TH!NK by IBI

Are Community Land Trusts the Key to Affordable Housing?

Posted by on October 25, 2017

A growing model of shared housing has recently completed the first building of it’s kind in Vancouver. The City of Vancouver has opened the first of four planned Community Land Trust (CLT) projects, providing 358 new guaranteed affordable housing units in a rapidly escalating real estate market.…

Our Favourite Urban Places: #IBIhappycities

Posted by on October 23, 2017

Over the last month, IBI Group has been running an Instagram contest with the hashtag #IBIHappyCities. According to the Happy Streets lab, things that have been proven to boost wellbeing (and happiness) in urban environments are greenery, trees on streets, converted community spaces, streets with…

The Uncertain Future of Autonomous Vehicles

Posted by on October 20, 2017

San Diego recently held an Autonomous/Connected Vehicles Forum. The primary focus of the forum was to grapple with questions about the future- How will land use change with autonomous vehicles? How will these cars be regulated and what new policies will we need? When will CAVs…

Will Rope-less Elevators Change Building Design?

Posted by on October 18, 2017

Germany recently opened it’s highest viewing platform in the country, providing 360 degree views to the Black Forest from 230 metres up. But the significance of this new tower is far greater than just it’s view; the Rottweil Test Tower is a project by ThyssenKrupp to revolutionize…

Tolls? Road Pricing? Options for Fighting Congestion

Posted by on October 16, 2017

A recent article on the CBC begins “It turns out, the experts were right.” The experts, in this case, were transportation planners who predicted that the removal of bridge tolls in Metro Vancouver would lead to induced demand and thus greater congestion. The tolls were…

2 women walking along a brick plaza

Women Walking and the “Gender Step Gap”

Posted by on October 13, 2017

A new study from Stanford highlights the inequality in the amount of active mobility across the globe. This study used smartphone data to track the number of daily steps of over 700 000 people in 113 countries, providing over 68 million unique days of data for analysis. It’s…

Public Art in Augmented Reality

Posted by on October 9, 2017

This week Snapchat launched a virtual public art installation in tourist hot spots around the globe. The company has digitized iconic American artist Jeff Koons greatest works and, with help from their location-based 3D augmented reality platform, placed them in the fountains at Toronto’s Roundhouse Park,…

The Future of Community Grocery Stores

Posted by on October 2, 2017

From corner bodegas to big box stores, the future of grocery stores is both challenged and brightened by changing technologies and cities. What is the future of community grocery stores, both big and small? The big box store is struggling, including the large-scale supermarket. Much of the…

Creating Sticky Streets

Posted by on September 29, 2017

A recently article on Torontoist argues that Toronto needs stickier streets. While that may initially sound like an odd title, a “sticky” street is simply one where people want to stay. Sticky streets are beautiful streets that do more than just move people, they also create a…

Urban Educations: K-12 in the Downtown Core

Posted by on September 25, 2017

The population living in many downtown cores has skyrocketed in the last couple decades, but it’s only recently that we have seen a large uptick in the number of families living downtown. Because of this, many downtowns are now facing a shortage of schools for…

Upcoming Urban Reads

Posted by on September 20, 2017

As fall weather settles in across the Northern hemisphere, now is the ideal time to curl up with a great book. Luckily for us, there are a great selection of recently published and about-to-be published titles about the future of cities. Check out four great…

Bird's eye view of Chicago at Sunset

How An Amazon HQ Could Change a City

Posted by on September 11, 2017

The search is on for where to build a second Amazon headquarters. It’s being hailed by some as “the deal of the decade” for North American cities, but how would successfully becoming the home of this huge headquarters change a city, for the better and the worse?…

Technology Can’t Save The City

Posted by on September 8, 2017

Technology can’t save the city because the complexity of the city can’t be translated into formulas. That is the bold argument in a recent piece by Hanna Hurr for Real Life Mag. She makes the argument that it is impossible for “smart city” technologies to accurately…

When Climate Change Creates Climate Change

Posted by on September 1, 2017

The current heat wave in Los Angeles has been stretching on for days with no end in sight. It’s breaking heat records as temperatures in some areas reach 37°C/100°F. Citizens are doing anything they can to beat the heat, including turning up the air conditioning. The…

“Most Livable City” Rankings Do Matter!: A Response

Posted by on August 30, 2017

We recently posed the question “Does a ‘Most Livable City’ Ranking Matter?” The team at TH!NK found themselves leaning heavily towards “no” in our analysis, but we received a response to our question from our colleague Richard Nelson in Toronto. He argues that we are too…

Does a “Most Livable City” Ranking Matter?

Posted by on August 21, 2017

The Economist recently published it’s updated “Global Liveability Ranking” to determine the most livable city in the world. This annual report uses five categories to determine a ranking of 140 cities worldwide: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure. This is just one of many annual…

How Digital Installations Shape the Future of Public Art

Posted by on August 16, 2017

We often talk about the growing role of technology in architecture and modelling, in systems planning and transportation, but it’s also playing a huge role in changing public spaces. Digital art installations are on the rise in cities and they are having huge impacts on…

Street Murals: The Power of Public Art

Posted by on August 11, 2017

This week is the second annual Vancouver Mural Festival. Founded in 2016, the organization “provide[s] a platform for [Vancouver’s] vibrant young art scene to contribute to the city’s cultural legacy for years to come” through the creation of permanent large scale public murals. These pieces…

podcasts for urbanists

Top 5 Podcasts for Urbanists

Posted by on August 9, 2017

As summer begins to wind down, we’ve collected 5 of our favourite podcasts on the future of cities to engage your inner urbanist. Stretch your summer fun into the fall and beyond with tales of beautiful buildings, urban interventions, and the many ways to tackle…

Progressing Towards Urban Resilience

Posted by on August 2, 2017

Have you heard of the concept of urban resilience? Last week, 100 Resilient Cities hosted the 2017 “Urban Resilience Summit” for urban professionals around the globe to come together and share their work to advance resiliency. Urban resilience is defined by 100 Resilient Cities “as…

future transit hubs

Designing Future Transit Hubs Today

Posted by on July 26, 2017

In a world with rapidly changing transit mode shares and vehicle technologies, how do you design a transit station that works both today and long into the future? With roots in the grand traditions of railway station architecture, modern transit hubs are often massive architectural…

earth day

A Greener Earth Day (+ Everyday)

Posted by on April 21, 2017

Building, maintaining and moving around our cities and their surroundings comes with a major environmental burden. Urban regions consume two-thirds of the world’s energy, but also produce more than 80% of the world’s GDP. Home to more than half the world’s population (and growing), they are also the…

International Women's Day

International Women’s Day: Architects, Urbanists & Engineers

Posted by on March 8, 2017

For International Women’s Day, we’re recognizing women across IBI Group and their positive force in our workplace, promoting their contributions to their professional fields and demonstrating the value of diversity for our firm. As this year’s International Women’s Day theme is ‘Women in the Changing…

relationships

More than Buildings, can Architects Design Relationships?

Posted by on February 17, 2017

When we think what architects do, relationship building is rarely at the top of the list. But according Jeanne Gang, founding principle of Studio Gang Architects, its a vital role for architects to play. Inspired by ecology, she approaches each project by considering how design…

best architecture

Crowdsourcing the Year’s Best Architecture

Posted by on February 10, 2017

In the inherently subjective world of architecture, there are no shortage of opinions on what makes for the best architecture. Rather than leaving the definitive choice to a small group of elite judges, ArchDaily’s Building of the Year Awards are crowdsourced by readers. This year,…

predictions for 2017

Defining the Cities of Tomorrow: Predictions for 2017

Posted by on January 18, 2017

In cities, as in life, the only constant is change. The renewed popularity of city-centres, proliferation of smart, efficiency-driven, systems and rise of automation offer a range of exciting opportunities, but also major pitfalls for the cities we call home. What will the new year bring?…

unbuilt metropolis

Unbuilt Metropolis

Posted by on January 13, 2017

Cities are places where people move to achieve their dreams. Sometimes, those dreams are for the city itself. As we’ve detailed before, there’s been no shortage of fantastical and monumental ideas throughout the history of city-making. And few cities have captured people’s imaginations like New York City.…

technology

Technology: What’s Happening in 2017?

Posted by on January 11, 2017

The emergence of disruptive technologies shows no signs of slowing in 2017. Rather, innovators are continuing a long tradition of building on previous breakthroughs, finding new applications and combining them with other technologies to create new products and experiences. Frog Design asked 15 innovators for…

books

Great Books for Architects, Urbanists & Engineers

Posted by on December 21, 2016

In need of a last minute gift idea for the urbanist in your life? Or maybe a good read of your own for the holidays? Whether you’re looking for books on architecture, landscape architecture, engineering or urbanism, TH!NK by IBI has you compiled the meta-list for…

neighbourhood innovation

Neighbourhood Innovation

Posted by on December 7, 2016

From villages to industrial towns, exurbs to eco-districts, the forms our neighbourhoods take are in a constant state of change. Influenced by the rise of new technology, shifting preferences, broader socioeconomic factors and more, our neighbourhoods provide a great deal of insight into a society’s preeminent…

future of work

Cities & the Future of Work

Posted by on December 2, 2016

Automation, the gig economy, disruptive technology. The nature of work is changing and to ensure that residents and local economies thrive, cities need to change as well. Fast Company outlines six ways cities can prepare for changes to the urban employment structure. From investing in technology…

election cities

What the US Election Means to Its Cities

Posted by on November 18, 2016

A long and divisive election campaign has finally concluded in the United States. Donald Trump will become the next President, but with few concrete policy positions, the impact that his election will have on cities remains less clear. As a proud New Yorker, will his positions…

Landscape architecture agriculture

Improving Agriculture Through Landscape Architecture

Posted by on November 7, 2016

Like urban planning and architecture, city settings have been the predominant focus of landscape architects. This focus has produced impressive results, but the need for landscape architecture extends beyond our cities. In a recent article, The Dirt outlined the positive impacts that landscape architecture could…

masdar

A Second Chance for Masdar?

Posted by on October 24, 2016

It’s been a decade since the ambitious plan for a zero-carbon city rising from the sands outside Abu Dhabi was announced. How times have changed. Masdar is far from completion, starchitects Foster + Partners are no longer leading the project, and there are worries that…

smart city mobility

A New Wave of Smart Cities?

Posted by on October 19, 2016

Building on the momentum of the US DOT’s Smart City Challenge, Google spin-off Sidewalk Labs has announced that it will partner with Transportation for America (T4A) to help 16 US cities support mobility innovation. Notably, the partnership, which includes three of Smart City Challenge finalists,…

wood and concrete

Material Match: Wood & Concrete

Posted by on October 12, 2016

In the development of contemporary cities, few materials have had an impact comparable to wood and concrete. Centuries ago, wood was seen as a nearly inexhaustible resource, and it fueled the growth of many settlements and cities. As engineers and architects looked upward, concrete, along with…

A Better Use for the Laneway

Posted by on October 7, 2016

The humble laneway is so ubiquitous in North American cities (and some beyond) that most people rarely question its purpose. In most cases, that’s to store cars and garbage (and occasionally serve as a toilet). But cities are waking up to the idea that laneways…

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