Urban Design Work Program

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Planning Committee is holding a public participation meeting in Council chambers at 5:15 PM on Monday, with respect to the Urban Design Work Program that is being spearheaded by London’s new urban planner, Sean Galloway.

According to the proposal, what’s envisioned is the development of “a design culture within the City of London that assists in creating liveable neighbourhoods and employment areas that build a strong community identity and are predicated on an integrated transportation network, quality public realm, an enhanced landscape, mix of land uses, safety, walkable and active streets, a diversity of housing types and a high standard of architectural design.” 01

Mr. Galloway referred to the plan during a presentation at the Central library last evening:

“On Monday night, going to Planning Committee, is the new Urban Design Program. And this program has 40 projects which is going to change your lives, going to change the way the city develops. And the type of public transportation infrastructure that we have in place, the type of built form that we have in place, the experiences you’re going to have on the street… It’s going to have quite an impact on our lives.” 02

Much of what Mr. Galloway said during his presentation touched all the right notes with me:

“The automobiles aren’t going to leave our life, but we do and should have choices for transportation. It doesn’t have to be automobile-dependent. We can walk, we’ve got two legs. We can take the bus.” 02

But Mr. Galloway is mistaken if he thinks that simply identifying better lifestyle choices is going to get the job done. Because we’ve heard it all before. The Transportation Master Plan and the city’s Official Master Plan are full of flowery rhetoric. But when it comes time to put that rhetoric into practise, this city hasn’t done anything. Except posture.

And if you don’t think so, you only have to review some of the many posts on this blog.

Sources:
01. 2008/05/05 – CityLondon: Rec. to Planning Committee
02. 2008/05/01 – Sean Galloway’s library presentation

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