And while we’re at it, here’s a site – designKULTUR – with a post I missed in 2010: an eclectic mix of research and comment on west-coast mid-century modern and the work of architect Kenneth Gardner, at a time when the West End was undergoing dramatic change in the post-1956 highrise era:
While the piece focuses on Gardner’s modest 1960 highrise on Robson Street, Lagoon Terrace, it also has a couple of references to its predecessor across the street at Chilco and Robson – a site that used to look like this:
And which in 1958 was replaced with Gardner’s design for this:
Overlooking Lost Lagoon and Stanley Park is ‘Chilco Towers,’ a 9-storey tenant-owned apartment block designed by Vancouver architect, Kenneth Gardner. It includes a rooftop garden (no penthouse), underground parking for 70 cars. All 36 suites face the view and are priced from $17,000 for 1-bedroom to $38,000 for 3-bedroom.
Lots more at this site, including extensive illustrations of Gardner’s home in the Southlands – now a heritage-designated residence – that was unique in Canada: a lift-slab house, where the roof and floor slabs were poured on the ground and jacked into place. It won the AIBC Honour Award for architecture in 1960.
May 13 / 7 pm
Place: Room 1800, Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings St.
Cost: Free, register online
This presentation employs the lens of critical geography to assess planning practice and development economics in two large urban renewal projects in Melbourne, Australia (Melbourne Docklands, Fishermans Bend). These are case studies of an approach to planning that legitimates extracting maximum value from land, demonstrating little difference between urban planning and critical geography’s analysis of neoliberal business-as-usual. In its most redistributive capacity however, urban planning, along with critical policy analysis and political resistance, can form a suite of progressive responses to capitalism’s tendency to uneven development. A third urban renewal scheme in Melbourne, Atherton Gardens Fitzroy public housing estate, provides a counter to the first two, revealing possibilities for quite different planning policies within the same jurisdiction.
Ryan McLaughlin thinks this is ”a fantastic argument in favor of road pricing in Vancouver (a city with more than a few similarities to Stockholm). It’s quite convincing and admirably empirical. ”
In a nutshell:
- Create incentives.
- Don’t plan the details
- People will figure out what to do.
One of those coincidences that occasionally occurs in my Inbox: two items that resurrect forgotten art.
The first from Jason Vanderhill: the Spencer Murals. Jason has been trying to track down the forgotten murals ever since he started to document the story here.
… a forgotten art project that dates back to the time of Canada’s 60th birthday celebration of Confederation, July of 1927. The location: the newly renovated David Spencer department store in Vancouver (now the home of SFU Harbour Centre). The commission: a series of 10 historical paintings by two prominent artists of the day, John Innes and G.H. Southwell.
What has become of these murals today?
Simon Fraser’s Canoes Descending the Fraser River by John Innes & G.H. Southwell [unrestored]
Jason’s detective story update is here.
From City Hall comes an email from Scot Hein, the City’s urban designer, who had told me about a project connected with the Leeside Tunnel, popular with skateboarders. (Map here.)
Here is my quick sketch, prepared in 2006 at the Parks Board’s request, for after-hours security gates at each end of a skate board park/tunnel that the late Lee Matasi had built with friends under East Hastings near the PNE. We would use his original skateboards (from his mom) as templates, enlarge and then have a commemorative tagging event on site with his family and friends to honor his life.
Note the title: “Gates of Skaters Paradise.”
Frenchman Joe Bunni is not a photographer; first and foremost he’s a dentist. Once you learn that, the fact that he captured the photo below and won the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year award in 2011 is even more incredible.
The photo shows a polar bear swimming not more than a few feet away from Bunni, and if you think the photo is amazing, wait until you hear the story behind it.
Here’s a (self-described) polemic video by Ryan Cooper to set the mood (with a bit of printed language nsfw):
So yeah, the risk of climate change is up there, in the minds of a lot of people, with war and existential threats to our civilization.
At a minimum, it’s worthy of serious risk assessment by senior decision-makers, given that their jobs, whether as heads of government agencies or corporate departments (or even universities), are to figure out what kind of change is coming down on us, how serious it is (separating facts from emotions), and what their organization (and they as individuals) should do about it.
So I figure this question is a good indicator of seriousness:
When did you last get a briefing on the latest science of climate change?
Conclusions could fall along a range of responses. From: not a problem in the short-term (or maybe long). To: Yikes, we’re in for trouble, let’s rethink our assumptions and get ready for some serious change.
But the first step is to find out whether the people in charge – the ones in the executive offices who assess risk and prepare for the future – are doing their jobs.
Here’s a quick way to find out. Ask that decision-maker what they know about the Keeling Curve, and the significance of it going above 400. (The details are here – and what 400 means.)
The point is: Do they even know what the Keeling Curve is? Are familiar with the basics of climate change, the essential science, the rate of change, the risks change implies?
You’re not looking for a policy position, just whether they keep up to speed and allocate enough time on their agenda to be reasonably well informed.
If not, they’re winging it, expecting to respond to the consequences of climate change only when some external force, whether nature or legislation, forces them to do so. In which case, they’re not doing what those of us who will live with the consequences of their negligence should reasonably expect of those whose job it is to assess risk.
PS: If they respond with sound bites (“There is no consensus”), send them here: Climate Comebacks: 154 skeptic rebuttal one-liners.