Park(ing) Day

October 1, 2018 in Community, Design

In North American cities, there are 4 parking stalls for every car. Downtown cores usually devote 30% of their space for parking. And the average car sits stationary for 95% of its life. That’s a lot of space for vehicle storage. Do you ever wonder how all that asphalt could be used differently? How a parking stall could be transformed into a place for people to enjoy? We wanted to talk to someone who makes us rethink how space in cities could be used.

John Bela is the co-founder of Park(ing) Day, an annual event where parking stalls are transformed into temporary public places.


Building Up Well-Being

August 6, 2018 in Design, Health

How we design our cities impacts how we feel.

From green spaces and tree-lined streets to walkable ‘hoods and lively public places, there are many design considerations that can increase well-being.

And then there are the fifty-storey skyscrapers, ten-lane highways and endless acres of parking lots, which are argued to lead to increased stress and decreased well-being.

This idea of designing cities to maximize well-being has been a hot topic in recent years. But how does one actually measure the relationship between urban design and mental health? Can we quantify and analyze how urban design choices, such as tall skyscrapers, make us feel?

Today’s guest is doing just that.

Robin Mazumder is doctoral candidate in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Waterloo. He is studying the psychological impacts of urban design. His research is inspired by his passion for urbanism, his front-line experience working as an occupational therapist in mental health, and his interest in human-centred design.


The Art of Making Maps

April 9, 2018 in Art & Culture, Design

Maps are a powerful tool that can communicate much more than just where things are located in an area. They can communicate history of a place and often provide a sense of nostalgia about a certain place or a certain time in history. We wanted to talk to someone who integrates art and design with mapmaking. Raymond Biesinger is an illustrator and artist based in Montreal, Canada.

Raymond also plays guitar and sings in The Famines, a “noise garage art duo” – at the end of the episode, you’ll hear “I Like Some Of The Things You Do” by The Famines.

You can find Raymond’s artwork here:
The Civic Atlas of North America:
Listen to Raymond’s band the Famines here:
Bricks and Mortality: Shining a light on the Lost Buildings of Calgary: