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Taxes & Mortgages

3 Stages of Intensification

January 28, 2015 by Brandon Donnelly

Intensification in Toronto

We all know that the Greater Toronto Area is growing and intensifying at an incredible pace. Last year the region set a record with 25,571 new condominium units completed. If you listen to industry experts, they’ll tell you that this level of intensification is really a decade in the making.[read more]

The Geography of Housing Affordability in Texas

January 21, 2015 by Jim Russell

Housing Geography in Texas

Within the policy geography of Texas, housing affordability is highly variant from city to city, neighborhood to neighborhood. And in Brooklyn, concerning the increase in residential price per square foot from 2004-2012, large swaths of the borough saw either decrease or stagnation. Don't believe the hype.[read more]

Here's Wishing You All a Prosperous New Year, but What Does 'Prosperous' Mean?

January 20, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

Millennium Development Goals

The Millennium Development Goals had 15 years to be achieved. Time's up. Have we won?[read more]


How We Can Keep Global Warming to 2°C or Below

January 10, 2015 by David Thorpe

The greatest challenge for 2015

There is no greater challenge for the world this year than to reach an agreement at Paris' climate change talks in December that will limit global warming to within 2°C. There are many impediments to this, but it is possible to see a way through.[read more]

Is Inclusionary Zoning a Good or Bad Thing for Cities?

January 1, 2015 by Brandon Donnelly

It’s the season of giving. So I thought it would be appropriate to talk about affordable housing. Recently, Mitchell Cohen — who is a real estate developer and the president of The Daniels Corporation — wrote an opinion piece in the Toronto Star talking about just that.[read more]

19 Duncan Street Bought for $47 million

December 20, 2014 by Brandon Donnelly

Toronto Urban and Building Development

Last week it was announced that Allied Properties and Westbank have acquired 19 Duncan Street in Toronto for $47 million. The plan is to restore the existing heritage building, as well as build additional retail space, office space, and rental apartments. I hope it will end up a remarkable development project.[read more]

Are Startups Causing Inequality?

December 15, 2014 by Brandon Donnelly

Cities, Inequality, and Startups

Earlier this week Richard Florida published on article on CityLab talking about the relationship between tech innovation (in cities) and inequality. The article deals with the correlation between venture capital investment and a variety of factors, such as monthly housing costs, wage and income inequality, and so on.[read more]

Seeing and Caring for the Homeless

December 1, 2014 by Cape Town Partnership

Urban Homelessness

Going into Cape Town’s festive season, it’s always good to remember that at heart this is a time of giving, compassion and care. As Mahatma Ghandi famously wrote: “A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.”[read more]

Don't Judge the Town by Its Houses

November 29, 2014 by Kristen Jeffers

Home Prices and Home Values

Anyone who loves bungalows, lofts, Craftsmans, live/works, row houses and any other type of pre 1950’s suburbia style homes often learns that in small towns or less hot neighborhoods, they will find their perfect home, but without the big city and hot neighborhood prices.[read more]

Concerning Upward Mobility, Geography Is Destiny

November 20, 2014 by Jim Russell

Geography and Education and the Future

For human geography graduate students at the University of Colorado, statistics was, of course, coursework that was required to be completed. I preferred theory and would rather debate philosophy than mind quantitative analysis. I put off stats as long as I could.[read more]

A New District Emerges Around Historic Windsor Station in Downtown Montreal

November 15, 2014 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

Montreal District Development

A new bit of skyline will emerge in the lower part of downtown Montreal soon. Developer Cadillac-Fairview, a real-estate branch of the Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan, is creating Quad Windsor, a mixed-use development project comprised of nine new buildings centered around Windsor Station.[read more]

When Increasing Housing Supply Won't Lower Rent

November 13, 2014 by Jim Russell

Rent and Housing Supply

In the debate about solving the housing affordability problem, the usual supply-demand model is too simple. Simple sells. If demand goes up, so must supply. Otherwise, housing becomes more expensive. Of course we should ease restrictions on building housing. Economics 101. What about Geography 101?[read more]