Introduction to Pelican

…and static site generators more generally.

This is a summary of a presentation on Pelican I presented on May 9, 2016. It covers some of the building blocks of Pelican, and then provides several examples of Pelican in use.

As a personal note, this presentation follows my own path of learning and growth with these technologies. I should note that I’m not a programmer or a web developer by trade; that everything I’ve done with Pelican has been as a part of another job or for personal projects. I hope to show you very practical applications of Pelican, rather than theoretical projects.

•  ~30 min to read •  read more  


Chinese Public Transportation: A History and a Vision to the Future

Public transit has existed in China since 1969 with the opening of the Beijing Metro. Today, Shanghai has the largest metro system in the world, and is one of ten mainland Chinese cities, in addition to Hong Kong, that have a metro system. In addition, there are thirty more cities in China with metro systems either under construction or in planning stages.

The Hong Kong opened its metro system in 1979 in an effort to reduce traffic congestion. Today, public transit on the whole is very popular, with over 80% mode capture rate. Hong Kong continues to expand its rail transit network, but at a slower rate than many cities in mainland China. The system operator has also taken on the role of developer, generating more profits from property management than railway fares, and in the process has provided a very successful example of Transportation Oriented Development (TOD) policies in action, which are a model for TOD efforts worldwide.

In summary, a short compare and contrast between China’s fast growing cities of today and post-World War II American cities is provided. Both are growing (or grew) at incredible speeds, have rising middle classes and significant economic growth. What Chinese planners can note is that in America, highways were chosen over public transportation options. Today, that means that traffic congestions remains a major problem in many American cities. Additionally, funds to maintain infrastructure have waned as the cities’ growth has slowed with the slowing of economic growth.

•  ~18 min to read •  3 comments •  read more  


Transit in Toronto: Lessons in Land Use Planning

Toronto has achieved a unique situation in North America; it is a major city that has maintained a dense core of population and employment with a well-functioning public transit system. This combination has made Toronto one of the most liveable cities on the continent. This is a result of years of deliberate decisions to integrate land-use and transportation planning, through policies such as zoning and parking controls, promoting public transportation and bicycle use, and limiting freeway construction.

A review of the various policies implanted, as well as their effects where appropriate, is presented, along with conclusions about what has brought Toronto success and how that can be repeated elsewhere.

•  ~13 min to read •  1 comment •  read more