Tag Archives: Winnipeg

Façade-ectomy: Preserving the Skin of the Past

Experiencing the most recent façade-ectomy in Winnipeg has left me asking again the much-debated question of the validity of preserving just the façade of a building.

A façade-ecotomy will likely:

  1. Lose historic, cultural, architectural significance
  2. Waste embodied energy
  3. Increase cost of construction over full demolition
  4. Increase tax revenues over doing nothing
  5. Decrease long term viability of new construction

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Filed under Architecture, Back of the Envelope, Development, Planning and Design

Resources + Connections = Jobs

Jobs come up in every community-building conversation these days. It’s making me go back to the start, to think it through. What created jobs in the first place?

Division of Labor. Access to natural resources. Human settlement patterns: cross roads, rivers, oceans, eventually railroads and highways.

In the last few decades, many cities have been racing to the economic bottom trying to incentivize jobs. It’s led to jobs being all about giving away resources, and not so much about the value of connections.

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Filed under Development, Planning and Design, Public Policy, Resilience

Like Butterflies to the Garden: The case for urban biking

I can’t remember a summer that I’ve found such satisfaction in simple pleasures as I have this season. Maybe it’s because this is my third summer as a Canadian resident — a country that proudly dominates winter and passionately embraces summer. Or maybe it’s because the sobering events of late on many fronts have reinforced the importance of small blessings.

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Filed under Agriculture, Planning and Design, Public Policy