Sunday October 11, 2015

The state of our cities

The concrete has flaked away from a column supporting a section of the Gardiner Expressway just west of Strachan Avenue. The steel rusts and expands, causing the concrete to flake away. (Andrew Lupton/CBC)

The concrete has flaked away from a column supporting a section of the Gardiner Expressway just west of Strachan Avenue. The steel rusts and expands, causing the concrete to flake away. (Andrew Lupton/CBC)

Listen 30:30

Four out of five Canadians now live in cities, and when it comes to urban living we have much to celebrate. The 2015 ranking of the world's most liveable cities puts Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto in the top 5. But the news is not all good. Crumbling roads, outdated and inadequate public transit, a dwindling supply of affordable housing, and a host of other problems make Canadian city living a daunting challenge.

Flash flood Calgary

A flooded street in Calgary's Fairview, south of Chinook Centre. (Ken Lima-Coelho )

The leaders of the three biggest federal  parties are promising wads of cash to address the dismal state of our cities' infrastructures. But is more money from the federal government the "magic bullet" that will meet the many challenges facing our cities?

Gridlocked Vancouver at nighttime

Gridlocked Vancouver at night. (CBC)

Michael's guests are:

Don Iveson, one of the youngest mayors of a big Canadian city. He has been the mayor of Edmonton for two years and is a member of the Big City Mayors' Caucus.

Jill Grant, Professor in the School of Planning at Dalhousie University in Halifax and has authored and edited many books and research papers on urban planning. Her focus is the rise of suburbs.

Ken Greenberg, an internationally renowned architect, writer and urban designer.  He is the author of Walking Home: The Life and Lessons of a City Builder.

sewage dump montreal

Sewage dump in Montreal. (iStock)