urban planning
Gallery Down

I have just noticed some serious errors in my gallery page.  Thus, that part of the site might be down for awhile as I figure it out.  Sorry to disappoint as I know that that particular page is one of the most popular hits on internet and you are just dying to get back in […]

Shanghai From Yang Pu District

Taken from the Foreign Students Residence at Fudan University on a reasonable clear afternoon. Lujiazui – looking south from the top floor. Shanghai Financial Centre to the left, with the Jin Mao Tower to the right. Don’t forget the Pearl Tower.  Black photo, colour photo.  What does it really matter?           […]

How to melt one’s brain in 12 easy hours – A day at the China International Urban Planning Conference

Some topics of note: Perceptions of Shanghai – Politics of Built Form (Foreign interpretation regarding the rise of Shanghai…from hybrid city to…hybrid city). Urban Renewal Under Shenzhen’s Rapid Urbanization (a 30 year old modelcity undergoing urban renewal) Revitalizing Genes and Curing the Body – The Regeneration Road of Nanshi District in Yining City in Xinjiang […]

Land Use Change in Shanghai 1939 – 2009

1939 air photo of Puxi (west side of the Huangpu River) and Pudong (east side of the Huangpu River).  Click to enlarge. 2009 Google satellite image of approximately the same area.

Nanjing III – Xuan Wu Lake – 玄武湖
Nanjing III – Xuan Wu Lake - 玄武湖

The Greenland Plaza has now become a bit of a skyline marker in Nanjing and is visible from most of the important areas within the city.  I drop the GLP probably too often…but it is like my skyscraper baby – I watched the initial foundation excavation and was present for all the major moments in […]

Nanjing II – Nanjing University 南京大学
Nanjing II – Nanjing University 南京大学

Familiar spaces become very different after living in them them, then visiting them after a prolonged absence. Nanjing University campus is a good example.  I lived just a block away from this campus for several years and walked through it or nearby it on a regular basis, drank beer in on its street curbs and […]

Nanjing I – May 2009

When I initially wrote my ‘proposal’ for my program’s Fudan exchange, I prominently included Nanjing as a potential observational site.  This was chiefly because of my familiarity with the city, the area and a somewhat layman’s understanding of what the location was trying to achieve.  My goals for revisiting included a deeper exploration of some […]

Urban Air Bases
Urban Air Bases

Every third or fourth day, military aircraft will rip back and forth over the skies of Fudan University, on manoeuvres, playing war games, training or perhaps just flying the flag to the students below. I can hear them right now and rationally, I am quite interested where they are basing from.  Airports and airfields are […]

Ebenezer Howard lives in Shanghai
Ebenezer Howard lives in Shanghai

…while Le Corbusier is rocking Lujiazui (Pudong) like it’s 1951. Well, maybe it is a stretch to claim that ole’ Ebenezer’s vision is appearing in Shanghai of all places, but there are some definite deliberate shades in Shanghai’s regional growth form and strategy.  I choose the word strategy over plan as apparently it is more […]

Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition
Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition

This will have been my second time visiting this exhibition, the first being the summer of last year. I was expecting that with a year of planning studies behind me I would come at the exhibit from a different perspective.  What I liked about it… Preservation and emphasis placed upon physical modelling. Physical modelling could […]

Fudan University – Shanghai
Fudan University - Shanghai

Hmmm…so here I am back in the People’s Republic a little shy under a year after I made my big exit in 2008.  Unlike my previous sojourns, I’m basing out of Shanghai and I’m not working (yay) but nor am I pulling in a nice salary (booo).  I’m at Fudan University on exchange.  Actually, exchange […]

Why I went into Urban Planning
Why I went into Urban Planning

To play with models of course! Unfortunately, I never actually get to play with them, and rarely see them either.  The closest I’ve gotten to any kind of urban modelling is my crappy AutoCAD brownfield redevelopment I did last year…and I really cannot stress the adjective ‘crappy’ enough Chicago Urban Model vs. Davis Tannery Site, […]

Underground City
Underground City

I picked up a copy of Alan Weisman’s The World Without Us from Indigo’s books under $10 table.  I’m not sure what a book has to do to be heaved onto the $10 table…perhaps this is where former “International Bestsellers” go to spend their twilight years…next to the the Chicken Soup for the Atheist books.  […]

Campus Space
Campus Space

Interestingly enough, I was thinking about public spaces this morning as I walked through the desolate, abandoned landscape that is Queen’s University – Reading Week Edition.  One of the things I admire about the Queen’s campus is the way it effortlessly incorporates itself within the surrounding urban space, streets and fabric. The municipal streets slice […]

Most Hideous Building in the World?
Most Hideous Building in the World?

No, it’s not the CCTV Headquarters building…which I strangely kind of like, even though it appears to epitomize masturbatory architecture and sky-line wonks nor does it fit at all into the surrounding fabric…I remain strangely drawn to it.  I can’t seem to explain my new found attraction towards good ultra-modernist design.  I could blame weburbanist.com, […]

Skyscraper Fire
Skyscraper Fire

I’ve never seen, except in movies and the time that my building in SimTower caught on fire, a high-rise blaze. The hotel complex to the side of the main, two-legged leaning structure was engulfed in fire from top to bottom. The cause of the fire was not confirmed, but local residents said it had been […]

Canada’s Top Infrastructure Projects
Canada’s Top Infrastructure Projects

Canada Line – Vancouver Romaine Hydroelectric Complex Project $6.5 Billion Hydro Quebec’s monster generating project in North-eastern Quebec.  1550 MW with a completion date of 2020. Bruce A Nuclear Generating Station Restart $5.25 Billion Refurbishing of two CANDU reactors 250km north of Toronto on Lake Huron and construction of two additional reactors to be completed […]

Sexy Sprawl
Sexy Sprawl

Planning at its best! I picked up a copy of Suburban Nation (Andre Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Jeff Speck, 2000) largely to help fill the reading void this semester created by the impossibly difficult to read Municipal and Planning Law, and nap inducing Land Use Planning Made Plain (literally made plain). The authors (more famously known […]

Boom Times
Boom Times

The placement of munitions factories popped up in a lecture today regarding an old Second World War arms factory in Ajax, Ontario.  For obvious reason, war-time munition factories required a clear 5km buffer radius around the site.  A five kilometer radius is a considerable amount of idle land surrounding an industrial land-use and I was […]

Wolfe Island Wind Farms

As an Ontario newb, I generally have no idea what is going on in this province and this ignorance presents a rather large liability when studying a profession that is heavily weighted towards local examples.  Take for example an upcoming presentation I am giving on Ontario’s latest sexed up regional ‘smart-growth’ plan.  The region in […]

Small fridge = good city

That was one of the wrapping ideas of architect Donald Chong pushed through during his guest presentation this morning, the notion being that an essential component to improving cities actually begins inside the home embracing the ideas of seasonality and local food markets instead of hoarding food stuffs in giant freezers, pantries and fridges. I […]

The Harmonious City

I knew that this forum was taking place in my old stomping grounds of Nanjing, but if I didn’t know the location…well the forum title “Harmonious Urbanization” provides all the information one needs to determine that this conference is hosted on the Mainland. I’ve been sitting at my desk for the past twenty minutes trying […]

City of Billionaires

Moscow the most expensive city in the world?  Absolutely! The cheapest hostel I could find in Moscow back in August set me back 40USD for a bed in some dude’s 3 bedroom converted Soviet-era apartment.  Moscow was also where I discovered the terms “face-blocking” and “auto-blocking”.  Both are methods that are apparently used extensively at […]

Weekend Update

I’m currently munching my way through a multiculturalism planning paper so I’m a bit empty headed regarding posting concerns but I think I might post the paper when I’m finished as it is not very long and reads more as a narrative story rather than an essay. Some interesting things from this week: The Canadian […]

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