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2019 Archive

This is the conclusion of a three-part think piece by VIA’s Dylan Glosecki about the potential reshaping of our communities by automated vehicles, today and in the future.

In Part 1, we concluded that AVs could change the individual’s relationship with the personal car, particularly reducing the need for individual car ownership. Part 2 determined that as a result of that changing relationship, AVs may expand both public and private transportation choices, whose potential implications must be monitored on the local scale. Part 3 concludes the series by briefly examining what policy considerations are necessary to eliminate policy conflicts.

Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart and  Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum pose with a driver-less shuttle. The two municipalities are collaborating on the federally funded Smart Cities Challenge, which sees them proactively embrace AV technology with the aim of becoming the model cities for the new technology (image: Smart Cities Challenge)


Jurisdictional Conflicts

The key assumptions driving AV adoption are that AVs would transport people and goods further, faster, safer and more conveniently than conventional vehicles. The success of each assumption can be quickly complicated by jurisdictional limitations. For example, provinces/states typically have different regulations for conventional vehicle use (e.g. drivers’ license qualifications), which may be extended to AVs.


If one is slower or resistant to facilitate the mass adoption of AVs, there may be challenges balancing driving laws between AVs and conventional vehicles. Let’s say there’s two jurisdictions: Banana and Grape. Banana allows AV owners to use their car to get home after consuming alcohol because …

Aerial view of UCSF Parnassus (image copyright UCFS)

University of California San Francisco (UCSF) leaders held a town hall meeting April 22nd 2019 to reveal and discuss the Comprehensive Parnassus Heights Plan (CPHP). The CPHP will provide the long-term vision for the revitalization and re-integration of the historic UCSF Parnassus Heights community.

This campus master planning project is being led by Perkins Eastman with stewardship from the Parnassus Master Plan Steering Committee. Kate Howe, a Director at VIA is acting as Project Manager and lead planner for the Perkins Eastman team, also including Walter Hood, MIG, Keyser Marsten and Fehr and Peers.

Read more about the UCSF Parnassus town hall meeting and the campus plan here.

VIA Architecture is a multi-disciplinary firm of urban strategists creating connected communities. With offices in Vancouver, Seattle and Oakland we are a highly interactive studio-based practice concentrating in urban planning, transit systems planning and design and architecture for urban mixed-use development. Our systems-level sustainable design strategies and community-based design studio set us apart from traditional architectural practice.

We are seeking candidates for full-time, permanent architectural Graduate/Intern positions for our Vancouver office. These people will supplement and work within our multi-disciplinary team to provide comprehensive architectural services for various projects. We are interested in exceptional candidates with strong analytical, communication and technical skills who are passionate and involved in community building at all scales.

Desired Experience

  • Recent architectural graduates or interns with 2 to 5 years of North American architectural experience.
  • LEED AP, Passive House, Step Code preferred but not mandatory.

Key Skills

  • Proficiency in REVIT, AutoCAD & Sketchup. Fluency with digital model rendering, Adobe and other graphic programs a plus.
  • Experience with all project phases of design, construction documents and field services highly desired.
  • Be skilled in the preparation of graphic presentation material.
  • Some familiarity of BCBC and local Bylaws.
  • Dedicated team player, excellent communicator, a self-starter possessing analytic and problem solving capabilities.
  • Interest in professional advancement to more intermediate levels and responsibilities.

Salary and Benefits

  • Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience. Generous benefits include extended medical coverage, retirement funds contribution matching, and transit subsidy.

How to Apply

Please email resume, cover letter/email, work samples in PDF (max. 3 MB) with “YourName_Architectural Grad/Intern” in subject‐line, attention Lauren Hamilton, lhamilton@via‐ No phone calls or …

We are t-minus four months away from Design in Public’s annual Seattle Design Festival 2019! VIA staff are already heads down on a new exhibit to bring to this year’s Block Party (August 24-25), which has moved from Pioneer Square and will now be taking place in South Lake Union at Lake Union Park. The theme this year, Balance, is generating some fantastic concepts we can’t wait to share with you.

Below is a look back at some of VIA’s most recent exhibits. Stay tuned for more updates in the months to come and we’ll see you in August!

Check out more photos from the Design Festival at DiP’s Flickr feed here.


VIA provides a breakdown review of the BART Market Street Canopies project. VIA’s team worked closely with BART staff to create the designs for two prototype entrance canopies, one for Powell Station and one entrance to Civic Center station.

New canopy as seen at BART Powell Street entrance.

Over the next five years, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) in collaboration with the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (MUNI), will be installing new canopies at the BART/ MUNI subway entrances along Market Street in San Francisco. The BART entrances today are non-descript, unprotected portals with little indication for riders to know they are even there. New codes require BART to protect the escalators from the weather, which presents new placemaking and wayfinding opportunities while increasing the reliability of the station infrastructure and  improving user experience along the most important multi-modal corridor in San Francisco.

Market Street cuts a diagonal between colliding neighborhood grids beginning at The Embarcadero, located on the waterfront of San Francisco Bay, and extending through historic financial, shopping, civic, and cultural districts. The twenty four BART and MUNI entrances serving the four major stations on Market Street are a hub of activity day and night. Each of the stations reflect the confluence of the unique cultural  identities that permeate the street.

The City of San Francisco is simultaneously implementing a project called Better Market Street; a transformative urban design project reinvigorating the streetscape to anchor neighborhoods, link public open spaces and connect the City’s Civic Center with cultural, social, convention, retail …