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"LRTs displace all the poor people"?
#61
(05-04-2016, 08:19 AM)mpd618 Wrote: I don't think gentrification is necessarily an evil, and I do think the downsides can be mitigated through constructing enough new housing. 

I have yet to see a convincing argument that gentrification is bad. Yes it has it bad sides, but let me know when you find something in real life that  is 100% good. Heck if you were to cure cancer tomorrow it would have the bad side effect of increase in population.

To me gentrification is mostly shifting-of-the-goalposts and mission-creep by organizations whose job is to busy themselves with urban problems.
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#62
It seems to me that the significant presence of the House of Friendship and The Working Centre (working on a 7-unit Downtown rental project at the moment) will help to ensure some balance as Downtown continues to revitalize.  I could also see the large Downtown churches (with their substantial landholdings) stepping up in due course with affordable housing projects (if memory serves, that is an element of Trinity United's thinking).
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#63
That Kitchener is proposing a 3.0 FSR for the most urban area of the city is sure to make housing supply and affordability a far more trying exercise.
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#64
(05-04-2016, 10:04 AM)Viewfromthe42 Wrote: That Kitchener is proposing a 3.0 FSR for the most urban area of the city is sure to make housing supply and affordability a far more trying exercise.

What does that mean, and why?
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#65
Floor space ratio: total floor area must be no more than 3x times the lot size. It effectively constrains building height and thus intensity.
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#66
(05-04-2016, 10:56 AM)tomh009 Wrote: Floor space ratio: total floor area must be no more than 3x times the lot size.  It effectively constrains building height and thus intensity.

Do we have a thread for that?  That it's being considered is new to me - I thought height was unrestricted in the Downtown, at least.
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#67
(05-04-2016, 03:25 PM)panamaniac Wrote:
(05-04-2016, 10:56 AM)tomh009 Wrote: Floor space ratio: total floor area must be no more than 3x times the lot size.  It effectively constrains building height and thus intensity.

Do we have a thread for that?  That it's being considered is new to me - I thought height was unrestricted in the Downtown, at least.

Height is unrestricted on some zones, but that doesn't mean there aren't other restrictions, such as FSR. Pretty much every type of zone has a Max FSR defined. You could build a 50 storey elevator tower if you wanted, so long as there's very little usable space per floor.
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#68
Do you have examples of FSR's for other cities downtown cores? 3 seems very low.
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#69
(05-04-2016, 06:22 PM)JoeKW Wrote: Do you have examples of FSR's for other cities downtown cores? 3 seems very low.

I would say 3 is pretty low for downtown, but ok for downtown adjacent neighbourhoods. 

Barcelona's Eixample was calculated to has a floor space to area ratio of 2.65.
http://densityatlas.org/casestudies/profile.php?id=92

However, that would include streets and parks. You also have to take into account that Barcelona doesn't have uniform building heights, there's many in the 8-10 storey range, but also others around 3-5. That website probably include spaces like elevators and stairwells in the building area too though, they probably just multiplied the building footprint by the height since it can be difficult to find data on just the floor area of the units.

More examples here:
 http://densityatlas.org/casestudies/inde...ale&s=desc

The other thing to keep in mind, is the more streets, parks/squares, as well un-redevelopable low density buildings* there are, the less of a need there is for new developments to have courtyards and setbacks to ensure access to light, which means higher densities can be achieved.

*ex many public buildings, or historic buildings
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#70
(05-08-2016, 07:21 AM)Memph Wrote:
(05-04-2016, 06:22 PM)JoeKW Wrote: Do you have examples of FSR's for other cities downtown cores? 3 seems very low.

I would say 3 is pretty low for downtown, but ok for downtown adjacent neighbourhoods. 

Barcelona's Eixample was calculated to has a floor space to area ratio of 2.65.
http://densityatlas.org/casestudies/profile.php?id=92

However, that would include streets and parks. You also have to take into account that Barcelona doesn't have uniform building heights, there's many in the 8-10 storey range, but also others around 3-5. That website probably include spaces like elevators and stairwells in the building area too though, they probably just multiplied the building footprint by the height since it can be difficult to find data on just the floor area of the units.

More examples here:
 http://densityatlas.org/casestudies/inde...ale&s=desc

The other thing to keep in mind, is the more streets, parks/squares, as well un-redevelopable low density buildings* there are, the less of a need there is for new developments to have courtyards and setbacks to ensure access to light, which means higher densities can be achieved.

*ex many public buildings, or historic buildings

Keep in mind that many in the public view things differently. A group of Jane's Walk-ers were discussing how important it is that if you have single family home(s) turned into condos, any trees and open space should be more than replaced with fully public accessible areas. Specifically on that matter, if you had two trees on your front lawn, and a large fenced backyard with four more, then whatever might replace your home should have more than six trees, and more grass space than your private front lawn and private backyard combined, and all of it fully publicly accessible. No one seemed to consider that they don't want random people pitching picnics on their front lawn, or bringing a dog to run around in a backyard that isn't theirs, but had no qualms about suggesting that the change of a single family home to anything else meant replacing all the private green space with public green space.
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#71
(05-09-2016, 06:49 AM)Viewfromthe42 Wrote:
(05-08-2016, 07:21 AM)Memph Wrote: I would say 3 is pretty low for downtown, but ok for downtown adjacent neighbourhoods. 

Barcelona's Eixample was calculated to has a floor space to area ratio of 2.65.
http://densityatlas.org/casestudies/profile.php?id=92

However, that would include streets and parks. You also have to take into account that Barcelona doesn't have uniform building heights, there's many in the 8-10 storey range, but also others around 3-5. That website probably include spaces like elevators and stairwells in the building area too though, they probably just multiplied the building footprint by the height since it can be difficult to find data on just the floor area of the units.

More examples here:
 http://densityatlas.org/casestudies/inde...ale&s=desc

The other thing to keep in mind, is the more streets, parks/squares, as well un-redevelopable low density buildings* there are, the less of a need there is for new developments to have courtyards and setbacks to ensure access to light, which means higher densities can be achieved.

*ex many public buildings, or historic buildings

Keep in mind that many in the public view things differently. A group of Jane's Walk-ers were discussing how important it is that if you have single family home(s) turned into condos, any trees and open space should be more than replaced with fully public accessible areas. Specifically on that matter, if you had two trees on your front lawn, and a large fenced backyard with four more, then whatever might replace your home should have more than six trees, and more grass space than your private front lawn and private backyard combined, and all of it fully publicly accessible. No one seemed to consider that they don't want random people pitching picnics on their front lawn, or bringing a dog to run around in a backyard that isn't theirs, but had no qualms about suggesting that the change of a single family home to anything else meant replacing all the private green space with public green space.
Is there an example of this happening anywhere in NAmerica?
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#72
(05-09-2016, 06:49 AM)Viewfromthe42 Wrote: Keep in mind that many in the public view things differently. A group of Jane's Walk-ers were discussing how important it is that if you have single family home(s) turned into condos, any trees and open space should be more than replaced with fully public accessible areas. Specifically on that matter, if you had two trees on your front lawn, and a large fenced backyard with four more, then whatever might replace your home should have more than six trees, and more grass space than your private front lawn and private backyard combined, and all of it fully publicly accessible. No one seemed to consider that they don't want random people pitching picnics on their front lawn, or bringing a dog to run around in a backyard that isn't theirs, but had no qualms about suggesting that the change of a single family home to anything else meant replacing all the private green space with public green space.

Generally, there is an argument to be made for preserving green space in order to avoid the urban heat island effect.  Many multi-residential projects do have green space that is semi-public, that is open to non-residents but generally not used by non-residents due to a variety of factors.  This green space is also where larger gatherings might be held for residents of the community/building in question.

As well, I expect that part of what was being suggested was that if a series of yards and houses are being replaced by a larger development, that preserving some of the front yard green space would maintain some of the character of the street while providing shade for pedestrians.  Access to shade (along with benches) encourages non-motorized transportation use.  This doesn't mean going the extreme of creating "Towers in the Park" but it also doesn't mean build a new development right to the sidewalk edge either.
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#73
(05-09-2016, 12:17 PM)nms Wrote:
(05-09-2016, 06:49 AM)Viewfromthe42 Wrote: Keep in mind that many in the public view things differently. A group of Jane's Walk-ers were discussing how important it is that if you have single family home(s) turned into condos, any trees and open space should be more than replaced with fully public accessible areas. Specifically on that matter, if you had two trees on your front lawn, and a large fenced backyard with four more, then whatever might replace your home should have more than six trees, and more grass space than your private front lawn and private backyard combined, and all of it fully publicly accessible. No one seemed to consider that they don't want random people pitching picnics on their front lawn, or bringing a dog to run around in a backyard that isn't theirs, but had no qualms about suggesting that the change of a single family home to anything else meant replacing all the private green space with public green space.

Generally, there is an argument to be made for preserving green space in order to avoid the urban heat island effect.  Many multi-residential projects do have green space that is semi-public, that is open to non-residents but generally not used by non-residents due to a variety of factors.  This green space is also where larger gatherings might be held for residents of the community/building in question.

As well, I expect that part of what was being suggested was that if a series of yards and houses are being replaced by a larger development, that preserving some of the front yard green space would maintain some of the character of the street while providing shade for pedestrians.  Access to shade (along with benches) encourages non-motorized transportation use.  This doesn't mean going the extreme of creating "Towers in the Park" but it also doesn't mean build a new development right to the sidewalk edge either.
Depends... Many streets have space for trees between the sidewalk and road. It's not like you need a ton of space for street trees to create shade, this street in Boston has less space than most residential streets in KW would have even if the KW streets had buildings up to the sidewalk.
https://www.google.ca/maps/@42.3599857,-...56!6m1!1e1
Benches don't take up much space either, and you can also have low stone walls and building steps providing seating.

Anyways, my initial comment wasn't really intended for SFH neighbourhoods. Basically what I meant was, if the neighbouring building had windows along your property line, you would want the new building set back a bit so that those windows aren't blocked. But if there's alleys, streets or parks along the lot lines, that might not be a problem and you could build all the way to all the lot lines.

I think requiring all green space to be preserved is unrealistic. In your typical SFH neighbourhood, the green space (yards) are unused 95% of the time. Some people like private greenspace, which is understandable, and if everyone is to have their own private green-space, it's inevitable that it'll be unused the vast majority of the time.

However, if the space is public, then you want "eyes on the space", both from above and at ground level to keep trouble away. That doesn't work if there's too much green-space and too little population. With private yards that's not really an issue because only the home owner has access to the space. What I'm describing would be more of a problem with awkward spaces at the side or back of a building than at the front. At the front it would still be visible from the street. If it's an awkward dead end type space at the side or back, few people will go through there. I'd rather have a few really nice spaces than a lot of awkward ones.

Also you don't need as much space if the spaces are public as if they're private, certainly much less on a per capita basis. It's not like central Kitchener's population is going to increase 100 fold so I would say you also need less space per land area if all of it will be public instead of private. You do need to increase the amount of public space if you decrease private space and increase density, it's just not at a 1:1 ratio.

An example of a really nice public space I've been to are the Franciscan Gardens in Prague. It's located in the middle of one of the biggest city blocks in the old city, and since it's connected to the street through pathways and shopping arcades, it makes for a useful and popular shortcut across that city block.
https://www.google.ca/maps/@40.6846745,-...312!8i6656
Being in the heart of the city with a ton of stuff nearby, you're going to get a lot of foot traffic through there.

IMO one ingredient of a good public space is that it should be interesting to look at and explore. Looking at a big empty lawn gets boring fast. The Franciscan Gardens are broken up into various sections with different kinds of plants and nooks and crannies. Japanese and Chinese gardens are great at this with their intricate designs. 
Another park I've been to that's good at this is Malecon Park in Guayaquil.
https://www.google.ca/maps/@-2.1882162,-...312!8i6656

Man-made things can be interesting to look at too, whether that's things within the park like statues, or buildings facing the park. Water, especially moving water like fountains and waterfalls are great too. And last but not least, other people can make a space interesting too i.e. people watching. So have the seating face towards pathways, sidewalks, playgrounds, basket-ball courts, etc. Many of the squares in Europe lack the natural element with just stone paved square, but will be framed by interesting buildings and filled with people, and maybe have other stuff going on like restaurant patios, a market, buskers, special events... 

Franciscan Gardens are also nicely tucked away from the noise of traffic. Lots of seating too. Some of it is in the shade, other benches are in the sun, so there should be some in the right place regardless of weather.

There should be a variety of different kinds of spaces, either all within a large park, or spread across multiple small ones. Spaces for various sports and games, flower gardens, spaces to admire nature, wild forests for kids to explore, spaces for events and performances, BBQ areas, spaces for people watching and more intimidate nooks.
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#74
Thanks Memph. Well put!
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#75
This article touches on some of the topics discussed here:
http://m.kitchenerpost.ca/news-story/654...up-density
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