THIS

Progressive politics, ideas & culture

Menu

cities

November-December 2010

New Westminster, B.C., leads the way with Canada’s first living wage bylaw

Adam Lemieux

The fight against poverty in Canada recently added a new weapon to its arsenal: the living wage bylaw. While only one Canadian city, New Westminster, B.C., currently implements the practice, the push is on to make it the norm. Living wage bylaws require that workers employed directly or indirectly by a municipal government be paid […] More »
September-October 2010

Vancouver photographer Eric Deis captures his city’s vanishing streetscapes

Jackie WongWebsite

Even after all its Olympic-related world-class-city posturing, Vancouver remains very much at odds with itself. At once a bedroom community, a wannabe metropolis, and the centre of a long-running real-estate boom, the city is like a teenager who keeps changing her clothes, says visual artist Eric Deis. “Kids grow up, they push boundaries, they try […] More »
January-February 2010

How having the web on your phone is changing urban living

Navneet AlangWebsite

I stood there on the street, squinting into my phone, needing to double check. Could the nondescript restaurant before me really have, as the anonymous web commenter put it, “the. best. hot sauce. ever.”? It didn’t seem likely. But sure enough, after popping inside, the fiery, garlicky concoction was a revelation. Later that day, when […] More »
January-February 2010

Booming trade in “slum tourism” dispels some myths, creates others

Mariellen WardWebsite

It can be an eye-opening experience that helps everyone involved move towards greater understanding…. It’s been happening in Rio’s famous favelas for some time. Now slum tourism—which turns a real-life ghetto into a “hot” tourist destination—has spread to Johannesburg, Manila, Cairo, and, in the wake of the blistering success of Slumdog Millionaire, Mumbai. But it’s […] More »
January-February 2010

“I think I might be a little bit racist. And I’d like to change.”

Lisan Jutras

When one writer found herself sinking into a mire of prejudice and resentment, she set out to find a cure. But maybe 12 steps aren’t enough. The first step to getting help, they say, is admitting you have a problem. That part took me years of halting, painful introspection and self-doubt. Later, I told friends—just […] More »
July-August 2009

Is a 60-storey skyscraper the farm of the future?

Paul McLaughlinWebsite

Canadian architecture student Gordon Graff attracted worldwide interest when he designed SkyFarm, a 59-storey farm for downtown Toronto. What inspired you to design a vertical farm? Sometime in 2006, when I was first working on my masters at the University of Waterloo, I knew I wanted to focus on how to turn a city like […] More »

Friday FTW: Further adventures in backyard farming, honeybee edition

Graham F. Scott

One of the most popular articles in the last issue of This was on urban chicken farming. One of the British companies mentioned in that piece, Omlet, which makes a stylish backyard chicken coop called Eglu, is expanding its urban-agro-empire again. This time, they’re selling Beehaus, a colourful backyard apiary for starting your own honeybee […] More »
July-August 2009

Be an urban chicken farmer in 5 easy steps

Erica Butler

A growing number of Canadians are extolling the virtues of the urban chicken. And why not? They’re an affordable source of fresh, local, organic protein; eat lawn-destroying insects; produce nitrogen-rich fertilizer; and are fun to have around. Intrigued? Here are some key steps toward taking on your own personal flock. 1. Look before you leap. […] More »
March-April 2009

Your Money or Your Life

Carolyn Morris

In a country with supposedly universal coverage, some of the most vulnerable must pay cash for health care. It costs them their livelihoods — and sometimes their lives Dr. Paul Caulford will never forget what happened to Patricia. An 18-year-old girl from Grenada, she had an athletic build, black skin, and black hair cropped at […] More »
March-April 2009

Autoholics

Tim FalconerWebsite

Tim Falconer, author of Drive: A Road Trip through Our Complicated Affair with the Automobile proposes a 12-step program for breaking our addiction to cars As individuals and as a society, we love our automobiles — even as we hate how they screw up our planet, our cities, and our lives. Environics Research Group, a […] More »
March-April 2009

Traffic Jamming

Jordan Heath-RawlingsWebsite

Around the world, cities are finding ways to drastically reduce, or even eliminate, car use. It could happen here too In cities around the globe, World Carfree Day is a nice little break from the everyday. Every year on September 22, dozens of large cities shut down some of their main streets to traffic, leaving […] More »