Archive for July, 2010

Carjacked – a new lecture

 A new SFU City Program lecture, hosted by Better Environmentally Sound Transportation.

Carjacked: The Culture of the Automobile and its Effect on our Lives

August 12, 7pm

Venue: SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

Admission is free; reservations are required.

Reserve at

In their new book, Carjacked, authors Catherine Lutz and Anne Lutz Fernandez present their unprecedented, controversial yet hopeful look at car culture, while discussing the complex impact of the automobile and how to develop cheaper and greener relationships with cars.  Supported by anthropological findings and research, the authors argue we are at a tipping point in car culture and transportation economics, where the future of active transportation and transit use will be strong, particularly if cultural ideas and actual experience with the car are made more visible.  

More details can be found here.
The book will be sold at the event for a discounted price, and the authors will be available for book signing and a question and answer session.

July 27, 2010 at 12:10 pm Leave a comment

Jarrett Walker: on congestion

A succinct post by ‘Human Transit’ blogger Jarrett Walker on vehicle congestion (and why transit doesn’t reduce it).  He also explains what does.  (No surprise: road pricing.)

Great line: “Current road pricing policy [i.e. free] requires motorists to save money, a renewable resource, by expending time, the least renewable resource of all. ”

Even better, he defines five indirect ways transit addresses the impacts of congestion .  One I hadn’t thought of: “Surface exclusive transit lanes  … improve the performance of emergency services. “

Emergency response should be one of the strongest and most obvious cases for surface transit lanes.  Motorists understand the need to drop to a low speed in school zones, to protect the life of every single child.  Why do we not accept come degree of delay to save a child who may be dying somewhere else, because the ambulance is stuck in traffic?

Expect this kind of insight at Jarrett’s City Program lecture – A Field Guide to Transit Debates – on August 4 at 7 pm, SFU Harbour Centre.  Still some seats available, but probably not for long.

And while you’re at the SFU City Program site, you might check out the Urban Design and Sustainable Community Development certificate program sites.  Still open for registration too.

July 26, 2010 at 9:27 am Leave a comment

Art Gallery Public Meetings

July 21, 2010 at 11:22 am 2 comments

Great Debates – Jarrett Walker on Transit

New Lecture:


August 4, 7 pm
Venue: SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
Admission is free; reservations are required.
Reserve at

As transit becomes more popular, many cities are having intense and often bitter quarrels about what kind of transit to build or operate. Working from his 20 years of experience as a transit planning consultant, Jarrett Walker examines some of the most common confusions that affect debates about transit, and that often lead to disappointing outcomes. He then suggests strategies for clarifying transit debates, by recognizing the unavoidable “hard choices” that arise from transit’s intrinsic geometry and costs.

Jarrett Walker is a consultant specialising in transit network design and policy, with 20 years experience on four continents. He grew up in Portland and has been based in Portland, San Francisco, and Vancouver. Currently, he is a Principal Consultant for McCormick Rankin Cagney, based in Sydney, Australia. He holds a Ph.D from Stanford University and writes the popular transit weblog

UPDATE: A terrific interview with Jarrett on Translink’s Buzzer Blog.

July 8, 2010 at 12:08 pm Leave a comment


You can determine the ‘walkability’ of your neighbourhood by using Walk Score – a website will give you a rating out of 100 for practically any address in North America.  But can you do the same for ‘bikeability’?

Sort of.  You may not yet be able to do so for any address, but at least you can find out what elements go into determining what makes a community more bike friendly.   Nathan McNeil is a Master of Urban and Regional Planning at Portland State University – and he’s just published his paper on “Bikeability and the 20-Minute Neighbourhood.”

Not surprising that this work has come out of Portland, a community that is not just a mecca for active transportation but which also  has a culture that generates the research needed to advance the transformation of communities.

July 6, 2010 at 10:11 am Leave a comment

Conversations on the new Art Gallery

UBC’s School of Community and Regional Planning and SFU’s City Program organized a forum on the proposal for a new building for the Vancouver Art Gallery a few months ago. VAG is now holding their own:

Join the conversation about a new, purpose-built Vancouver Art Gallery at Georgia and Cambie.

SESSION 1: Wednesday, July 7, 2010 • 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Robson Square Theatre, UBC Robson Square
800 Robson Street, Vancouver

Doors open at 6:00pm for informal conversation and refreshments

SESSION 2: Thursday, July 8, 2010 • 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Historic Theatre, The Cultch
1895 Venables Street, Vancouver

Doors open at 4:00pm for informal conversation and refreshments

MODERATOR: MICHAEL A. GOLDBERG, Professor Emeritus, Strategy & Business Economics Division, Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia


DAVID AISENSTAT, Chair, Board of Trustees, Vancouver Art Gallery
MICHAEL AUDAIN, Member, Board of Trustees and Relocation Committee Chair, Vancouver Art Gallery
RICHARD HENRIQUEZ, Founding Partner, Henriquez Partners Architects
KEN LUM, Artist
MARK SOO, Artist
RAY SPAXMAN, Former Director of Planning, City of Vancouver and Principal, Spaxman Consulting Group
STANLEY KWOK, President, Stanley Kwok Consultants

July 5, 2010 at 10:10 am Leave a comment