Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – September 2015

The following relate to urban development and urban design in general, and to specific projects with sun/shade issues in particular. They were derived from our twitter feed @SunPosition

Check out our weekly news summary “Sun, Shadow & Urban Development” at

Take our Survey: How Important To You Is Sunshine?

Homeowners and tenants are often concerned about the impact that shadowing from a proposed house addition next door, or a high-rise down the street, might have on their property.  In many cases, development is deemed good for a neighbourhood and proceeds on that basis.  After all, in an urban setting, development and re-development are to be expected, right?

But how much is too much in your opinion?  How much new shadow can you reasonably be expected to absorb in order for others' projects to proceed/succeed?

This survey asks you when and where sunshine is important to you.  Spring?  Summer?  Fall?  Winter?  Outdoors?  Indoors?  Patio?  Kitchen? etc. etc.  And how much new shadow is too much?  And does a great project, that improves your neighbourhood, increase your tolerance for new shadowing?

This short survey (2 minutes) seeks input to those questions, and more.

Help us to compile homeowners'/tenants' opinions on this subject - which has become a real challenge for municipalities.  After all, striking a balance between the needs of a municipality as a whole, and the needs of individual residents, is not an easy task for decision-makers.  Help us to better understand this dynamic by participating in this short survey - no sign-in is required and your feedback is completely anonymous.

Thank you kindly for your participation!

Shadow concerns >

Gulch's tallest building gets conceptual approval | via @Tennessean


The quest by Buckingham Cos. to build the tallest building in the Gulch got off to a good start Tuesday with the developer winning conceptual approval of its plans from the design review committee of the Metro Development and Housing Agency.

Now the Indianapolis-based company is on a charm offensive, seeking to sell to Gulch residents and others the targeted 38-story height as a solution to reducing the building's impact on its neighbors.

"Going skinnier has a direct positive impact," said architect Chris Cooper of architecture firm SOM, which is designing the mixed-use residential tower planned for a corner of 12th and Division, where a maximum of 28 stories is allowed…

New Terrazzo resident Hope Kirkland brought to Buckingham's meeting neighbors' concerns about the planned building's height restricting the sunlight she enjoys at her condo across the street, as well as shading of the swimming pool at that mid-rise tower…

45-Storey Condo Proposed On Church Street Opposite Loblaws | via @urban_toronto

411 Church St, Page+Steele/IBI Group Architects, Toronto

Details of a proposed 45-storey condo development at 411 Church Street can be found on the City of Toronto's website in a Planning Rationale Report by the Goldberg Group, recently commissioned for the owners of the site, the Church/Wood Residences Limited Partnership...

Proposed for the southeast corner of Church and Wood, directly opposite Loblaws' and Ryerson's Maple Leafs Gardens site, the new structure in its current form could add 583 residential units spread across a 38-storey tower which would sit atop a 7-storey podium…

While the design elements are not expected to be an issue, the proposed height of the structure will likely be the cause of much debate as this proposal proceeds through the planning process. At 45 storeys, 411 Church would tower above its neighbours, including, perhaps most significantly, the adjacent Church Street Junior Public School to the north. Those opposed to the potential public concerns of height, density, and the related issues of shadows and overcrowding, will more than likely cite the City's recent reduction to 37 storeys of the planned project immediately to the south at 70 Carlton Street, as reason enough to be cautious of anything approaching (and especially exceeding) this height…

The debate over height will likely focus—amidst the previously mentioned concerns over density, etc.—on the issue of how significant of an impact the tower will have on sunlight and shadows in the immediate vicinity, especially considering the proximity of the local public school which will have its playground in shadow for the majority of the afternoon from lunch to last bell. While the report does its best to assuage fears that the the school will be cast into permanent darkness (it will not), there will be segments of the day, ranging from one to three hours at a time depending on the season, that the school would be bathed in shadow…

Extension casts a shadow next door | via @commnewsgroup


A famly in the Anchorage Estate in Rockingham are looking to relocate after an extension to a neighbouring property has impacted on theirs.

Miriam Gurgel said the second-storey addition to her neighbour’s home has cut out the northern sun, creating a shadow in the afternoon that casts across most of her home’s back yard…

Shadow concerns >

New Waterfront High-Rise Approved For 75 Howard Street | Hoodline


Yesterday, the Planning Commission voted 5–1 to approve a new high-rise for 75 Howard St., including approval for a 10 percent height increase, to 220 feet…

The new building has some opposition: a contingent of neighbors, including residents and businesses, are aiming to get its design altered, at a minimum…First and foremost is that the new building will cast shadows on Rincon Park because it doesn't "step down" as it nears the waterfront.

David Osgood of Rincon Neighbors sent a letter to the Commissioners on August 17th, outlining what he called "several critical procedural and substantive flaws" with the project. He also sent an email asking for a delay, which was not granted. The letter includes a shadow diagram and describes concerns regarding height limits, step-downs, setbacks, lack of on-site affordable housing, traffic and privacy.

Interesting article on green roofs >

How cities can beat the heat

As Earth's climate changes over the coming decades, global warming will hit metropolitan areas especially hard because their buildings and pavements readily absorb sunlight and raise local temperatures, a phenomenon known as the urban heat island effect. Cities, as a result, stand a greater chance of extreme hot spells that can kill…

In 2009, Toronto, Canada, became the first city in North America to adopt a green-roof policy. It requires new buildings above a certain size to be topped with plants in the hope that they will retain storm water and keep temperatures down. Los Angeles, California, mandated in 2014 that new and renovated homes install 'cool roofs' made of light-coloured materials that reflect sunlight. A French law approved in March calls for the rooftops of new buildings in commercial zones to be partially covered in plants or solar panels…

NASA Explains Why You Should Live On A Tree-Lined Street And A Tree-Lined City

A new NASA study shows that trees and plant-life are essential to keeping our cities cool and not just because they’re nice to sit under on a sunny day…

Cities are like giant storage heaters made up of what NASA calls "impervious surfaces"—roads, buildings, concrete. This causes what's known as the urban heat island effect, where a city’s temperature is set a few degrees above the surrounding countryside thanks to the heat retention of all that city infrastructure…

How the city decides who can cast a long shadow | by @Banquos_Banquet @Spacing

Spacing Mag - sunny side

Why New York City will always be hooked on high rise

The Chrysler Building was the tallest building in New York from 1930-31

Over the summer, some public officials issued a letter to Mayor de Blasio’s City Planning chair, Carl Weisbrod voicing concerns over “super-tall” buildings along the 57th Street corridor below Central Park.

Among their grievances listed were the lack of approval needed to build these large towers, the shadows cast over Central Park, the vulnerability of historic resources, construction safety, and tax subsidies related to the previous 421-a program.

Chair Weisbrod acknowledged the importance of Central Park as a public amenity, but he also emphasized the importance of as-of-right development to New York City’s built environment, its economy, and its character as a global city…

Weisbrod points out that “the shadows of tall, slender towers move more swiftly and efficiently than those of squatter buildings with a similar built FAR,” meaning that newly-designed towers have less of a shadow impact on Central Park than older, bulkier buildings, and are therefore less of an impact to the park…

Solar-powered building left in the dark after Edmonton OKs towers

This rendering shows the proposed 10-storey tower next door, which has solar panels that would be in the shade from the recently approved tower.

City councillors approved three new 40-plus storey towers downtown Tuesday, but the massive development will leave a solar-powered building next door in the shade…

Yonge St reborn, from the lake to Eglinton >

Two ends of Toronto's condo boom town

A view of the Aura Condo building in downtown Toronto on the evening of August 11, 2015. The building features a unique light installation that shines throughout the evening.

Toronto’s once-derelict main street is in the midst of the most remarkable transformation in its history, with more than 20,000 condos that will house more than 30,000 people — the population of Orillia — under construction or in the planning stages.

And that’s just in a seven-kilometre stretch from Lake Ontario to the hotbed of midtown condo construction at Yonge St. and Eglinton Ave…

Canberra Liberals to repeal solar access laws if party wins 2016 election | via @ABCNews

Overshadowing of a typical house at noon in the suburb of Wright in Canberra.

The Canberra Liberals have vowed to repeal the ACT Government's solar access laws if they win government at next year's election.

The laws, introduced in 2013, are designed to ensure new houses are positioned to maximise the benefits of natural sunlight and reduce heating costs.

They also prevent a development or extension from casting too much shade on a neighbouring home.

The Canberra Liberals tried to block the changes to the planning regulations, but they were passed with the support of the Greens..

Cheers, Ralph

No comments:

Post a Comment