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

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

Train spotting, west side style

After months being babysat in the trench out near Tunney’s, the stranded Confederation line train has become busy. I spent a chunk of time on Wednesday watching the train testing the system between Tunney’s Pasture and Pimisi (formerly LeBreton) Station. Here are some shots of the train approaching Bayview Station from the west (ie, coming from Tunney’s):   And here are some photos of the train at the passenger platform inside Bayview Station. These photos are taken from the Albert Street overpass:   Leaving Bayview, heading down the slope to cross the Flats towards Pimisi:   Crossing the Flats, headed towards … Continue reading Train spotting, west side style

The rail Stations that didn’t quite make it … and one that will

OK, so having said some nice things about OC Transpo shelters, it’s back to griping again. Taking the Trillium O-Train Line (aka route Number 2, aka the Green Line) through Carleton U one is struck by the just-OK collection of … Continue reading The rail Stations that didn’t quite make it … and one that will

West Side Transportation Cornucopia, part vi – Bayview Station overpass

Let’s look at that confusing stretch of road between Bayview Avenue and City Centre Avenue. Legally known as Albert Street, many folks persist in calling it Scott Street (which only runs west of Bayview). It’s a bleak and uninviting bit … Continue reading West Side Transportation Cornucopia, part vi – Bayview Station overpass

West Side Transportation Cornucopia, part iv – Scott Street at Holland

Scott Street, between Holland Avenue/Tunney’s Pasture, and Merton, is currently  configured as four lanes. In addition, there is an on-road painted east-bound cycle lane: There is also a bi-directional MUP on the north side of Scott, that handles all westbound … Continue reading West Side Transportation Cornucopia, part iv – Scott Street at Holland

City sleeps while mystery bridge decays

When the Ottawa Humane Society left Champagne Avenue there was some sort of contractual agreement they had to offer the land to the city. For parkland. Nothing said the city had to buy it. So they didn’t. And as a … Continue reading City sleeps while mystery bridge decays