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Thread: US Study Tour

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Rem's avatar
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    US Study Tour

    I am interested in your thoughts about the program for the following study tour.

    My City's interests are mainly managing new development in sleepy, small, suburban centres, turning them into urban centres with much denser forms, making them walkable, making public transport more viable etc. We also have to deal with a lot of internally driven and immigration driven growth which many would rather see accommodated in greenfields land releases. We are trying to provide a 70/30 split in new development between consolidated and low density housing forms.

    Am I going to learn something worthwhile from this study tour? I'm particularly interested in your views about the cities being visited - are they worth parting with money to visit?

    What about the APA conference before the tour starts? Should I attend it?

    Planning Research Centre 25th March to 2nd April 2005
    (directly after the APA conference)

    “Revitalisation and Re-Development: New Tools for Transforming Communities”

    The Planning Research Centre invites you to join our Director, Professor Edward J Blakely on a Study Tour of the US and Canada. Professor Blakely is an internationally recognised leader in Urban and Regional Development and has travelled the world specialising in urban and regional revitalisation. Delegates will be treated to site tours and presentations from local development teams and given insights into successes and failures in San Francisco, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles. my emphasis added

    Major themes of the tour:
    - Urban Revitalisation
    - Infrastructure design and development
    - Value capture and financing tools and techniques
    - Housing and mixed user density approaches to community design
    - Environmental and natural habitat protection and sustainable systems approaches
    - Links between education, health and related community assets in development
    - Regional and sub-regional collaborations in economic and community development
    - Integration of social and economic development projects and programs in urban
    revitalisation.

    SPACES ARE LIMITED: maximum 20 people

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Blakely comes from an economic development background. I used his text in one of my classes back in '92. It was... alright. Nothing special. My guess is that he won't speak so much to the planning aspects of these projects, or the planning environment (growth management, etc.) as he will talk about them as redevelopment projects. These are all great cities, though (except LA) and they are definitely worth experiencing.

    If you do decide to come, let us know when and where we should schedule the laefest. Of course, there will be a continuous laefest all through the APA conference.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Rem
    What about the APA conference before the tour starts? Should I attend it?
    I think that you would probably get more out of the conference and some of the mobile workshops that are tailored more to your situation. If you go to the conference, maybe BKM or some other N. Cali planner would be nice enough to take you on a tour of Davis, CA. It is one of the better suburban cities in terms of transit, bicycle transportation planning and pedestrian connections. High densities (for the States) and a high open space ratio.

    Did the tour state that they will be going to suburbs of any of those major cities? Such as Issaquah near Seattle? Or is it JUST the cities?

  4. #4
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    I don't know anything about the speaker but Vancouver, BC is definately worth a visit. The city has undertaken a lot of redevelopment in recent years with the redevelopment of the Expo lands, revitalization of the Downtown East Side, the town centers surrounding light rail stations, etc.

    I'd just wonder how much you could learn about 5 cities in such a short time frame.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Rem's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    Blakely comes from an economic development background. I used his text in one of my classes back in '92. It was... alright. Nothing special........
    I did think about asking Cyburbia if they knew of Ed Blakely. He has been appointed Professor to the Planning School at Sydney University. Chair of the Planning Research Centre, referred to in the study tour invitation, comes with that position. He has also been appointed as Chairman of the Comittee responsible for delivering a new Metrolpolitan Strategy for the Greater Metropolitan Sysdney Area. These roles are considered quite prestigious and his profile is now significant, starting from nowhere. I've heard him present on urban design trends OS and he was quite interesting. He promotes himself as someone who has also been a developer as well as an academic and is a bit of a darling of the government at the moment. We will be hosting him in our fair City next week to pitch our issues for the Metro Strategy project. Any other insights would be appreciated.

    Quote Originally posted by nerudite
    ....Did the tour state that they will be going to suburbs of any of those major cities? Such as Issaquah near Seattle? Or is it JUST the cities?
    The only details I have so far are those shown above nerudite.

    The tour is not the sort of thing I would normally consider lec because it is (typically) expensive and I know I would learn more by visiting these Cities for longer, on my own or with help from Cyburbanites or by contacting local administrations. But I never get around to organising this sort of trip and my Mayor, who brought it to my attention, said he thought "it would be good for me". Not sure if it's a backhanded reward or a critique of my narrow thinking.

    Thanks for your feedback so far. I would welcome more opinions.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    If the mayor says "go" the go! I would never pass up an opportunity to tour Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland and Wellington if work paid for it.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

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