A podcast about life in Canadian cities. Produced by Metro News and co-hosted by Matt Elliott and Luke Simcoe.
Ep. 20: The cow fart tax
On the Feb. 28 episode: City budgets and revenue tools with Terra Gillespie.
For some of us – okay, maybe just Matt – city budget debates are events of monumental occasions, on par with the Super Bowl. But they are also very, very frustrating, generally because services are expensive and city councils do not want to pay for them.
This week, in an attempt to make sense of all this, Matt and Luke are joined by Terra Gillespie, frequent commentator on city issues and the former creative director of Women in Toronto Politics. She tells us why gender equity must be a critical part of city budgeting.
We also nerd-out a bit and talk about our favourite revenue tools, along with the challenges that come with getting politicians to embrace them. Can we use social media to make things like vehicle registration taxes seem cooler? Are taxes that apply to certain behaviours fair and worthwhile. And what about cow farts – we should tax those, right?
Finally, Matt offers a thumbs up to Montreal’s plan to install heated sidewalks, while Luke’s thumb is pointed firmly downwards over a proposed Toronto policy to increase the licensing fee for restaurant patios.
Ep. 19: I like the word radical
On the Feb. 7 episode: Building over railways with special guest Michael Meschino (Entuitive Consulting Engineers).
Get all fired up for some conversation about joists, girders and cantilevers, because this week on Metropolis Matt and Luke are getting all up into the wild world of engineering.
Joined by special guest Michael Meschino from Entuitive, a group of consulting engineers who have worked on projects all over the world, we dive into the hot new trend of building things above railway corridors.
Inspired by Mayor John Tory’s plan for a Rail Deck Park in Toronto, we talk about the challenges that come with building atop active rail lines. How do you do it without driving commuters crazy? What are the limitations involved? Does it cost an absurd amount of money? And why is this increasingly something cities are looking at?
Also: air. Who owns it? Me? You?
Michael tells us about projects he’s worked on in Manhattan and Calgary, and leaves John Tory with some advice on how to make Rail Deck Park a reality.
Finally, in our thumbs up/thumbs down segment, Luke gives praise to the art of protesting, while Matt cheers for math and the proper prioritization of transit over automobiles.
Ep. 18: Faith-based urban planning
On the Jan. 31 episode: The urban design of Salt Lake City, Utah.
This week, Matt and Luke are joined by very special guest Claire McWatt, project coordinator at Volunteer Toronto and general winter slope enthusiast.
She tells us about her recent trip to Salt Lake City, Utah and gives us an overview of where that city is succeeding at urban design. Bike lanes in a cold weather city? LRT on snowy city streets? It’s true. All of it.
We also talk about safety on the streets, the hidden value of social services and how it might be helpful if more religions had angel-given rules covering urban planning. And, for all your Mitt-heads, we also talk about Mitt Romney, briefly.
Ep. 17: A very special episode
On the Jan. 10 episode: Urban Wildlife, Libraries and Youth Employment
Get ready to feel all the feels, as the first Metropolis of the new year starts with a pair of major announcements.
But dry your eyes, listeners. There’s still a show to get through.
In the first segment, Luke raises our spirits by talking about urban wildlife, and our connection with animals in the big city, and also how animals are cute are stuff. Matt recounts the story of a time a squirrel broke into his house and ruined his whole summer, while Vass tells us about the time she threw a bunch of poison and rocks down a mysterious hole.
In segment two, Matt wonders why libraries – despite being awesome – are always on the budget chopping block. We talk about the design of libraries and their role as community spaces now and into the future. We also remember reading challenges and the influential works of R.L. Stine.
And in her last Metropolis segment ever, Vass tells us about her work chairing a Government of Canada panel on youth employment. What role do cities have to play in helping young people find work? And what does Starbucks have to do with any of this?
Finally, Vass gives a thumbs down to the man who may have killed her shipping container dream, Matt gives various thumbs in various directions to Vancouver’s “salt-apocalypse” and Luke gives a thumbs up to an important judicial decision in New York.