Postcards: Street Facing Units

One of my favorite aspects of  Vancouver urban design is the way that buildings meet the street. This reminds me of classic urban neighbourhoods of New York and Philadelphia with their stoops or the humble porch of bungalows and cottages across California.…
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Introducing: Vancouver Cycle Chic

Vancouver Cycle Chic documents the emerging bike culture in Vancouver. In addition to the rich imagery of their website there is also a series of amazing videos produced by Chris Bruntlett. Spoiler: the videos aren’t about bikes, transport, or other narrow subjects but about people, their stories, and how the city meets their lifestyles and aspirations.…
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Want affordable apartments? Build heaps of them.

It seems like the relationship between planning controls and housing affordability is not going to go away any time soon, with Deputy Prime Minister Bill English noting recently that he thinks planning rules are a major contributor to inequality. Planning policies have probably increased inequality amongst New Zealanders more than any other policies through higher housing costs, Finance Minister Bill English says… …Mr English used the briefing to again emphasise the Government’s focus on addressing housing issues which featured in Prime Minister John Key’s Cabinet reshuffle yesterday.…
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The World’s Most Liveable Cities

Auckland has the goal of becoming the World’s Most Liveable City – a goal that is highly achievable given many of our current advantages (natural setting, low crime rates, mild climate etc.) But what makes a truly liveable city? This is something various agencies like Mercer, the Economist and Monocle try to figure out in their annual surveys.…
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Brent Toderian on “Density Done Well”

Former City of Vancouver Chief Planner Brent Toderian was in Auckland last week and spoke at a very well attended Auckland Conversations event on a range of planning issues that Auckland has much to learn from. We will elaborate on some of the key messages for Auckland coming out of this event during the next week, but for now here’s a different presentation given by Brent back in 2012 which touches on many of the same issues:While the Unitary Plan does enable some level of increased intensification and certainly places a far greater emphasis on requiring good urban design, the jury is probably still out on whether it truly enables the future that Auckland desperately requires.…
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Marketing Transit Oriented Developments

This is the kind of development that Auckland desperately needs more of, dotted around some of our key rail stations. It’s interesting how sophisticated the marketing of transit oriented developments is in Vancouver. Detail is provided about how close the building is to other areas by train even before the focus shifts to the proximity of available retail or even the views over the adjacent river:More here.…
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