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Caveats, Covenants, and the Impartial City

Like Violet Beauregarde after a delicious stick of Wonka’s blueberry pie bubblegum, Edmonton is ballooning at an insatiable rate. As the city marches towards a population of two million—forecasts show us nearly doubling to this mark within 20 years—we find ourselves repeatedly gobbling up more land on the outskirts, while paying little mind to the…
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Putting the Woo in Woonerfs

It’s a warm, sunny day and you’re out for a stroll.  In most areas of Edmonton, if you were to look down you would see shades of grey — the bland and uninviting hues of our typical roads, paths, and sidewalks. Light grey for sidewalks, where pedestrians stroll. Dark grey for roads, where automobiles reign.…
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Covid Thoughts on Education

The pandemic we all find ourselves in the throes of has given me some time to think about what our future looks like coming out of this experience. Firstly, my thoughts on our education system, and my thoughts on the future of how we design and plan for schools.

E-Scooters

E-scooters have launched in Canada, with Bird and Lime releasing their e-scooters in Edmonton and Calgary a few weeks ago. These are a great addition to local transit systems, and help promote other modes of transit as well.

What I Wish I Learned in Planning School

It’s been nearly a decade since I’ve been working as a professional planner. With the academic year right around the corner, I felt it’s a good time to reflect on my education in the Master of City Planning program at the University of Manitoba, and identify a few things that I wish I knew coming…
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Scrambling

In 2015, Edmonton adopted the Vision Zero Strategy, aimed at reducing fatalities and serious injury from vehicular collisions in Edmonton. It received praise from Council and was supported unanimously, and I mean, why wouldn’t someone support that vision. In the years since, the City has implemented a series of interventions that follow the overall road…
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4 Strategies for Public Hearings

Not all of us are blessed with confidence when public speaking, but as planners it is a big part of our job. Over my career, I’ve had success at public hearings and in council using a small set of strategies. Here they are.

The Missing Middle – Plan View

The City of Edmonton is proposing changes to their zoning bylaw to solve the issue of housing affordability. The changes are intended to spur missing middle housing development, like row housing and low-rise apartments. But the reasons for the missing middle are beyond simply policy and process – some of the elements are completely out…
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The Canadian Dream

A few weeks ago I read a very interesting article about zoning in American cities. Using data from UrbanFootprint to map a city, The Upshot calculated how cities across the United States are zoned, with a focus on highlighting the amount of land that outlaw multi-family housing through their zoning. It’s intended to show how…
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The Municipal Government Act – Plan View

The fifth video in a series about Alberta’s planning process – this time focusing on the tippy-top of the statutory plans, the Municipal Government Act. Check out the other videos in the series here: The Municipal Development PlanThe Area Structure PlanThe Zoning BylawThe Planning Process