Brent Toderian Profile picture
City planner + urbanist leading @TODUrbanWORKS. Global cities advisor. Past Vancouver chief planner. Past/founding @CanUrbanism president. Speaker.
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Oct 13, 2023 11 tweets 6 min read
WATCH: If you STILL don’t understand how car-dependent suburbia is HEAVILY SUBSIDIZED by downtown & all the urban parts of your city, watch this excellent video by @notjustbikes with @UrbanThree & @StrongTowns. And then please SHARE it as much as possible. 

HUGE ISSUE: Cities/regions all over North America & beyond have a HUGE growth financing problem. On the one hand, raising devt charges/“impact fees” for new home-building in a housing crisis seems INSANE as interest rates & construction costs continue to murder project viability.
Apr 24, 2023 5 tweets 6 min read
Your semi-regular reminder. #reality Image Suburban Sprawl costs 38% more public money upfront & 10% more ongoing public cost than compact infill growth, with only 1/10th the created tax revenue, according to the report discussed in this @CityLab article.

#Sprawl is REALLY expensive for everyone.…
Feb 11, 2023 15 tweets 9 min read
You know who DOESN’T get to decide if the concept of 15-Minute Cities, which supports MORE CHOICE & LESS CAR DEPENDENCY, is good public policy?

The same alt-right conspiracy theorists & cynical opportunists who brought us truck occupations in neighbourhoods, Jan. 5th, & Brexit. Unhinged conspiracy theorists are attacking the idea of more walkable communities & less car dependency. I for one have no intention of letting them reframe effective public policy with the equivalent of “chips in vaccines.” You shouldn’t either. Via @VICE…
Nov 15, 2022 4 tweets 4 min read
One of my most interesting recent projects was working with @NSWDPE to create an innovative new way to do regional plans. The first of 2 I helped with, the Central Coast Regional Plan 2041, was recently approved with a LOT of new approaches for Australia!… For the 1st time, we applied the “15-minute city” concept to 7 different regional contexts, & prioritized real-life follow-thru including OPTIMUM (not minimum) density targets; mandated neighbourhood mixed-use; and strategies for multi-modal transportation for EACH of 7 contexts.
Nov 13, 2022 11 tweets 6 min read
“The Hummer EV tips the scales at just over 9k lbs—that’s some 4k more than the H3 & equivalent to around 3 Toyota Corollas…But at least the Hummer EV is electric, so it will help fight #climatechange, right? Well, don’t count on it.” Via @FastCompany… Never forget, an electric version of an awful vehicle is still an awful vehicle.
Aug 31, 2022 10 tweets 7 min read
THIS IS INTERESTING: 12 Ways to Reduce Cars In Cities that have ALREADY WORKED, ranked by effectiveness, identified from nearly 800 research papers. Via @KA_Nicholas in @ConversationEDU. What do u think, Tweeps? Depends A LOT on the specific case studies…… Image “Popularising electric vehicles comes with the risk of entrenching car dependency. Driverless cars may encourage more miles on the road, which could make traffic and sprawl worse.”

Fewer cars, less driving, more choices, better cities. Via @sky #FCLDMCBC…
Jul 26, 2022 11 tweets 8 min read
So I’ll repeat — we DO need to replace the current # of ICE vehicles with a LOT FEWER EVs. It’ll take a LOT of work on infrastructure, including the transformation of millions of private parking spaces. Unlike driverless cars, it IS part of the solution & needs to happen quickly. Image As I put it recently in my blunt advice to Irish cities, “Your goal SHOULDN’T be to replace a million fossil fuel vehicles with a million electric vehicles. It should be to replace a million fossil fuel vehicles with 250K electric vehicles. The answer HAS to be FEWER cars." Image
Jul 10, 2022 5 tweets 5 min read
I’ve long considered Montreal & Vancouver to be “mirror image” top design cities, as they are good at different things (& thus could REALLY learn from each other)! For example, Vancouver could learn A LOT from Montreal about public realm design/investment & street transformation. How are Vancouver & Montreal good at different city-building things? I think with urban design, Vancouver has been better at negotiating good design from developers (a city BY design), & Montreal is better at public sector design (a city OF design).

Jun 18, 2022 7 tweets 4 min read
Never forget, the electric car is here to save the car industry, not the planet. “In a 2050 scenario, there’s time for everything to happen that needs to happen. But in 2030 it just isn’t going to happen. Just look at the mess we’re in from a lithium supply standpoint with less than 10% EV penetration.”

There’s not enuf battery metal.…
Jun 11, 2022 5 tweets 3 min read
“In Finland, the # of homeless people has fallen sharply. Those affected receive a small apartment & counselling with no preconditions. 4 out of 5 people affected make their way back into a stable life. And all this is CHEAPER than accepting homelessness.”… I’ll keep tweeting this one until I don’t have to tweet it anymore.
May 20, 2022 5 tweets 4 min read
Since I’m talking about urban leadership, let’s talk more specifically about what @Anne_Hidalgo has done in Paris.

She used periodic pilots opening up streets to people, focussing on air pollution, health and quality of life. When people liked it, she built on that success. 1/ Paris Mayor @Anne_Hidalgo did the same thing with bike lanes— some pilots to prove they worked, but quickly making them permanent & decisively expanding on them during the pandemic when they were well received. Don’t ask if folks want something that they can’t picture. Show them.
May 14, 2022 12 tweets 7 min read
The future of transportation isn’t the #Hyperloop or self-driving cars. It’s the bus, the bike, & the elevator. Via @Slate

AND it’s better land-use & infrastructure decisions, reprioritizing space & budgets, accessible streets, & smart pricing mechanisms.… Never forget, the electric car is here to save the car industry, not the planet.
Apr 20, 2022 45 tweets 16 min read
THREAD: I’m going to try this thread to clearly state my perspective on electric vehicles, car dependency and better cities, to those who frequently ask me, including media, elected leaders and many others. Here goes. Please share if you think it helps. 🧵#EVS To be clear, despite the complexities, problems & grey areas that make electric vehicles much more complicated than the “silver bullets” many claim them to be, I DO support the replacement of ICE vehicles with EVs. It will take longer and be more complicated than boosters think.
Feb 22, 2022 8 tweets 4 min read
THREAD: For decades, I’ve been making the undeniable case that cities & city-regions need healthy downtowns, including economically (since inner cities subsidize suburbs). EVERYONE benefits from a healthy downtown no matter where you live & work, and whether you ever go downtown. We’ve already been having a LOT of discussions about the urgent need for smart strategies to keep downtowns healthy coming out of the global pandemic, in the face of shockwaves including uncertain new realities around working from home, and many implications for downtown health.
Nov 10, 2021 18 tweets 10 min read
This is important for #COP26

A while back, I received a note from a Manager in the executive office of @BillGates, asking if they could send me a copy of his new book “How To Avoid A Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need.” I was happy to say yes. She wrote: “Our aim is to get the book into the hands of as many people working to prevent a #climatecrisis as possible. It’s an issue that affects us all; the more conversations we can help start about the way we work together to get to zero, the better.”

I couldn’t agree more.
Oct 23, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
One of the biggest municipal public policy mistakes I see happening in many cities is a political tendency to focus almost entirely on the construction of below-market housing when trying to tackle “affordability.” Affordability is complex, & solutions need to be equally complex. For example, if local politicians send the message that they don’t want to see new ownership housing, or even market rental housing, because “what we REALLY need are below-market homes,” the resulting supply slowdown means ownership & rental housing will get even MORE expensive.
Sep 28, 2021 7 tweets 2 min read
One of the KEY conversations in city-building we too often avoid because we’re accused of “pointing fingers:”

Who REALLY creates single-use, car-dependent suburban sprawl? Is it developers (& their consultants) who build it, or the local governments who allow & even mandate it? And let’s get this out of the way RIGHT away — It’s NOT “the market” that creates suburban sprawl. It won’t be built if no one builds it, and it won’t be built if no government allows it (and SUBSIDIZES it). And surveys have always shown the “market” wants other, better choices.
Jul 29, 2021 7 tweets 18 min read
Last night I reached 100k Tweeps, a number I wouldn’t have thought possible when I decided to try this platform. I’ll say it again — it speaks to how inherently interesting and important cities are! Thank you to all of you for every read, retweet and constructive interaction. I was thinking that the best thing I could do to respect this milestone is to again try to support the voice of others who are working hard to make cities better every day. I hope you’ll follow & engage (constructively) with these passionate people! #UrbanistShoutOut
Jun 1, 2021 5 tweets 5 min read
NEW: Interested in a BETTER conversation on parking, & a VERY different approach to municipal parking strategy, for much better city-building outcomes? Our game-changing new @cityofkingston Parking doc is a must-read. See our preamble: #ThePowerOfParking… ImageImageImageImage MEDIA RELEASE: “There are few things we could do as a city that would have a bigger effect on whether we achieve Council’s strategic priorities than reconsidering how we do parking.” Kingston #YGK launches #ThePowerOfParking bold city-wide conversation:… ImageImage
Feb 25, 2021 4 tweets 3 min read
If you’re still wondering what a “15-Minute City” really means, at least as proposed by Paris Mayor @Anne_Hidalgo, it’s really simple.

Everything you need is available within a 15 minute walk, wheel chair or bike-ride from home.


NOT by car trip.

Not even transit. By Comparison, a “City of 20-Minute Neighbourhoods” (a core of Melbourne’s city plan) sets a different definition of success — MOST (not all) things needed for a good life within a 20-minute walk, bike OR TRANSIT RIDE. 3 important differences that affect/reflect a different city.
Dec 13, 2020 6 tweets 3 min read
Trucks have been getting bigger, more energy & space consuming, more polluting, and much deadlier to everyone around them, including kids. Not because most of us actually need bigger vehicles, but as ego boosts, status symbols & “indicators of male virility.” HT @PickledEntropy Image Over the last decade, global SUV ownership has doubled. If it keeps growing at its current rate, increased SUV ownership will offset the entire emissions reduction from electric vehicles. Plus they’re much more likely than smaller cars to kill pedestrians.…