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.

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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.

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Vancouverism

April 29, 2019 in Community, Design, History

Vancouver is often cited as one of the most successful cities in the world. Today, Vancouver’s inner city is filled with glass towers, townhouses, pedestrian paths, mountain views, public spaces and sidewalk cafes. The downtown is widely praised as being livable, sustainable and walkable. Now, this isn’t to say the city is without its challenges — including housing affordability, homelessness and social isolation. 

Overall, with both successes and challenges, downtown Vancouver has changed a great deal since the 1980s. 

Today’s episode explores how this city became the renowned place it is today. So, I thought I’d talk to someone who has been at the forefront of managing and instilling change in Vancouver since the 1970s. 

Larry Beasley is the founding principal of Beasley & Associates. Alongside Anne MacAfee, Larry was the co-chief planner at the City of Vancouver from the 1990s to the early 2000s. Before that, he was a community planner with the City. Since leaving the government in 2006, Larry has been practicing planning around the world. He also teaches at UBC’s School of Community and Regional Planning.

In this episode, Larry and I discuss his experiences as the co-chief of planning, his forthcoming book Vancouverism and some of his key lessons learned over his distinguished career.

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