PRESS: Where are the Kids? – Five-part Series

I recently republished a five-part series – called Where are the Kids? – on the distribution of families with children in Vancouver, based on 2006 census information. I originally wrote it for Re:place Magazine, in 2009, prior to switching it over to Spacing Vancouver. Since we recently closed Re:place, I wanted to republish it on Spacing Vancouver for archival purposes. Given that the statistics largely remain the same today as it when the pieces were originally published, I think it is equally relevant now.

Like many of the articles I write, I created custom maps and graphics that visualize the information and highlight some of the patterns that are evident. Of particular relevance here is the pattern that sees the least number of families with children in locations with high- and mid-rise house types. To me this is a clear indication of the need for a wider diversity of house types – small, affordable homes, in particular.

Regardless, here is a link to the first part – from which you can access the rest.

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PRESS: Brent Toderian on How Big Cities Should Grow

Having been asked a number of time about whether there is an ideal size for cities, Former Vancouver Director of Planning wrote his most recent piece titled How Cities Grow Big; Not How Big Cities Grow! – on his blog. His response:

….it isn’t size that matters—it’s design that matters. You can have a well-designed larger city that works, or a poorly designed smaller city that’s dysfunctional. Your city can get better as it grows, or worse. The key variables are the values, intelligence, and tools that shape your growth choices.

Most cities perceive growth to be a positive thing when done well, supporting such civic goals as improving affordability, enhancing ecological sustainability, supporting social equity and choice, and stimulating creativity and economic development. Again, the key issue is the nature and quality of the growth.

With respect to infill housing, he writes:

The most obvious example of the importance of the nature of growth, is how much of that growth is infill, suburb or sprawl. More and more cities, including many I’ve advised, are making the key proactive decision around how much growth will go to infill development (in both inner city and suburban contexts), and how much will go to new greenfields developments (aka new suburbs). It’s a key decision for every city, a matter of civic choice based on public interest, not just a result of often self-serving interpretations of “market forces.”

You can read more here.

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PRESS: This City Life series on Kids in the City

Jillian Glover over at her great This City Life blog recently launched a new series called “Kids in the City”, where she is profiling families living in urban density. In her words:

My goal is to showcase how families can be happy and healthy living in compact homes that don’t contribute to urban sprawl (such as condos, townhomes, laneway houses, duplexes, etc.).

Four have already been posted and they are all interesting reads, for those who want an insider look at people living in the city. Interestingly, one of the piece profiles Jonathan Cote, Mayor of New Westminster, and his move from a single family home into a condo.

You can read more at This City Life.

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