As much fun as exploring our city garbed in red and white are the views and discoveries of those from other places.

First up, Jarrett Walkers’s ‘Urbanist’s Preview.’  Jarrett, an ex-Oregonian now based in Sydney, knows Vancouver better than most of us natives, especially our transit system.  (He was a consultant to TransLink, and his Human Transit blog is a must-read for transportation enthusiasts and professionals.)

He has some insightful criticisms of the city and our transit system, but on the whole, “Vancouver is also an example of really good transit geography.  If you were trying to design a city that would not just use transit but also use transit resources efficiently, you couldn’t do much better than the City of Vancouver.” 

More to come from Jarrett.

And speaking of the Australia-Canada connection, the Economist has just come out with its list of ’10 Most Liveable Cities,’ on which Vancouver has occasionally changed position with Melbourne for top honours.  This year, we’re again No. 1:

1. Vancouver, Canada

2. Vienna, Austria

3. Melbourne, Australia

4. Toronto, Canada

5. Calgary, Canada

6. Helsinki, Finland

7. Sydney, Australia

8. Perth, Australia

9. Adelaide, Australia

10. Auckland, New Zealand

Always interesting to see how well Canadian and Australian cities do – and I’ve never seen a good analysis of why, especially when comparing us to many of the Northern European cities of similar size.

Once again, the New York Times provides an up-to-date tour of Vancouver for those who want to do the town in 36 hours.  Which seems a bit of a rush.

Urban Futures also sends along its latest diversity profile for BC and its regions for the Law Foundation – a wealth of data on the diversity of British Columbia and its communities.  Lots of numbers and not a single pic of happy, smiling multi-cultural faces.

You want pics, go here for an interview with City Planner Brent Toderian, interviewed by Nate Berg for the Design Observer.  Lots of comments and background on the Athlete’s Village.

And if you’re looking for images of the Opening last night, here’s the best collection I’ve come across so far – from the Boston Globe, of all places.