Development & Density

March 4, 2019 in Business, Community, Design

Developers play a key role in shaping the landscape of a city. Often times, however, when we talk about the future of our cities, the voices of the folks that build the places we live, work and play aren’t considered. And that includes this podcast to date. So, we wanted to fix that.

In many North American cities, residential development has created a city that continually sprawls outwards. This has been the case in Calgary, where the City is not constrained by many natural boundaries that limit growth. New communities featuring auto-oriented development with primarily single-detached homes, winding roads and grassy lawns are still very common.

Despite the historical trend to build out instead of up, some developers are re-shaping existing neighbourhoods by designing higher density homes in existing communities. Today, we wanted to talk to a developer who is focussing on thoughtful inner-city development.

Alakarim Devani is a co-founder of RNDSQR, a Calgary-based inner city urban residential development company.

Resources

Paste In Place

December 10, 2018 in Design

Has a way-finding map on the corner of a busy street ever helped you figure out how to get to your destination? Perhaps a simple line graph has taught you about a complex, long-term trend. Or maybe an annual report caught your eye because of its appealing and colourful design.

At Intelligent Futures, we really appreciate strong graphic design. Good maps can help you find your way, clear graphs can help you comprehend complex data, and appealing reports can help you digest important information.

This week, we wanted to talk to someone who shares this appreciation and works at the intersection of graphic design and urban planning.

Ryan Sullivan is the Founder of Paste in Place, a design studio based in Portland, Oregon. Their design work includes data visualizations, maps and graphic design projects that describe and analyze cities.

The work from Paste in Place is always bright, clean and playful. It’s usually cartographic, and sometimes minimal. Ryan and his team effectively communicate plans, strategies, and urban change to readers in an appealing and accessible way.

Resources

The Wonders of Walkability

October 15, 2018 in Design

This episode dives into Jeff Speck’s General Theory of Walkability.

The General Theory of Walkability was published in 2012 in the book “Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America One Step at a Time”.  The book consolidated ideas and theories from many other urban thinkers and designers into a clear and hopeful case for change in our cities. It has been referenced by many professional city builders as well as John’s father-in-law, who is a 70 year old retired physician. So, it’s safe to say that the ideas in the book resonate with all kinds of readers.

Jeff just released a new book, called Walkable City Rules: 101 Steps to Making Better Places.

Some rules include:

  • Rule # 3: When advocating for walkability, use climate change arguments and stress location efficiency.
  • Rule # 31: To make streets safer, focus on speeding.
  • Rule # 100: Don’t give up on sprawl. Instead, make suburban streets safer and more walkable too.

To learn about 97 more rules and instructions, check out the book!