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”
I am currently reading a very interesting little book called ‘Breaking Things at Work‘ by Gavin Mueller1. I am also trying to make sense of the Workday (human resource) computer system which has engulfed almost everyone at McGill to some extent. Workday is a fairly standard – if clunky and ill-adapted to universities – exampleContinue reading “Enterprise management: the new Taylorism”
Post-COVID city-centres: who should benefit from businesses re-opening – landlords or the businesses themselves?
An issue that has gained momentum over recent years in Montreal is skyrocketing rents for commercial premises, especially in lively neighbourhoods and in downtown. Rent hikes have been driving many well-established stores out of business. A well publicised example occured in early March 2021 when the bookshop S.W.Welch (which features in the film My SalingerContinue reading “Post-COVID city-centres: who should benefit from businesses re-opening – landlords or the businesses themselves?”
I have enjoyed reading the comments about the 15 minute city. They raise interesting points, and it is worth – briefly – going into a bit of theory. Almost a century ago a geographer called Christaller noted some regularities in the way retail activity and services deployed across cities and regions1. Assuming an even densityContinue reading “The 15 min non-city – a theoretical follow-up”
“At this moment, 3 million Canadian households are precariously homed, living in unaffordable, substandard, or overcrowded housing conditions. Almost 1 in 5 households are currently experiencing serious housing affordability problems which puts them directly at risk of homelessness. In 2016 alone, an estimated 235-thousand people in Canada experienced homelessness with an average of 35-thousand people living on the streets on any given night.Continue reading “Can planners solve the housing crisis ?”
The latest planning fad – one that the mayor of Paris, no less, is attempting to implement – is the 15 minute city. It is a catchy phrase, one that mobilises people and catches the imagination. What does it refer to? This sounds idyllic. It sounds like a small village. But can a juxtaposition ofContinue reading “The 15-minute city is not a city”
There is a lot to be said for managing downtowns as shopping centres. As planners think about resuscitating Montreal’s, and other, downtowns, it is worth considering. This does NOT mean privatization, surveillance and control. It could mean that: but these aspects of shopping centre management would not enhance our cities. I am not suggesting thatContinue reading “Planning post-COVID downtown Montreal as a shopping centre: why not?”
I have been doing very little urban bike riding of late – no commutes. So I’ve been able to pick the time of day and my routes in order to avoid traffic. But yesterday and today I’ve been obliged to run some errands, i.e. to actually cycle from A to B with intent, and performContinue reading “Another ride, another brush with infirmity”
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