Back To Blogging After a Six Month Hiatus at

Wow is it December already? This year has been really busy and hasn’t left much time for the blog. A quick look at the stats shows that people are still visiting though, so I’m glad you’re still finding the content worth showing up for!

Since it’s been six months since my last post, here are some things that have been going on:

  • The Capital Illumination Plan is done. Find a link to the completed oeuvre here.
  • Artsfile did an article about the Plan.
  • My employer, the NCC, published a blog post about it here.
  • I bought a house in a Campeau development from the ’60’s this summer and I’m really happy with it.

What is a ‘Night Mayor’?

Certain cities in Europe, Amsterdam, for example are realizing the importance that their cities work both day and night and have responded by creating a position called ‘Night Mayor’ to deal with the myriad issues that arise from trying to make a better city by day and by night. In Amsterdam they’ve realized that some issues such as noise from clubs arise from a lack of understanding of the problem and of innovative solutions rather than from the fact that clubs exist. Cities such as Berlin, Paris, London, and Toulouse have either created night mayors or are thinking about it.

In Ottawa, while no night mayor has been appointed, at the NCC we’re working on a Capital Illumination Plan with the goal of improving the night time environment from an illumination point of view. We held a well attended event last fall showcasing the work that’s been done in Quebec City and elsewhere to improve the city at night.

Amsterdam at night. Photo from City Lab.


Cities Can and Should Connect People To Waterfronts

If there was any overriding theme to last week’s Waterfronts event at Ottawa’s National Capital Commission Urbansim Lab it was that cities do and should pay a lot of attention to their waterfronts. Chris Glasiek, VP of Waterfront Toronto and Chris Reed of Boston’s STOSS Landscape Urbanism both spoke and presented projects they are involved with. Glasiek’s work is of course Waterfront Toronto, one of the largest in progress waterfront development projects in the world. Mr.  Reed presented his firm’s work, both in progress and complete, from all over North America and the world. Both Chris’s shared success stories of creating innovative public spaces on urban waterfronts that have brought life to previously derelict or forgotten waterfronts.

From a personal perspective its easy to recall the difficulty of taking a run along Toronto’s urban waterfront when I first moved there in 2009. Anything east of sugar beach involved running on abandoned railroad tracks. Much of that has changed as Waterfront Toronto’s myriad projects take shape and it’s becoming a very accessible and pleasant place to walk, run, bike.

More information about this event here.

Photo from Waterfront Toronto’s image bank.