Items of interest to October 11

2009/10/11

Jarrett Walker at Human Transit links to an interesting interview with Roland Castro on thinking of and designing for Paris as a region.  Walker’s had a few good posts lately on Paris, and this interview raises some good points too.  I’d recommend to him a recent book, Paris Métropole, in which Phillippe Panerai contemplates the forms and scales of Paris, also in the context of the Grand Pari.

In Vancouver, a few posts of interests came up this past week:

Peter Ladner remarks how frequently the number $1.5 billion comes up as the yearly costs of congestion.  Surrey council came to its senses about putting a road through Bear Creek Park – though given how difficult, uncertain, and fractious transit projects are in this region, one can hardly blame them if they stick to the cars-first model; Port Moody (and to a lesser extent Coquitlam) have done the densification thing, but are still patiently awaiting the Nevergreen line…

CityCaucus has a bit of scorn for the current Vancouver administration’s about-face on the $20m Live Site public entertainment zones for the Olympics, which they voted against in the past.  The charitable interpretation is that they came around once they realized how good an idea this was, but alas, no charity from CityCaucus, only pointing out how Vision is taking credit for yet another NPA initiative… perhaps three year terms aren’t long enough for anyone to initiate an idea and still be around to take credit for it?

The Buzzer reports that people are joining Ride Share in order to escape poor transit conditions.  It would be interesting to know the ‘previous mode’ for Ride Share members and to examine the likely VKT reduction, which might be lower than expected if these folks are coming from transit rather than from single occupant vehicles.

Finally, Kudos and Kvetches has a great list of Olympic metaphors, prompted by VANOC chief John Furlong’s use of a football metaphor to describe the city’s preparations.

And (somewhat) beyond Vancouver:

Google Street View finally debuts in Canada, and what’s everyone talking about?  Alleys!  Fagstein has a great series of maps showing the extent of coverage for a few different cities, while both Urbanphoto and CityCaucus look at laneways.

Both Michael Geller and Tom Vanderbilt link to a great piece on a subway station in Stockholm where the stairs have been musically re-worked.  It’s a great video and it’s nice to see Volkswagen investing in public transit.  A lot more fun could easily be integrated into transit, from swings or hammocks at bus stops, to more outlandish schemes – slides to transfer between levels at Berri, Lionel-Groulx, or Commercial/Broadway?

Quiet Babylon has a good speculative piece on smart buildings and buildings that could outsmart – check it out for the accompanying photo if for no other reason, while BLDGBLOG/Edible Geography have a thoughtful interview with Thomas Mullen, author of The Last Town on Earth, which sounds like a pretty interesting book.

That’s it for the last few days, more notes on upcoming reading soon…

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