I saw the tanaka package fly by on twitter, and in particular liked the application to the world population grid. Cities are interesting beasts, and I like exploring the extent of cities free from political boundaries. I am travelling right now, but I like looking at different ways to calculate and visualize density and could not resist running some inter-city density comparisons. For this, we only show areas with at least 4 people per hectare (or about 1000 people per square mile, the cutoff used by US Census to designate areas as urban), and pick some population density cutoffs above that to show grades of population density.
When we (Denis and Jens) got together for coffee the other day, Denis showed off some maps of renter density in the frequent transit network that he was working on. The idea immediately clicked and we decided to work this out together. Motivated by the issue of renter demoviction caused by the 2017 Metrotown Plan, we set out to quantify how one could plan for displacement on a regional level, instead of treating it as an unwelcome consequence of development at the lot level.
Recently the City of Vancouver pivoted their planning for RS (“single family”) and RT (“duplex”) neighbourhoods from downzoning, to slow the pace of teardowns to adding infill as an incentive to to keep older buildings through extensive renovations, to now proposing the Making Room program to allow stratification and higher unit density, and Mayor Robertson adding an amendment to direct staff to look into also allowing multiplexes. This change in policy grew out of a series of consultation processes, and it is quite interesting to browse through them chronologically and observe the shift in how participants talk about low density zoning.
Jim has been using the Copernicus building height data for select European cities to understand the height profiles of cities. Building heights by distance from city centre in London and Paris, from 2012 EU Copernicus data. On average, buildings in Paris are taller throughout. pic.twitter.com/rtGiiBC7pd — Jim Gleeson (@geographyjim) May 11, 2018 We thought these were pretty cool. Sadly we don’t have a dataset like this for Canadian metro areas, but we can hack together something similar using LIDAR survey data.
Over the past years several people have asked me questions about street frontage of city properties. When I needed similar data for a work project, and Scot Hein asked me a question about frontages of commercial properties for his Urbanarium debate, I decided to finally pull the numbers. The answer to that question is not as straight forward as it might seem, mostly because properties aren’t necessarily square. There are a couple of algorithm that can solve this problem, but in this case we can keep things reasonably simple as the City of Vancouver has property frontages listed on VanMap and make the data available on their Open Data Portal.