The test lab was built with $225,000 raised on Kickstarter and sees 60 species of plants growing in conditions that simulate the underground space. It is only a fifth of the size of the trolley terminal site, which will use a system of pipes to funnel natural light, and magnify it to 30 times the intensity of regular sunlight.
Toronto, the fourth-largest city in North America and home to over 2.6 million Canadians, is expected to grow by almost 36 percent by the year 2030. Many urban planning and design scholars are already voicing concerns that Toronto ison its way to becoming “Manhattanized” with smaller housing units, constant development, and more glass high-rises. But what of the community gardens and the pedestrians?
The problem is most acute in cities that do not practise grave recycling. Countries such as Singapore, Germany and Belgium offer public graves for free – but only for the first 20 or so years. Thereafter, families can either pay to keep them (often on a rental basis) or the graves are recycled, with the most recent residents moved further into the ground or to another site, often a mass grave.
Never underestimate human factors.
The gig economy is thought to be dominated by younger workers. But the factors that make it attractive to millennials—few barriers to entry, flexible commitments—may be starting to pull in older Americans.
Cities used to grow by accident. Sure, the location usually made sense—someplace defensible, on a hill or an island, or somewhere near an extractable resource or the confluence of two transport routes. But what happened next was ad hoc. The people who worked in the fort or the mines or the port or the warehouses needed places to eat, to sleep, to worship. Infrastructure threaded through the hustle and bustle—water, sewage, roads, trolleys, gas, electricity—in vast networks of improvisation. You can find planned exceptions: Alexandria, Roman colonial towns, certain districts in major Chinese cities, Haussmann’s Paris. But for the most part it was happenstance, luck, and layering the new on top of the old.
At least, that’s the way things worked for most of human history.
By combining MasterCard’s transactions data (they process 43 billion per year) with Cubic’s transportation data, analytics and visualization technology, the platform — dubbed the Urbanomics Mobility Project — will yield insight into the way transit and economic activity are linked in cities.
The hope is that everyone from urban planners to commercial real estate developers will find the tool useful, and that city and regional governments will sign up as clients. With transit-oriented development increasingly on the mind in the public and private sectors, the release is timely.