Planning with Empathy

June 10, 2019 in Community

Urban planners, designers, architects and other city-builders can often experience tension between acting as an expert and learning from the community. But as we have explored in previous episodes, we are understanding more and more the importance of designing great places from a point of empathy and co-creation. I wanted to talk to someone who is doing all sorts of great planning work with communities by putting empathy at the forefront of her work. Leela Viswanathan is an Associate Professor at the School of Urban Planning at Queen’s University. Her research emerges at the intersection of planning, equity and diversity.


Child Scale Cities

May 27, 2019 in Design

One of the trademark elements of cities is their diversity – of spaces, or activities and of people. Yet, when we consider how our cities get built, that diversity can often be forgotten. I’m a middle aged, able bodied, Caucasian male. Cities generally work pretty well for me. But what if you have a visual impairment? What if you are female? Or what if you are a child? We have explored some of the implications of considering diversity in our cities in previous episodes and will continue to do so in the future, but today, I wanted to talk to someone who is examining urban places from the perspective of children. John talks with Vivian Doumpa, who is examining urban places from the perspective of children.


Regional Mobility

May 13, 2019 in Transportation, Uncategorised

Our transportation systems have huge effects on our day-to-day lives. We rely on transportation infrastructure to get to work, drop our kids at school, attend cultural activities and meet up with friends. And it’s really hard to plan for effective transportation, especially on a regional scale. Lots of transportation systems — think buses, bike paths or trains — often stop at municipal boundaries. This may not seem like a big issue, but it can be when people have to cross boundaries often.  

John talks with Joe McAndrew about how the Greater Washington Partnership’s Blueprint for Regional Mobility is improving regional transportation and improving the day-to-day transportation experiences for folks in the USA’s Capital Region.