Archive for the ‘Urban’ Category

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

How the financial crash will reshape America

by Warren

According to the cover of the Atlantic, the economic crapstorm we’re currently weathering is going to not only throw piles of people out of work and cause general misery, it’s also going to remake America’s geography. Richard Florida, who you might remember from his book “The Rise of the Creative Class,” asserts that regions like the Sun Belt, which experienced massive growth during the housing bubble, will be in dire shape in years to come, as will old industrial cities like Detroit. New York might take less of a beating, due to the big influx of creative types and industries other than finance, though frankly I think Florida might be overstating his case in that instance. Strangely, though the cover says “Toronto wins,” due to multiculturalism and a diversified economy (oh yeah, and Canadian banks are a hell of a lot better off than American banks), there’s barely any mention of the city in the article itself.

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Tiny houses sidle into the spotlight

by Warren

For nearly a century, the American dream has been to make enough money to have a really big house (and of course park a couple of cars in a mammoth garage.) But recently, some Americans have taken a turn for the tiny, as small house gain traction. Why? A terminal mortgage market, growing concern over the environment, and a general disillusionment with “bigger is better.”

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

The city inverts itself

by Warren

After 100 years of the affluent rushing to the suburbs, many major cities are experiencing a reversing trend, where young urban professionals opt for smaller living quarters, more densely packed living areas, and mixed-use communities. The New Republic has a decent article about this trend of “trading places” in their newest issue. Vancouver, where I live, has been on the forefront of this for a while now. Of course, what rarely gets mentioned is how damned expensive all this is….Vancouver is one example, but the best one would be Manhattan, where it’s virtually impossible to live or own a place without being a millionaire. Still, it’s an interesting read.

Friday, June 6th, 2008

The new, new city

by Warren

The New York Times Magazine has an interesting article about how the 20th century model for cities is pretty much played out, and how the urban centres of the future will have more in common with Shenzen or Dubai than wit mainstays like New York, London or Tokyo. Apparently apart from being playgrounds for the rich, these new cities are also where experimentation in new forms of urban living is at its strongest. Living in Vancouver, a city that pioneered mixed use, densification and sustainability practices, I can’t say any of this is particularly new to me, though it is an interesting read.

Monday, December 17th, 2007

Urban Mixer TV

by Warren

I’m shooting and editing a weekly video podcast for Urban Mixer, a Vancouver/Calgary social community site that showcases events around town and holds its own regular soirees. Check out the video at the Urban Mixer blog or down below:

Saturday, October 6th, 2007

Abu Dhabi wants to be just like Vancouver

by Warren

abudhabi.jpgMinus the drug addicts, rain, and smug yoga-pant nonsense, of course. Eschewing the bustle and apparent crassness of Dubai, Abu Dhabi has paid top dollar to bring in Vancouver planners and tune up the UAE’s other megacity to West Coast standards. (photo via Mathias M, Flickr)