Urban Catalysts

By Bruce Firestone | Uncategorized

Oct 30

Neo Urbanism

1. Add granny flats
2. Add in-home apartments
3. Add elder care in residences
4. Build to lines
5. Minimum heights
6. Minimum densities
7. On street parking allowed
8. No one-way streets
9. More not less ingress/egress
10. Use grided streets not curvilinear roads
11. Allow work from home with up to 5 employees
12. Density bonus for residential uses in commercial zones
13. Add corner stores/small plazas in residential zones
14. Add accessory residential uses to industrial/commercial zones
15. Use performance zoning where everything is permitted except that which is expressly forbidden
16. Allow outward expansion to drive up density in existing areas
17. Window on the world/at grade openings to the street
18. Zero side yard setback
19. Uniform transition lines/step back of buildings at transition points
20. Neighborhood theming
21. Organized street trees
22. Boulevard design
23. Add leisure uses
24. Food trucks
25. Street art and performance art
26. Mural art, active signage, architectural signage
27. Micro farming
28. Mandate not just more density but more intense land use– mixing together of various uses on a single site
29. Use negative property taxes where warranted to allow less desirable uses to find a location (like group homes)
30. Exploiting vertical rent curves as well as horizontal ones
31. Allowing cities to expand outward to provide more diverse lifestyle options as well as pushing up rent curves at the centre
32. Zero tolerance for street crime and petty vandalism

Being Green

All-off button
Get rid of grass/substitute local flora (xeriscape) or hard surfaces
Low flush toilets with two flow settings
Solar hot water
Solar panels
Solar air wall
Additional insulation
Heat recovery unit
Heat pump
Water-saving faucets
LED lighting
Intermittent spin washer
Low energy-consumption appliances
Install motion sensors to turn off lights
Get a programmable t-stat that doesn’t require PhD
Install blinds/keep closed at night
Caulk everything
Ceiling fans
Daylighting via skylights, light shelves, wall cuts, clerestory windows, light tubes & light bottles
Rainwater capture/reuse
Go Green! Live closer to work
Work from home


a.   Events
b.   Festivals
c.   Biz incubator
d.   High School for the technological arts
e.   Eyes on parks program
f.    Project facilitators
g.   Goodwill ambassadors
h.   Casino
i.    Hotels
j.    Twitter guest moderators
k.   Industrial park with accessory residential
l.    Small parcel commercial development/own your own facility
m.  Designate 1,000,000 sf MCFs
n.   Expand urban boundary
o.   Google+/Google Maps registration
p.   Creating Canada 2017 project
q.   Paint color for sand mix in new asphalt

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About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.