An interesting survey was issued in April by IPSOS, and was reported in the Financial Times. It asks over 21000 people in 30 countries which actions they think will be most effective at reducing their carbon footprint. The survey shows that there is a wide gap between people’s perceptions and the actual carbon impact ofContinue reading “Carbon footprint, eugenics and surveys”
Sidewalks underpin the right to the city Sidewalks are basic urban infrastructure. They have a variety of prosaic yet critical functions. If well maintained and designed, they provide space for pedestrians to walk that is protected from traffic (because slightly elevated with a curb), that is dry (the curb canalises run-off water), and can encourageContinue reading “The sidewalk is dying: long live the sidewalk!”
The problem: infrastructure by diktat There is heated debated in Québec about Montreal’s planned light-rail line towards the East of the city (REM-Est). When I say ‘planned’, I am exaggerating. The Québec government has granted autarkic powers to CDPQ Infra, the infrastructure investment wing of the province’s massive pension fund. Under the pretense that theContinue reading “The debate about Montreal’s REM-Est: using technology to obfuscate wider questions”
On 11th May the City of Montreal announced its (very welcome) road-work charter. For a moment I had a dream. The dream of coordination I dreamt that road works would now be coordinated, along the lines outlined for New York. I dreamt that all City departments (transport, infrastructure, parks, water, waste management…) would enter theirContinue reading “Montreal’s road-work charter: a small step for citizens, a giant leap for Montreal”
Allow me a brief thought-experiment. Let us imagine, for a moment, that the dream of many office workers is realised: henceforth they permanently work-from-home, saving on commute time and costs. No more pesky interruptions, no more tiresome colleagues, no more central business district, no more office buildings! Let us further imagine that their lives areContinue reading “How to further segregate cities: work-from-home and 15-minutes”
Those of you with the leisure and patience to read some of my blogs may have noted a recurring structure to their argument. I briefly describe a popular idea or position (e.g. 15-minute cities, cycling, electric-cars, heritage protection…); I then acknowledge the benefits of the idea but discuss some complicating factors. My point of contentionContinue reading “Is urban planning reverting to modernism?”
There is little doubt that an electric car emits less CO2 than a conventional car when it runs (assuming its electricity source is fairly clean). There is also little doubt that over its life cycle an electric car will emit less CO2 than a conventional car (but this is not completely clear-cut). For these reasons,Continue reading “Electric cars and urban transport: a sustainability fix?”
I rarely drive in Montreal: but the other day I needed to pick up an item at the office, and drove downtown. I parked in a metered space, and thought I’d get the parking app. I assumed that this app would do three things: record the ID number of the parking space (which I canContinue reading “Parking in Montreal: smart cities in practice”
When I arrived in Montreal in the mid 1990s I was taken aback by the haphazard way heritage buildings were protected. Not that I have any particular interest in heritage buildings, but I regularly went by the Sainte-.Justine hospital. In their car park was an old building: the Mount Royal Hunt Lodge. By the timeContinue reading “Heritage buildings – a little movement in Québec?”
Dorothy, in the Wizard of Oz, remarks that she isn’t in Kansas. As I cycle around Montreal, thinking urban(e?) thoughts on this beautiful spring day, I realise I’m not in Copenhagen. Neither am I in Rimouski, Oslo, Norwich, Toluca or St-Rémy-de-Provence… so why am I specifically not in Copenhagen? This city is often put forwardContinue reading “Montreal isn’t Copenhagen: an illustrated bike story”
Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.
Follow My Blog
Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.