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Building & Design

Four Cities' Solutions to Sustainable Garbage Processing

Cities and Waste Recycling

Cities around the world face many challenges to their cleanliness and environmental sustainability, including rising greenhouse gas emissions, unsanitary public spaces, foul odors, growing energy demand, low recycling rates, and limited space.[read more]

Triumph of the City: Book Report

March 6, 2015 by Christopher Berggren

Urban Triumph

In 'Triumph of the City,' renowned economist Edward Glaeser presents a clear case for why our cities and urban spaces are our greatest inventions, how they make us richer, smarter, greener, healthier, and happier, and how we can still yet improve them.[read more]

Metrolinx Takes First Step Towards Rail + Property in Toronto

March 6, 2015 by Brandon Donnelly

Rail + Property

I’ve written about the advantages of a "rail + property" model when it comes to public transit. It works quite successfully in other parts of the world, such as in Hong Kong. However, in North America the notion of land value recapture or of transit authorities acting as real estate developers is still very much in its infancy.[read more]

This Student-Designed Pallet House Can Survive Hurricanes

March 5, 2015 by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

Pallet House

Used shipping pallets represent the biggest source of waste wood. Many people have used them to make funky, distressed furniture projects. That’s great, but you wouldn’t want to use this wood for something you really need to count on, right? No one would want to live in a pallet house, right?[read more]

Architect and Developer Partner to Build Affordable Prefab Housing in Sweden

March 5, 2015 by Brandon Donnelly

Prefab Housing in Sweden

In this month’s issue of Monocle magazine they profile an interesting prefabricated and affordable housing project in Knivsta, Sweden. The way it was built is quite simple. The modular housing units were fabricated off-site and then inserted on-site into a prefabricated concrete frame.[read more]

New Orleans Nonprofit Incubates and Connects Local Farmers and Growers

Local Farmers in New Orleans

New Orleans Food and Farm Network has been sponsoring growing projects and providing technical and financial support to local agriculture. Their latest project takes the New Orleans local food movement a step further by incubating small food producers through a commercial kitchen and business education program.[read more]

Gugulethu Seven Memorial: In Memory of Anti-Apartheid Activists

March 5, 2015 by Cape Town Partnership

Cape Town Memorial

In terms of symbols of memorialization, the Gugulethu Seven monument is a haunting one. The arms of the young men flailing up in the air are reminiscent of Francisco Goya’s painting “The Third of May 1808”, with more motion rather than frightened surrendering of the man in Goya’s work.[read more]

What Will the Condo Market Look Like in 10-20 Years?

March 4, 2015 by Brandon Donnelly

The future of condos looks good as cities densify

Over the past week I’ve had two separate people ask me my thoughts on the future of the condo market in Toronto. One of them was working on a University study and one of them was trying to figure out what (condo) property managers would look like in the future.[read more]

How To Turn Plastic Bottles Into Twine [VIDEO]

March 4, 2015 by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

Plastic bottles to new rope

As a good greenie, I’d argue that plastic bottles are one of those things we should mostly “reduce” our use of rather than “recycle”. But I do use them, so I was fascinated by this video which shows you how to turn plastic bottles into twine.[read more]

Lahore's Roads to Nowhere

Lahore and Transport Infrastructure

Lahore, Pakistan is on a dangerous path toward a future of urban highways, underpasses, and flyovers that will eventually suffocate the city. By prioritizing car-centric infrastructure through new development contracts, the city is making traffic congestion, air pollution, and road safety worse.[read more]

Historical Vandalism? Vancouver Remembers Past Landmarks With Signage

March 3, 2015 by Jillian Glover

Vancouver History and Marketing

There is a trend in Vancouver where clever real estate marketers name condos – and sometimes even rebuild or leave the old signage – to commemorate more historically important and interesting buildings that are being torn down. Here are some examples.[read more]

Architectural Fantasy and Social Reality: Two Types of Floating City

March 3, 2015 by This Big City

Architectural fantasy all at sea?

Many architects have come up with concepts of future utopian cities, some of which are related to smart, sustainable, and bio-tech innovation. However, it is not clear at the moment whether these cities can really address the challenges of tomorrow’s world, or if they are going to end up as unrealistic utopian ideas.[read more]