Random thoughts

Montreal isn’t Copenhagen: an illustrated bike story

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”

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?”

Can planners solve the housing crisis ?

“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 ?”

Planning post-COVID downtown Montreal as a shopping centre: why not?

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?”


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