Liveable Ottawa – launch event

I attended the launch of the Liveable Ottawa consultation on January 29, 2013.

The next step, and an important one, is for everyone to fill out the online survey.  This will be a big input to support the planning direction of the city.

Go to and click “Complete our survey” (link is currently in the upper right).

I liked the presentation by Dr. David L. Mowat, Medical Officer of Health, Region of Peel, setting urban design in the context of health.  He said we have learned from the health trends (physical activity, obesity and diabetes) that we have designed all effort out of our daily lives.  We need to restore routine activity (walking to school, cycling to work, taking the stairs) as part of daily life.

I also liked the presentation by Colin Simpson on the Transportation Master Plan themes (including the Pedestrian Plan and the Cycling Plan).  Lots of good ideas about measuring better, and measuring more things.  Measuring pedestrian, cycling and transit level of service will have a huge impact on how we plan our roads and buildings.

Neither presentation is online yet but you can get a sense of the Transportation directions by looking at the display boards for the Transportation Master Plan.

Overall I think the direction is good.  Changing what we measure is a key element of changing the results we get.  For decades we have been measuring only traffic level of service, which is based only on maximizing the flow of cars.  Measuring the flow of humans, and designing roads not for peak hour but for average of three peak hours, will be a huge step in the right direction.

One thought on “Liveable Ottawa – launch event

  1. Great recap. It was an uplifting presentation in the sense that we are finally getting it. I liked the fact that limiting car use is a main focus, I agree with the man who said that the 55% to 50% was not aggressive enough but there is time to change that! Do you think it will ever be possible for the City to write everyone of these priorities, have a timeline for each of them (with budget) and have employees update the City of the progress and budget on each one of them? There were so many initiatives announced, I just think that many will be lost and many will be stretched out way too long. The City has to think more like a private business in these senses. Thanks for the article!

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