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360 Degree City
38 minutes | 23 days ago
When I say ‘green building’, what do you think of? You might think of solar panels, rainwater capture or sustainable materials. Often, these kinds of environmental features of buildings can be seen as expensive or non-essential qualities for buildings and in particular affordable housing solutions. Yet, there are endless reasons why we should provide affordable housing that integrates environmental performance. Sustainable buildings are better for people, the planet, and usually the pocketbook too. Through our CMHC funded Better Housing Lab, we’re exploring how we can integrate environmental performance into the economic model of affordable housing projects. One of our collaborators in the lab is Matt Grace. He’s a green building engineer and a total expert on this topic. Last summer, John sat down with Matt Grace to talk about what it means to make buildings greener. Today, we’re re-running the chat from 2019, in the ‘before times’!
45 minutes | a month ago
The Canadian affordable housing landscape
How can we provide housing that is more affordable, environmentally friendly and livable, all at once? Throughout the next few months, we’re exploring this type of question. With a fantastic team of collaborators, we’re running the Better Housing Solutions Lab, which is funded by the Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation. The hope is that the lab will be a catalyst to drive action and innovation in the affordable housing sector. Our team initiated this lab alongside Attainable Homes Calgary Alberta EcoTrust The City of Calgary Affordable Housing Division, andDr. Sasha Tsenkova of the University of Calgary This episode is a second installment of the Better Housing Lab Series that explores issues surrounding affordable housing and serves as homework for our lab participants. To understand how we might innovate and improve future housing projects, we wanted to understand the Canadian housing context. What is the history of housing in Canada? What are some key challenges and factors of success? Today John chats with a former professor of his. Dr. Sasha Tsenkova joins us for a conversation to better understand the affordable housing landscape across the country.
51 minutes | 2 months ago
Understanding affordable housing providers
In Canada, the building industry produces 35% of the waste that heads to the landfill. Worldwide, the building industry consumes more than half of the world’s physical resources, and accounts for up to 40% of the world’s energy use. Environmental performance is often seen as an expensive, non-essential feature to affordable housing solutions. Yet, when considering broader implications of sustainability and livability, integrating environmental performance into affordable housing makes sense. Over the next number of months, our team at Intelligent Futures will be exploring the following question: How can environmental performance be fundamentally integrated into the economic model of affordable housing projects in order to enhance the long-term livability and viability of projects? This question is guiding the Better Housing Lab, a Solutions Lab that is funded by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The CMHC Solutions Lab program is intended to be a catalyst for driving action and innovation in the affordable housing sector. Our team initiated this lab alongside Attainable Homes Calgary, Alberta EcoTrust the City of Calgary Affordable Housing Division and Dr. Sasha Tsenkova of the University of Calgary. For the rest of 2020, the podcast will be focussed on all things related to the challenge question of our Solutions Lab. The episodes will explore the variety of factors that influence affordable housing, economics, environmental performance and livability and will also serve as homework for the dozens of folks who are participating in the Solutions Lab process. Today, you’ll learn about two organizations who provide affordable housing at different points on the housing continuum: Catalyst Community Developments Society and Attainable Homes Calgary. Resources Housing Continuum
46 minutes | 2 months ago
We started 360 Degree City in 2018 as a way to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our company Intelligent Futures and to share the conversations we were having about cities beyond just the boundaries of the projects we were working on. this is our 50th episode – not bad, considering that, besides listening to podcasts, our team had ZERO idea how to put one together when we first got started. The name of the podcast – 360 Degree City – was intentional. We wanted to explore cities from a variety of angles. Cities are the most complex creation that us humans have ever come up with and we wanted to explore the diversity of issues that cities have faced in the past, are grappling with today and will need to address in the future. In our first 50 episodes, we have covered areas such as: Urban agricultureWalkabilityCitizen scienceThe impact instagram is having on citiesCycling, both winter and non-winterThe mental impact of city spacesGreen buildingsThe impact COVID-19 is having on cities….and many many more But what’s exciting is that in many ways, we have just scratched the surface. Our team has a list of dozens of new ideas to explore and after our summer break, we are ready to start rolling out episodes every second Monday again. As architect Daniel Libeskind said: Cities are the greatest creations of humanity. Over half of the world’s population now lives in cities and that is projected to continue to grow over time. It’s important that everyone understands how they can individually and collectively make these places better. Our aim is for every listener to see cities from a slightly different angle than before they listened. Looking back over this first 50 episodes covering a wide range of topics, I have observed some important themes that span specific issues. This episode takes a look back at what we’ve heard from our amazing guests. Let’s dive in.
30 minutes | 4 months ago
City Builder Series: The Citizen
Citizens across Canada share their stories about why, and how, they are involved in their communities. These folks are active in a variety of ways, from making masks for neighbours during COVID, to starting a market to connect the community, and banding together to fight for housing as a human right. To be an active citizen, no action is too small. We’ve been producing 360° City for over two years now, and we want to hear from you to make the podcast better. What do you like? What topics should we cover next? What don’t you like? Until August 10th, fill out this short survey. You’ll be entered the chance to win a great urbanist package from past podcast guests, including a beautiful print by Raymond Biesinger, multiple city-inspired books and a “city builder” mug, all worth over $300 Guests Muhib Ali: Airdrie Board of Youth Affairs Victor Capella: Co-founder of Eglinton Way BIA’s Farmers’ Market Cheryll Case: Community Planning SpecialistBlack Futures on Eglinton Eric Chen: Dragonboat Coach for University Collage Dragon Boat Club Andrew Clarry: Volunteer Wildlife Monitor for the Toronto and Region Conservation AuthorityJohnny Dib: Tenant organizer in Toronto’s Weston neighbourhoodLeah Elzinga: ATB Financial + Community OrganizerRyan Foisy Jeff Hanson: Calgary Association of Skateboarding Enthusiasts Jane Hurst: COVID-19 Medical Supplies Sewer and SupplierAdam Kamis: CJSW Station Manager Angela Koh: Community and Youth Development Specialist Katherine McLeod: Volunteer for Right to Play Ali McMillan: Community Builder in Bridgeland, CalgarySam Mendoza: ArtistPaul Nguyen: Award winning Activist and Filmmaker from Jane-Finch.com Alex Ogunbiyi Cadets Participant, AirdrieJacob Kelly Quinlan: Alberta River Surfing Association Maureen Sirois: TABIA President & Chair of The Eglinton Way BIA Alex WilliamnsBill Worrell: Chair of the Oakwood Vaughan Community Organization
40 minutes | 5 months ago
Towards an Equitable Recovery
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the deep cracks in our systems. Experts are concerned that food insecurity in Canada may double from the pre-pandemic numbers. Long-term care facilities—which have been brutally hit by COVID– are underfunded and under-staffed. And the virus is disproportionately impacting communities of colour. However, without the collection of race-based data, it’s hard to truly determine this impact. But as our systems crumble and shift, there is opportunity to recover stronger than ever, with a much-needed societal focus on equity and social justice. John chats with Zahra Ebrahim, who has placed equity at the core of their work for years and is recently working towards an equitable recovery from COVID-19. Resources Follow Zahra on TwitterCheck out her TEDx Talk: Credentials Not RequiredLearn more about the COVID Toronto App
57 minutes | 5 months ago
Towards the Just City
Sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, protests have been occurring around the world for the last number of weeks. And as today’s guest recently wrote, “current interest in anti-black racism is unprecedented.” Amongst all this frustration, pain and grief being expressed right now is also an incredible opportunity to listen and rethink life in our communities. Today’s guest is Kofi Hope, a community leader in Toronto, who has been working towards a more just city for years. Resources Read Kofi Hope’s piece in the Toronto Star: I’ve worked for years on anti-racism training. Here’s what I’ve learned about how Canadians can take the next stepsLearn about the Wellesley Institute, Follow Kofi on Twitter Further Reading Read “A Call to Courage: An Open Letter to Canadian Urbanists” by Jay Pitter“America’s Cities were Designed to Oppress” by Bryan Lee Jr.“Safe Streets’ Are Not Safe for Black Lives” by Destiny Thomas Cover photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash
34 minutes | 6 months ago
City Builder Series: The Architect
Johanna Hurme & Sasa Radulovic, Principals & Founders of 5468796 Architecture, discuss what it means to be an architect, the best it can bring to city building and some problematic practices of the profession.
24 minutes | 6 months ago
It is safe to say that it’s been a wild few months. And now, after two months of strict social distancing here in Canada, many provinces are starting to reopen their communities and economies. It has a lot of us thinking about how COVID will impact society and cities in the long-term. How might our collective values adapt to this new reality? How will our food systems change? Will transit, retail and nightlife be able to recover? How will global supply chains adapt? There are endless questions, and not many answers. But we wanted to hear from past and future guests about their thoughts on how COVID will impact our communities. In this episode, you’ll hear from: Paty Rios Research & Housing Lead, Happy CityCassandra CaigerEngagement Lead, Intelligent FuturesChristina SeidelOwner, sonnevera international corpErin WhiteFounder, Principal, Community Food LabSheena Jardine-Olade, MPlanPlanning + Design, Night Lab Nik Ives-Allison, Ph.DResearch + Strategy, Night LabMartyna TurczynowiczEngagement + Communications, Night LabLourdes JuanDirector, Hive Developments | Founder, Leftovers Foundation | CEO, Soma Hamma & SpaLeela Viswanathan, PhD, RPP, MCIPPrincipal and Founder, Viswali Consulting Greg TanzolaFormer Executive Director, Asset Management, Greybrook Realty PartnersMatt PinderAuthor of the transportation blog, beyondtheautomobile.ca | Senior Designer and EIT, Alta Planning + DesignErick VillagomezEditor-in-Chief, Spacing Vancouver | Part-time lecturer, School of Community and Regional Planning (UBC) |Author, The Laws of Settlements
32 minutes | 7 months ago
City Builder Series: The Transportation Engineer
Eric MacNaughton, senior transportation engineer at the City of Calgary, discusses what it means to be a transportation engineer, the best it can bring to city building and some problematic practices of the profession.
28 minutes | 7 months ago
COVID-19 Safe Streets
The last number of weeks have brought great change all over the world. City life has changed drastically as well. Streets are quiet, stores are shut, vehicle traffic has nearly vanished, buses and trains are almost empty. And pedestrians are veering onto the street as they try to maintain a safe distance from others. In some parts of the world, folks are on total lockdown and are prohibited to be outdoors. Here in North America, we still have some freedoms to use parks, public spaces and streets, as long as a safe distance is kept. This is a challenge that cities are now faced with: How might we allow people to still enjoy the spaces of the city while being responsible and safe. John talks with Mike Lydon, a past podcast guest, who has been keeping a close watch on how some cities are proactively responding to COVID-19. Many cities are taking action, including: Cambridge, MassachusettsSchaerbeek, BelgiumOttawa, OntarioGrenoble, FranceLondon, UKVancouver, British ColumbiaDenver, ColoradoVienna, AustriaBogata, ColumbiaAnd here in Calgary, Alberta Resources Follow Mike Lydon on TwitterCheck out his latest blogs posts about COVID19 StreetsLet’s Not Overthink This: Opening Streets is Easy, Says Urban Planner Mike LydonAs Roads Empty To COVID-19, Drivers Who Remain Are Speeding Up. Here’s How to Slow Them Down.
36 minutes | 8 months ago
City Builder Series: The Civil Engineer
Jennifer Massig, P. Eng. and Principal of MAGNA Engineering Services, discusses what it means to be a civil engineer, the best engineering can bring to city building and some problematic practices of the profession. Resources MAGNA Engineering Services Source2Source Stormwater Kidney
34 minutes | 9 months ago
City Builder Series: The Developer
RNDSQR’s Alkarim Devani discusses what it means to be a developer, the best developers can bring to city building and some problematic practices of the profession. Resources Check out RNDSQR’s work, including the Courtyard 33 (CY33) Public Art Contest
44 minutes | 9 months ago
City Builder Series: The Landscape Architect
Martha Schwartz discusses what it means to be a landscape architect, the best landscape architects can bring to city building and some problematic practices of the profession. Resources Follow Martha Schwartz on Twitter: @MarthaSchwartz
37 minutes | 10 months ago
City Builder Series: The Planner
John sits down with Larry Beasley to discuss what it means to be an urban planner, the best they can bring to city building and some problematic planning practices. Planners help design the city, manage the day-to-day of the city, and build relationships with citizens to act on collective visions of the city. But sometimes plans aren’t implemented properly. And sometimes, planners become risk averse. Tune in to hear more thoughts from Larry Beasley. Resources Check out Vancouverism by Larry BeasleyRead Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan HeathFollow Larry Beasley on Twitter: @LBeasleyYVR
23 minutes | 10 months ago
City Builder Series: The Elected Official
We’ve released over 40 episodes of 360 Degree City, covering a crazy range of topics – from cycling to public art to urban agriculture and much, much more. While we’ve explored issues and topics related to cities, we thought it would be helpful to spend some time focusing on the different actors that impact city building. So, we’ve developed a multi-part series where John talks to different kinds of city builders about what they do, why they do it and what unique approaches and challenges they represent. Our hope is that by the end of the series, you’ll have some new perspectives on these actors and how to work with them – whether you’re a seasoned city builder yourself or you’re just starting to explore the complexity of our cities. The first episode is about The Elected Official. John sits down with Calgary’s Mayor, Naheed Nenshi, to discuss what it means to be an elected official, the best of what they can bring to city building and some problematic practices of those who hold elected office. Resources Follow Naheed Nenshi on Twitter: @nenshi
28 minutes | a year ago
For the last few weeks, John and his wife and daughter have been on the road as part of a family sabbatical. They’re exploring 8 countries over the course of about 13 weeks as a way of reconnecting as a family and recharging for the upcoming decade. The second stop on the tour was Melbourne. Ranked as the second most livable city in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s global liveability index, John was excited to explore this place he has long admired from afar. One of the things that makes Melbourne such a great place to be is its network of bustling laneways. These unique spaces owe their existence to the original survey of the city, dating back to 1837. Back then, these laneways provided rear service access for servants and carts carrying goods to local businesses. Over the last number of decades, however, these laneways have been revitalized as public spaces for people to enjoy. Gilbert Rochecouste from Village Well took John on a tour through Melbourne’s bustling laneways. After the tour, they sat down for a chat. This episode was recorded a few weeks ago. Since then, the bushfires in Australia have escalated considerably. Our thoughts are with the fire fighters, people and wildlife of Australia as they grapple with these catastrophic bushfires. You can donate here: Support firefighter familiesAustralian Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund Learn more about where you can donate here.
47 minutes | a year ago
City builders often talk about the need for community consultation. Consultation is important as it brings perspectives and feedback from community members. But too often, folks “consult” with a preconceived notion of the outcome or a limited application of what the community has to say. Another approach to involving the community is to co-create. That is, to develop ideas alongside the community. John sits down with Brent Brown who leads an urban design practice based around this concept of co-creation. Brent Brown is an architect, planner and urban designer. He is also the founder of building community workshop, a non-profit community design group based in Dallas, Texas. building community workshop, or bc workshop for short, enriches lives of citizens by bringing design thinking to parts of the cities where resources are most scarce. To do so, bc workshop recognizes it has to understand the social, economic and environmental issues facing a community before beginning work.
39 minutes | a year ago
Planning in a Tourist Town
If you haven’t been to Banff National Park, I suggest you add it to your to do list. The Rocky Mountains, glacial lakes and expansive forests make it one of the most beautiful places on earth. The Town of Banff is a great spot as well — as the service centre for the park, you’ll find the renowned Banff Centre for the Arts, some delicious restaurants and boutique shops. You’ll also find a lot of tourists. The Town itself is 4 square kilometers with about 9,000 residents, yet it attracts over 4 million tourists a year. These circumstances lead to a unique set of challenges for the Town. Last year, our team at Intelligent Futures wrote the Town’s Environmental Master Plan. The dual challenge of accepting visitors from around the world while also contributing to the conservation of the very landscapes that attract people is one of those wicked problems that can frustrate those who are trying to make it all work. Randall McKay has been Banff’s Director of Planning and Development since 1997. Today, we discuss the history of the Town and some of the challenges it faces regarding growth management, affordability, environmental conservation, and tourism. It’s a fascinating case study in balancing global economic factors right down to a very local context – which happens to be about an hour and a half from where I live. Let’s dive in. Resources Town of Banff official website
55 minutes | a year ago
What are some special heritage buildings in your city? Do any spaces in particular reflect important aspects of your city’s history? A lot of the time, people think of heritage as something that relates to history long ago – highlighting how cities were in previous centuries. Do events and buildings of 30 years ago count as heritage? John sits down with some folks who have a deep understanding of heritage. So much so that they publish a magazine to tell stories of urban heritage through stunning archival images. Tune in to hear RJ McCulloch and Megan Faulkner discuss their latest issue of Hindsight Magazine — 1989. Resources Learn more about Hindsight MagazineCheck out Donald Luxton & AssociatesFollow Hindsight Magazine on social mediaTwitter @thehindsightmagInstagram @hindsightmagazineFacebook @hindsightmagTune into our past episode with David Fortin about Indigenous Design
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