but overall quality of life indicators rank the city as one of the best in Africa. Copenhagen Progressive, cozy and very beautiful, the young and the elegant flock to this northern light. Rents might not be as low as in other hip cities, but the social infrastructure in this metropolitan area of 1.9 million cannot be beat. Offering a prosperous blend of art, culture and scene, this highly tolerant city is attracting young professionals lucky enough to work in the center of Danish industry and commerce. A mix of stately old European buildings and modern, green-oriented architecture speaks of a city that treasures the old but loves experimenting with the new. Despite its cool Scandinavian climate, the Danish capital might just be the most bicycle-friendly city in the world. Bike superhighways crisscross the city, and statistics show that more than a third of the city’s inhabitants commute to work or school on their trusty two-wheelers. A metro system was inaugurated in the last decade for those who choose to go without. With sunlight-flooded underground stations and clean, driverless subway cars, the system looks more like a people-mover at an international airport than an urban transport system. Having committed itself to reducing carbon levels by 20 percent before 2015, some of the city’s power is generated by wind. The city has been so successful in cleaning up its once-industrial harbor that it has been able to open three public baths in a harbor waterway. Curitiba, Brazil One of the smartest cities in Latin America, Brazil’s wealthy regional capital attracts many new inhabitants with jobs in service and production sectors, and with the promise a functioning city. The 1.7 million residents have access to a bus-based rapid transport system so good that more than 700,000 commuters use it daily. Buses run on designated lanes that, because of a unique and modern urban design, have right-of-way and preferred access to the city center. A beautiful botanical garden and other city parks, along with other strong environmental measures, keep the air largely clear of pollution, despite Curitiba’s land-locked location. The city strives to be sustainable in other ways, too. According to reports, it recently invested $106 million, or 5 percent, of its budget into its department of environment. The city government makes itself integral in the lives of Curitibans, not just seeking comment and feedback on policies, but also organizing a host of events. “Bike Night” is the latest craze in the active city. Each Tuesday, residents take to their bikes and peddle through the night, accompanied by municipal staff members. Montreal With its hearty French and North American mix, this city of 3.6 million has a real soul thanks to low living costs and long winter evenings. And it is no slouch when it comes to good food, hip culture, well-appointed museums and efficient transportation. With four major universities and plenty of bars, the nightlife in this bilingual city has a well-deserved reputation. Because the winters tend to be long and cold, the city possesses an extensive underground network connecting several downtown malls and a subterranean arts quarter. When spring finally does arrive, and snow is cleared from the many bike paths, the city puts out its 3,000 short-term-rental bicycles, known as Bixi. City-sponsored community gardens are sprouting around town, giving urbanites a chance to flex their green thumb. Montreal is an incredibly active town where festivals celebrating everything from jazz to Formula One dominate the city’s calendar during the summer. Thanks to Mount Royal, a large central park and cemetery that serves as cross-country, snowshoe and ice-skating terrain in the winter and becomes a verdant picnic ground and gathering spot in the summer, Montrealers never have to leave city limits. Santiago A vibrant mix of Latin American culture and European sensibility, this Chilean city is modern, safe and smart. The rapidly growing city of 6.7 million — , which, perhaps surprisingly, was first subject to urban planning mandates in the mid-20th century — is still ahead of others in South America when it comes to urban governance. A law curtailing urban sprawl and protecting the few natural spaces close to the city is exemplary. Beautiful old cultural jewels like the library and fine art museum are dwarfed by serious commercial skyscrapers. The smell of local food, good and inexpensive, brings life even to the streets of its financial district. One of the most extensive public transport systems on the continent whisks more than 2.3 million commuters to and from work or school every day. Because of its high altitude, pollution is a problem — one that the national government is trying to curb with various green initiatives. Short-term bike rentals exist in one of the more active parts of town, and significant city funds have been used to construct bicycle lanes. For a city this modern, however, Santiago has few parks. But the ocean is just a short drive to west and the mountains to the east. Shanghai China’s commercial heart has grown tremendously in the past couple of decades. Attracting young professionals with its jobs and opportunities rather than with museums and hip nightlife, this megacity of 23 million is surprisingly smart. Its top-down urban planning approach is efficient in a city made up of separate 16 districts and one county. City coffers are put to use building enormously ambitious infrastructure, like a deepwater port, tunnels, bridges and roadways. A good indicator for the rapid and deliberate growth of the city is the metro system. First opened in 1995, it is now the world’s longest subway network, according to city officials. Adding a futuristic aspect to the utilitarian system is a Maglev (magnetic levitation) line that connects the airport to the city, and on which the train travels at speeds of up to 431 kilometers, or 268 miles, per hour. But Shanghai’s urban development is also green. The city claims that it put the equivalent of $8 billion into environmental improvement and cleanup, which include sewage treatment systems but also an impressive number of city parks. In addition, Shanghai has made its city government more accessible by running a Web site were residents can find municipal information, and read a blog entitled “mayor’s window.” Vilnius, Lithuania One of the greenest of the former Eastern bloc capitals, Vilnius has a forward-thinking city government. In a recent Internet video that spread virally, the mayor, Arturas Zuokas, is seen crushing a Mercedes parked on a bike path with a tank. Beyond the obvious political theater of the stunt, the city, whose metropolitan area population is 850,000 takes providing good public transportation seriously. A recent study suggested that some 70 percent of the capital’s citizens either walk, bike or take the bus. Vilnius, a verdant city that despite some communist architectural clunkers is charmingly medieval and surprisingly well maintained, boasts an old town that is a Unesco world heritage site. After the fall of the old regime, the city took great pains to retool its waste disposal systems, building a modern landfill in 2005. The capital attracts young professionals, and not just from Eastern Europe, who see in Vilnius a rising star in business and appreciate all that the extensive cultural scene in the little capital has to offer.
  8. Ce projet est proposé par la CSDM, et comptera une "maison des arts et lettres", ainsi qu'un amphithéâtre de 350 places. Le projet occupera le site actuel de l'ancien Externat Sophie-Barat, qui a plutôt mauvaise mine en ce moment (et c'est une vraie honte d'avoir laissé ce bâtiment s'auto-détruire de la sorte par négligence). Comme on peut le voir sur l'image, un mur de l'ancien Externat sera intégré. Le projet fait face à une certaine opposition des résidents du quartier. Tout le terrain sur le bord de l'eau doit être rezoné d'un usage "résidentiel" (même s'il est occupé par l'école Sophie-Barat et un centre sportif), vers "grands équipements institutionnels". De plus, les résidents du secteur déplorent depuis plusieurs années la circulation dans le secteur, ainsi que le stationnement actuel problématique, sur une rue résidentielle. Finalement, on craint pour l'intégrité de ce qui se trouve à être le dernier village historique de cette taille à Montréal (il est vrai que le secteur entre Gouin et la rivière dans Ahuntsic est très riche en patrimoine architectural et en histoire, et mériterait d'être mieux connu). Lundi le janvier, à 19h, à l'hôtel de ville d'Ahuntsic, se tiendra un consultation publique sur ce projet.
  9. Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/entertainment/Lambert+shouts+enough/3317503/story.html#ixzz0uhaLT8LV
  10. Brisbane in Australia is currently having a boom in proposals and approvals for skyscrapers now it seems height limits in the city may be lifted by the powers that be. One of the most recent green-lights will see a two tower project that will house the most expensive apartments in the city. Named the French Quarter Towers the project comes from local developer Devine Limited, it consists of two towers which will be built in two stages, one standing at 54 storeys and the second at 40 storeys. With apartments ranging in price from $2.5 million to a whopping $15 million you might be expecting some spectacular, gimmicky, Dubai inspired skyscraper instead, what Brisbane will be getting is two towers which are rather reserved and elegant. Squared at the bases the towers rise up in a pretty standard boxy way until they get about a third of the way up where they begin to gently curve inwards on one side, the curve deepens before coming back out again creating a subtle sort of S shape at the tops of the towers. The shaping of the tower isn't detracted from by any epic spires or crowns the addition of which could have made the towers look decidedly trashy. The facades are glazed and balconied offering residents fantastic views and somewhere nice to enjoy a glass of wine and the odd sunset or two. Residents at the tower can look forward to unsurpassed luxury as soon as a winner is announced for a international competition to design the interiors of the towers though it can probably be assumed the towers will also be home to a six star luxury hotel that with gymnasiums, spas and restaurants you have to wear a tie in. One thing is for sure though the tower will offer the very latest in "technomenities", a fancy word invented by marketing bods that means the towers will have the latest generation smart home technology, which will include automated systems for lighting and climate, in-home entertainment and electronic concierge services. Despite the French theme, high tech auroma technology spewing out the smell of garlic will not be included, whilst the concierge is likely to be much friendlier to English speakers than a Parisian would be. Construction is hoped to start in 2009 with completion penned in for mid 2012. http://www.skyscrapernews.com/news.php?ref=1487
  11. Radio-Canada fait une série de reportages sur les stéréotypes de différents quartiers de Montréal Le premier parle des bobos du Plateau : Les bobos du Plateau existent, en voici la preuve Mise à jour le mercredi 29 octobre 2014 à 16 h 13 HAE Montréal traîne son lot de clichés, mais sont-ils tous vrais? Dans ce premier article d'une série sur les stéréotypes revus et corrigés de la métropole, nous décortiquons l'un des plus souvent cités : les bobos du Plateau. (voir les cartes interactives sur le site) Une chronique de Pasquale Harrison-Julien Bobo : nom et adj. « Personne d'un milieu aisé, jeune et cultivée, qui recherche des valeurs authentiques, la créativité. Acronyme : bourgeois bohème. » C'est ainsi que Le Petit Robert définit le bobo. À Télé-Québec, ils étaient incarnés par le couple fictif formé par Anne Dorval et Marc Labrèche. Et si l'on plonge dans les données statistiques sur l'éducation, l'emploi, l'état civil, la religion et l'âge, on constate que dans la réalité, ils habitent majoritairement sur le Plateau-Mont-Royal. 1. Un quartier jeune? L'âge médian du résident du Plateau est de 34,1 ans. C'est le plus bas sur l'île de Montréal. C'est aussi l'arrondissement avec le plus fort pourcentage de personnes âgées de 25 à 29 ans, ainsi que de 30 à 34 ans. L'endroit où l'âge médian est le plus élevé sur l'île? Senneville (47,4 ans). 2. Un quartier d'artistes? C'est sur le Plateau-Mont-Royal qu'on retrouve le plus de personnes qui travaillent dans le milieu des arts, de la culture, des sports et des loisirs, soit 9015 personnes - comme l'indique la carte. Cela représente environ un résident sur sept. C'est plus que son plus proche concurrent, son voisin, Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie, où habitent 6590 travailleurs de ce secteur. Pour cette série, nous avons utilisé l'Annuaire statistique de l'agglomération de Montréal, publié par l'équipe de Montréal en statistiques, de la Ville de Montréal. Ce document analyse des données tirées du recensement de 2011 et de l'enquête nationale auprès des ménages de 2011. 3. Un quartier d'universitaires? Plus d'un résident sur deux du Plateau possède un diplôme universitaire, soit 44 085 personnes. Seul l'arrondissement de Côte-des-Neige-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce a un nombre plus élevé de diplômés : presque 10 000 personnes de plus, à 55 155 personnes, mais dans une proportion moindre (40,7 %). En termes de pourcentage, Westmount, Mont-Royal et Outremont ont les plus grandes proportions de diplômés universitaires sur l'île. 4. Un quartier de cyclistes et de piétons? Le stéréotype du résident du Plateau qui se rend à vélo ou à pied pour travailler semble se confirmer : cela représente 33,7 % des gens de cet arrondissement. Le Plateau éclipse tous les autres arrondissements pour l'utilisation du vélo : 6125 personnes, soit 11,6 % de l'arrondissement. C'est deux fois plus qu'Outremont, le second dans cette catégorie. Ils sont aussi les plus nombreux à Montréal à marcher : 11 710 personnes. En pourcentage toutefois, Ville-Marie est proportionnellement plus adepte de la marche pour se rendre au boulot (27,8 % comparativement à 22,1 % pour le Plateau). Toutes proportions gardées, les résidents de Pierrefonds-Roxboro sont ceux qui utilisent le moins la marche et le vélo pour aller au travail. 5. Un quartier de célibataires? Le mariage n'a pas la cote sur le plateau : l'arrondissement compte 50,1 % de célibataires et 21 % de personnes en union libre. En nombre, c'est toutefois dans Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie que les célibataires sont les plus nombreux. Dans le coin opposé : Côte-Saint-Luc, où moins du quart de ses résidents sont célibataires et à peine 3,3 % vivent en union libre. On peut aussi observer sur la carte une profonde différence entre l'Est ou l'Ouest. 6. Un quartier peu religieux? Côté foi, 38 980 résidents du Plateau disent n'avoir aucune religion, soit 39,7 % des résidents de l'arrondissement. En proportion suivent Ville-Marie (30,3 %) et Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie (25,9 %). L'arrondissement le moins athée? Saint-Léonard (7,1 %). Bobo pour toujours? Le Plateau n'a pas toujours été un quartier bobo, comme le rappelle l'urbaniste Daniel Gill. Et à l'avenir, son visage pourrait continuer d'évoluer. « Il y a un désir de partager des lieux communs avec des gens qui ont le même mode de vie. Historiquement, la création de l'UQAM a attiré des universitaires sur le Plateau. Les petits appartements d'ouvriers correspondaient aussi aux besoins des gens célibataires. »— Daniel Gill, professeur à l'Institut d'urbanisme de l'Université de Montréal. Les changements de population dans les quartiers prennent du temps à se produire. Ce qui ne veut pas dire que le Plateau sera le fief des bobos pour toujours. « Certains le trouvent déjà ringard. De nouvelles générations, plus jeunes, pourraient décider de s'installer ailleurs comme dans Villeray, Rosemont ou Griffintown », remarque Daniel Gill. Demain : L'Ouest riche, l'Est pauvre? Nous décortiquons les chiffres.
  12. very depressing. http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/69d8aefa-95a7-11e4-a390-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3RFvv7YUu The Fast Lane: A premier city now second among equals Tyler BruleTyler Brûlé Montreal was Canada’s leading lady. The view last Saturday couldn’t have been more different S econd cities are always curious affairs. Often chippy, occasionally unassuming and always striving to be that little bit more distinct, quirky or boisterous than the comfy cousin who holds premier status on the international stage. Melbourne likes to trade on its Europeaness, seasons and liveability compared with Sydney’s beaches and overused Opera House. Residents of Osaka are loud and good-humoured, while Tokyoites are seen as too precious and concerned with protocol. Mancunians need to remind you of their industrial glory days, football teams and increasingly well-connected airport versus the gridlock of London. Second cities that used to hold the number one position are even stranger, particularly when their fall has been largely of their own making. Last weekend I returned to Montreal for the first time in about four years and the drive from the airport to downtown was a bittersweet journey along a route that used to dazzle in the early 1970s. Back then, the low-slung offices and factories lining the highway into the city carried the names of global brands and Canada’s industrial powerhouses. Downtown, skyscrapers and buildings from the turn of the 20th century carried the brass plaques of important banks and insurance companies. Montreal was Canada’s leading lady, the young nation’s port of first impressions. It had hosted a World Expo in 1967 and was about to run up a shameful debt in the form of the 1976 Summer Olympics. The view last Saturday couldn’t have been more different. Rather than the familiar logos, the words that dominated every other façade, in a variety of pleading fonts, was “à louer” (to rent), and these signs stretched from the perimeter fence of the airport all the way to the buildings around my hotel on the once elegant Sherbrooke Street. A plague of rental and for sale signs is generally a good indicator that things are not going quite to plan, whereas a skyline dotted with cranes and scaffolding (in Canada’s case, Toronto), suggests the opposite. Derelict office buildings and boarded-up restaurants aside, many would argue it’s all gone to plan, and Montreal has become a shining light of diversity and French culture in an otherwise Anglo continent. Businesses must answer the phone in French first; multinationals must spend tens of millions reimagining their brands in order not to fall foul of the province’s language police (Starbucks Coffee must have the prefix Café, should people miss what it does. This isn’t the case even in France); and then there are all the other quirky laws that ensure the province of Quebec maintains its special status at vast expense while its infrastructure is crumbling. When Quebec passed its radical language laws in the 1970s and hundreds of thousands of long-time residents headed for the Ontario border, there were many who thought this heavy-handed attempt at language preservation wouldn’t last. Yet Canada’s number two city continues to suffer a serious brain-drain, and even young francophones are becoming vocal about the province’s outmoded world view. For the moment Montreal remains an interesting place because a depressed economy allows creativity to flourish (think Berlin) as low rents mean it’s easier to try out a new retail concept or launch a restaurant. Having done two tours of duty in Montreal (1972-77 and 1980-83), I enjoyed the positive friction that came from Anglo-French sparring and the cosmopolitan flavour it cast over the city. More than 30 years later, the whole concept of language “rules” in an increasingly mobile world is simply unproductive. A recent piece in a Montreal daily politely argued that the city’s problems were related to manufacturing moving overseas and poorly integrated logistics while failing to even aim a dart at the elephant in the room. Multilingualism is a fine concept but it should not be imposed upon long-time residents, new arrivals or businesses seeking to invest — particularly when in Canada there’s another, more widely spoken language.
  13. http://www.smart-magazine.com/en/jan-gehl-architect-interview/ Jan_Gehl_Portrait The city whisperer Portrait 3 minutes read - Oliver Herwig on November 3rd, 2015 Jan Gehl champions something that few architects have mastered: cities for people. The Dane favors compact neighborhoods over grand master plans. The 79-year-old city planner values the wishes of residents over architecture. And his resounding success proves him right. Ssssshhhhhrrrrr. In the background, a cordless screwdriver buzzes away. Jan Gehl apologizes for the distraction; “Excuse me, they’re doing some work in the kitchen.” Life is quite busy for the professor emeritus and city planner. As a city planner, Gehl‘s detail orientation and screw-tightening skills come in handy wherever mayors or councilors realize that something needs to change. Over the past few years, they have been beating a path to his door: Gehl is considered a top global expert on humane cities. “I’m an idealist,” states the 79-year-old. “And the projects I’m working on are all about creating better environments for pedestrians and public life.” To Gehl, both of these are intrinsically linked – people should be able to experience their city on foot. He goes on to scoff that we know more about the perfect habitat for Siberian tigers than a good environment for people. His wife Ingrid and he started out studying life in the cities – and then traveled to Italy on a grant in 1965. In 1971, “Livet mellem husene,” life between buildings, was the first result of their studies between streets and squares – and turned out to be quite a flop. Yet Gehl labored on and continued to hone and develop his methods over the years, by then a professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Arts. Jan Gehl Brighton “My projects are all about creating better environments for pedestrians”. Photo: Gehl Architects Gehl’s foremost success is Copenhagen Today, his successes prove him right. And the standout example is Copenhagen – the city of Gehl’s alma mater, teaching career, and a company he co-founded. In a way, it serves as an open-air lab for his ideas: All the way back in 1965, the city – advised by Gehl – created Europe’s longest pedestrian zone, the Strøget. Copenhagen has become a template for the fundamental shift from post war car-centric cities to more pedestrian-friendly 21st century metropolises. “In order to reclaim a human dimension, city planners need to re-evaluate the many capacity-friendly ideas,” he states in the recently released “Cities for People”. This means: Our cities are filled with too many traffic lights, narrow sidewalks, and multi-lane highways that squeeze in pedestrians and force them to cross streets in a rush. According to Gehl, that’s not a given: “There is a good, pedestrian-friendly solution for any traffic planning issue.” And he adds that “it is high time to revisit our priorities.” To this end, Gehl has introduced a check list of small changes that – taken together – produce great results. He favors “polite reminders” (as in Copenhagen) over flashing traffic lights that “encourage hasty crossings” (as in New York City). Gloomy pedestrian underpasses (like the one near Zurich’s train station) should be replaced by sunlit “zebra crossings at street level.” Copenhagen stroget Jan Gehl Advised by Gehl, Copenhagen installed Europe’s longest pedestrian zone, the Strøget. Photo: Yadid Levy / Getty Images From New York City to Shanghai: a globally sought-after urban consultant Gehl knows cities better than most. Paraphrasing a well-known analogy, some people are good with horses and become horse whisperers, while others are good with people. The latter usually become doctors, nurses, or priests. As a city planner, Jan Gehl is a little bit of all. First and foremost, however, he is a self-professed “missionary.” He preaches human scale development and has been consulting for cities around the world for years, helping them to redesign entire neighborhoods to benefit their residents. The formula is simple: go to the city, observe, and listen. And then join together to effect change. A fun video on his website tells the story behind it all. It took the love of developmental psychologist Ingrid to open the builder’s eyes: Architecture should serve people. In this spirit, Jan Gehl draws on insights by sociologists and psychologists to turn ivory tower planning into bona fide collaborations. The Herald Square before Jan Gehl The Herald Square in New York City before … Photo: DOT The Herald Square after Jan Gehl … and after Gehl Architects. Photo: DOT Gehl’s top priority: the human scale His drive really picked up in 2000 when Gehl and Helle Søholt, a former student, joined forces to found the company Gehl Architects. Maybe, it’s all just a question of scale. Modernism delighted in completely redesigning metropolises or conjuring up abstract plans on the drawing board. Builders like Le Corbusier, who considered rented dwellings “housing units” or “living machines,” liked to subdivide cities by function. This is a kind of thinking Gehl would like to leave behind. The architect is less interested in models and buildings than in their residents. Over the years, Gehl came up with a range of basic principles that support and define thriving communities around the world. One of these rules might be not to build skyscrapers since six or more levels up residents lose touch with the street and feel removed from it all. Or: consider the ground floor. It shouldn’t be uniform or forbidding, but varied and full of surprises. MarDelPlata Jan Gehl Gehl’s formula is simple: … Photo: Municipality of Mar del Plata Mar Del Plata Jan Gehl … go to the city, observe, and listen. Photo: Municipality of Mar del Plata “Better city spaces, more city life“ Nowadays, Gehl provides coaching for cities like New York City, Shanghai, Singapore, St. Petersburg, or Almaty. And his insights sound so simple, matter of fact, and even trivial that it can be hard to fathom how our modern cities, divided by functions, could ever have forgotten these wisdoms. “Better city spaces, more city life,” one of his premises states. High quality spaces encourage leisure activities and interactions. “It’s so obvious, we have simply overlooked it.” P.S. The interview was conducted over an old telephone on the fifth floor of a building in the center of Munich. Sao Paulo Jan Gehl “Better city spaces, more city life.“ Phpto: Luis E. S. Brettas Header image: Sandra Henningsson / Rights Gehl Architects sent via Tapatalk
  14. There are an article in The Gazette (which I shall put after this post) that speaks about Montreal embracing open data. Also, anybody every been to Ottawa, Quebec? lol How Open Data Initiatives Can Improve City Life by Aliza Sherman Major city governments across North America are looking for ways to share civic data — which normally resides behind secure firewalls — with private developers who can leverage it to serve city residents via web and mobile apps. Cities can spend on average between $20,000 and $50,000 — even as much as $100,000 — to cover the costs of opening data, but that’s a small price to pay when you consider how much is needed to develop a custom application that might not be nearly as useful. Here are a few examples of initiatives that are striving to make city governments more efficient and transparent through open data. 1. Apps4Ottawa – Ottawa, Quebec Careful to adhere to security and privacy regulations for their open data program, the City of Ottawa started sharing data in several areas: geo-spatial (roadways, parks, runways, rivers, and ward boundaries); recreation facilities; event planning; civic elections data; and transit, including schedules. Other data the city is pursuing includes tree inventory, collections schedules for garbage, recycling and compost, and bike and foot paths. Ottawa aligned their first open data contest, Apps4Ottawa, with the school year (September 2010 to January 2011 ) to involve colleges and universities as well as residents and local industry. Categories for the contest included “Having Fun in Ottawa,” “Getting Around,” “Green Environment/Sustainability,” “Community Building,” and “Economic Development.” The winner is scheduled to be announced later this evening. Guy Michaud, chief information officer for the City of Ottawa, said their open data efforts have already spurred economic development and is meant to be good for local entrepreneurs. The city receives no revenue through the apps, and the developers can sell what they create. In turn, Ottawa residents get improved services from applications that are created, with better access to city data and more user-friendly formats and platforms. 2. CivicApps.org – Portland, Oregon After tracking Vivek Kundra’s efforts at the federal level with data.gov, Portland, Oregon launched CivicApps.org, a project initiated out of the mayor’s office to bring a more localized approach to the open data movement. Skip Newberry, economic policy advisor to the mayor, say that the project’s main objective is to improve connections and the flow of information between local government and its constituents, as well as between city bureaus. To call attention to the release of public data, they also launched an app design contest, highlighting the tech talent in Portland’s software community. According to Rick Nixon, program manager for the Bureau of Technology’s Open Data Initiative for the city of Portland, CivicApps.org took a more regional approach to cover the multiple layers of local government: County, Metro, TriMet, and the City of Portland, all of which collect and maintain various kinds of public data. Data sets released include regional crime, transit, infrastructure (i.e. public works), and economic development programs. Additional projects, such as the PDX API, have been launched in order to make the raw data from CivicApps more useful to developers. In addition to developer-specific apps, a number of transit related apps — bike, train, bus, mixed modes — were also developed. A very popular and established transit app, PDXBus, was re-released as open source under the rules of the CivicApps contest. Other popular apps helped provide residents greater awareness of their surroundings such as where to find heritage trees, where to find urban edibles, and where to locate each other during disaster relief efforts. 3. CityWide Data Warehouse – Washington, DC For years, the District of Columbia provided public access to city operational data via the Internet. In keeping with the mayor’s promise to be transparent, the program CityWide Data Warehouse was launched, and provides citizens with access to over 450 datasets from multiple agencies. The first two datasets released were service requests from the mayor’s call center, including trash pickup, pot hole repair, street light repair, snow removal, parking meter issues and crime data. According to David Stirgel, program manager for Citywide Data Warehouse, the project looks for data that be of interest to the widest possible audience and which will remain reusable over time. Some of the applications that have come out of the program include Track DC, which tracks the performance of individual District agencies, and summary reports that provide public access to city operational data. Some of the applications built by companies and individuals using the data include Crime Reports and Every Block. In 2008, the District Mayor’s office, the District of Columbia’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer, and digital agency iStrategyLabs launched Apps for Democracy, an open code app development contest tapping into District data that cost $50,000 and generated 47 apps. The contest was repeated in 2009. Over 200 ideas and applications were submitted, and the winner was an iPhone and Facebook app called Social DC 311. It could be used to submit service requests, such as reporting potholes and trash problems. An honorable mention was given to FixMyCityDC. Unfortunately, neither app is maintained today. 4. NYC Data Mine – New York, NY NYC BigApps 2.0 is part of an initiative to improve the accessibility, transparency, and accountability of city government. According to Brandon Kessler, CEO of ChallengePost, the company and technology powering the NYC BigApps 2.0 Software Challenge, Mayor Bloomberg challenged software developers to use city data from the NYC.gov Data Mine to create apps to improve NYC, offering a $20,000 in cash awards to the winners. The second annual challenge closed its call for submissions at the end of January 2011 and opened the vote to the public. Voting ends on March 9. Requirements included that the software applications be original and solely owned by the entrants, that they use at least one of the datasets from the NYC.gov Data Mine, and be free to the public throughout the competition and for at least one year after the challenge. The panel of judges reads like a “who’s who” of New York tech luminaries, and includes Esther Dyson of EDVenture, Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures, Jack Dorsey of Square and Twitter, and Kara Swisher of All Things Digital. One of the first year’s winning apps was WayFinder, an augmented reality Android app which allows users to point their phone in a direction and see which subways and Path trains are in front of them. 5. DataSF – San Francisco, California Like other city governments, San Francisco’s goal for their DataSF program was to improve transparency and community engagement as well as accountability. Ron Vinson, director of media for the city’s Department of Technology also stated potential for innovation in how residents interact with government and their community. With an emphasis on adhering to privacy and security policies, the city can stimulate the creation of useful civic tools at no cost to the government. Before launching, they reached out to Washington, DC to identify the most popular datasets, and learned that 20% of the datasets represented over 80% of the downloads. With this information, they went out first with crime, 311, and GIS data. They also allowed the public to request data through a submissions mechanism on the website where others could vote on their suggestions. This input is now required reading for the city administrator thanks to an executive directive and open data legislation. Since launching in August 2009, DataSF has accumulated over 60 applications in its showcase. According to Vinson, the city stays engaged with their tech community by participating in local unconferences and meetups. http://mashable.com/2011/02/15/how-open-data-initiatives-can-improve-city-life/
  15. Oooh that is not good: http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk00100&num=7051 http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk00400&num=7050 If they had decided to make their megalopolis somewhere reasonable in the south instead of in that sleepy little town it would be so much easier to have taken care of this problem decades ago...
  16. Toronto a suburb? It's begun RENÉ JOHNSTON/TORONTO STAR Apr 08, 2009 04:30 AM Vanessa Lu city hall bureau chief Toronto is at risk of becoming a bedroom community for the booming 905 regions, warns a new report by the Toronto Board of Trade. Cities that were once outer suburbs are now growing employment areas as more businesses have pulled up stakes in the downtown core for cheaper real estate. Meanwhile, the city itself faces increasing disparity between the wealthy, who buy downtown condos where factories once stood, and the poor who inhabit the increasingly deprived inner suburbs. So Toronto remains an attractive place to live, but struggles to keep up with its neighbours on key economic indicators such as employment, productivity and income growth. "It's a tale of two cities," president and CEO Carol Wilding said at yesterday's release. "We see the reverse, or mirror images, from the city proper versus the 905." Wilding agreed with a release for the report that said Toronto has become a "magnet for living, while the surrounding municipalities form the more powerful economic engine." "If you stand back, the data shows that at this point," said Wilding. "Given the employment growth that isn't there in the city centre – yet it is a hugely attractive place – suggests the doughnut effect. ... People flock to and live in the city ... but are actually travelling outwards in the region for employment opportunities." The split between the two regions is reflected in a prosperity scorecard that compares the Toronto region with 20 others around the world on 25 important indicators. While the Toronto region scored very well overall – tying for fourth place with Boston, New York and London, but behind Calgary, Dallas and Hong Kong – the findings show a growing gap between the city itself and surrounding communities. (The study is based on the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area, a tract that includes most of the GTA except Burlington and Oshawa.) If the 416 and 905 area codes were ranked separately, the suburban regions would have taken second place on the world list – after Calgary – and Toronto would have fallen into the bottom half. But Wilding credited Toronto city hall for taking steps to counteract the trend and boost economic growth, including a policy of gradually shifting more of the property tax burden from commercial and industrial property onto homeowners. "I think from a policy perspective, we've put in place many of the changes the data would have suggested we do ... two years ago. We didn't wait," Mayor David Miller said yesterday, reacting to the report. However, he said, "Toronto starts from a very good place" as Canada's financial capital and the third biggest centre of information communications technology in North America. "Council adopted a strategy two years ago because we didn't believe we could take success for granted," he added. "And I think the underlying data says we took the right step and we're on the right path." He noted both the tax rate cuts and the creation of two new agencies, Build Toronto and Invest Toronto, to lure business and investment to the city. Given that traffic is now jammed both ways on the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway in the morning rush hour, it hardly comes as a surprise that employment growth has been strong outside Toronto proper. But the data shows the gap is "far larger than people would have expected it to be," Wilding said. Employment in the suburban regions grew by an average of 2.8 per cent a year between 2002 and 2007, compared with 1.1 per cent in the city of Toronto. In fact, most of the employment growth over the past two decades has occurred outside Toronto. "That's a significant divide. Until we start to narrow that, then we aren't serving the interests of the region as a whole," Wilding said. Average real GDP growth during the same period was just 1.2 per cent in Toronto – compared with 4.2 per cent in neighbouring cities. After-tax income growth over the same period was 3.5 per cent in Toronto, compared with 5.9 per cent outside. Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone said the report's data is already a couple of years old and doesn't reflect recent actions the city has taken to stem the flow of jobs. The report cites a 10.2 per cent growth in non-residential building permits in the surrounding regions, versus only 8.9 per cent in the city. But Pantalone pointed out that today, 4 million square feet of office buildings are under construction in Toronto, compared with only 1.5 million square feet in the 905. "That's a historical reversal. It shows those policies are working," he said. "We have established new trend lines to correct that. And it seems to be working." As Miller pointed out, the report isn't all bad news for the city. It notes that Toronto is "a study in contrasts, struggling to keep pace on the economic fundamentals but scoring well on all the attributes of an attractive city." Using research from the Conference Board of Canada, the report points out the city is doing well on indicators such as commuter travel choices, a young labour force, university education and percentage of jobs in the cultural industry. New infrastructure investments by the province, notably in transit, will also help make Toronto more competitive. Some 44 per cent of Toronto residents walk, bike or take transit to work, while only 13 per cent of residents outside Toronto do. One of Toronto's biggest advantages is its diversity, with immigrants making up close to half of the city's residents. That puts it at Number 1 among the 21 global cities, above Los Angeles at 41 per cent and New York at 36 per cent. But Board of Trade chair Paul Massara warned that the talent that exists among newcomers must not be squandered – and their integration has to be ensured. "It's absolutely essential that we get this productive part of the economy working and enhance that," Massara said, noting governments have been working to improve settlement services. With files from Paul Moloney
  17. Is America's suburban dream collapsing into a nightmare? Suburban neighborhoods are becoming refuges for those outpriced in gentrifying inner-cities. By Lara Farrar For CNN (CNN) -- When Shaun Yandell proposed to his longtime girlfriend Gina Marasco on the doorstep of their new home in the sunny suburb of Elk Grove, California, four years ago, he never imagined things would get this bad. But they did, and it happened almost overnight. art.jpg "It is going to be heartbreak," Yandell told CNN. "But we are hanging on." Yandell's marriage isn't falling apart: his neighborhood is. Devastated by the subprime mortgage crisis, hundreds of homes have been foreclosed and thousands of residents have been forced to move, leaving in their wake a not-so-pleasant path of empty houses, unkempt lawns, vacant strip malls, graffiti-sprayed desolate sidewalks and even increased crime. In Elk Grove, some homeowners not only cut their own grass but also trim the yards of vacant homes on their streets, hoping to deter gangs and criminals from moving in. Other residents discovered that with some of the empty houses, it wasn't what was growing outside that was the problem. Susan McDonald, president of a local neighborhood association aimed at saving the lost suburban paradise, told CNN that around her cul-de-sac, federal agents recently busted several pot homes with vast crops of marijuana growing from floor to ceiling. And only a couple of weeks ago, Yandell said he overheard a group of teenagers gathered on the street outside his back patio, talking about a robbery they had just committed. When they lit a street sign on fire, Yandell called the cops. "This is not like a rare thing anymore," he said. "I get big congregations of people cussing -- stuff I can't even fathom doing when I was a kid." Don't Miss For Yandell, his wife and many other residents trying to stick it out, the white picket fence of an American dream has faded into a seemingly hopeless suburban nightmare. "The forecast is gloomy," he told CNN. While the foreclosure epidemic has left communities across the United States overrun with unoccupied houses and overgrown grass, underneath the chaos another trend is quietly emerging that, over the next several decades, could change the face of suburban American life as we know it. This trend, according to Christopher Leinberger, an urban planning professor at the University of Michigan and visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, stems not only from changing demographics but also from a major shift in the way an increasing number of Americans -- especially younger generations -- want to live and work. "The American dream is absolutely changing," he told CNN. This change can be witnessed in places like Atlanta, Georgia, Detroit, Michigan, and Dallas, Texas, said Leinberger, where once rundown downtowns are being revitalized by well-educated, young professionals who have no desire to live in a detached single family home typical of a suburbia where life is often centered around long commutes and cars. Instead, they are looking for what Leinberger calls "walkable urbanism" -- both small communities and big cities characterized by efficient mass transit systems and high density developments enabling residents to walk virtually everywhere for everything -- from home to work to restaurants to movie theaters. The so-called New Urbanism movement emerged in the mid-90s and has been steadily gaining momentum, especially with rising energy costs, environmental concerns and health problems associated with what Leinberger calls "drivable suburbanism" -- a low-density built environment plan that emerged around the end of the World War II and has been the dominant design in the U.S. ever since. Thirty-five percent of the nation's wealth, according to Leinberger, has been invested in constructing this drivable suburban landscape. But now, Leinberger told CNN, it appears the pendulum is beginning to swing back in favor of the type of walkable community that existed long before the advent of the once fashionable suburbs in the 1940s. He says it is being driven by generations molded by television shows like "Seinfeld" and "Friends," where city life is shown as being cool again -- a thing to flock to, rather than flee. "The image of the city was once something to be left behind," said Leinberger. Changing demographics are also fueling new demands as the number of households with children continues to decline. By the end of the next decade, the number of single-person households in the United States will almost equal those with kids, Leinberger said. And aging baby boomers are looking for a more urban lifestyle as they downsize from large homes in the suburbs to more compact town houses in more densely built locations. Recent market research indicates that up to 40 percent of households surveyed in selected metropolitan areas want to live in walkable urban areas, said Leinberger. The desire is also substantiated by real estate prices for urban residential space, which are 40 to 200 percent higher than in traditional suburban neighborhoods -- this price variation can be found both in cities and small communities equipped with walkable infrastructure, he said. The result is an oversupply of depreciating suburban housing and a pent-up demand for walkable urban space, which is unlikely to be met for a number of years. That's mainly, according to Leinberger, because the built environment changes very slowly; and also because governmental policies and zoning laws are largely prohibitive to the construction of complicated high-density developments. But as the market catches up to the demand for more mixed use communities, the United States could see a notable structural transformation in the way its population lives -- Arthur C. Nelson, director of Virginia Tech's Metropolitan Institute, estimates, for example, that half of the real-estate development built by 2025 will not have existed in 2000. Yet Nelson also estimates that in 2025 there will be a surplus of 22 million large-lot homes that will not be left vacant in a suburban wasteland but instead occupied by lower classes who have been driven out of their once affordable inner-city apartments and houses. The so-called McMansion, he said, will become the new multi-family home for the poor. "What is going to happen is lower and lower-middle income families squeezed out of downtown and glamorous suburban locations are going to be pushed economically into these McMansions at the suburban fringe," said Nelson. "There will probably be 10 people living in one house." In Shaun Yandell's neighborhood, this has already started to happen. Houses once filled with single families are now rented out by low-income tenants. Yandell speculates that they're coming from nearby Sacramento, where the downtown is undergoing substantial gentrification, or perhaps from some other area where prices have gotten too high. He isn't really sure. But one thing Yandell is sure about is that he isn't going to leave his sunny suburban neighborhood unless he has to, and if that happens, he says he would only want to move to another one just like it. "It's the American dream, you know," he said. "The American dream." http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/06/16/suburb.city/index.html
  18. Plus on lit, plus on s'aperçoit que c'est une petite clique de chialeux qui sont contre la gentrification de leur quartier... incroyable. Fête de quartier ou fête d'Ubisoft? Dernières nouvelles Fête de quartier ou événement corporatif promotionnel? Le festival de la rue Saint-Viateur, qui aura lieu le 1er juin pour célébrer le dixième anniversaire de l'implantation de la multinationale Ubisoft dans le Mile-End, suscite bien des interrogations dans la communauté artistique du quartier. Isabelle Anguita et Suzanne Desbiens, deux artistes en arts visuels, font actuellement circuler un document intitulé « Confusion des genres ». Dans cette lettre, ces résidentes du Mile-End rapportent quelques faits liés à l'organisation et la tenue de cet événement, qu'elles jugent pour le moins « ambigus ». Elles dénoncent d'abord le fait que la multinationale française du jeu vidéo, implantée sur le boulevard Saint-Laurent, ait présenté le festival de rue comme « une nouvelle initiative de fête populaire ». Or, elles soulignent que « la composition du comité organisateur ne contient [...] aucun représentant de la communauté ». Les deux artistes s'interrogent aussi sur la pratique d'Ubisoft qui a consisté à solliciter la participation bénévole des artistes (pour le contenu) et des résidents (pour la logistique du site), tout en profitant de l'événement « pour se faire un capital d'image ». Certains artistes plus connus recevront toutefois des cachets en bonne et due forme. On nous vend une fête de quartier alors qu'il s'agit en fait d'un événement corporatif promotionnel à grand déploiement. — Isabelle Anguita et Suzanne Desbiens, deux artistes en arts visuels du Mile-End Isabelle Anguita et Suzanne Desbiens se demandent également pourquoi la fête commence un vendredi après-midi alors que les enfants sont à l'école et leurs parents au travail. « Le caractère familial de cette fête semble être réservé aux employés d'Ubisoft qui auront reçu congé pour l'occasion », ajoutent-elles. Élargissant le débat, les deux femmes signalent que la communauté des artistes du Mile-End disparaît « comme peau de chagrin au fur et à mesure des avancées de la gentrification ». Entre 1999 et 2004, les loyers résidentiels ont connu une augmentation de 30 % dans ce quartier, disent-elles. « L'effet paradoxal de ces bouleversements est que les résidents qui en incarnent la vie et l'âme, ont de moins en moins la possibilité d'accéder à la propriété en raison de l'augmentation de la popularité de leur quartier », écrivent-elles. Les résidents et les commerçants du Mile-End ont organisé pendant des années une fête de la Saint-Jean, sur la rue Saint-Viateur, qui a connu un immense succès populaire. La tenue de cet événement a été interdite, il y a trois ans.
  19. Cleaned up? Not so much One-Quarter of Montrealers see problem behaviour in their neighbourhoods The view on St. Antoine St. W. Almost a quarter of Montrealers said social incivility in one form or another is a problem in their neighbourhoods. Fifteen per cent mentioned drug use and five per cent specified prostitution. CHRISTOPHER MAUGHAN, The Gazette Published: 20 hours ago Montreal has been known as "sin city" for the better part of a century, ever since Americans started coming here to drink freely during the Prohibition era. A new survey suggests little has changed since. Researchers at Statistics Canada asked people living in big cities how often they witnessed incidences of social and physical incivility - that is, drunkenness, drug use, prostitution, vandalism, littering and the like. Montreal ranked second in almost every category. Twenty-four per cent of Mont-realers said social incivility in one form or another is a problem in their neighbourhoods. Fifteen per cent specifically mentioned drug use and five per cent mentioned prostitution. The view on St. Antoine St. W. Almost a quarter of Montrealers said social incivility in one form or another is a problem in their neighbourhoods. Fifteen per cent mentioned drug use and five per cent specified prostitution.View Halifax and Vancouver were the only cities to report higher rates of social incivility, at 25 and 26 per cent respectively. They were also the only cities to report higher rates of drug use at 19 and 17 per cent respectively. As for prostitution, only Vancouver had a higher rate, with eight per cent of residents describing it as a problem. People in 12 cities participated in the survey, the results of which came as no surprise to people downtown yesterday. Guillaume Fontaine, 27, works at a club near the corner of Ste. Catherine St. and St. Laurent Blvd. He said he sees drug users hanging around all the time. "Right in front of us across the street, in this area outside the doors there, they sit down and smoke their crack." It's a routine they seem to have been allowed to slip into. Fontaine said he sees drug users "on an everyday basis" ever since he took a job in the area two years ago. Others who work near the city's most notorious corner had similar complaints. "You can see the prostitutes and drug dealers working all the time, even early in the morning," said Hélène Dumont, 49. Montreal executive committee member Marcel Tremblay said police have behaviour like drug use, prostitution and vandalism under control and residents need not worry about the survey's results. Tremblay said Montreal's rates of drug use, public drunkenness, vandalism or prostitution may be high for Canada, but aren't through the roof by any means. "If you go all over North America, or all over the world, you'll have exactly the same thing." And Tremblay was quick to point out that Montreal does quite well in preventing violent crimes. "Have you seen the figures on security? We're (among the cities) with the least killings in Canada. We're able to go out 24 hours a day," he said. But implementing community policing initiatives is just a part of what needs to be done to keep pushers, pimps and vandals off the streets, said Irvin Waller, director of the University of Ottawa's Institute for the Prevention of Crime. "The solution ... is some combination of law enforcement and social services that tackle the roots of the problems," he said. "These social problems have been made a lot worse because of the large cutbacks in housing and mental hospitals in Canada in the 1990s. Montreal had a particularly bad time of that." Most people on the street yesterday agreed with Waller, saying Montreal needs better social outreach programs rather than more police officers. "It's obvious some of the people hanging around here are high, just look at them. But I think that's just the way it is in a big city," said Karima Lachal, 32, gesturing toward the UQÀM-Berri métro station. Just then, a short, thin man with greasy, matted hair and a few days' stubble staggered over to ask if she had any change. Lachal politely brushed him off. "There's a living example of what I'm talking about," she said. "Anyway, I think the police are doing their job, it's just that these people need more help on a social level." [email protected] © The Gazette (Montreal) 2008
  20. Residents take airport grievance to auditor-general Want probe into expansion. Supreme Court nixed coalition's request to launch class-action suit against ADM The Gazette Published: 9 hours ago A coalition of Montreal residents has appealed to the auditor-general to investigate Trudeau Airport and what the coalition sees as unchecked expansion that does not consider impact on the environment or the quality of life of thousands of Montrealers. In a petition delivered yesterday to Sheila Fraser, Citizens for Quality of Life asked for an investigation into grievances that date back to 1995, when flights were transferred from Mirabel to Dorval without, the coalition says, public consultation. Night flights, the loss of green space to airport expansion, an increasing number of flight traffic and noise pollution are all cited in the petition. But like other Canadian airport authorities, Aéroports de Montréal is private and therefore outside the auditor-general's purview. Ghislain Desjardins, a spokesperson in the auditor-general's office, said that while the Dorval airport authority cannot be audited, its 60-year lease with Transport Canada can. However, Desjardins noted, any new audit would not happen immediately. Audit reports of federal departments and crown corporations that are already planned take the office into 2010. The coalition alleges Transport Canada failed to appropriately monitor the environmental clauses in its long-term lease with ADM. Copied to more than 40 elected officials, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Federal Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon, the petition targets the $1.5 billion in airport expansions that have taken place since 1996. Luc Marion, president of the coalition representing residents in eight Montreal municipalities, including Dorval, St. Laurent, Lachine and Lasalle, said the group was forced to go to the auditor-general after the Supreme Court of Canada refused to grant its request to launch a class-action lawsuit against ADM. "We are questioning the manner in which ADM has been able to move from Mirabel to Dorval, expand as it has without (looking at) the environmental impact now, 20 and 30 years from now," Marion said. There were 543 daily aircraft movements at Dorval airport in 1995, the year before flights were moved back there from Mirabel, Marion said. By 2007, that number had jumped to 666 a day. Marion said if ADM projections of the airport's growth are accurate, the number would reach 716 by 2010 and 864 by 2015. "We are not going to let another 200 planes fly over our heads a day," Marion said. - - - Dorval's airport is getting busier Daily aircraft movements at Dorval's airport 1966 345 1995 543 2007 666 2010* 716 2015* 864 *Projected figures Source: Citizens for quality of life
  21. New marché targets different market On the corner of Iberville and Ontario Sts., a neighbourhood initiative seeks to provide quality produce - and a fresh look at eating inexpensively and healthfully BRETT BUNDALE, The Gazette Published: 10 hours ago A new market was launched in one of Montreal's poorest neighbourhoods yesterday with the aim of increasing access to fresh food, not making profits. The Frontenac public market, on the corner of Iberville St. and Ontario St. E., is devoted to offering affordable, locally grown food as well as promoting healthy eating and lifestyle habits through educational workshops . "This is a low revenue area but residents don't have access to affordable, fresh food," said Elaine Groulx, chairperson of the public consultation on local food security. Seventy-three per cent of businesses that sell food in the area are dépanneurs. There's an IGA down the street, but it's expensive and the fruit and vegetables are not good quality." Although the market is just getting on its feet, every Saturday until October residents can attend workshops on healthy eating or just stroll through the market to see what's in season. The market is supported by the Ville-Marie borough and several community organizations, including the community economic development corporation of Centre-Sud and the Jeanne-Mance health and social services centre. Community organizers hope the market will be embraced by residents of the community and will expand in future years. They also hope to get more agricultural producers who live close to Montreal involved in the project. "Most of the vendors come from the South Shore or just on the outskirts of Montreal," Groulx said. Laurie-Anne Riendeau, 17, has a fruit and vegetable kiosk at the Frontenac market that she started with the support of her parents as a summer job. She sells fruits and vegetables grown near her home in Ste. Clotilde, in the Montérégie region of Quebec. "People have a lot of questions about rural Quebec and how agriculture works," Riendeau said. "Sometimes I have to explain what certain vegetables are, like these," she said, pointing to a fresh bunch of leeks. "I give them tips on the best way to cook them too." Often people assume the price of food in markets is cheaper than supermarkets because you avoid the "middle man" and buy directly from the producer. But an investigation by the non-profit consumer magazine Protégez-Vous found that wasn't always the case. Fruits and vegetables at the Atwater market were more expensive than in small fruit stores and supermarkets, the 2005 investigation found. In addition, because markets often sell fruits and vegetables in baskets at fixed prices, it's hard to compare with supermarkets, where the price is based on weight. But the Frontenac public market hopes to change that by educating vendors on the reality of the neighbourhood and asking them to set their prices accordingly, Groulx said. Riendeau said she is keeping the prices of her fruits and vegetables low. "I know this is not the Atwater market. Some people come here with only a few coins in their hands. I'll often give people a special price if they buy a few things." Cafe Touski, a neighbourhood coffee shop and cooperative, sells coffee and baked goods at the market. In between pouring cups of coffee, Martin Mantha said the café is so far just breaking even. http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=2c0c5b89-881a-4ff0-8b12-32babd6d979b
  22. 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
  23. Calgary population surge shows signs of slowing DAWN WALTON From Tuesday's Globe and Mail July 22, 2008 at 4:17 AM EDT CALGARY — Calgary's stunning population growth continues, according to the city's latest census, but boomtown is starting to show signs of a slowdown. Fewer people are pulling up stakes to move to the country's oil and gas capital, and the city's housing frenzy, which saw unprecedented bidding wars and zero vacancy rates, is a thing of the past, according to figures released yesterday. But with the addition of 22,950 new residents in the 12 months preceding April of 2008, bringing the city's population to 1,042,892, it's too early to say the boom is going bust. "Calgary still remains the trendsetter in the nation in terms of not only population growth, but those who are moving to our city," Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier told reporters yesterday. Affordable housing is finally easier to find in Calgary, as supply starts to catch up with demand. Chris Bolin for The Globe and Mail Enlarge Image Affordable housing is finally easier to find in Calgary, as supply starts to catch up with demand. (Chris Bolin for The Globe and Mail) The Globe and Mail The 2.3-per-cent population increase was fuelled by the birth of about 27 babies each day and about 34 people moving here daily. The pace is still slightly higher than the 10-year average, but 2007-08 marked the second consecutive year population growth did not amount to what the mayor called a "phenomenal" year in 2005-06, when the city added 35,681 new residents. In 2006, the city surpassed one million residents, two years earlier than projected. But as more and more people were lured to Calgary amid an acute labour shortage, newcomers arrived to find apartments converted to condominiums and home prices out of reach for many first-time buyers. Calgary's latest census figures show that affordable housing is finally easier to find. "[The market] couldn't maintain the frantic and hectic pace through 2008," said Gerry Baxter, executive director of the Calgary Apartment Association. "The whole housing industry had gone crazy." According to the census, the city's vacancy rate increased to more than 2.2 per cent in April, 2008, up from almost 1.5 per cent 12 months earlier. Meanwhile, the number of housing units - both existing residences and those under construction - jumped to 432,997 from 420,311. "After such a record growth in the last few years, you're finally starting to see supply catch up with demand," Mr. Bronconnier said. Still, Calgary's population growth continues at the fringes of the city where new suburbs are being built. The city faces about $7.5-billion to keep up with infrastructure demands over the next decade. "I think growth is a good thing in a lot of ways as opposed to a bad thing," said David Watson, the city's general manager for planning, assessment and development, "The challenge is of course the farther out you go there's more and more requirements for infrastructure." http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080722.wcalgary22/BNStory/National/home