explainer

Explainer: The Blue and Golden Bananas of Europe

The Blue Banana, image via Wikimedia Commons
March 22, 2017 9:58 am | by Alexander Vu | Comments
This week, our 'Explainer' goes global and delves into the terms the Blue and Golden Bananas of Europe. Similar to Canada's very own 'Golden Horseshoe', these terms identify areas of commonality ... read more

Explainer: Missing Middle Housing

Missing Middle Housing types, image via Opticos Design
March 15, 2017 10:03 am | by Alexander Vu | Comments
This week's 'Explainer' goes over the so-called 'missing middle', a housing density term that has caught the attention of city planners and residents of Toronto, as well as other cities around the ... read more

Explainer: BREEAM

March 8, 2017 11:00 am | by Alexander Vu | Comments
In Toronto, the topics of energy efficiency and environmental sensitivity in development cannot be discussed without mentioning LEED Certification. This evaluation system, however, is not the only ... read more

Explainer: The Monotown

Tolyatti is an example of a monotown, image retrieved from Google Maps
March 1, 2017 11:00 am | by Alexander Vu | Comments
With introductions to various urban land use phenomenons occurring across the globe such as Manhattanization, Brusselization, and Californication, the concept of the 'Monotown' is the latest ... read more

Explainer: Californication—the Fear of Haphazard Development

Expressways and sprawl in Los Angeles, image via Google Maps
February 22, 2017 11:00 am | by Stefan Novakovic | Comments
Here in Toronto, talk of Manhattanization has accompanied the high-rises and construction cranes over the last decade. Everyone from Councillor Josh Matlow to former Toronto Star architecture ... read more

Explainer: Brise Soleils

Ministry of Education and Health Building's brise soleil, Brazil, image via Wiki
February 15, 2017 11:03 am | by Alexander Vu | Comments
This week, our 'Explainer' looks at Brise Soleils, an architectural design element that has increasingly gained momentum thanks to its functionality. A method of making the interior of buildings ... read more

Explainer: Diagrid Structural Framework

30 St Mary Axe in London, image by Marcus Mitanis
February 8, 2017 11:00 am | by Alexander Vu | Comments
Ever run into the word 'diagrid' and wonder what it means? This week's 'Explainer' delves into this specialized structural framework, in use since the late 19th century. Although the design was ... read more

Explainer: Vancouverism

February 1, 2017 11:00 am | by Alexander Vu | Comments
As part of the SkyriseCities network, SkyriseVancouver is our newest addition and is committed to providing the same great local development coverage and discussion that you’ve come to expect from ... read more

Explainer: Groundscrapers

The Groothandelsgebouw in Rotterdam, image retrieved from Google Maps
January 25, 2017 11:00 am | by Stefan Novakovic | Comments
This week, SkyriseCities' 'Explainer' series returns with an overview of the so-called 'groundscraper,' a neologism that's catching on as an emerging term in the urban vocabulary. Though not ... read more

Explainer: Tactical Urbanism

January 18, 2017 11:00 am | by Alexander Vu | Comments
With the constant debate on public space and how it should be used, this week's 'Explainer' looks into Tactical Urbanism, a planning term that refers to how both the community and government could ... read more

Explainer: Rooftopping

Rooftoppers in Toronto, image by Flickr user Freaktography via Creative Commons
January 11, 2017 11:00 am | by Alexander Vu | Comments
This week, our 'Explainer' considers the controversial and daring phenomenon dubbed 'Rooftopping'. With the increase of urban development and access to social media, the photography community has ... read more

Explainer: Sneckdowns

A sneckdown in Manhattan, image by Liz Patek via Wikimedia Commons
January 4, 2017 11:00 am | by Alexander Vu | Comments
Winter has officially arrived in Toronto, and accompanying it is the inconvenience of snow and ice. Fittingly, this week's 'Explainer' takes a look at sneckdowns, and how snow can be a useful ... read more

Explainer: How Tiebacks, Rakers, Struts Support Shoring Walls

December 21, 2016 11:00 am | by Alexander Vu | Comments
This week's 'Explainer' is the third in the topic of shoring, featuring guest contributor and geotechnical engineer, Michael Diez de Aux. In case you missed it, the first 'Explainer' in the series ... read more

Explainer: How Shoring is Constructed

Excavation underway for Aqualina at Bayside, image by Craig White
December 14, 2016 11:00 am | by Stefan Novakovic | Comments
Last week, geotechnical engineer Michael Diez de Aux contributed a special guest edition of SkyriseCities.com's 'Explainer.' While last week's feature offered a detailed introduction to the ... read more

Explainer: Introduction to Shoring

The Massey Tower excavation image by Jack Landau
December 7, 2016 12:38 pm | by Alexander Vu | Comments
This week, guest contributor and geotechnical engineer, Michael Diez de Aux, will be taking over our 'Explainer'. This is the first part of a series that will look at shoring, or the supporting of ... read more

Explainer: Urban Acupuncture

'Little Free Library' movement , image by Flickr user Matthew Matheson
November 30, 2016 11:12 am | by Alexander Vu | Comments
This week, our 'Explainer' considers the term 'urban acupuncture'. Chinese acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine involving needles being inserted into the body to relieve stress. In a ... read more

Explainer: Elegant Decay

Elegant decay of Lisbon, image by Flickr user Stephen Robinson
November 23, 2016 11:06 am | by Alexander Vu | Comments
It is often thought that the preservation of an historic structure would help retain its value. However, this week's 'Explainer' provides an overview of the concept of Elegant Decay, a phenomenon ... read more

Explainer: Legal Nonconforming Uses and Structures

November 16, 2016 11:07 am | by Alexander Vu | Comments
Anyone who lives in Toronto sees growth pressure as they move about the city: places that were lively decades ago and then became obsolete over the years, are being purchased, demolished, and ... read more

Explainer: Hardscapes and Softscapes

November 9, 2016 1:22 pm | by Alexander Vu | Comments
In common parlance, the landscaping that accompanies development is often thought of as the incorporation of green spaces in urban environments. In reality, however, landscaping involves more than ... read more

Explainer: Arcology

November 2, 2016 10:42 am | by Alexander Vu | Comments
This week's 'Explainer' looks at the term 'Arcology', gargantuan multi-use buildings popularized in science fiction which could accommodate the massive growing global population through the ... read more