“Have you read Zoe Todd’s latest?” I have asked this question several times in the past month, in various discussions about urban planning, architecture and the general effort to make Edmonton look and be better. Her blog, Urbane Adventurer, has become a must-read for me, and if you are interested in such things, you should put it on your list as well.
My first encounter with Zoe was hearing her impressive talk on “Edmonton as an Aboriginal City” at Pecha Kucha Night 7 (the image above comes from Edmonton NextGen’s Flickr set from that night). She revisited that theme in an excellent guest post at The Charrette in June. Although she spends some of her time in Aberdeen, Scotland, pursuing a PhD in social anthropology, she thinks a lot about Edmonton, as is clear in recent posts on preserving historic buildings and the “back alley” view of the city.
She has launched a Tumblr called Post-awesome: a prairie movement. It’s “a place to look at ‘crap architecture’ in the city of Edmonton. And to celebrate good architecture, too,” riffing on Mayor Stephen Mandel’s famous lament about the current state of design. She’s a musician, too. Zoe is an all-round impressive Edmontonian, and worth following in all ways (including on Twitter: @z_todd).
And now, rounding up:
— Speaking of urban affairs, Deborah Merriam had an interesting blogpost recently about sustainable development in the suburbs. It reminded me of some of the issues that the Edmonton Journal’s Elise Stolte is exploring in her Living on the Edge series and blog.
— Urban planner Myron Belej had a piece about making business districts more walkable on YegNews. Speaking of which, YegNews is now back to regular publishing after a little hiatus, with Dave S. Clark replacing Scott McKeen as editor. I still think YegNews should follow my advice, although I do notice a few more links out. I also like that publisher Alain Saffel has taken the time to comment on other blogs (including mine) and on stories on the site. Being an active participant in the conversation makes for a more civil community, as Anil Dash writes.
— For an excellent chronicle of Edmonton’s watery backbone, check out Donna’s River Valley, a walking diary by Donna McKinnon (@illustratedword on Twitter).
— And if this summer’s raininess has been getting you down, look at the bright side: it makes for pretty pictures. Randall Talbot proves it.
For more urban planning and development, it’s always worth your while to check out The Charrette, and the edmontonian does a bang-up job of rounding up the headlines on these and other matters. For more media news, see Mack Male’s Media Monday. Comment below if I’m missing something, or find me on Twitter.