Tobi's Articles | Écrit par Tobi
You could not be faulted for approaching the new Minto building at the western gateway of Beechwood Avenue with excited anticipation. After a fire devastated the previous structure in 2011, reducing apartments and beloved shops to ash, the sad and barren site sat boarded up until 2015, when construction began on a nine-storey, mixed-use building...... More | Plus
As Ottawa played host to the 2017 Ontario Heritage Conference last weekend, I have been reflecting on the key questions of heritage conservation.
How is the public interest served by promoting and protecting heritage buildings? How do we balance the public benefit with the rights of property owners? What constitutes heritage and who gets to define it – the broader... More | Plus
The prospect of a new central public library in our city is an exciting one. Successful central libraries offer citizens a one-stop shop of diverse civic and cultural life. Across the country, new libraries have breathed additional life into downtown cores, from Vancouver to Halifax. In that context, the recommendation to move Ottawa’s new Central Library from the downtown... More | Plus
Ottawa Citizen >> Leiper and Nussbaum: Cities should have planning powers, not the Ontario Municipal BoardNovember 23, 2016
Published Nov. 20, 2016 >> One of the most important jobs entrusted to city council is the task of planning our growth. Where should growth happen? Is it appropriate for the context? Can it be supported from the perspectives of social services, transit, parks and other city services? When residents cast their ballots, they’re choosing what kind of city in which... More | Plus
By Tobi Nussbaum and Miranda Spessot for Policy Options
With an estimated 3 million people moving into urban areas each week, mainly in the global... More | Plus
Along with legends, fairy tales and fables, myths are a great way to teach and learn values. But the other kind of myths – beliefs not grounded in fact – can be politically treacherous, especially when widely held by many or deeply felt by a vocal few. Yet dispelling myths that frustrate the public interest is a necessary aspect of political leadership, which is... More | Plus
The words “budget” and “public consultation” may evoke suppressed memories of uncomfortable folding chairs, stale muffins and cold coffee. More worrisome, however, is the fact that for many, those words are synonymous with being talked at, not listened to.
This week, we are hosting two sessions of what we are calling Budget Speak, in addition to the city-run area... More | Plus
The naked man opened his door partway to tell me that he was sorry he couldn’t speak but that he had no clothes on. I immediately threw up my hands to indicate my full appreciation for his predicament and quickly moved to carry on to his neighbour’s apartment.
“But hold on, come to think of it…”, he said, and proceeded to ask about the plans for the vacant lot across... More | Plus
Living in a country in which rehab, fraud and corruption have dominated news coverage of municipal politics, it’s hard to imagine that elsewhere, a mayor’s campaign promise to lower speed limits could be considered, well, rather exciting.
But earlier this year, Anne Hidalgo, newly elected as mayor of Paris, ran and won with a proposal to reduce the speed of traffic to... More | Plus
The tipping point for cities likely went unnoticed. It could have been a baby born in a large hospital in Lagos. It might have been a Chinese farmer moving to Shanghai. Or perhaps it was the quiet passing of a grandparent in the Amazon.
Whatever it was, the result was dramatic. In 2009 and for the first time in history, more people lived inside urban areas than... More | Plus
There is much cynicism about politics and politicians these days. Some of it is deserved, some of it is misplaced. But the consequence is that voter participation has been trending down and confidence in our democratic institutions is low. Changing our approach to campaign financing in municipal elections provides an opportunity to increase civic engagement and trust.... More | Plus
As hard as it might be these days to believe that the City of Ottawa can draw inspiration from Toronto City Hall, it is indeed the case. Beneath the rancour of the media-frenzied politics, Toronto has quietly undertaken an important step in municipal leadership that ought to serve as an example to the nation’s capital.
Despite the rather dry title, the Toronto... More | Plus
When a fire broke out in the local hardware store in 2011, burning almost an entire block of cherished retail space to the ground, it is safe to say that Beechwood Avenue reached its nadir. To that point, a slow but steady decline had seen the exodus of numerous small businesses after the departure of the Mountain Equipment Co-op in 2000. Elsewhere, a strip of vacant and... More | Plus