Metro Cities Roundup: Vancouver's vacant homes, a gondola for Edmonton and Black urbanism for all
Inspiring urbanism and the biggest news in cities from across our Metro markets for the week of March 3-10.
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Calgary got some lousy Smarch weather, but at least Martin Purvis was there for his neighbours. Purvis kitted up his wheelchair with a snowblower and got to clearing.
The numbers are in on underused and empty homes in Vancouver. Nearly 8,500 houses and condos have been declared vacant, The Canadian Press reports. Owners could get a bill by mid-March as part of the city's new tax on empty properties, a bid to free up rental units in the tight housing market. The West End and Shaughnessy topped the list of neighbourhoods with empty homes.
Nearly 1,000 municipal leaders, scientists and academics from across the world gathered in Edmonton this week for a conference on cities and climate change. Metro Edmonton's Omar Mosleh reported on the conference, which ended with a call for better collaboration between mayors and scientists on the front lines of the changing climate.
Halifax regional councillors voted to remove on-street parking in order to build a protected bike lane on downtown thoroughfare South Park Street. It's being dubbed the "first big test" of support for the region's Integrated Mobility Plan, Zane Woodford reports.
The Edmonton Project, a business-backed design initiative, named its winning project: gondolas. The (unfunded) plan to build a three-station gondola line over the Saskatchewan River beat out proposals for a food truck Ferris wheel and saunas in the river valley.
The B.C. government is upgrading red-light cameras at accident-prone intersections, and taking pains to distance the plan from photo radar resistance. It comes in a bid to stem the losses at the Insurance Corporation of B.C., reports Jen St. Denis.
Toronto placemaker Jay Pitter spent the month of February highlighting Black urbanists, culminating with an episode of Spacing Radio entitled Pride and Place. Pitter is leading a charge to create more inclusive cities by unearthing histories and widening the circle of practitioners.
Two young women were awarded the inaugural Pam McConnell Award this week in Toronto. The prize was created to champion community leaders and mark the legacy of the late Toronto city councillor.
These Calgary women refuse to let rollerskating roll out of their hearts or their city. After the shuttering of Lloyd's Roller Rink, Kathleen Janzen and Theresa Tucci are fundraising to purchase a fleet of roller skates they would then rent out, Elizabeth Cameron reports.