Weep for Urban Renewal

As fantastic as our annual Doors Open weekend (May 26, 27) has been in giving us a chance to tour a vast number of wonderful buildings, it’s also a reminder of the vast number of wonderful buildings we won’t get to see.

Of the more than 20,000 structures that were demolished during the “urban renewal” of the 1950s and ‘60s, arguably the grandest was Toronto’s General Post Office that at one time stood on Adelaide at the head of Toronto Street.

Source: The Bulletin is Downtown Toronto’s Best Read Community Newspaper.

America’s cleanest cities

Want to live where the air is sweet, the water is pure and the streets are clean? Try the country. But what if you don’t like the sticks? Then try Florida.

Source Financial Post – America’s cleanest cities.

Is Suburbia Turning Into Slumburbia?

The dark side of this surreality is that the places far from these hallowed urban cores are experiencing unprecedented decline and, according to some experts, threaten to become tomorrow’s slums.

We’re not talking about mean inner city streets getting meaner, we’re talking about the pristine, newly built developments of four-bedroom, three-bath dream homes produced in the last housing boom becoming ghettos for the poor and the disenfranchised.

Slumburbia? After decades of middle class flight from the cities in search of safe neighborhoods and good schools — a flight that continues today even from gentrified cities like San Francisco — it’s hard to conjure the image of a truly derelict suburbia. Will all those manicured lawns sprout weeds and broken bottles like a Baltimore back alley? Will drug dealers take over the local cul-de-sac? Will squatters set up camp in the neighbor’s McMansion?

Source: SFgate.com – Is Suburbia Turning Into Slumburbia?.

Urban planning a factor in rising obesity rates, says new report – ExpressNews – University of Alberta

Urban planning a factor in rising obesity rates, says new report

By Isabela C. Varela, ExpressNews Staff
Kim Raine, director of the University of Alberta’s Centre for Health Promotion Studies

March 13, 2008 – Edmonton – If you and your family are fighting the battle of the bulge, look around you: your environment may be partly to blame. Research led by the University of Alberta and funded by the Canadian Institute for Health Information confirms there are links between our urban surroundings and how likely we are to struggle with overweight or obesity

Source:  ExpressNews – University of AlbertaUrban planning a factor in rising obesity rates, says new report –

Green roof for green buildings

Imagine picking blueberries on your roof, collecting rain and runoff water from your property and using it to flush toilets, heating and cooling your building using heat trapped beneath the Earth’s surface and having an electricity bill less than a quarter of the amount you usually pay. These are all features of a LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, building.

The proposed new Living with Lakes Centre on the shores of Ramsey Lake will be the first LEED building in Greater Sudbury and one of only five LEED buildings in the world to have a platinum certification, the highest rating attainable. The recently announced $4.5 million donation by Vale Inco will help to make this dream a reality.

Read more @ The Sudbury Star – Ontario, CA.

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