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Cities rely on nature for their very well-being. Nature in cities reduces energy bills, cleans the air and protects us from floods. There is a growing body of evidence that nature makes us better people and builds better communities.
The perceived broken window theory is that poorly maintained areas lead to vandalism and increasingly more serious crimes. Creating well-lit, walkable communities that encourage pedestrian traffic and neighbourly interaction, as well as cycle path safety are critical in building a civic pride culture that will reduce crime.
The bulldozing of landscapes and older areas of cities Arthur Erickson viewed as an act of aggression against one's fellow humans only exceeded by warfare itself. Instead of freeways the answer he proposed was denser urban cores and, instead of high rises, vertical real estate in diverse layers with services at every level.
I love the Italian Piazza. You find them in every town, big or small. Rome is full of them. They are gentle and filled with human sounds, blended voices and mainly devoid of cars. People stroll in the...
Two recent reports rate Vancouver as Canada's most walkable city among a ranking of the world's top ten that also included Florence, Paris and Dubrovnik, Croatia. All great cities, but what is the definition of walkable and how does it contribute to the city experience?
High density neighbourhoods solve many problems when designed to be self-sustained. The idea is that residents barely need to use their cars when going to work or shopping. However, if the high density community contains only residential development where residents need to exit that community to get to work or to shop that is when high density may cause more congestion than it solves. That's why Mississauga needs more downtown office buildings while the getting's good.
In large part, a city's reputation rests on its central core, with a decayed and hollowed out inner-city tarnishing a community's reputation (even if it may have clean and affluent suburbs) and a healthy city core being a source of civic pride that encourages tourism and new migrants to move to the city.