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Off to Edmonton

October 7, 2015
I’m on a jury for their urban-design awards. And then on vacation.

Blogging, obviously, will be light. Back in a week or so.

Tales From the West End – Oct 20

October 7, 2015

“Tales From the West End” is an evening to explore and experience our community through stories about our common past. The event is held at one of Vancouver’s intriguing historic sites, formerly known as “Maxine’s Hideaway” and now home to a JJ Bean coffee shop. This West End landmark has many tales hidden in its walls. People are encouraged to listen, sketch and bring their own stories and historic photographs of  the West End to share with the community.

This month Vancouver historian, author and tour guide leader, John Atkin is our featured story teller.


JJBean Coffee Shop, 1209 Bidwell St at Davie

Tuesday, October 20th

6:30 – 8:30, story telling begins at 7 pm

Free, Complimentary coffee and tea thanks to JJBean




More of the future from China

October 7, 2015

This may well appear before the arrival of driverless single-occupancy vehicles. From some points of view (thinking of you, Thomas) also a chance to get rid of thousands of well-paying jobs.

 From CityLab:


Article and video here.

The Daily Durning: Can a city stop growth?

October 7, 2015

I wonder if Vancouverites would like an initiative like this?  From CityLab:Boulder


 Then this from the Wonkblog at the Washington Post:


… from an economist’s point of view, there is no such thing as a full place. Especially not in America, where our neighborhoods, as urban planning professor Sonia Hirt puts it, are “astonishingly low density” compared to the rest of the industrialized world. Maybe your particular geology can’t handle the foundation of a mile-high skyscraper. But, for the most part, we can always make choices to make more room, to build taller and denser, to upgrade schools and rethink roads to let more people in.

That we don’t isn’t a limitation of physics. It’s a matter of politics disguised as physics.
“When people say a place is ‘full,’ to me it’s shorthand for they’re not willing to even entertain the challenges of what it would mean to redevelop the space,” says George McCarthy, the president of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

“One of the things about being ‘full’ — or saying you’re ‘full’ — is the conclusion that the quality of life in the place will never be better than it is right now,” he goes on. “That’s what people are really saying. They’re saying ‘any change you make is going to require a sacrifice of one sort or another that we’re not willing to make.'”

By this logic, the latest person to move to San Francisco, or Portland, or even Detroit is always, miraculously, the last one to squeeze in before the gates must slam shut.

Says McCarthy: “This is the American mantra: I’m here, all development can stop.”



Full article here.

How the Chinese manage traffic

October 7, 2015
Once you’ve made the policy decision to support the development of the world’s biggest auto industry and mass consumption from a rapidly urbanizing middle class, then this is kind of inevitable – though I’m pretty sure the planners didn’t tell that to the decision-makers.




Check out the video here to see where all that traffic goes.

Ian adds this Item for more perspective:


Panel: Viaducts Past, Present and Future – Oct 14

October 7, 2015



In October, Vancouver City Council will be considering whether to move ahead with replacing the viaducts.

Come learn more about the past, present and future of the viaducts at a special event, featuring guest speakers:

  • Shirley Chan, loocal community advocate
  • Clark Manus, previous chair of San Francisco’s Mayoral Citizen Advisory Committee that helped reclaim and transform the Central Embarcadero area
  • Brian Jackson, General Manager of Planning, City of Vancouver

This is a ticket only event.

To learn more on the viaducts work visit


October 14
6 – 9 pm
Science World – 1455 Quebec Street

Sullivan’s Public Salon: People and Ideas – Oct 28

October 7, 2015

Sam Sullivan’s

Public Salon


A celebration of some remarkable people and ideas of Vancouver.

Cory Ashworth – Vancouver radio personality championing new social enterprise.
Nicole Bridger – fashion designer with a social conscience.
Kevin Chong – author and commentator on life in Vancouver.
Judy Graves –  advocate for homeless people.
Daniel Kalla – renowned author and head of St. Paul’s ER on the challenge of dual careers.
Dale McClanaghan – on the meaning and future of Granville Island.
Bob Rennie – observations on the future of Vancouver.
Alexander Weimann – internationally renowned musician making Vancouver his new home.


Wednesday October 28

The Vancouver Playhouse – 600 Hamilton Street

7 – 9 pm


Tickets available here


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