Tall Is Good: How a lack of Building Up Is Keeping Our Cities Down

By Allissa Walker from Gizmodo (December 11, 2013)

“…How do we get our cities to grow up?”

Modern housing: Why high rises are good for the environment

By Matthew Sachs in the Ottawa Citizen (July 3, 2014)

“…high-density living, such as a downtown apartment building, is much more environmentally friendly than living in a rural community. It may surprise you to learn that New York City has the lowest per capita energy use in North America by far.”

Downtown high rises would have many benefits for downtown

By Rob Oatway Letter to the Editor in Kingston Region (March 7, 2016)

“One needs to look no further than a city such as Boston to see an example of how things could be done. That city that has locations and buildings which were integral in the history of the United States – buildings which pre-date those in our downtown.  Immediately adjacent to those same historical buildings are (gasp) “multi-story” buildings that look as though they were plucked from the Toronto or New York skyline. These new and modern buildings don’t make the history any less important, and the buildings haven’t stopped tourists from visiting. They provide a place for people to live and work, and they also provide hotel rooms for tourists to stay within, pouring even more money into their local economy.”

High Rises and Streetlife

Blog Post by Michael Lewyn, Associate Professor Touro Law Centre NY (January 23, 2015)

“The common claim that “high-rises kill streetlife” is often incorrect…In fact high-rises may sometimes increase street life by increasing the popularity of city life and thereby increasing urban density.”

The Benefits of Density

By Edward Glaeser, from LSE Cities (2011)

“If the future is going to be greener, then it must be more urban. Dense cities offer a means of living that involves less driving and smaller homes to heat and cool. For the sake of humanity and our planet, cities are – and must be – the wave of the future.”

City Poised To Take Off 

By Alex (Sandy) Crothers Letter to the Editor Kingston Whig Standard  (June 18, 2016)

“We are extremely fortunate to live in a place that has so many opportunities in front of us, the pen site, the third crossing, the waterfront master plan, the airport expansion, downtown living opportunities as well as numerous public and private developments both large and small.”

Is This Too Tall?

On his website Mr. Hulley asks some important questions about residential intensification in and around the downtown core. (June 20, 2016)

Economic Impact of Residential Intensification

The Downtown Kingston! BIA and The Kingston Economic Development Corporation have developed a tool to measure the economic impacts of residential intensification. (June 2016)

Which Costs More: A Single Family Home or a Condo?

From “savingcities” (December 19, 2013)

“Most of us tend to believe that downtown condo living is expensive—certainly more so than living in a suburban single-family home.  But what if I could shatter that preconceived notion that urban living is prohibitively expensive?”

Suburban Sprawl: Exposing Hidden Costs, Identifying Innovations

“Some municipalities are starting to ask questions and find savings. In established areas, much or all of the required infrastructure already exists, and so redevelopment and infill development typically entail significantly lower municipal capital spending. Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) recently found that it could save hundreds of millions of dollars by reducing the expansion of low-density sprawling development and opting for more dense urban development. Calgary found that by adopting a denser growth pattern that used 25% less land, it could save $11 billion in capital costs alone.” (October 2013)

Was Jane Jacobs right?

By Lloyd Alter from Treehugger (May 3, 2016)

Jacobs believed that dense populations created safer environments for the public, what she referred to as “eyes on the street”.

Urban intensification is good for environment

By James Ward Letter to the Editor in The Whig (Jan 13, 2016)

“Studies from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have shown that highrise apartment and condos buildings consume 65 per cent less energy, 40 per cent less water and create 40 per cent less waste than suburban single-family homes, on a per resident basis. These environmental benefits are a main reason why urban intensification is being promoted in cities around the world and has been a key planning policy in Ontario since 2005.”

The Death and Life of Great American Cities 

By Jane Jacobs (Random House, 1961)

On diversity, high rises and zoning, from Page 253

“…the purpose of zoning for deliberate diversity should not be to freeze conditions and uses as they stand. That would be death. Rather, the point is to insure that changes or replacements, as they do occur, cannot be overwhelmingly of one kind. This means, often, constraints on too rapid a replacement of too many buildings. I think the specific scheme of diversity zoning, or the specific combination of schemes, that an outstandingly successful city locality requires is likely to differ with the locality and with the particular form of self-destruction that threatens it. However, in principal, zoning aimed directly at building ages and building sizes is a logical tool, because variety in types of accommodations is reflected, usually, in variety of uses and populations. A park being surrounded by intensive duplications of tall offices or apartments might well be zoned for lower buildings along its south side in particular, thus accomplishing two useful purposes at one stroke: protecting the park’s supply of winter sun, and protecting indirectly, to some extent at least, its diversity of surrounding uses.”

Seven Leading Architects Defend the World’s Most Hated Buildings

Quote from Daniel Libeskind in the New York Times (June 5, 2015)

World renowned architect on Paris abandoning high rises:

“…When they abandoned the tower they also abandoned the idea of a high-density sustainable city.  Because they exiled all future high rises….they failed to consider the consequences of what it means to be a vital, living city versus a museum. People sentimentalize their notions of the city, but with the carbon footprint, the waste of resources, our shrinking capacity, we have no choice but to build good high-rise buildings that are affordable.”

 Not Expecting Magic, Just Progress

By Rob Oatway Letter to the Editor in Kingston Region (April 8, 2016)

” …with additional places to live and work and less worry about scale and shadows our downtown could be so much more.”

The Foundation 

By Jacques Dalibard, Executive Director of Heritage Canada Foundation (1983)

“… (We are) not in the business of cryonics, of freezing something in a certain moment in time…our built environment is a living community…it has to change, to evolve, to improve…”

Hamilton’s great leap forward: New condos, transit boost real estate

By Susan Smith, from the Globe and Mail (March 7, 2016)

“Two other condo developments – City Square on Robinson Street and the Stinson School Lofts – lie just outside the provincially designated urban growth centre. More than 300 new hotel rooms have been added downtown, businesses are returning and the education and health care sectors are investing in the once-derelict area. Coffee shops, restaurants, galleries, bars, boutiques and other amenities are sprouting up to serve the new urbanites, completing the picture of a promising renewal that has been a long time coming.”

“The movement out to the suburbs has been reversed,” says Mr. Norton, himself a downtown Hamilton condo dweller. “It’s being driven by the millennials, who aren’t so keen on buying a car and like to be close to their social scene. And at the other end of the spectrum are the empty-nesters.”

City of Kingston Report to Council (Approved)

Blk 4, North Block District, Design Guidelines

Supports up to 18 storey buildings – with base podium design.

A Country of Cities, A Manifesto For an Urban America

By Vishaan Chakrabarti (2013)

“…dense cities are the most efficient economic engines, are the most environmentally sustainable, and are the most likely to encourage joyful and healthy lifestyles. So, how do we build delightful cities that make us more prosperous, ecological, fit, and equitable? This chapter lays out the factors that impede hyperdensity in our cities today, and the conditions necessary to create hyperdense environments in the future including great design, responsible preservation, and sound urban planning.”

CMHC – Kingston Housing Industry Roundtable Mar 9 16

March 9, 2016 – Discussion Summary

“Demand remains high to live in the downtown core particularly among the student and senior’s population.”

Average household energy use, by household and dwelling characteristics, 2007

Statistics Canada

A table showing the household energy use by dwelling characteristics.

New condos downtown could be just what Kingston needs 

By Hollie Pratt-Campbell in the Kingston Heritage (May 26, 2016)

“But I often still think, wouldn’t it be nice if there were more places, especially affordable places, for people to live in the downtown core? There are many people in this city who want to live the condo lifestyle – from single people to young couples to ‘empty nesters’ looking to downsize.”

Revised Capitol Proposal

The revised proposal for the Capitol building (223 Princess Street) is now available. You can download the report here: The Capitol Revised Urban Design Report. (May 4, 2016)

Major changes made to the design include height (the building has been reduced from 20 stories to 16 stories plus a rooftop patio), a brick facade instead of the proposed limestone on Queen Street (in order to better blend in with surrounding buildings) and removal of the red fascinator from the design.

The Lazarus Project: An Exploration of the Economics of Heritage Developments in Ontario notes that the “Flatiron Building demonstrates quite profoundly that the old and the new can coexist peacefully and beautifully.”

Flatiron Building Toronto
Flatiron Building – Toronto

Minutes of Settlement re: Homestead