September 15 2014

Laval, Quebec, Canada: Far From Being a Model of Active Transportation

While the majority of Laval’s residents go to work by automobile, Florent Dufort leaves his house on bike every morning in order to go to work in the Quartier des spectacles neighborhood in downtown Montreal. “In Laval, people are not prone to use bikes and those who do so are seen as strange,” says Dufort who lives near the Cartier metro station. Going to work takes him about forty minutes every morning and evening. “It clears the mind, keeps you in shape, and it costs less than going there by car,” he says. As a father of three, he uses his car for trips or transportation with his family during the weekend. There are some 37,000 residents of Laval who regularly [...]
September 15 2014

Milan on Water: Navigli, the Planning Legacy of Leonardo da Vinci

The term “naviglio” is the Italian term for “canal." Therefore, “Navigli” the plural of “naviglio,” is the name for the artificial canals of Milan. They were built between 1179 (Naviglio Grande) and the 16th century (Naviglio Martesana) with the purpose of making Milan accessible from the Ticino and Adda rivers. These routes were not only used for commercial purposes but also for the transportation of marble used to build the Duomo Cathedral. What many people might not know is that the city of Milan and its Navigli canals are strongly linked to one of the greatest artists, architects, engineers, and geniuses of all ti[...]
September 12 2014

Marseille, France: The Day the Bus Triumphed over Traffic

The TGB (an acronym meaning “very large bus”) was launched on Monday Sept. 1st in the 15th and especially in the 13th districts of Marseille, France. There, the bus lanes will finally be protected: a small revolution. Guy Teissier, head of the Urban Community of Marseille Provence Métropole, will quietly celebrate this small revolution on Monday morning. A bus lane isn’t a big deal. But a bus lane that exists solely for the bus? That’s extremely rare in Marseille. Protected lanes do exist in our city and for the most part they are chaotic. Everyone rushes into the lanes up until nighttime, when carefree partiers park their cars in the bus lane before going out to th[...]
September 11 2014

KC Healthy Kids: Combating Childhood Obesity in Kansas City, Missouri

Diet and exercise are important factors affecting health. In an effort to battle childhood obesity across the nation and in our communities, KC HealthyKids is empowering children to eat healthy foods and lead active lifestyles. While healthy eating may seem like a straightforward change in personal behavior, there are environmental factors at play that contribute to one’s ability to make healthy choices and to follow through with lifestyle changes. Parents may wish to provide their children with fresh fruits and vegetables, but their proximity to grocery stores or markets, not to mention the cost of produce, can make this a challenge in certain areas of the city. Additi[...]
September 11 2014

Athens, Greece’s Hellinikon Park Poised to be the Largest Park in World

“I can already imagine the faces of my family and friends in North Dakota when I tell them that I work in Athens. You don’t know what the word “Athens” means to an American person and how many magical things we recall. It’s incredible.” I listen to Charles Anderson while he speaks about Athens and I feel jealous of his enthusiasm. It’s not the first time he has visited Greece and he has worked all over the world. “But Athens is something else,” he stresses. Charles Anderson is a landscape architect and head of the landscape architecture, planning and urban design firm called “Melendrez” that will cooperate with Lamda Development to create the urban park [...]
September 11 2014

Architecteurs Competition 2014: Announcing French Architectural Winners

The Architecteurs, the primary national network of architects and builders, came together and selected, during their annual great Congress (from June 25-28, 2014) the award winners of the 2014 Architecteurs Exhibit-Competition. For the 9th year in a row, the professionals making up the jury also rewarded the best achievements among a large selection of architectural creations, reflective of the know how and expertise of the participating architects. For the 2014 competition, the jury selected winners among 57 projects divided in five categories: Dwelling (new constructions) Rehabilitation (renovations) Enterprise (enterprise, commerce, services, [...]
September 11 2014

Families Fight Against Expulsion in Goiás of Santa Monica, Brazil

The occupation of the Santa Monica farming collective entered its second day with more than 3,000 landless families already organized in shacks and small kitchens. The camp was named after Dom Tomás Balduíno, as a tribute to the bishop emeritus of Goiás who dedicated his life in the struggle for Agrarian Reform. Just yesterday (August 31st), encamped families held a meeting, where they had the opportunity to denounce the expulsion from their lands so that they could be incorporated into the land governed by Senator Eunício Oliveira (PMDB-EC). "Why is a Senator from Ceará interested in accumulating more than 20 properties of numerous peasant families in the state of Goiás, totaling mor[...]
September 10 2014

Rabat, Morocco to Undergo “City of Lights” Transformation by 2017

Long confined to the status of an administrative city, Morocco’s capital dreams of becoming an international city of culture and knowledge. In the minds of Casablanca’s residents, Rabat is a city where nothing happens, living according to a monotone rhythm that rubs off on its inhabitants who have the reputation of being boors. In return, in the minds of Rabatis, Casablancans are stressed and hot-headed to the point of lacking good manners. Some clichés are deeply rooted in popular memory, which has always associated the administrative capital with order and slowness, and the economic capital of Casablanca with turbulence and disorder. But all of that is soon going to change with the tr[...]
September 10 2014

Ottawa, Canada Youth Should be Involved in the Planning Process

It is important to have a youthful voice in city planning. I have repeatedly found myself to be the youngest person at planning open-houses and consultations I have attended in Ottawa. By missing these events, youth miss the opportunity to provide input on projects that will affect them greatly, such as the rezoning of a main street, the location of future LRT stations, or a landscape design project in their city. This is particularly important for Ottawa, where 21% of the population is between the ages of 15 and 29 years old. By voicing their opinion about city-building issues, youth will have a better chance of inheriting an urban environment that works for their lifestyle and nee[...]
September 09 2014

Improving Road Conditions to Gain Votes in Olinda, Brazil

What can be said of the superficial improvements made to the streets of Olinda by City Hall in order to facilitate the election of Paulo Câmara to the Senate? They are disrespectful to the intelligence of the Olidense citizen who deserves to be properly educated about the candidate. Residents of the area have long awaited improvements, but it was only on Thursday (August 7th), as the Popular Front candidate traversed stretches of the neighborhood, when some streets were finally fixed. Emergency actions such as these that are undertaken to improve the image of a place in order to contribute to campaign activity is abusing the system in favor of the candidate. A[...]
September 09 2014

Biking is Found to be Safer in Paris than in Suburban and Rural France

At the end of last June, the Ministry of the Interior published data on corporal accidents related to road traffic in France, and from this data, it generated a very interesting chart, referencing in great detail the total of 62,000 accidents listed in 2012 by the police or the gendarmerie ... The website Terraeco pulled from it the 4,360 accidents involving bicycles, and here is a new chart where they are enumerated. One can note, but it's obvious, that the danger is really the car. Seventy-eight percent of accidents involved a car (out of 62,000 counted), while only 7% involved a bicycle. Out of the 3,842 road victims in 2012, we counted 522 pedestrians and 185 bicyclists.[...]
September 09 2014

On Île d’Yeu, France, Biking is Practically a Religion

Mountain bike, single bike or tandem: on the streets of L'île d’Yeu, France, the parade of two-wheelers is permanent. For both summer vacationers and locals alike, this method of transportation has become indispensable. “It’s practically a crime to use a car here,” reveals an employee at La Clinique du Vélo. At Port-Joinville, the sound of bike bells is almost ritualistic. Street lamp posts and parking lots for bikes are taken by storm, and renters line the streets. Mountain bikes and other bikes besiege the four corners of the archipelago. People put their small children on the back of their bikes in small trailers, b[...]
September 08 2014

Across the Bay: Oakland Leads in School Health Programs

In San Francisco, you are more likely to see Google buses than school buses on any weekday morning. Why? With budget cuts in transportation for public schools, a large number of elementary to high school students are left to fend for themselves in their daily journey to school. San Francisco may be one of the most “walkable” cities in the U.S., but it is also one of the most dangerous for pedestrians. The city is looking to address the issue through the possibility of free transit cards for youth, but the thought of sending a first grader off to navigate the city’s unpredictable public transit system feels unsettling. With the disappearance of school buses, families struggle to get the[...]
September 08 2014

Parking Day 2014 in Quebec City, Canada: Re-imagining a Neighborhood

The sixth annual PARK(ing) Day is right around the corner. On September 19, the non-profit transportation organization Accès Transports Viables (Access Viable Transports) will invite the population of Quebec City to think up a new face for parking spaces on several main roadways. Interested parties had until August 29 to submit their proposals in order to participate in the day’s creative outbursts. PARK(ing) Day is an initiative that has taken place for several years in more than 160 cities across the globe. “It is a nice way to question the place given to the car and the way in which we use urban space, through the use of images,” explains Marline [...]
September 05 2014

Turning Over a New Leaf at the Queen of Angels Campus in Montreal, Quebec

As a new school year begins, the girls that once attended Queen of Angels Academy will be starting a new grade at entirely new schools. This semi-private, Catholic, all-girls secondary school in Dorval, a Montreal suburb located on the western part of the island, completed its final school year in June 2014 and officially closed its doors. Similar to other Montreal private schools, the president of the board of directors was cited as saying, "Queen of Angels was struggling in a competitive private school market place." To meet the costs of its falling enrolment, the Academy increased its tuition fees, which subsequ[...]
September 05 2014

School Buses in the Agglomeration Community of Martinique, Eastern Caribbean

More than 5,200 students will get on board one of the school buses of the CACEM (the agglomeration community of central Martinique) this year. In order to be sure that they travel safely, the agglomeration community inspects them one by one. At first glance, the alignment of buses in the parking lot of Transport Saïthsoothane is impressive. But this isn’t what will impress the three agents of the transportation inspection team, assisted by the national police. At this enterprise, situated in Lamentin, the teams proceed exactly as they do at the other 19 transportation dealers of the Center. After an inspection of the exterior state, the driver get[...]
September 04 2014

The Link Between Education and Sustainable Living in Brazil

The debate about the sustainability of our activities on the planet can no longer exclude education. The undeniable fact is that we are in a situation of environmental and social alarm because the teaching methods used in recent centuries have evolved relatively little compared to other sciences, and failed to prepare society for sustainable living. It is important to advocate for specific activities such as recycling, water conservation, waste recycling, and the production of alternative fuels to reduce harm to the atmosphere. It is also necessary to articulate at the outset that educational processes that enable a radical change of outlook for humanity in relation to th[...]
September 04 2014

The Atenistas Task Force of Athens, Greece

One day in the summer of 2010, on Soutsou Street in Athens, a small group of friends and acquaintances met in “Tsai” in order to discuss the idea of creating a “task group for Athens.” A group like this seems obvious today but in 2010 the spirit was very different. The economic crisis had knocked at the country’s door and Athens was slowly sinking into desperation. The new situation came out of the blue and the country was oblivious regarding the scale and the depth of the problems that it would have to deal with in the coming years. Spirits were low in the country at that time, and a few weeks after the “Marfin” tragedy that resulted in[...]
September 04 2014

New Legislature in San Francisco’s Pushes for Increase of Urban Agriculture

San Francisco is leading the way for urban agriculture with support from community gardens, the city, and local farmers markets. Local food production is being used as a tool for community development, personal rehabilitation, and sustainable food opportunities that other cities could learn from. There are many hurdles when it comes to urban farming, especially in an expensive and growing city, but with an active urban agricultural alliance working with the local authorities, our connection to eating and producing local food can be restored. As land surrounding the Bay Area is at risk of development, the city itself is enabling local farming initiatives through urban poli[...]
September 04 2014

Teenagers Pedal for a Greener Neighborhood in Montreal, Quebec

On Monday, around fifity teenagers on bikes invaded the streets of Saint-Laurent in order to sensitize its residents toward the adoption of better environmental habits.

The youth of the C-Vert project want to sensitize citizens to using the bicycle as a daily means of transportation.

The young people - all of them between fourteen and sixteen years old - departed from the Raymond-Bourque Arena at the end of the morning on a biking tour of ten km around the historic places of the district. Their objective was simple: to share with the residents of Saint-Laurent their passion for the environment and to show them that the bicycle is a more[...]

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