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Monday News Roundup

Jan 18, 2010

Accessibility vs. Mobility Redux (Planetizen)
In planning work, mobility is often wrongly assumed to mean automobile usage. Mobility is just about “moving people and goods from place to place” by any mode. Accessibility means that something is “easily approached, entered, obtainable or obtained.” That’s why we work so hard to provide multi-modal Accessibilty to our Mobility Hub designs.

Obama Administration Proposes Major Public Transportation Policy Shift to Highlight Livability (FTA)
Ray La Hood issues a promise at this year’s Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting that the new round of Federal New Starts projects will be judged by their contribution to livability and environmental benefits rather than just shorter commute times (a Bush administration policy), making way for transit projects to better respond to their land use context. Hooray!

Turning sewage into heat in Vancouver (Planetizen)
Thursday, the switch was flipped on a generator that will serve the heating needs of 16,000 residents of the Olympic Village in Vancouver. The generator transforms sewage into heat. We are really excited that our early planning work for a sustainable Southeast False Creek has now transformed from vision to reality in the opening of the district’s sewage heat recovery plant.

Amazing photographs of cities (from dangerous heights) (Urbanophile)
Stunning photos from an urban photographer, whose site “No Promise of Safety” is aptly named. Although this photographer tends to use graffitti at these sites, here is another link to a photographer who shoots “the often forgotten and abandoned history of the city of Cincinnati” and leaves the site as he found it.

Street trees increase home prices in Portland (Oregon Live)
“In a paper published in Landscape and Urban Planning, Geoffrey Donovan of the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station found that, on average, street trees add $8,870 to a home’s sales price and reduce its time on the market by 1.7 days.”

Azteca Multimodal Transfer Station (Archidose)
Nice project review about a multimodal transfer station in the municipality of Ecatepec in Mexico City, Mexico.

Bicentennial Room, Chilean National Library (ArchDaily)
Great reading room created in unused space in the Grand National Library in Santiago, Chile — scroll down to see a 360′ panorama of this unique space.

THE JOY OF LESS (Harvard Design Magazine)
Here is Wendy Steiner in Harvard Design Magazine No.30 in an article titled Joy of Less. The article starts out with this from Jack Gladney, hero of Don DeLillo’s novel White Noise (1985), as he shops with his family in the mall:

“When I could not decide between two shirts, they encouraged me to buy both. When I said I was hungry, they fed me pretzels, beer, souvlaki…. They were my guides to endless well-being…. I shopped with reckless abandon. I shopped for immediate needs and distant contingencies. I shopped for its own sake…. I began to grow in value and self-regard. […] Brightness settled around me…. I traded money for goods. The more money I spent, the less important it seemed. I was bigger than these sums…. These sums in fact came back to me in the form of existential credit.”

Two neighbourhoods face change as Woodward’s, Mt. Pleasant centre open (State of Vancouver)
A look at the changes coming to 2 Vancouver neighborhoods as a community centre and a new “Woodwards” development open in the area.

Haiti Quake (Architecture for Humanity )
A for H takes a look at the quake in Haiti and what’s needed for long term reconstruction in the area.