Exciting news! I have another opinion article published in my local newspaper, the Hamilton Spectator:

Hamilton streets for the people (Wayback link)

Tue., Feb. 22, 2022

Our streets, sidewalks and roads have been much abused in the modern period of the last 100 years, Simon Woodside writes.

When the City of Hamilton decided to grow within our current urban boundaries, we chose an ambitious path. We decided that the benefits to the environment, health and the economy are more important than the profits of sprawl developers. And we are building on a strong increase in density that’s already happening in town — new buildings are going up all over downtown. But some of those buildings show the right path forward, and some show the wrong.

This article was inspired in part by reading Cities for People by Jan Gehl. I first heard about this book at least year’s Congress for New Urbanism and it helped me to understand why cities work mostly at the street / first floor level. Something that I’ve observed without realizing it for a while.

I wanted to write something about this for a while, but I couldn’t find a hook until recently. In the end I went with a comparison of two recent buildings that have a dramatically different effect on the spaces and streetscapes around them.

I wrote another opinion article last year that I didn’t mention in the blog:

Expand the urban boundary? The money says no (Wayback link)

Wed., March 31, 2021

It might look appealing in the short term, but in the long term it’s a financial loser, Simon Woodside writes.

I visited Madrid a number of years ago, and I saw something remarkable there. Friends were driving me out of town to visit the Escorial, and as we drove out on the highway, we passed the edge of the city. And it was a clear, definable edge. The boundary between city and the country was a sharp boundary, buildings on one side, farms on the other.

That article had a shoutout to Joe Minicozzi of Urban3 and he was kind enough to reply to my tweet!

And the urban boundary has been frozen — unless the province overrules the city — so that’s a happy outcome.