Dogs make cities safer

Richard Layman points out that because dog owners take their pooches for a walk on a regular basis, dog owners prevent city parks from becoming centres of crime.   Wherever you see people with dogs in the city it’s a good indicator that you are in one of the safer neighbourhoods.


Urban Economics is “lumpy”

Regions and cities do not build up evenly, but rather unevenly as talented people and businesses cluster together in close connection.

Here’s a partial quote from the longer post/article by Ryan Avent:

The value in economically dynamic cities is the people that populate them. Where once, firms would pay high land prices to be near coal deposits or harbors, based on the economic advantages those amenities conferred, they now pay high land prices to be near talent. This yen to concentrate in particular areas has a number of dynamics. Firms want to be near customers and clients. Workers want to be near firms. Firms want to be near workers. Where there are lots of firms and workers, there will also be businesses serving those workers — in business and in the provision of consumption opportunities — and those services attract additional firms and workers. Everyone wants to be where everyone is, and it’s tough for anyone to go somewhere else because somewhere else is where people aren’t.

The result is an urban geography that’s very lumpy. People clump together, because there are gains to doing so.

David Pecaut – Collaborative City Builder

Sadly, last week, David Pecaut, the originating force behind the Toronto City Summit Alliance, passed away from a battle with cancer.  I never had a chance to meet him personally although I know several who worked with him.   I posted about him last winter.  In the week before he died he wrote a letter outlining his vision for Toronto.  It is a truly lovely and inspiring vision that I agree is possible to achieve.   We will miss you David.

Divergence in Neighbouring Cities – Buffalo

As a resident of Toronto, I am a little bit curious about what is happening in cities bordering Lake Ontario – cities that share a common history, but whose destiny seems to be diverging.  Buffalo has seen an outflow of residents for the past generation and the city is being taken on a different path.   One can learn something vital about different possibilities of community that can exist in our neighbouring cities.  The Daily Dish has a post of some of the directions Buffalo is heading.

Lisa Rochon & Enrique Peñalosa Q & A

Lisa Rochon’s Q & A with Enrique Peñalosa’s following his keynote address, entitled “What Makes A Good City?” at the 2009 IIDEXNeoCon Canada Exposition and Conference and Green Building Festival in September of 2009.

Enrique Peñalosa in Toronto

Enrique Peñalosa’s “What Makes A Good City” at the 2009 IIDEXNeoCon Canada Exposition and Conference and Green Building Festival in September of 2009.

Did Christianity cause the sub-prime crash?

The recent global financial crisis was caused by irresponsible lending practices in the US.  This interesting article by Hanna Rosin in the Atlantic magazine asks whether the type of popular American Christianity, sometimes referred to as the “prosperity gospel”, was responsible for creating the mindset that allowed the situation to build.