This is so Vancouver: it took an outsider from Boston to tell a Vancouver audience that the City of Vancouver itself has won an award named after one of the world’s great urbanists, Kevin Lynch.

Alan Berger, the speaker at the VIA Architecture on Urban Design last night, mentioned in passing that the City had received the award at MIT last week. (Actually, it was Ray Spaxman, Ann McAfee and Larry Beasley who were there to take the honours. You can see the ceremony and remarks here.) That was news to the assembled crowd, consisting of many of the city’s architects and planners.

No coverage in the local media, of course – at least that I saw.

While this is a big deal, Berger, a Harvard Design School associate professor and author of Drosscape, warned us that the Vancouver Style – unique to this place, its circumstances and its times – should “remain a secret.” The worst thing that could happen, in his opinion, is for the point-and-podium style to be picked up or exported to places where it was not appropriate or would be badly done. Which is likely what is actually happening.