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!

Esteemed Cities

September 17, 2018 in Travel

We love asking our guests to share a city they love and why. The city lovers we’ve had on the podcast generally find this tough to answer, as most enjoy a bunch of cities. Often, they cheat and list more than one city, but because I’m an understanding person, I allow it. The answers we’ve received have been insightful and inspiring, so we thought we would put together a super-cut highlighting the cities that our guests have listed as places they adore. Warning: what you’re about to hear might increase your desire to travel.

The Origins of Olympic Plaza

September 4, 2018 in History

The Olympics are often remembered for the moments that happen during the event, but we thought we’d explore an example of the built legacy that Olympics and large scale events leave behind. Today, we’re going to dive into the history of Olympic Plaza in Calgary.

This episode explores the decisions made and key lessons learned from the construction of Calgary’s Olympic Plaza. Today, Calgary is grappling with the possibility of bidding on the 2026 Olympics, so Olympic infrastructure is top of mind for many Calgarians.

Let’s rewind a few decades to learn about how and why the plaza began. Today’s guest is Richard Parker.


Olympic Plaza site before construction. Photo from City of Calgary Archives.

Olympic Plaza site before construction. Photo from City of Calgary Archives.

Olympic Plaza opening day. Photo from City of Calgary Archives.

Concept image of Olympic Plaza. Photo from City of Calgary Archives.

Olympic Plaza Brick Program. Photo from City of Calgary Archives.

Olympic Plaza. Photo from City of Calgary Archives.