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Tolls? Road Pricing? Options for Fighting Congestion

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…

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Connectivity Is Key to a Smart City Foundation

What does it mean to be a Smart City and what infrastructure systems do cities need to improve to use data effectively? How do we begin to master plan connectivity at an urban level? This article, recounting IBI’s work on a project in St. Albert, AB,…

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Our Toll Story: The 20-year Anniversary of Confederation Bridge

The idea of the “fixed link”, a connection from PEI to the rest of Canada, had been around for over one hundred years before Canada Public Works’ decision to build a bridge across the Northumberland Strait in the late 80’s. The spec called for toll…

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fear architecture

Building Fear: The Architecture (and Infrastructure) of Horror

In the spirit of Halloween, you may have taken in an extra dose of horror films lately. While setting is important to all film and literature, the backdrop of a horror story is arguably more important than any other genre. This means that architecture, infrastructure…

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CPH Snake

If You Build It, They Will Come

After decades of road expansion, planners and traffic engineers are coming to the realization that we can’t build our way of road congestion. This insight is supported by a growing understanding of “induced demand“: If you build more roads, you will get more cars. Could this…

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The Ups & Downs of Drones

Drones are expected have big impacts on a range of  industries. They present a host of opportunities, but also create new safety challenges. In response, London Police is training eagles to handle this high-tech security headache, another example of the reapplication of ancient technology, while Michigan Tech created a robotic drone catcher. Conversely, the FDA  recently…

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Space Technology for Safer Buildings

NASA scientists aimed to create more stable spaceships, but inadvertently found a way to make buildings safer during earthquakes. In an example of the hummingbird effect, interstellar innovation presents an opportunity to change the way buildings are “earthquake proofed”. While working on stabilizing technology for violently shaking spaceships, the…

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Road to the Future

A Networked Future

Digital technology is becoming ever-more pervasive and the world is increasingly urban. The simultaneous rise of these trends finds us at a unique intersection in space and time. In a reflective interview with Smart Circle that ranges from urban mobility and citizen participation to cyber terrorism and the…

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Did Suburbia Fail?

Failed Architecture posed this provocative question as guest editors for 2ha magazine’s A State of A Nation issue. As FA’s editors admit, “this a problematic investigation since suburbia is too big to fail…and impossible to define”, but it does provide insight into the qualities and weaknesses that make suburbia both…

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The Future Value of Parking

“Will parking spaces in cities become more, or less, valuable in the future?”Architect This City asked. On the surface, it sounds innocent enough, but under the fresh pavement, the quiet rumble of disruption can be heard. As we’ve written about before, urban mobility in the…

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City in a Circle - Pixabay

Where Cities are Going, Next

In a recent post, I argued that the increasing complexity of developed cities necessitates coordination between different urban infrastructures to ensure operational efficiencies and produce social well-being. I also mentioned that new technologies – read: Big Data, Internet-of-Things, Smart City Systems – are not the…

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The City of Today: Circle Back to the Past?

When I look at how cities have changed over the millennia, sometimes I get the impression that, in reality, they haven’t evolved much at all. For all of the physical differences between the insula and the detached home, the agora and shopping mall, the amphitheater…

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Federal Infrastructure Investment in Canada

Canada’s infrastructure deficit is estimated to be $123 billion and growing. This wasn’t lost on national politicians during last year’s national election, with the winning Liberal party promising $125 billion for infrastructure over the next decade. In the lead up to the new federal budget, ReNew Canada outlined what they…

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