Friendly reminder: Bacon Fest continues, with 2 films about urban planning airing tomorrow night at the Central Library. Show up at 6 to see “City of the Future” and “Where do Children Play?” The evening’s hosted by the city’s General Manager of Planning, Development and Assessment, Rollin Stanley. A story published in the Calgary Herald when he moved here might help you understand why that’s a selling feature.
If you can’t make it, or if you need to hear someone talk about cities RIGHT NOW, check out this TEDtalk from Bogota’s former Mayor, Enrique Peñalosa. It discusses public transportation as it relates to democracy, and includes tons of insight as to what a successful city is, or could be. As I listened to his talk, I couldn’t help but think about recent debates I’ve seen online regarding snow removal. Is this one way movement is politicized within Calgary? Some say expending resources to clear pathways is wasteful, and benefits a select few; whereas road clearing is a more general public good. As a regular bus rider, I certainly benefit from plowed streets, but if I were in charge and got to prioritize, I might pick pathways before side streets because they directly impact my personal commute. See below, a photo of the pathway between a bus stop and my house:
It’s dangerous, posing significant risk of injury, and has no lighting, so navigating it would be impossible after dark. But even though I’m more likely to injure myself here than navigating a slushy street, the decision is not simple. In a democratic poll, I think it’s likely that the side streets would win. So is it possible to clear all of the snow, acknowledging the financial, human, and even temporal constraints? This is not a matter I’ve explored in depth, so I’d appreciate any insight! This blog has a comment function, feel free to use!