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Working Papers

These are working papers associated with PLACES: Platform on Cities, Engagement and Space.
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  1. Crisis of Boundaries, Notes on the Suburban Novum [Download]

    Title: Crisis of Boundaries, Notes on the Suburban Novum
    Creator: Rob Shields
    Description: Boundaries and boundary-drawing, a classic geopolitical and urban practice, finds itself in a state of crisis. Boundary-marking as both an administrative and cultural exercise is more fraught in contemporary politics. Boundaries as interfaces and social situations challenge the definition and identity of suburbs, creating a situation in which not only does suburbia loose identity but the divisions that distinguish the urban and rural are undermined
    Subjects: boundary, border, suburbia, border-making, temporal border, spatial boundary, edge
    Date Created: 2013/07/01
  2. Rating the walkability of cities: a participatory approach - Preliminary Research Project [Download]

    Title: Rating the walkability of cities: a participatory approach - Preliminary Research Project
    Creator: Nathalia Osorio
    Description: Aiming to increase the importance of pedestrian experience in urban design, we are proposing the development of a participatory walkability rating system, consisting of a mobile application that gathers perceptual and factual data from people’s daily walks. In the first part of this paper we present a review of the existing walkability rating methods and highlight the two key issues of the approaches they use to assess pedestrian friendliness: either they focus on the wrong scale or they implement audit processes that are carried out by a staff or algorithms that are external to the place. In the second part we present the ways our proposal would improve on these approaches, and discuss the results of the pilot that we implemented to test our idea. We found that the development and use of a mobile application would be an asset for the participatory approach of the proposal, though there are several challenges to overcome in future stages of the project.
    Subjects: Walkability, Urban design, Participatory approach, Walkability rating method, Mobile application
    Date Created: 2017/04/17
  3. Reimagining the Suburban Strip-mall: The Future Twist. Architectural Proposal for Petrolia Mall, Greenfield, Edmonton Canada [Download]

    Title: Reimagining the Suburban Strip-mall: The Future Twist. Architectural Proposal for Petrolia Mall, Greenfield, Edmonton Canada
    Creator: Jennifer Tran
    Description: This architectural design proposal applies the lessons of Strip-Appeal.com. IT envisions a new future for Petrolia strip mall. It questions the potential for these spaces to be redeveloped and re-purposed. The future twist of the strip mall is that it’s main appeal will be as a community hub, rather than just a convenience strip for shopping.
    Subjects: architecture, mall, minimall, strip-mall, strip-appeal
    Date Created: 2016/02
  4. Smart Cities Timeline - a chronology of an idea and movement [Download]

    Title: Smart Cities Timeline - a chronology of an idea and movement
    Creator: Rob Shields
    Subjects: Urban, Communication
    Date Created: 2016/09
  5. Edmonton Amiskwaciy [Download]

    Title: Edmonton Amiskwaciy
    Creator: Shields, Rob
    Description: he first suburb of Edmonton, the capital of the oil-rich western Canadian prairie province of Alberta, was arguably the Federal Government of Canada's Papaschase Indian reservation 163. Situated inconveniently close to the settlement of Edmonton-Strathcona that had grown up around a Hudson's Bay trading fort, the reservation was eliminated as its starving populace one-by-one 'took scrip' in the mid-to-late 1800s, and accepted payment to cede their Aboriginal rights to reservation land. Almost a century later around 1970, parts of the area of the reservation of the Papaschase Cree became the site of an idealistic project to create an affordable suburb, “Mill Woods”. This paper considers the respatialization of the former Indian Reservation, the "pentimento" or layers of Indigenous, colonial and modern occupancy of the land, and the current precarity and ethnic relations in the suburb of Mill Woods.
    Subjects: suburbia, colonial, Papaschase, Indian Reservation 163, Reserve, indigenous, Millwoods, Edmonton Alberta, Settler-Colonial, Postcolonial, neocolonial, spatialisation, spatialization
    Date Created: 2015