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The Meadoway: 16 km stretch of urban park will connect downtown to Scarborough | CBC News
Posted: Apr 11, 2018 | CBC News | by Ramna Shahzad.

The park will connect 4 ravines, 15 parks and 34 neighbourhoods.

A 16-kilometre long stretch of land slated to be transformed into a large urban park called The Meadoway is "a bold vision," Mayor John Tory said on Wednesday.

The park, which will stretch north from the Don River Ravine in downtown Toronto all the way to Rouge National Urban Park in Scarborough, will allow pedestrians and cyclists to travel the entire length without ever leaving the park. .......The city is working with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and the W. Garfield Weston Foundation to transform a barren power corridor into the green space over the next seven years.

The entire project is expected to cost around $85 million. The W. Garfield Weston Foundation has pledged a total of $25 million to support it over the coming months.

"[The park] serves as another example of what can be accomplished when we work together with public, private and philanthropic partners,"
bicycles  cycling  Don_River  habitats  landscapes  linearity  Meadoway  neighbourhoods  outdoors  parks  philanthropy  public_spaces  ravines  Rouge_Park  Scarborough  Toronto  TRCA  urban  wilderness  green_spaces 
july 2019 by jerryking
Welcome to the New Convenience Store - WSJ
By Jane Black
April 25, 2018

“People will come in and say this isn’t a convenience store,” said Lisa Sedlar, the founder of Green Zebra Grocery. “And I say, ‘Of course it is.’ We are redefining what it means to be a convenience store in America.”

Several trends are driving change, according to research firm the Hartman Group. In the era of fast-casual restaurants, customers of all ages aren’t willing to sacrifice good taste or a pleasant experience for fast and easy. And despite claims of being time-starved, they don’t seem interested in a one-stop shop. Primary shoppers report making more frequent trips to buy food at a range of outlets, from traditional grocery stores to specialty shops: The average number of grocery trips made per purchaser, per month jumped nearly 30% between 2014 and 2017. Finally, snacks—the raison d’être of convenience stores—are supplanting meals. Of all “eating occasions,” 50% are now snacks.
convenience_stores  fast-casual  grocery  one-stop_shop  retailers  small_spaces  snacks  time-strapped  trends  upstarts  urban 
april 2018 by jerryking
Self-Storage Startups Offer Pickup and Delivery - WSJ
By Peter Grant
June 20, 2017

A handful of startups such as Clutter Inc. and MakeSpace Labs Inc. are using the latest in logistics and web technology to offer what they claim is a more efficient and user-friendly way for people to store furniture, keepsakes, sports equipment and other stuff that has been clogging up their basements and attics.

They work differently from the 40,000 or so traditional self-storage facilities that basically offer garages or sheds for customers to fill up as they please. The new competitors pick up and deliver items instead of forcing customers to schlep items to their facilities like the incumbent firms do. The upstarts also photograph what they store, and customers can view their items online and ask for some or all of them back with a click.....Executives at the big self-storage companies, like Public Storage , CubeSmart and Extra Space Storage Inc., say they aren’t worried. They say the startups’ costs of transportation and handling will be so high they won’t be able to price their service competitively.......Ms. Durkay predicted that the big companies will respond if the startups become more competitive. “To the extent that we have a…revolution in the way people are using storage facilities, the management teams may be able to pivot and modify their strategies.”

Mr. Rosen, of MakeSpace, said he isn’t surprised Public Storage failed at what he and others are trying to do. “They’re a real-estate business,” he said. “What do they know about logistics?”......Executives at the startups say they can keep prices low partly by locating facilities in cheaper spaces far away from customers. Traditional facilities generally are just a few miles away from customers’ homes, and this can drive up costs in high-price real-estate markets like New York and San Francisco.

Moving and handling items clearly drives up prices......“It would become cloud storage for your things,” said Brendan Wallace, co-founder of Fifth Wall.
storage  self-storage  logistics  messiness  hoarding  decluttering  urban  upstarts  Second_Closet  subscriptions  physical_assets  artifacts  home-delivery 
june 2017 by jerryking
Why Robert Moses Keeps Rising From an Unquiet Grave - The New York Times
By DAVID W. DUNLAPMARCH 21, 2017
Robert Moses.

Builder of infrastructure. Ravager of neighborhoods. Maker of omelets. Breaker of eggs. Never mind civics texts. “The Power Broker,” Robert A. Caro’s biography of Mr. Moses, is the book that still must be read — 43 years after it was published — to understand how New York really works.

The reputation of Mr. Moses, good and bad, has outlived those of every governor and mayor he nominally served, with the possible exceptions of Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia, who had the sense to get an airport named after him, and Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller, whose name speaks for itself.....“Before him, there was no Triborough Bridge, Jones Beach State Park, Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, West Side Highway or Long Island parkway system or Niagara and St. Lawrence power projects. He built all of these and more.”

“Before Mr. Moses, New York State had a modest amount of parkland; when he left his position as chief of the state park system, the state had 2,567,256 acres. He built 658 playgrounds in New York City, 416 miles of parkways and 13 bridges.”

“But he was more than just a builder. Although he disdained theories, he was a major theoretical influence on the shape of the American city, because the works he created in New York proved a model for the nation at large. His vision of a city of highways and towers — which in his later years came to be discredited by younger planners — influenced the planning of cities around the nation.”

“His guiding hand made New York, known as a city of mass transit, also the nation’s first city for the automobile age.”
Robert_Moses  New_York_City  urban  urban_planning  cities  political_biographies  power_brokers  city_builders 
march 2017 by jerryking
Why Donald Trump Doesn’t Understand Black Life - The New York Times
By MYCHAL DENZEL SMITHFEB. 20, 2017
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Donald_Trump  African-Americans  ignorance  urban  Yaa_Gyasi 
february 2017 by jerryking
Uber Extends an Olive Branch to Local Governments: Its Data
JAN. 8, 2017 | - The New York Times | By MIKE ISAAC.

unveiled Movement, a stand-alone website it hopes will persuade city planners to consider Uber as part of urban development and transit systems in the future.

The site, which Uber will invite planning agencies and researchers to visit in the coming weeks, will allow outsiders to study traffic patterns and speeds across cities using data collected by tens of thousands of Uber vehicles. Users can use Movement to compare average trip times across certain points in cities and see what effect something like a baseball game might have on traffic patterns. Eventually, the company plans to make Movement available to the general public.
municipalities  urban  urban_planning  cities  Boston  partnerships  Uber  Movement  data  data_driven  traffic_analysis 
january 2017 by jerryking
Leaving for the city | The Economist
Sep 3rd 2016 |

Bill Bishop: The Big Sort

The best book to read if you want to understand corporate America’s migration patterns is not Mr Florida’s but a more recent study, Bill Bishop’s “The Big Sort”. It argues that Americans are increasingly clustering in distinct areas on the basis of their jobs and social values. The headquarters revolution is yet another iteration of the sorting process that the book describes, as companies allocate elite jobs to the cities and routine jobs to the provinces. Corporate disaggregation is no doubt a sensible use of resources. But it will also add to the tensions that are tearing America apart as many bosses choose to work in very different worlds from the vast majority of Americans, including their own employees.
workplaces  Flybits  urban  cities  creative_class  trends  books  geographic_sorting  geographic_mobility 
november 2016 by jerryking
Small Factories Emerge as a Weapon in the Fight Against Poverty
OCT. 28, 2016 | The New York Times | By NELSON D. SCHWARTZ.

... small manufacturers like Marlin are vital if the United States is to narrow the nation’s class divide and build a society that offers greater opportunities for everyone — rich and poor, black and white, high school graduates and Ph.D.s.

“The closing of factories has taken the rungs out of the ladder for reaching the middle class in urban areas,” ....“Manufacturing jobs involve a skill base that you develop over time, and that fortifies your negotiating strength,” Mr. Johnson said. But in lower-skilled jobs, the competition is with someone who will do the same work for less. “The marketplace doesn’t give you any leverage,” he said.

Hope for Troubled Cities

Today, smaller plants are particularly important to job creation in factory work, said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing. “Megafactories are the exception today,” Mr. Paul said. “Small manufacturing is holding its own — and you are seeing some interesting developments in urban centers.”....As the sociologist William Julius Wilson has written in his classic studies, “The Truly Disadvantaged” and “When Work Disappears,” the exodus of factories from high-cost, union-dominated cities to cheaper, less union-friendly locales in the South and West in the 1960s and 1970s played a major role in the breakdown of urban cores.

“The trends among non-college-educated, white Americans today look like a lot like the trends among black Americans in the 1970s that so worried policy makers and social scientists,” said David Autor, a professor of economics at M.I.T., who researches the connections among trade, labor and employment. “You see it in the falling labor force participation, the decline of traditional family structure, crime and poverty. It’s all there.”...
African-Americans  automation  Baltimore  blue-collar  deindustrialization  equality_of_opportunity  exodus  manufacturers  micro-factories  microproducers  poverty  robotics  Rust_Belt  tradespeople  urban  value_added  whites 
october 2016 by jerryking
Actually, Many ‘Inner Cities’ Are Doing Great - The New York Times
Emily Badger OCT. 11, 2016
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African-Americans  urban  cities  gentrification  poverty  Donald_Trump  Campaign_2016 
october 2016 by jerryking
Urban fiction: words on the street - FT.com
November 13, 2015 4:34 pm
Urban fiction: words on the street
Neil Munshi
fiction  books  writers  African-Americans  urban 
november 2015 by jerryking
Abused ravines are loose thread in urban fabric - The Globe and Mail
JOHN BARBER
From Tuesday's Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Sep. 10, 2002

"There is nothing quite like the ravines anywhere: no other city has so much nature woven through its urban fabric in that way," Robert Fulford wrote in a typical example.

"The ravines are to Toronto what canals are to Venice, hills are to San Francisco and the Thames River is to London. They are the heart of the city's emotional geography, and understanding Toronto requires an understanding of the ravines."

Any serious attempt to understand the ravines would probably include the fact that they are an environmental disaster, hopelessly degraded by generations of neglect, and getting steadily worse despite the green boosterism.

It might also notice that the ravines are not woven through the urban fabric in the least; rather, they are emphatically set apart from it, even suppressed by it. At least the hills in San Francisco make an impression; in Toronto, you can drive over a 100-foot bridge and never know it.

It's also possible that this bizarre dislocation -- two worlds, one right on top of the other, yet almost entirely separate -- might help explain why the ravines are still so abused: They have no constituency.
City_Hall  constituencies  emotional_geography  hidden  iconic  John_Barber  nature  overlay_networks  parks  ravines  Toronto  urban  wilderness 
november 2015 by jerryking
A city divided: ‘I’ll pray for peace, but I won’t pray for Baltimore’ - The Globe and Mail
CRAIG OFFMAN
BALTIMORE — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 01 2015,

Baltimore’s unrest could be chalked up to the same kind of tensions that divide other U.S. cities: poor getting poorer, despair and racism, or all of those tied together.

Sandtown-Winchester is also part of a wider trend in which poverty is fanning out across the country. According to the centrist Brookings Institution, the population of census tracts where at least four in 10 people live at or below the federal poverty line – the people who face heightened risk factors such as violent crime, dilapidated housing and poor schooling – increased by 72 per cent between 2000 and 2012.

Like New Haven and Yale, or Harlem and Columbia, Baltimore is home to a wealthy, highly ranked university. Johns Hopkins (where I was once a graduate student) is a massive civic employer, and its presence is spreading across the city, a gentrification process that concerns many urban advocates.
Baltimore  Freddie_Gray  Johns_Hopkins  white_flight  urban  Brookings  gentrification  violent_crime  risk_factors 
may 2015 by jerryking
The Laneway Project: How one small idea could bring new life to Toronto’s back alleys - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Mar. 20 2015

The Laneway Project. Its organizers, a trio of Toronto planners and urban designers, are working with city officials and community groups to find ways to green, beautify and enliven Toronto’s back lanes, turning them into places where people want to spend time instead of simply pass through.
ideas  civics  design  public_spaces  neighbourhoods  Toronto  green  beautification  urban  Marcus_Gee 
march 2015 by jerryking
Toronto has finally found the confidence to act like a big city - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Mar. 18 2015

Toronto has finally found the confidence to act like a big city.

Back in the 1970s, Toronto was so fearful about density and development that city hall slapped a temporary 45-foot (13.7-metre) height restriction on new construction in the downtown core. Over time, planners have come to understand that if the region is going to absorb hundreds of thousands of newcomers without succumbing to endless urban sprawl, it will have to grow up rather than out. Now the boom in condo construction and the vogue for downtown living has made it possible to build a denser, livelier urban core. If central Toronto is starting to feel even a bit like Manhattan, it can only be a good thing.
Marcus_Gee  Toronto  densification  downtown_core  urban  urbanization  urban_intensification  urban_planning  skyscrapers  building_codes 
march 2015 by jerryking
Expert advice on building the city of the 21st century - The Globe and Mail
ALEX BOZIKOVIC
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Feb. 13 2015

Anthony Townsend, researcher at NYU’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management; author of Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for A New Utopia...density bonusing works==> When more density is proposed by developers, if it is considered reasonable, cities then negotiate additional public benefits as well. In value capture, if a city invests in something like public transit, it can apply a charge on development around that transit, reflecting how public investment has increased nearby land value....Jan Gehl, founding Partner of Gehl Architects; former professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts; author, most recently, of How to Study Public Life
cities  Toronto  mayoral  urban  21st._century  smart_cities  public_transit  inner_suburbs  books  densification  urban_intensification  Michael_Thompson 
february 2015 by jerryking
Rust Belt revival: Lessons for southwest Ontario from America’s industrial heartland - The Globe and Mail
ADAM RADWANSKI
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jan. 16 2015

Not all the start-ups and emerging businesses in Grand Rapids are as sexy. Some are tied to auto parts and office furniture, the traditional manufacturing around which Grand Rapids was built. Others are in communications technology or health sciences. Notwithstanding some growing financial-services companies, they tend to fit into the region’s proud history of making things.

As the Brookings Institute’s Vey notes, that tradition – and the accompanying institutional knowledge and infrastructure – can help Rust Belt cities take advantage of the current “maker’s movement,” in which a DIY culture makes the manufacturing market accessible to small enterprises.
revitalization  rust_belt  Southwestern_Ontario  industrial_Midwest  economic_development  institutional_knowledge  Pittsburgh  urban  urban_decline  philanthropy  cities  DIY  entrepreneurship  start_ups  manufacturers  Makerspace  Colleges_&_Universities 
january 2015 by jerryking
Why competent city government matters - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Oct. 29 2014

Everywhere, “densification” of downtowns is the order of the day, which makes eminent sense, provided the increasing density is done properly from planning, lifestyle, transportation, and carbon emissions reductions perspectives (which hasn’t been the case in central Toronto’s condo-land, as one example).

Cities are on the front line of many issues that transcend their boundaries, climate change being one. Municipal governments have a host of powers – garbage, building codes, development, transit – that directly affect carbon emissions. What they do, or don’t, is consequential for the country’s overall record.

Similarly, how cities integrate newcomers to Canada affects the entire country’s civic life and economic prospects. Thus far, the melding of so many immigrants into the Canadian mainstream has been one of the country’s most significant accomplishments. It happens, overwhelmingly, in neighbourhoods, schools and other urban public places.
cities  mayoral  densification  Toronto  government  Jeffrey_Simpson  urban  urban_intensification  arrival_cities  neighbourhoods  competence  Michael_Thompson  social_integration 
october 2014 by jerryking
They’re Tracking When You Turn Off the Lights - WSJ - WSJ
By ELIZABETH DWOSKIN
Oct. 20, 2014

Tech companies have used the technologies and techniques collectively known as big data to make business decisions and shape their customers’ experience. Now researchers are bringing big data into the public sphere, aiming to improve quality of life, save money, and understand cities in ways that weren’t possible only a few years ago....Municipal sensor networks offer big opportunities, but they also carry risks. In turning personal habits into digital contrails, the technology may tempt authorities to misuse it. While academics aim to promote privacy and transparency, some worry that the benefits of big data could be lost if the public grows wary of being monitored... Anthony Townsend, author of the book “Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia.”...The goal isn’t to sell products or spy on people, the academics say, but to bolster quality of life and knowledge of how cities function
cities  massive_data_sets  sensors  urban  privacy  smart_cities  predictive_analytics  books  quality_of_life  customer_experience  open_data  community_collaboration  white_hats 
october 2014 by jerryking
How the big-data revolution can help design ideal cities - The Globe and Mail
DAVE MCGINN
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Sep. 24 2014

The big-data revolution faces two key challenges, both concerning the collection of information.

First, as is always the case when it comes to monitoring individuals and collecting details about their lives, is privacy. Second, there is the issue of using that data responsibly....Once municipalities have that consent, there is then the issue of harmonizing data sets in order to gain a fuller picture of issues. For instance, if a municipality wants to understand water-consumption levels, it helps to know how they track weather patterns.

Many cities are still struggling to understand how to use big data, but it promises to be a hugely important urban-planning tool.
algorithms  IBM  real-time  urban  sensors  municipalities  massive_data_sets  cities  data  decision_making  privacy  urban_planning  open_data 
september 2014 by jerryking
Five things all Canadian cities should stop ignoring
Aug. 20 2014 |The Globe and Mail | JEFF LEHMAN.
1. Don’s World
2. Resiliency.
3. Affordable housing.
4. Slaying the infrastructure deficit.
5. A new federalism.

Don's world = that Ontario governments need to adjust to revenues growing more slowly by reforming services and changing the way they do business. Cities must listen to this advice. This goes beyond controlling costs; services must be delivered differently if they are to be sustainable.
affordable_housing  affordability  Canadian  cities  Don_Drummond  federalism  infrastructure  mayoral  municipalities  P3  public_housing  public_sector  resilience  slow_growth  strategic_thinking  urban 
august 2014 by jerryking
Living in a high-rise doesn’t mean your green fingers are useless - The Globe and Mail
SIGNE LANGFORD
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jun. 04 2014
gardening  urban 
july 2014 by jerryking
Livable, booming core stirs envy, but raises infrastructure worries - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, May. 14 2014

Young people are flocking to inhabit the lively, walkable neighbourhoods springing up downtown. In some, such as King-Spadina and Waterfront West, seven out of 10 residents are ‘echo boomers,’ 20 to 39 years old.

The number of people working downtown has been soaring, too. Downtown gained more than 43,000 office jobs in the five years to 2011. A host of big companies, from Google to Telus to Coca-Cola, have moved into new downtown offices. Although downtown contains just 3 per cent of the city’s land area, it accounts for half of its GDP, a third of its jobs and a quarter of its tax base. More than a quarter of a million people commute into downtown each morning by public transit.
Marcus_Gee  Toronto  urban  urbanization  urban_intensification  urban_planning  downtown_core  Big_Tech  millennials  neighbourhoods  King-Spadina  Port_Lands  livability  walkability 
june 2014 by jerryking
Why Madonna’s gym is heating up Toronto - The Globe and Mail
KELLI KORDUCKI

The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Mar. 07 2014,
gyms  fitness  exercise  niches  Toronto  urban  stylish  upscale 
march 2014 by jerryking
Tech startups: A Cambrian moment | The Economist
Jan 18th 2014

the world of startups today offers a preview of how large swathes of the economy will be organised tomorrow. The prevailing model will be platforms with small, innovative firms operating on top of them. This pattern is already emerging in such sectors as banking, telecommunications, electricity and even government. As Archimedes, the leading scientist of classical antiquity, once said: “Give me a place to stand on, and I will move the Earth.”....yet another dotcom bubble that is bound to pop. Indeed, the number of pure software startups may have peaked already.... warns Mr Andreessen, who as co-founder of Netscape saw the bubble from close by: “When things popped last time it took ten years to reset the psychology.” And even without another internet bust, more than 90% of startups will crash and burn.

But this time is also different, in an important way.

the basic building blocks for digital services and products—the “technologies of startup production”,...Some of these building blocks are snippets of code that can be copied free from the internet, along with easy-to-learn programming frameworks (such as Ruby on Rails). Others are services for finding developers (eLance, oDesk), sharing code (GitHub) and testing usability (UserTesting.com). Yet others are “application programming interfaces” (APIs), digital plugs that are multiplying rapidly....Startups are best thought of as experiments on top of such platforms, testing what can be automated in business and other walks of life. Some will work out, many will not. Hal Varian, Google’s chief economist, calls this “combinatorial innovation”. In a way, these startups are doing what humans have always done: apply known techniques to new problems. The late Claude Lévi-Strauss, a French anthropologist, described the process as bricolage (tinkering)..... software (which is at the heart of these startups) is eating away at the structures established in the analogue age....this special report will explain how start-ups operate, how they are nurtured in accelerators and other such organisations, how they are financed and how they collaborate with others. It is a story of technological change creating a set of new institutions which governments around the world are increasingly supporting.
anthropologists  Archimedes  bubbles  Cambrian_explosion  dotcom  entrepreneurship  Greek  Hal_Varian  innovation  innovation_policies  Marc_Andreessen  millennials  platforms  software_is_eating_the_world  start_ups  taxonomy  technological_change  urban 
february 2014 by jerryking
With Shoppers, Loblaw targets coveted urban market - The Globe and Mail
SUSAN KRASHINSKY - MARKETING REPORTER

The Globe and Mail

Published Monday, Jul. 15 2013
Loblaws  retailers  M&A  mergers_&_acquisitions  urban  Susan_Krashinsky  Shoppers 
july 2013 by jerryking
905 summit gathering shifts focus from attention-grabbing Toronto
May 07 2013 | The Globe and Mail | MAY WARREN.

The summit will also explore other shared issues such as city planning, unemployment and poverty, through roundtable discussions with citizens and representatives from business, labour and non-profit groups. It builds on previous summits held in Mississauga by Ms. McCallion.

The CEO of Metrolinx and Toronto chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat will be keynote speakers.

Caledon’s Ms. Morrison said she appreciates the chance to provide the town’s perspective.
Oakville  Mississauga  meetings  urban  Toronto  bureaucrats  city_hall  technocrats  Peel_Region 
may 2013 by jerryking
‘Dufferin Street Jog’ now a fast, straight run
Nov 17 2010 | | Toronto Star |by Nicki Thomas Staff Reporter, Published on Wed
Toronto  urban 
april 2013 by jerryking
How much food and income can an urban farm produce?
by John Robb on February 28, 2012

Sweet Water’s three tier aquaponics system is located in a converted crane factory, which allowed Sweet Water to pick up some grant money for the conversion. It is on track to produce (all of the below are estimates based on my research):

~10,000 pounds of fish (mostly Perch) a month in 10,000 gallon tanks. Each tank holds 10,000 or so fish. Estimated costs of production are ~$2.00 a pound with nearly half of that being the cost of fingerlings to stock the tanks and the rest feed. Given local access to end use markets, prices paid are about $5-6 a pound (round, uncut, fresh) leaving a net of ~$3-4 per pound.
~2000 pounds of leafy greens, lettuce to basil, a month. Greens prices vary. ~$3 or so per pound, for picked that morning greens sold in bulk to local restaurants is likely in the range.
I suspect there is a considerable opportunity to move a bit upmarket with the product into fish processing (to filet) and a local kitchen.

So, the entire operation could generate up to $46,000 a month. This is net the costs of raising the fish, but not energy and labor. Not a bad start. Note that this level of performance is not possible if the production is done at a remote location and the product is frozen for delivery.
urban  farming  agriculture  food 
april 2013 by jerryking
Conference to focus on urban farming in city
February 01, 2013 | The Boston Globe | By Patricia Harris and David Lyon-- Globe correspondents.

The economic stakes are surprising. At a City Hall agri-economic powwow in November, Trish Karter (founder of Dancing Deer Baking Co. and now of LightEffect Farms, which proposes farming in rooftop greenhouses) estimated that the packaged salad greens market in Metro Boston is worth $100 million annually. A lot of growers would like a piece of that.
urban  farming  Boston  fresh_produce  green_roofs  market_sizing 
april 2013 by jerryking
Hydroponic Produce Gains Fans and Flavor - NYTimes.com
August 2, 2011 | NYT | By GLENN COLLINS.

Gotham Greens, a new hydroponic garden in industrial Greenpoint that turns romantic notions of farming on their head. In a $2 million greenhouse, baby plants emerge from seeds embedded in tiny sponges made of fibers spun from volcanic basalt... Without question, modern hydroponic outfits display a growing degree of technological sophistication. While 25 employees at Gotham Greens propagate, hand-pick and hand-pack the produce at its 15,000-square-foot space, a rooftop weather station monitors wind, rain, temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide and light intensity. This data bonanza serves to regulate irrigation pumps, greenhouse vents, exhaust fans, gable shutters and shade curtains.

All this environmental hovering helps crops thrive without pesticides, fungicides or herbicides, and natural pest controls like parasitic wasps, lacewings and ladybugs are introduced to the 17-foot-tall greenhouse with its 75-foot-by-160-foot main production floor. And while all of the electronic data is displayed at the central computer on the rooftop at 810 Humboldt Street, Ms. Nelkin, who is also a business partner, can view it on her cellphone and can run the operation from anywhere on the planet.
Gotham_Greens  greenhouses  green_roofs  urban  local  locavore  fresh_produce  farming  agriculture 
april 2013 by jerryking
Ripe for Investment
Nov 26 2012 | National Post [Don Mills, Ont]: FP.1.| Amanda Kwan.

Because its greenhouse is on the roof of a building, Lufa Farms uses half the energy they would normally need to heat it.
-------...
greenhouses  green_roofs  skyscrapers  urban  Alterrus  Lufa_Farms 
april 2013 by jerryking
Rooftop gardening provides environmental benefits in urban areas
By David Runk
Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Manufacturers, meanwhile, often have large, unused flat roofs but little land to spare.

Moxlow, who grew up gardening, built a plastic-covered greenhouse, known as a hoop house, on a stretch of his company's flat roof and used forced air and a hot-water heater to keep it warm during the winter. But he has designed and is testing a system to harness heat from the forging operation that would otherwise be wasted.

The forge heats metal to between 1,600 and 1,800 degrees. After pieces are formed, they are put into big bins and set outside to cool. Moxlow's system would roll some bins under a 4,000-gallon tank inside the plant to heat water to warm the greenhouse. In northern states where greenhouses often shut down for the winter because of the high cost of heating, the system could make year-round growing more practical, he said.... Designed for roofs of at least 10,000 square feet, its systems would use solar panels to heat greenhouses where plants grow in water. The greenhouses should lower buildings' utility costs by absorbing sunlight in the summer and providing additional insulation in the winter, the company says.
manufacturers  greenhouses  green_roofs  urban  gardening  farming  high-cost 
april 2013 by jerryking
The Future for Urban Greenhouses is Well-Grounded
Mar/Apr 2013 | Resource | Paul Selina.

Even at the highest production levels, many acres of greenhouses are required to provide for the needs of a growing city. While the concept of multiple rooftop greenhouses, or multilevel greenhouses, is routinely reported by the media, this may not be the most practical or cost-effective solution to meet the food demands of a growing population:

* Replication of the climate system, support infrastructure, management, packaging, and distribution all add costs, and each greenhouse needs connections to utilities, and separate liquid and solid waste management. The logistics of lifting and lowering tons of produce, materials, and people can also be costly and inefficient.

* Crops are living biological systems that require highly skilled growers to achieve their production potential, maintain plant health, and minimize pesticide usage. The retail outlets and restaurants supplied by the greenhouse need a reliable supply of quality produce for their customers, without any interruptions caused by crop management mistakes. While we can gather and analyze more information about the climate and plant performance, using that information will require more management, especially to operate multiple locations.

...Currently, energy costs in North America are low, by global standards, and must be expected to rise in the future. This prospect represents the biggest challenge to localized greenhouse production. Most of the energy consumed by a greenhouse is used to maintain optimum growing temperatures, so low-cost glazing materials that reduce heat transfer without reducing transmission of solar radiation are needed, as well as research to create varieties that grow well at varying temperatures. If supplementary lighting is used, it will require even more energy. LED lights continue to improve in efficiency, but they will not be widely used until the installation costs are substantially reduced. ...As we look to the future, a combination of produce suppliers is the most likely development, with the middle of the market supplied by large local greenhouses, the most affluent consumers paying a premium for ultra-local rooftop production, and the value-conscious customers continuing to purchase vegetables grown seasonally and shipped in from other regions.
greenhouses  hyperlocal  farming  green_roofs  urban  cities  local 
april 2013 by jerryking
Mapping Toronto’s food territories
Mar. 22 2013 | The Globe and Mail | by AMANDA KWAN.

Brian Cook, a researcher with the city’s Food Strategy team.

Despite a huge need for a wider variety of food options, St. James Town would not show up on a “food desert” map. Often described as neighbourhoods, usually low-income, with a dearth of supermarkets, “food deserts” have become the default concept for discussing food insecurity, even though there is no consensus on how to actually define or measure them....To get a more detailed look at the various neighbourhoods in Toronto, researchers are creating a food retail environment index that calculates a score based on the number of healthier food stores within a particular block. The lower the number, the less healthy the food environment is. “So you get a kind of heat map of the city where you see hot spots and cool spots” of high and low index scores, Mr. Cook says.
Toronto  grocery  supermarkets  food  urban  neighbourhoods  St._James_Town  mapping  Cabbagetown  hotspots  low-income 
march 2013 by jerryking
Why the Future of Farming May Be in Cities - WSJ.com
October 15, 2012 | WSJ | By OWEN FLETCHER.
The Future of Agriculture May Be Up
Advocates of 'vertical farming' say growing crops in urban high-rises will eventually be both greener and cheaper
future  farming  urban  cities  skyscrapers  innovation  agriculture 
january 2013 by jerryking
The Weekend Interview with Travis Kalanick: The Transportation Trustbuster - WSJ.com
January 25, 2013 | WSJ | By ANDY KESSLER.
Travis Kalanick: The Transportation Trustbuster
Travis Kalanick, co-founder of Uber, talks about how he's bringing limo service to the urban masses—and how he learned to beat the taxi cartel and city hall.... is a hot San Francisco startup that already has 25 outposts around the world for its simple, seductive service: on-demand transportation. With an iPhone or Android app, you call up the Uber map, spot an available town car or taxi, and summon it with a click. The fare and tip for a town car, or limo, is maybe 50% higher than for a regular taxi ride and paid for through the service.
transportation  disruption  San_Francisco  Andy_Kessler  urban  Uber  mobile_applications  on-demand  start_ups  sharing_economy 
january 2013 by jerryking
International: Mining the urban data
Nov 21st 2012 | The Economist | Ludwig Siegele: deputy international editor, The Economist from The World In 2013 print edition
cities  urban  data  smartphones  smart_cities  London  Singapore  sensors  mit  SENSEable  exhaust_data  optimization  real-time 
january 2013 by jerryking
Middle East and Africa: Huddled masses
Nov 21st 2012 | | The Economist from The World In 2013 print edition | Jonathan Ledgard.

It is unclear how jobs will be created in cities that have little industry. Innovative services on African mobile phones will win praise in Silicon Valley in 2013, but software can do only so much. Look down the list of growing cities and a host of little-known places like Huambo, Mbuji-Mayi and Mbeya will be expected to serve populations the size of Milan’s—with little infrastructure.
Within a decade Lagos will have 16m people

The standard view of cities as generators of wealth, diversity and ideas will be challenged in Africa. The exclusion of the poor will be magnified by a lack of public space and by rising living costs. To become liveable, cities will have to improve public transport. Many are trying, but safety will be a challenge: murder, and violent carjackings and robberies, will rise in many cities in 2013, sometimes with police involvement....What is certain is that African cities will be the most informal economies in the world in 2013. Some 70% of workers will live on their wits, relying on day labour to make enough to eat, pay rent and send their children to school. That will make cities dynamic and mobile, but also combustible.
cities  Africa  Cairo  Johannesburg  informal_economy  Cape_Town  Lagos  population_growth  population_trends  urban 
january 2013 by jerryking
Can Museums Help Make Cities More Intelligent?
June 8, 2011 | Center for the Future of Museums |

[L]istening to awesome speakers explore the potential for such systems of ubiquitous, networked data to transform the urban landscape.

Curator Susan Piedmont-Palladino. Susan identified museums’ roles in urban design as provoking active curiosity and increasing “urban literacy,” thereby inspiring people to take action...Here are some interesting nuggets I took away from the day:
(1) Access to data can shift power to the people
Many speakers acknowledged the troubling potential for governments to monitor (and misuse) such rich troves of data on peoples’ movement and activities. However, Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, pointed out that the “ground up” use of technology enables citizens to band together to prevent government abuse. As an example of ground up citizen tech, she pointed to to Map Kibera, which enables Nairobi slum dwellers (aka “informal occupants”) to create a digital map of the informal economy and residential patterns. Prior to this, the Kenyan government did not recognize or gather data on the slum, depriving its residents of political recognition and services. What issues in your museum’s community might benefit from citizen use of data, and how might a museum help people access and interpret this information?

(2) The future of digital data rights. Caesar McDowell, professor of the Practice of Community Development at MIT, approached data privacy from another angle, proposing creating a Personal Digital Commons, controlling the rights that automatically accrue to data collected via social media. You could apply one of four licenses to the data collected by Facebook, LinkedIn and their ilk: free use; limited negotiated use; collective community use (use of aggregated data for community benefit); or no use. What data does your museum collect from users of your digital platforms, and what options do you give them for controlling how you use this information?

(3) How digital devices influence use of public space
I’ve heard many folks angst over how the use of smart phones, tablets etc. in museums will affect the experience.
museums  cities  urban  networks  data  grass-roots  Nairobi  informal_economy  sense-making  public_spaces  smart_cities  interpretation  engaged_citizenry  deprivations 
december 2012 by jerryking
Swallowing Rain Forest, Brazilian Cities Surge in Amazon - NYTimes.com
November 24, 2012 | NYT | By SIMON ROMERO.

The Amazon has been viewed for ages as a vast quilt of rain forest interspersed by remote river outposts. But the surging population growth of cities in the jungle is turning that rural vision on its head and alarming scientists, as an array of new industrial projects transforms the Amazon into Brazil’s fastest-growing region....Of the 19 Brazilian cities that the latest census indicates have doubled in population over the past decade, 10 are in the Amazon. Altogether, the region’s population climbed 23 percent from 2000 to 2010, while Brazil as a whole grew just 12 percent....The soaring population growth in some cities in the Amazon — called the “world’s last great settlement frontier” by Brian J. Godfrey, a geography professor at Vassar College who is the co-author of “Rainforest Cities” — is intensifying an urbanization that has been advancing for decades.
Brazil  Amazon_forest  cities  urban  urbanization  deforestation  population_growth  economic_development  inland  affluence  internal_migration 
november 2012 by jerryking
Consumer Segments in Urban and Suburban Farmers Markets
Volume 13, Issue 2, 2010| International Food and Agribusiness Management Review | by Gabriel Elepua and Michael A. Mazzoccob
farmers'_markets  market_segmentation  agriculture  agribusiness  urban  suburban  customer_segmentation 
october 2012 by jerryking
Robert Moses, Pedal Pusher? | By Thomas J. Campanella - WSJ.com
June 25, 2012 | WSJ | by THOMAS J. CAMPANELLA.

The rollout this summer of New York's first bicycle-share program will be the most visible achievement yet of the city's capable commissioner of transportation, Janette Sadik-Khan. Funded by Citigroup and Mastercard, the Citi Bike System will make available 10,000 bicycles for rent and return at any of 600 stations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. With Citi Bike, Ms. Sadik-Khan has spun a gossamer new transportation web across much of the city, a healthful and sustainable alternative to getting around by car.
New_York_City  urban  urban_planning  bicycles  rentals  Citigroup  Mastercard  Robert_Moses  transportation  rollouts  sharing_economy  bike_sharing 
august 2012 by jerryking
School Colors - WSJ.com
February 5, 2003 | WSJ | editorials.

A recent study by the Civil Rights Project, a liberal outfit housed at Harvard, uses the racial composition of inner-city schools to allege that the U.S. is undergoing resegregation. Our reading is that their findings say much more about the state of inner-city public education.

For starters, the U.S. is less segregated today than ever before....The racial makeup of our schools results not from the return of Bull Connor but from economics, immigration and birth rates. Middle-class blacks, whose ranks continue to grow, have moved into mixed neighborhoods.

Left behind in the major big cities is a minority underclass, whose numbers are inflated by recent arrivals who traditionally settle first among their own ethnic groups. During the 1990s, 11 million foreigners immigrated to the U.S., and more than half came from Latin America. Poor minorities are also the youngest members of our society. And they're having most of the children, which explains their high enrollment numbers. White enrollment rates have been steadily declining for decades.

The answer to today's increasing self-segregation is to fix the inner-city schools. Their dreadful quality is a major motive behind white -- and now middle-class black -- flight.
editorials  segregation  schools  urban  cities  public_education  underclass  self-segregation  African-Americans  middle_class 
august 2012 by jerryking
Businessman Parlays Expertise to Help Others
Aug 1995 | Emerge | Ernest Holsendolph.

''I think that those at us who have been fortunate enough to gain the contacts should reach out to help true entrepreneurs with financing and the know-how to build significant businesses that can employ large numbers of people," Hill says. "I'm developing people and I can help by opening doors that no one elee can open"...."lf I were to come along today, l would get an MBA. I would aim for management and finance and I would be drawn to economic development -- especially ways to stimulate the urban ecunamy and help Black people be employed," Hill says. "I just don't believe there is any higher calling for a talented business person these days than to tackle the job of developing our communities."
African-Americans  trailblazers  retirement  Atlanta  entrepreneur  airports  actuarial_science  urban  economic_development 
june 2012 by jerryking
Toronto - The Globe and Mail
May. 28, 2012 | Globe and Mail | ADRIAN MORROW.
Toronto  urban  traffic_congestion 
may 2012 by jerryking
Meet the man who shaped 20th-century Toronto - The Globe and Mail
JOHN LORINC
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 18, 2012

Rowland Caldwell Harris – who began a 33-year term as works commissioner a century ago this week – left his civic fingerprints all over Toronto, building hundreds of kilometres of sidewalks, sewers, paved roads, streetcar tracks, public baths and washrooms, landmark bridges and even the precursor plans to the GO commuter rail network.

“The significance of Harris a hundred years later is that we’re still living fundamentally in the city he imagined,” observes Dalhousie architecture professor Steven Mannell, who studies his career and has advised city officials on an extensive rehabilitation of the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant, due to be finished next year.

Mr. Harris famously added a second deck to the Prince Edward Viaduct in anticipation of a subway line that wasn’t built for decades. What’s less well known is that Mr. Harris was a photo buff who, in 1930, presided over the city’s first planning exercise – a process that led to construction of congestion-easing arterials such as Dundas Street East and the parkway extension of Mount Pleasant through Rosedale and up towards St. Clair.
John_Lorinc  Toronto  trailblazers  R.C._Harris  architecture  wastewater-treatment  infrastructure  municipalities  urban  urban_planning  landmarks  bridges  foresight  imagination  TTC  '30s  city_builders 
may 2012 by jerryking
The Tribes of Androids and iPhones - WSJ.com
March 30, 2012| WSJ | By RYAN SAGER.
How Big Cities Can Lead to Small Thoughts
urban  cities  iPhone  Android  friendships  virality  groupthink  tribes 
april 2012 by jerryking
Black on Black HOPE
September 15, 2005 | The Caribbean Camera | Lennox Farell
Toronto  urban  African_Canadians  murders  violence  masculinity  teaching  churches  Afro-Caribbeans 
march 2012 by jerryking
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