Booth Freeway Fix continues

Long-sufferings readers here may recall the unfortunate initial design and build of the portion of Booth going from Albert Street, over the new OTrain Confederation Line, to the Macdonald Parkway. It was justifiable to call this a freeway design. It was as inhospitable as possible for pedestrians and cyclists, despite the location of Pimisi Station at the midpoint. A “fix” has been in the works for a long time, and the most urgently needed portion is now in place. And more improvements are in the works (read on !) Lets review the new design, which is substantially complete. Here is … Continue reading Booth Freeway Fix continues

Amalie Arena, big beautiful empty spaces

Not every urban core urban renewal project turns out well. A number get stuck in times of a slow economy, changing tastes, etc. In general this is to the good, as cities built all at once tend to age and decay all at once. So hitting the pause button may make subsequent plan modifications and build-outs better reflect what works. Here’s the area around Amalie Arena, in Tampa. The public facilities all share those beloved-of-architects and -planners and -politicans grand plazas of huge open spaces. The public clamors for them too. But all too often they turn out to be … Continue reading Amalie Arena, big beautiful empty spaces

Portland South Waterfront residential buildings

This is another of a series of older stories revisited. I think it is still relevant to planning in Ottawa today. This story is from 2015, on Portland’s South Waterfront community. With the recent planning permissions for Claridge’s Flats to go taller — look way way up — and the Sens Illumination LeBreton project west of Booth, and Zibi’s buildings on the Islands, we can expect the new neighbourhoods around Pimisi and Bayview Stations to look more like this. Height, if well handled, is not antithetical to an urban neighbourhood. Let’s look more closely at Portland. And if you haven’t … Continue reading Portland South Waterfront residential buildings

Walking Portland’s SouthWaterfront streets

Here’s part 2 of the Portland series, from 2015. They did an excellent job of creating lively streets. We haven’t done nearly as well here in Ottawa. Yet the formulas for success are out there. Do note that since this story was first written, Claridge’s Flats project has greatly improved, with benches and gardens and resident participation and involvement growing. (We might look at that in a future story). Alas, the city continues to shun the area, except to collect fees and taxes, but not providing so much as a tot lot for the scads of kids that live there. … Continue reading Walking Portland’s SouthWaterfront streets

The view from Portland

As part of a retrospective of previous stories on new urban neighbourhoods, lets revisit Portland’s South waterfront new urban neighbourhood. While the details of what gets built and how, may vary, new urban neighbourhoods are tending to look more and more the same. After all, architects and planners read the same world-circulation magazines and journals, attend conferences, and share ideas (sometimes better, sometimes worse). It’s part of that world homogenization that sometimes makes it hard to tell just where one is. Yes, there is a loss of sense of place. Portland is interesting because it was a strong influence on … Continue reading The view from Portland

Wayfinding for the Bayview and Pimisi stations

OC Transpo has put up schematics for all the stations. These illustrations are like sandwiches and somewhat difficult for the non-geek to interpret. You can find them all here:  http://www.octranspo.com/ready4rail/my_station       http://www.octranspo.com/ready4rail/my_station I recommend you not to try to read … Continue reading Wayfinding for the Bayview and Pimisi stations

See more of Farmer Doug

West side residents may already be familiar with Farmer Doug and his red pickup truck selling fruit and vegetables at the shanghai parking lot on Saturday mornings. Best come exactly at 10am as he is often sold out by 10.15 or 10.30. Starting today, he will also be offering just-picked fruits and veggies on Tuesdays, from 4 to 6. This second opportunity arises because of the abundance of produce at this harvest season, and because a number of Centretowners seem to own second homes and are out of town on the weekends. Produce offerings include: Fruit and veggies at the … Continue reading See more of Farmer Doug