Surrealplaces

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Article about Platform


IMG_5589.jpg
 

Dārayavauš

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The undulating facade in the front is so bad ass. Wish they were able to do a little more of that + more coverage of aluminum pipes on the upper sections
Agreed! That being said they can still go back and add more later on. I think it would look so much better if they did.
 

MissingMiddle

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buy that man a beer!
I generally agree with his criticisms, but I disagree with the idea that a central planning department is wasteful and instead we should lower taxes and deregulate to spur growth as the solution.

Modern planning theory is different from anything that came before it, in that it realizes the value of diversity in the urban context. Taxes and public funding aren't the problem, using them to subsidize monolithic development is. So what's the solution?
  • Enabling diversity of transportation modes. Having the option to safely walk, bike, scooter, bus, train, streetcar, and drive ensures accessibility and movement at all paces, so if traffic is slow and congested, use another option. I'm not anti-highway, they're important, but if you want urban businesses to succeed, don't place them next to a car sewer. There's a reason the best restaurants in the city aren't beside Deerfoot.
  • Enabling diversity of use-types. A neighborhood that has people living, working, creating, exercising, shopping, and means it's always activated. Then you don't end up with single family suburban sprawl and empty downtown cores.
  • Creating communities with people from a diversity of backgrounds. Only providing spaces for people of a specific income is bad for the community, and for the people. I won't go into why this important, if you don't believe me then do some self-reflection.
Those things absolutely require public stimulus and support to achieve in the near-term, we just have to stop using it in the wrong ways.

Counter-point: Deregulation has worked before for other great cities. Sure, but it takes hundreds of years to get to that point, and we don't have that time.
 

adamyyc

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I’m glad that the City's cash-in-lieu program has been cancelled. The innovation centre is a nice idea in theory, but feels completely unnecessary given the current level of office vacancy in the city, and does anyone really want to work in a parking structure anyways? I also have trouble believing that 500+ parking stalls are necessary in this area, even with the library, Studio Bell, etc. I appreciate that the City was obligated to spend the money on parking, but this structure didn’t turn out quite like I hoped it would, and it feels unfinished. For $70M to $80M I would have rather seen them build an underground garage with park space above, similar to Ontario Square and Canada Square which are built on top of the Harbourfront Centre parking lot in Toronto.

Also, how nice would that money be right now if it could go towards the Event Centre, Arts Commons Transformation, BMO Centre Expansion, Foothills Fieldhouse, Greenline, Main Streets, Greater Downtown Plan, or any one of the many capital projects that are cash starved. This is the type of waste of money that gets people like Jeromy Farkas elected as mayor.
 

The Familia

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Great post and articulates the exact same thoughts I have. This thing is going to be a white elephant and an eyesore for the next 4 decades. I hope that they demolish the parkade across from city hall and develop all the empty lots in the area.
 

MissingMiddle

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Just a counter-point to your counter-point (or question I suppose)... what is our time limit? Should we be taking big expensive swings for a self-imposed "deadline"?
Great point/Q.

As a young(er) person, the eventuality of climate change is a sobering thought. The planet will see hundreds of millions of climate refugees in my lifetime, and it's not an opinion (I can provide sources). Canada is poised to take on a proportionally large amount of them.

My hope is that we are able to sort out how to manage large cities with great neighborhoods that efficiently use resources. I don't think Platform achieves this, but centralized planning isn't the problem, it's part of the solution.
 

CBBarnett

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I generally agree with his criticisms, but I disagree with the idea that a central planning department is wasteful and instead we should lower taxes and deregulate to spur growth as the solution.

Modern planning theory is different from anything that came before it, in that it realizes the value of diversity in the urban context. Taxes and public funding aren't the problem, using them to subsidize monolithic development is. So what's the solution?
  • Enabling diversity of transportation modes. Having the option to safely walk, bike, scooter, bus, train, streetcar, and drive ensures accessibility and movement at all paces, so if traffic is slow and congested, use another option. I'm not anti-highway, they're important, but if you want urban businesses to succeed, don't place them next to a car sewer. There's a reason the best restaurants in the city aren't beside Deerfoot.
  • Enabling diversity of use-types. A neighborhood that has people living, working, creating, exercising, shopping, and means it's always activated. Then you don't end up with single family suburban sprawl and empty downtown cores.
  • Creating communities with people from a diversity of backgrounds. Only providing spaces for people of a specific income is bad for the community, and for the people. I won't go into why this important, if you don't believe me then do some self-reflection.
Those things absolutely require public stimulus and support to achieve in the near-term, we just have to stop using it in the wrong ways.

Counter-point: Deregulation has worked before for other great cities. Sure, but it takes hundreds of years to get to that point, and we don't have that time.
I agree with your assessment and the article’s position on the parkade. Total deregulation and linking to a larger “planning as a concept shouldn’t exist as markets exist and are functional for everything” narrative is pretty myopic, nakedly political and reveals a lack of understanding of what cities are and what actors within them are trying to do. As others highlight, you can’t read this article from that site without acknowledging the PACs intentions and it’s political motivations.

Provision of public right of way can’t be fully transferred to market actors and requires a regulatory response to have anything make sense. If building owner could choose their road widths they pay for, there would be almost no roads and a functioning city would be impossible (at least when starting from today’s current state).

I just wish we believed as strongly about sidewalk widths, transit provisions and other pedestrian/bicycle infrastructure as much as we believed in parking and vehicle right-of-way provisions. That’s the real unfair and inefficient part caused by central planning and politics - we chose that the true cost of the impacts of cars in our cities is prohibitively expensive for market actors to bear so we subsidized them at the expense of everything else. The result is an expensive, publicly subsidized sprawly city with an enormous climate footprint, high personal transportation costs and total underfunding of anything else. As soon as those same drivers step out of their cars anywhere, it’s clear just how little attention we have placed on anything else in our transportation system.

I would be all for removal of all parking minimums and any requirement to have car access to your building. No neighbourhood complaints from development-triggered parking concerns ever again.

Throw in a rigidly applied minimum sidewalks width that’s actually useable for people and add some sort of market mechanism to “tax” the roads department for excessively wide and unneeded lanes so they have an incentive to get rid or repurpose unneeded infrastructure, and we can get our transportation system working better over time.
 

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