As Canadians flee cities, food sector recalibrates

Grocery retailers must come to terms with serving a shifting population. And restaurants face learning to be more flexible

As Canadians flee cities, food sector recalibratesCanadians seem to want to flee urban centres. The food industry will need to keep a close eye on the trend. The real estate market is overheating in regions outside of major cities like Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Halifax. Recent real estate reports suggest sales are up 20 per cent in many rural markets and…

Is dam removal the wave of the future?

Research suggests it makes more ecological and economic sense to dismantle dams than to restore or maintain them

Is dam removal the wave of the future?Urban studies researcher Richard Florida has made a reputation with a lot of interesting ideas, many of which are controversial. One of his ideas is that people like to live near water, and that leads to prosperity in cities located on rivers, streams, lakes and oceans. My perspective on this theory is that settlers to…

Breathing new life into cities post-COVID-19

New guide shows how planners can revive urban centres by shifting focus of vacant spaces from commercial to cultural

Breathing new life into cities post-COVID-19In the wake of economic fallout from COVID-19, urban centres could see a sharp increase in abandoned spaces as some businesses are forced to close. But vacant space doesn’t have to sit idle, according to a research associate with the University of Alberta’s Wirth Institute. If managed properly, it could spark a cultural revival of sorts,…

Easing urban traffic congestion no simple task

Cities are establishing taxes on electric cars and other low-emission vehicles to reduce traffic and raise infrastructure funds

Easing urban traffic congestion no simple taskThe state of Oregon recently became the latest devotee of a variation of congestion fees. The system falls short, even if the goal is worthy. It’s a sort of tax on road use more commonly directed at motorists and commercial vehicle drivers who access the central area of a city. Those drivers presumably add to…

The retirement dilemma: city mouse or country mouse?

Part 1: Defining the attributes of your successful retirement community

The retirement dilemma: city mouse or country mouse?Who says you have to go on living in the same location when you retire? The choice is yours. City or country retirement is ultimately a personal decision. But it draws significantly on your prior life, and the skills and personal attributes you can bring to the retirement community you choose. How you retire is…

Municipalities need to rethink tax model

Property tax rates are much higher for businesses than home owners, which can cause serious problems, particularly when the economy falters

Municipalities need to rethink tax modelBy Josef Filipowicz and Steven Globerman The Fraser Institute When homeowners receive their annual property tax bill from city hall, they’re likely unaware that the shop down the street pays a higher property tax rate – probably much higher. For example, according to a new Fraser Institute study, in the Calgary area, the average commercial…

Better-designed buildings make people’s lives easier

Tomasz Sztuk of Sztuk Architecture explains why focus on long-term sustainability, efficiency and good detailing pays off

Better-designed buildings make people’s lives easierTomasz Sztuk is owner of Sztuk Architecture. Tell me about you and your company. Sztuk: I’ve been practising architecture in Canada since 1991. Before starting my own firm, Sztuk Architecture Inc., in 2013, I worked in Calgary in capacities ranging from junior architect, to director of design, to principal. In addition to running my own…

Delivery options: drone or driverless vehicle with robot?

Ford and Agility Robotics have teamed up to reimagine the package delivery business

Delivery options: drone or driverless vehicle with robot?[smartslider3 slider=76] If the thought of getting your latest online purchase – particularly large, heavy ones – delivered by a drone makes you feel uneasy, how about having a robot deliver it after arriving in a self-driven car? Autonomous delivery testing isn’t new. In 2017, Ford Motor Co. partnered with Domino's in the U.S. to…

Food-related issues are widening Canada’s rural-urban gap

For years, farmers have tried to tell their stories through social media and elsewhere – and too often failed

Food-related issues are widening Canada’s rural-urban gapFor years, farmers have tried to convey their message and explain the agriculture and rural lifestyle to the broader Canadian populace. They’ve taken to social media with touching stories and countless messages, telling Canadians what things are like on the farm. Some have called this “agvocacy.” But the new Canada’s Food Guide and recent policy…
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