Vol 2, No 1 Future plans

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    A 15-minute Nanaimo?
    (VIU Press, 2023-11) Turner, Robert; Feser, Alisha
    We’re standing in the exact same spot. But you’re in a 15-minute city and I’m not. Why? We examine the City of Nanaimo, British Columbia, to find (overlapping amenity isochrone) zones where residents can live and have 15-minute walking access to “essential” (grocery, pharmacy) and “basic quality of life” amenities (recreational space, library, museum/gallery/theater/cinema, restaurant/pub, and cafe/coffee), but also daycares, public schools, foodbanks, and walk-in clinics. Depending on one’s needs, there are different 15-minute walking zones within the City. As one’s needs increase, fewer and smaller residential zones continue to qualify as 15-minute walkable. Of all the city neighbourhoods, downtown and downtown-adjacent Nanaimo offer the most extensive 15-minute walkability for residents, even residents with the most extensive needs. Initial investigation suggests that these zones offer affordable shelter for most of the top three income quintiles, but are on average unaffordable for those in the two lower income quintiles. Amenity overlap is greatest in residentially dense areas, and residential density provides more residents with walkability to existing amenities (and amenity owners with a proximate consumer base). As a result, A) zoning to permit density-increasing developments around amenity concentrations and, conversely, amenity development in areas of greater residential density (as well as pedestrian-friendly infrastructural improvements) – or B) combined amenity-residential density zoning in areas lacking both – would improve 15-minute walkability in the City of Nanaimo.
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    Corridor urbanism and the rise of the neighbourhood in the post-COVID city
    (VIU Press, 2021-03) Holland, Mark
    In this paper, urban planner, development consultant and educator, Mark Holland, outlines a rethinking of urban structure that will be supercharged as we learn from the impacts of COVID 19 on our cities. The modern city region has been focused on building high density downtowns and peripheral town centres, based on assumptions that are now out of date as a basis for regional planning. COVID 19 closed our downtowns and we now need to reinvent our urban and regional patterns in light of what we have (re)discovered from our pandemic response. Restructuring our economy, social patterns, food systems and regional growth patterns into a network of high-street-based corridors will not only make us more resilient to shocks like COVID 19, but overall create a much healthier, sustainable, and economically viable region.
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    Generation urban: Financing family-friendly housing in Canada's urban centres
    (VIU Press, 2021-03) Agnello, Kristin N.
    As municipalities across Canada are increasingly looking to attract families to their urban cores, and understanding of the ins and outs of development proformas is helpful to support newly constructed housing units that are appropriate, suitable, and affordable for a broad range of residents, including families. Housing policies and regulations can significantly impact the design and distribution of housing in a community, therefore giving greater consideration to the spatial impacts of urban policy can enable planners to encourage the creation of attainable, family-friendly housing in every community, including within Canada's urban centres.
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    How 'smart' are smart cities?: The case of Sidewalk Labs, Toronto
    (VIU Press, 2021-03) Alexander, Don
    This article looks at the debate surrounding the smart city concept in theory and practice using the proposed Smart Labs development in Quayside, Toronto as a case study. My approach has been to familiarize myself with the details of the case and the controversy surrounding it through a literature review and through consulting individuals who were involved, as well through looking at the broader literature on smart cities. As a planning educator, I observe a tendency on the part of students to consider new technology in an uncritical fashion, and the goal here is to promote critical thinking not to dismiss smart cities outright.
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    Future Plans - Volume 2, Issue 1
    (VIU Press, 2021-03)
    In this issue, you will find considerations on smart cities as a way to promote critical thinking of planning students, a deep dive into the development proformas of housing units at urban cores, and detailed discussions on corridor urbanism as we learn from the impacts of COVID-19.