New Park in Downtown Toronto

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A new park that has yet to be named runs north from Fort York Boulevard and sits about halfway between Spadina Avenue and Bathurst streets. “The …8-acre park is the result of five years of planning and construction and was built at a cost of about $8 million,” says Terry Hui, president and CEO of Concord Adex Inc., creator of Concord CityPlace.

Participating in the sneak preview of the new park were Mayor David Miller, Councillor Adam Vaughan, Douglas Coupland, the Vancouver writer and artist, whose vision inspired the design of the park and Darrell Fox, brother of Terry Fox, for whom the park’s running/jogging track is named.

Concord CityPlace will hold a competition to choose the best name for the new park, says Mr. Hui. The judging panel will include a range of household names from the arts, music, the stage and television.

The central theme of the new park, as envisioned by Mr. Coupland, is a celebration of Canada and especially of Toronto’s two centuries of history. It seems to seamlessly connect the roots of Toronto as represented by nearby Fort York and the shoreline where then Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe founded the city with the inspiring towers of the central business core to the east.

Corporate art consultant Karen Mills was responsible for suggesting and selecting the public art and for the overall coordination of the project and Vancouver landscape architect Greg Smallenberg of Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg handled the physical landscape design.

SOURCE: Concord CityPlace

IMAGES CREDIT: George Pimentel

Can a rail line reinvigorate a city?

Fair Park Station - SOURCE: DART.org

Fair Park Station - SOURCE: DART.org

The people in Dallas are hoping that the new Green Line with 4 stations opening on Monday will reinvigorate areas of the city that have fallen into neglect. According to the Dallas News

In South Dallas, there are ambitions for transforming the neighborhood – historically the home of many of the city’s black residents and businesses – into a point of pride.

Read the more about the green line at DART.org and the Dallas News

Tampa hoping for $38million federal stimulus

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TAMPA, Florida’s fourth largest city, a shovel-ready development under consideration for $38 million in federal funding could serve as a national model for sustainable urban redevelopment through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act later this month.

In July, a consortium including the City of Tampa, Tampa Housing Authority (THA) and Bank of America Community Development Corporation (CDC) submitted an application to receive $38 million in federal stimulus dollars from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2. If approved, $28 million will go directly to build the Encore infrastructure and another $10 million will be spent on foreclosure mitigation activities in the surrounding area.

“This mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhood with housing, businesses and cultural centers will be located right next to Tampa’s central business district,” said Leroy Moore, Senior Vice President/Chief Operating Officer of THA.  During construction, Encore is expected to create more than 4,000 new jobs. Another 1,000 permanent jobs are expected upon completion, according to the developers.

Those projects selected for federal stimulus funding expect to be notified on or before Sept. 30.

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SOURCE: Businesswire
IMAGE SOURCE: Tampa Housing Authority

Increased Density could mean reduced emissions

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Last week the NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL released a report titled DRIVING AND THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT: THE EFFECTS OF COMPACT DEVELOPMENT ON MOTORIZED TRAVEL, ENERGY USE, AND CO2 EMISSIONS stating that

Increasing population and employment density in metropolitan areas could reduce vehicle travel, energy use, and CO2 emissions from less than 1 percent up to 11 percent by 2050 compared to a base case for household vehicle usage……

The report continues to give examples of if 75% of all new and replacement housing units were developed at twice the density and people drive 25% less then then CO2 emissions would be reduced by 7-8% by 2030, 8-11% by 2050. However if only 25% of housing was developed at twice the density and drove 12% less then the reduction in CO2 would only be 1% by 2030 and 1.7% by 2050.

The report also outlined the obstacles with trying achieve 75% dwellings at twice the denisty including local growth, local zoning regulations, concerns about congestion and home values.

The report also stated that

Government policies to support more compact, mixed-use development should be encouraged, the report says. The nation is likely to set ambitious goals to address climate change and, given the large contribution of the transportation sector to greenhouse gas emissions, changes in land use may have to be part of the effort.  If so, land use changes should be implemented soon, because current development patterns will take decades to reverse

For more information about the report go to the NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL website.

SOURCE: NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL

IMAGE SOURCE: Flickr austrini (suburbia)  Flickr DrPleishner (city)

Waynesboro to host Urban Tree Workshop

The News Leader reports

On Thursday, hundreds of arborists and other agricultural workers will flock to Waynesboro’s Ridgeview Park for a workshop about growing and maintaining healthy trees in a crowded urban environment.

The Virginia Department of Forestry and the Virginia Urban Forest Council sponsor various workshops around the state, but this is the 14th year Waynesboro will host the Plant Health Care for Urban Trees program.

SOURCE: The News Leader

Download the Registration PDF from Virginia Urban Forest Council

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