explainer

Explainer: Tactical Urbanism

January 18, 2017 10:00 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 10:00 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 10:00 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 10:00 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 10:00 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 11:38 am | 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 10:12 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 10:06 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 10:07 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 12:22 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 9:42 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

Explainer: EIFS, or Exterior Insulation Finishing Systems

October 26, 2016 8:56 am | by Alexander Vu | Comments
This week, our 'Explainer' takes a look at Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS). Typically used in low and mid-rise properties, EIFS is a popular insulation system installed on many ... read more

Explainer: LEED Certification

Toronto's TD Centre was recently retrofitted to achieve LEED Platinum status, im
October 19, 2016 9:00 am | by Stefan Novakovic | Comments
This week, SkyriseCities' 'Explainer' returns with a look at a term that often comes up here on UrbanToronto: LEED Certification. In evaluating new developments and retrofits of older buildings, ... read more

Explainer: Brusselization

October 12, 2016 9:00 am | by Alexander Vu | Comments
Today's 'Explainer' goes over an urbanization term similar to 'Manhattanization', which we looked at last week. 'Brusselization' describes a controversial redevelopment phenomenon that ... read more

Explainer: Manhattanization

October 5, 2016 9:58 am | by Alexander Vu | Comments
This week's 'Explainer' looks at the term 'Manhattanization', a high-rise densification phenomenon that has been referred to when talking up many city downtown growth spurts across the globe, ... read more

Explainer: Greenfields

Greenflies sites around Regina, Saskatchewan, image by Marcus Mitanis
September 28, 2016 9:33 am | by Stefan Novakovic | Comments
Last week, SkyriseCities' 'Explainer' provided an overview of the term 'brownfields,' which refers to sites that were formerly developed but are now abandoned lands, often of an industrial nature. ... read more

Explainer: Brownfields

Toronto's Port Lands feature numerous brownfields sites, image by Marcus Mitanis
September 21, 2016 9:16 am | by Stefan Novakovic | Comments
This week, our 'Explainer' takes a look at a planning and development term that refers to previously industrial (or in some cases, commercial) land. Often characterized by contaminated and ... read more

Explainer: Greywater

Greywater before treatment (left) compared to purified greywater (right), image
September 14, 2016 8:35 am | by Stefan Novakovic | Comments
This week's 'Explainer' tackles the topic of greywater, or sullage, which refers to most of the wastewater generated by all of us over the course of a normal day. While the generation of greywater ... read more

Explainer: Raft Slab

Massey Tower, Toronto, by Mod, Hariri Pontarini
September 7, 2016 9:23 am | by Stefan Novakovic | Comments
Today's Explainer offers a 'foundational' overview of construction terminology. While the most visible and attention-getting stages of high-rise construction take place above ground, some of the ... read more

Explainer: Woonerf

August 31, 2016 9:26 am | by Stefan Novakovic | Comments
This week's 'Explainer' tackles the woonerf, a concept that's been very popular in Toronto's urban circles (it originated in the Netherlands, so you know it's cool). So what are woonerfs, and why ... read more