Is St. John's Missing Its Middle?

For the past century, cities have been building themselves differently than they have for most of the history of civilization. It seems that with the rise of industrialization, planners and developers started to feel like things should be separated. This isn’t an unreasonable thought – a factory billowing smoke will undoubtedly have a negative impact on the value of the residential property next door. We started separating our buildings and their uses through municipal zoning – a way to determine what is allowed to be built where. Departments of municipal governments would determine that commercial should go in one area, residential in another, and industrial in another still.

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In St. John's, Youthfulness is a Struggle

Earlier this year, Youthful Cities, a not-for-profit focused on engaging cities on their "youthfulness", completed their first ever Canadian Index. The index aims to “create credible data for decision-makers, provide inspiration for urban innovation efforts, launch a network of young urban decoders, and creates national exposure for Canadian cities.” The index assessed and compared 13 cities across Canada, measuring how they performed in specific areas identified as important by the youth who live there. The good news is that St. John’s was included in this assessment. The sad news, unfortunately, is that our rank on the index was dead last. 13/13. The lowest ranked Canadian city in the categories that youth find most appealing.

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Everyone Hates Real Estate Developers

It’s incredibly interesting to me, living in Atlantic Canada, when people oppose real estate development. Growing up in Nova Scotia, I heard often how important it was to preserve downtown Halifax. Moving to St. John’s in 2007 I encountered an even more vocal anti-development crowd. At least, that’s my read.

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AirBnBs are Homesharing, not Hotel Rooms

The sharing economy. It is a term that I have used several times in articles I have written. It is also a term that is somewhat new, rising to prominence this past decade. Home-sharing, largely through platforms like AirBnB, is a significant actor within the sharing economy. With population and interest in the sharing economy rapidly growing, it is not surprising to see traditional industries fighting back against displacement.

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Takeaways from the CanInfra Challenge

If you’ve been following me at all over the past week, you saw the great news from our trip to TorontoBrett FavaroDave Lane, and myself managed to pull out a victory at the CanInfra Challenge. It’s been all over our LinkedIn profiles, and our Twitter accounts, and our Instagram feeds. We were excited, and rightfully so I think. Our proposed project, IceGrid was deemed by a panel of experts to be the most practical and influential infrastructure project pitched at the conference. That felt good, really good.

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