📈 15 minutes of infamy

How a simple urban planning concept became a conspiracy theory.

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Good morning! 💰 It’s no secret that wages in construction are good. Really good. But Beyoncé might just have builders beat. The music star was reportedly paid $24 million for an hour-long VIP concert at a Dubai hotel. That’s $400,000 per minute!

Speaking of minutes, the 15-Minute City concept has been angering some Canadians and has others scratching their heads. Keep reading to get the details.

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Markets: Experts are calling for the Bank of Canada to “crush” inflation after stronger than expected rates. The annual inflation rate in April rose slightly to 4.4%, compared with 4.3% in March, Statistics Canada reported Tuesday. Bank of Canada acknowledged that the rate was higher than expected, but said it still showed progress.


15-Minute City conspiracies come to Canada

Carlos Moreno is one of the godfathers of the modern 15-Minute City concept - TED Talks

“Our sense of time is warped because we have to waste so much of it,” said Carlos Moreno, an urbanist at the heart of the 15-Minute City movement, during the start of a TED Talk he gave in 2020.

Decades ago Moreno coined the term to describe the idea that schools, stores and offices and other critical structures and infrastructure should be only a short walk or bike ride away from home. But recently, Moreno’s work has been touted by conspiracy theory groups as evidence of the government's desire to surveil, restrict and control Canadians.

Protests and threats: These groups have become so active in recent months that the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) issued a statement about planners and public servants facing hostile behaviour, threats, and disruptive conduct. Just days ago a series of open houses on climate action plans in Nelson, B.C. had to be halted due to 15-Minute City protests.

What is a 15-Minute-City? The CIP defines the 15-minute city by its ability to provide access to all human needs by walking or bicycling for a quarter hour or less. Transit should be provided within the city. Most urban areas built prior to the overwhelming proliferation of cars have the structure of a 15-minute city.

Where it’s happening: These protestors don’t need to speculate about the possible horrors a 15-Minute-City may bring. It’s already happening in places like Barcelona, Paris, Milan, Melbourne, Buenos Aires, Bogota and others have all been implementing 15-Minute-City concepts, often to great success.

The bottom line: While the origins of the urban planning concept are to improve lives and help the planet, new research shows more than two-in-five Canadians believe the 15-Minute-City will bring an increase in government surveillance and control, while 37% expect a reduction in personal freedoms and 27% foresee that residents will be fined if they leave their “home” districts.

Developers, urban planners and government officials will have to work to combat these ideas if they hope to implement them in major cities.  


Introducing the 25 Innovators in Construction Award

🔎 SiteNews is starting a search for the most innovative construction companies in Canada.

In partnership with our presenting sponsor, Procore, we’re giving subscribers like you a sneak peek at a new annual competition to inspire and encourage cutting-edge companies.

The 25 Innovators in Construction awards will shine a spotlight on those blazing a trail for the rest. Highlighting these companies is part of our mission to equip, educate and elevate the construction sector.

Our goal is to celebrate companies that are taking risks, trying new things and blazing a trail for the rest of the industry.

Take an exclusive early look and learn more about the award, meet the judges, how the winners will be chosen and more at the 25 Innovators in Construction website. Nominations will open in the coming days. 


The week's headlines

A winter scene rendering shows an elevated section of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT Project. - Metrolinx

🚄 The Eglinton Crosstown LRT project team is heading to court as the transit line nears completion. The consortium in charge of building the more than $12-billion project says it is taking Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario to court, saying their failure to retain an operator for the line is causing major delays and increasing costs.

🔥 Wildfires near Fort St. John, B.C. halted work at the Site C Dam, one of the largest construction projects in the country. The project’s more than 4,000 workers were put on evacuation alert for hours until conditions changed and work was able to resume. The wildfire season in B.C. and Alberta has had a particularly intense and early start.

 🎢 PCL Construction has acquired Nassal in a play to serve the entertainment, cultural, hospitality and gaming market sectors. Nassal is a leading global specialty theming fabricator and program manager that provides fabrication and installation of immersive environments for theme parks, cultural experiences, hospitality, zoos and aquariums, and other themed environments.

⚡ Ontario says it is willing to offer more money to automaking giant Stellantis to keep its EV battery plant plans on track. Stellantis announced this month it was halting work at the $5-billion project until government officials came up with more funding incentives. Premier Doug Ford said he couldn’t provide more specifics until an announcement is made.

🌱 Building code changes in B.C. are bumping up performance requirements. Effective this month, the BC Building Code will require 20% better energy efficiency for most new buildings throughout the province. Officials stated that these changes will help meet commitments to gradually lower emissions from buildings until all new buildings are zero carbon by 2030 and are net-zero energy ready by 2032


Aviation museum design takes off

The entire KF Centre for Excellence was designed to resemble an actual plane. - Naturally Wood

Smooth landing: The KF Centre for Excellence, which houses the Okanagan Aerospace & Aviation Museum, is turning heads in Kelowna and beyond. The project was recently awarded the Wood Design & Building Sansin Award. While it is firmly planted on the ground, the centre was designed by Meiklejohn Architects Inc. to be shaped like a plane. The building features mass timber construction throughout its various components, including a unique, free-standing CLT spiral staircase that connects the two levels of the museum. The mass timber components were provided by StructureCraft. 


Vancouver begins work on new Strathcona pump station

Coastal GasLink completes last major river crossing

Alberta NDP and UCP pledge to speed up Red Deer hospital construction

Toronto announces more than $1B in projects for 2023 construction season

Montreal offers $5k to businesses impacted by construction projects


Chandos is one of dozens of construction companies that have made Deloitte’s list of Best Managed companies for seven years or more. - Chandos

LIST: 🏗️ 32 builders who are dominating the Best Managed list

PHOTOS: 🎨 Magnifique! French artist fixes potholes with mosaics 

STUDY: 🔎 These three things could be key to scale affordable housing

PHOTOS: 🥫This design-build competition uses only cans

VIDEO: 🎥 Watch the Gordie Howe Bridge take shape in 16 seconds


🔥 Hot jobs

Summer is heating up and so is SiteNews Jobs, a Canadian construction job board we launched this month. Here’s some of the the latest jobs:

Do you have a job that needs filling? Put in front of tens of thousands of construction professionals on SiteNews Jobs. Hurry up before our free trial ends!

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Here’s to a great rest of the week!