York Urbanist

Archive for January, 2012

Glacier discovery Walk

January 31st, 2012


A dramatic and award winning concept falls to the federal touch and phenomenon.

Results of weather like this?

January 31st, 2012

High 9 degrees, January 31…not unusual unless you combine that with a deficit of snow and high January temperatures. What can we anticipate:
- Deep frost and late start to construction season if February is cold;
- Lack of spring runoff, leaving dry conditions for planting…more watering by landscape contractors
- increased sales of tanning lotion with aloe.
- less SAD

Winnipeg's Warming

January 26th, 2012

Check out the website for the competition for warming huts. http://www.warminghuts.com/v2012.html

On This Day

January 18th, 2012

There comes a time in one man’s life when major change is imminent. 2011 was one year. 2012 will be a year of creative change starting today, a notorious day that everyone has once a year. My day started slow and evolved into an eruption of generosity, support and good will. The things that inspire.
In 2012, the Mayan calendar will be incorrect. This year will be one of exceeding beauty, creativity and growth of all those things of which we dreamed.

Lea Vivot's latest work

I wish to share those with you all in 2012. Let us look for and take advantage of opportunity, respect for each other and team work.

Drivers logic

January 18th, 2012

Traveling through Vaughan yesterday, the power was out and the traffic signals in the north end of Maple were black. I was heartened to observe that drivers ALL stopped at intersections and what could have been chaos was an easy drive in evening traffic.

Recreation Club Sustainability

January 17th, 2012

In the 1980′s, there was a badminton club of over 100 members who played on 3 courts for two evenings, four hours each night. For 10 years of my membership in the club, it was an evening of strong competition separated by sometimes two spaces of time that was used to become familiar with ones clubmates. Key to the success of the club was the affable matriarch, Ethel Matsubayashi. She taught willing students of the game, helped organize each evening and ran the socials. There were those who envied her or objected to her iron personality. But she captured the essence of what made a successful recreation club – pleasant for the recreationist with enough challenge for the sportsman.

That club is leading a slow march to annihilation, started by Ethel’s death. The new leaders failed to understand that Ethel’s success was her inate understanding of sustainability – that of welcoming new members with warmth and training in the sport.

In my return to the sport recently, I encountered a club which has entered a similar phase of degradation. Currently, it runs an operation which they consider to be at full capacity (85 members on 6 courts) and will not engage new members despite a typical lag following the new year. Previously, the club was led by an affable autocrat who has aged out of the sport. Tony would welcome new members, always respectful of not intruding on existing members’ privileges. Post-Tony follies of non-inclusiveness will lead to the demise of this once strong recreation club.

This manner of operation is an error in any recreation planning. Where are the next generation of club members to be generated? Every sport needs a senior organization to assist with a business plan to ensure the individual club and, indeed, the sport itself sustains growth or at least status quo.

Highway Signs

January 16th, 2012
Transportation issues

Highway signs are subtly prohibitive.  I like the terseness of these. Click on the picture if the lettering is too small.

Cities….BIG Cities

January 13th, 2012
Uncategorized, Urban Design

This powerpoint is so indicative of the need for urban design and city greening. Inside Tokyo, you do not feel like you are in one city, but when you travel by train out of the city, you wonder where IS the boundary of the city. Click on powerpoint below:

New Street Sport

January 11th, 2012
Recreation, Uncategorized

Sometimes a youtube video comes along that combines both our love of sport and urban design.

A new Street Sport emerges, Watch:


When do Urban Design Guidelines begin

January 11th, 2012


This was refreshing news to think that there are the bold who are willing to understand that urban design starts before, during and after construction in a city.