Brent Toderian

Entries by Brent Toderian

In Praise Of The Upright Bike

(28) Comments | Posted September 16, 2014 | 4:56 PM

vancouver bike cycling

North American bike culture is changing. Fast. And a big part of that shift is in the type of bicycles people are choosing to ride. Traditional upright city bikes have seen an explosion in popularity in recent years, with real implications to the way...

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How Your Garage Affects Speeding, Design In Your Neighbourhood

(4) Comments | Posted January 3, 2014 | 6:08 PM

Many years ago, a suburban ward councillor in the city I was planning for, asked me for some unusual advice. Residents had been calling about speeding on the roads in their neighbourhoods, and the councillor was wondering if posting lower speed limits might be needed to address the problem.


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Tear Down Those Viaducts, Vancouver

(4) Comments | Posted June 26, 2013 | 11:20 AM

"Vancouver is the city without freeways."

How often have you heard that? It's close to being true, however I often say that there's an asterisk beside the statement. That's because we have a piece of freeway-like infrastructure, a little bit of freeway thinking, left over from our now-iconic story...

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Moving On From Gentrification to 'Shared Neighborhoods'

(6) Comments | Posted May 21, 2013 | 5:22 PM

As the renaissance of cities and urban areas in North America continues, more and more neighborhoods are struggling with the challenges of change. Although the market's rediscovery of inner-city, walkable, mixed-use communities is an excellent thing in many ways, the word "gentrification" inevitably comes up in almost every discussion. But...

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The Most Important Urban Design Decision Vancouver Ever Made?

(3) Comments | Posted March 2, 2013 | 9:11 AM

Last weekend at a book launch party, our host, Simon Fraser University's City Program Director Gordon Price, began the evening by asking each party-goer to answer a fun and provocative question: "Tell us an urban design decision that you love." For a group of city-making wonks like us, it was...

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Re-defining the D-Word: 'Density Done Well' in Vancouver

(0) Comments | Posted February 24, 2013 | 1:24 AM

Density can be the most controversial aspect of how cities and communities are planned. It's often nicknamed "the D-Word" because some politicians still actually try to avoid using it in a sentence, and "the third rail of municipal politics" because many prefer not to touch it.

But what I call...

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How Your New Year's Resolutions Can Make Your City Better

(3) Comments | Posted January 3, 2013 | 4:43 PM

2013-01-03-P1240627.JPGNew Year's Eve in Seattle (Brent Toderian)

At this time of year, most of us are thinking hard about New Year's resolutions to make our personal, family and professional lives better. But before we finalize and laminate the list of losing weight, balancing our household...

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Frightful Winter Weather Doesn't Scare Walkable Cities

(1) Comments | Posted December 25, 2012 | 12:01 AM

Last week in Vancouver, the city was hit by a significant (at least by our standards) and unexpected snowfall. For a city more used to being wet than white, the truth is that Vancouver has it pretty easy when it comes to winter weather — the generally mild...

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Does Your Neighbourhood Pass 'Trick-Or-Treat' Test?

(15) Comments | Posted October 25, 2012 | 12:29 PM

Halloween is my favourite holiday for many reasons. On top of loving to dress up each year, a big reason is it's the holiday most dependent on how we design and build our communities.

In city planning and design, there's an old saying about the "Trick-or-Treat Test." It's often brought...

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It's Not About The Bike Or Car -- It's About Better Cities

(31) Comments | Posted October 5, 2012 | 10:34 AM

This week, I watched with concern Canada's largest city have a rhetoric-heavy debate about removing the relatively new separated bike lane on Jarvis Street. They even originally had the intention of using bike-lane funds to remove it!

Bike-lane debates have been going on for some time in...

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Want Families Downtown? Design for Them!

(6) Comments | Posted September 7, 2012 | 6:19 PM

A few months back, Toronto's deputy mayor started a political flap stating on the floor of city council that downtown was no place to raise kids. "Where's little Ginny? Well, she's downstairs playing in the traffic on her way to the park," he said.

Flap, indeed. Urbanists and...

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