I’m not sure if it was Carlos Thays who introduced the jacaranda tree to Buenos Aires – but the city certainly adopted it as a signature species. We were there when the thick summer foliage was a monochrome green – but it would be worth it to revisit in November when city streets and parks become tunnels of violet.
Here’s a sense of what BA looks like at the height of jacaranda season in this video by a major real-estate firm. So yes, a view of the northeast side of the city: rich, sleekly modern, beaux-arts elegant – and no visible graffiti.
While there are major parks along the riverfront, what partly makes up for the lack of local green space are the street trees – mature leafy deciduous trees in abundance.
It seems like all the streets in the older neighbourhoods are lined with them, almost unbroken in their canopy and coverage.
Like the street we stayed on in Palermo:
Does BA have the best urban forest for its size in the world? It must be in the counting. (I’d welcome other nominations.) And there’s a reason.
Street trees have been a vital part of the city since the 19th century. And the person who likely gets the most credit is Carlos Thays – born Jules Charles Thays in Paris, arrived in Argentina in 1889, became infatuated with the young country and was named BA’s Director of Parks & Walkways (interesting that they specified “walkways” back in 1891.) “This position gave him significant influence over the design of the city’s open spaces, and his legacy is still strongly felt in the city’s open spaces today.”
From above, to a Vancouverite’s eyes, there’s something odd about Buenos Aires:
Where’s the green space? – the parks and fields scattered across the city, like here:
Not surprising then, to find this item under “Urban Problems” in the Wikipedia profile of BA:
Buenos Aires has below 2 m2 (22 sq ft) of green space per person, which is ten times less than New York, seven times less than Madrid and five times less than Paris.
The World Health Organization (WHO), in its concern for public health, produced a document stating that every city should have a minimum of 9 m2 (97 sq ft) of green space per person. An optimal amount would sit between 10 and 15 m2 (161 sq ft) per person
Or another comparison:
Hell if I can figure out how to convert 2.75 acres per thousand residents to square meters per person. Or even if that’s the right number, depending on what’s being counted. Help me out here.
In any event, we’re talking a difference in culture too. Latin American cities generally do not have the ‘garden city’ tradition of the British-settled Commonwealth. But where, I wonder, do the kids play futbol, since I never once saw a soccer field even in the larger parks, nor pick-up games in the streets or plazas.
Greater Buenos Aires is a big urban region. Over 13 million people.
In the City of Buenos Aires, however, there are about three million porteños (people of the port) – a population which has stayed steady since the Second World War.
Why not much growth in the city’s population? Low birth rates and a migration to the suburbs. Indeed, the surrounding districts in the Province of Buenos Aires have expanded five times over.
So: three million in the City; 10 million in surrounding suburbs. That ratio is not far from Vancouver’s: 600,000 in the city; 2.5 million in the region.
The population density in Buenos Aires proper is over 14,000 per square kilometre (in an area just under one and a half times the area of the City of Vancouver, with its population density of about 5,000 per square kilometer).
Our West End, by comparison, is about 44,000 people in its two square kilometers.
So think of the City of Buenos Aires as almost one big West End, plus Kits and downtown.
I was having a great time photographing Buenos Aires when there in early January, and posting images on Instagram as I took them (seach for pricetags – Gordon Price). But then my phone camera filled up, and strange things happened. Something to do with the cloud.
Good news: I’ve found the images I thought I lost, plus others I subsequently took – so it’s time to start posting again. But not, this time, on Instagram; it’s too hard to type the commentary and post multiple images. So I’ll be using this blog, posting an image or two at a time throughout the week, but with a more extended commentary on that great city.
Your comments and additional insights are, of course, welcome.
Price Tags did award a 2016 Gordie to the Trump Tower for being one of the most polarizing planning issues of the previous year. In our comments we noted-
Trump Tower –”what are they thinking low hanging fruit, definitely a huge sore spot. Official opening postponed, although much of the building is in every-day use through the back door.”
Price Tags has visited the Trump Tower on business in New York City and noted that the interior was-well-kind of early 1980’s, complete with lots of outdated marble finishes, and a lot of what could only politely be termed as Las Vegas glitz. However Price Tags was fascinated to learn that the Vancouver Trump Hotel that is still not opened already has a load of reviews, as noted in the Metro News.
“If you’re looking for a luxury hotel offering “unpresidented” guest service, “only takes Russian Rubles” currency, and “sucked, bigly,” look no further than the bizarre Google reviews pouring in for Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver…At time of publishing on Tuesday afternoon all but two of the 58 anonymous, user-submitted written reviews for the hotel that accompany its Google listing are negative — most of them mocking the Trump brand using the President-Elect’s own insults and idioms. “Unpresidented care for guests,” quipped Grant Moore, who gave the hotel just one-of-five stars. It was a reference to Trump’s Dec. 17 tweet in which he misspelled “unprecedented.”
While some Trump Hotels have been rebranded “Scion” hotels, Vancouver’s Holborn Group has not indicated that any rebranding will happen at the Vancouver Trump Hotel due to be opened any day. Until then, the Google listings are the only hotel reviews available for Vancouver’s Trump Tower.
Joe Wai needs no introduction to Vancouverites-this extraordinary advocate, citizen and architect has shaped how we think about place, culture and our responsibilities to our city. If Joe saw you walking by on the street he would run across to say hello, shake your hand, and ask you how you and your family were doing. He quite simply personified all that was good in community and neighbourhood, and worked hard to make good things even better.
If you were to check Joe’s “Linked In” profile, he has written very simply “I have been around for a while“. That is typical Joe Wai and also a very typical understatement. Joe received his bachelor’s and master’s in architecture from the University of British Columbia and worked for iconic architects in Vancouver and in London England before setting up his own practice in 1978. Joe was involved with the Strathcona Owners and Tenants Association (SPOTA) who successfully challenged the expropriation of housing for the creation of a public housing project and a freeway that would have carved into Chinatown.
Joe’s energies and interests were legendary. As The Tyee notes “Joe has been involved with senior/social housing and a volunteer in Chinatown community issues for over 40 years. He is also the architect of the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, the Chinatown Millennium Gate, the Chinese Cultural Centre Museum and Archives, the Chinatown Parkade and Plaza, and the Commemoration of Block 17 as well as many restorations of the early Chinatown Society buildings.”
Henry Yu has written a memory of Joe Wai that describes more of Joe’s work and philosophy. You may also want to leave your own thoughts and stories about this extraordinary Vancouverite below. He will be greatly missed.
When the Price Tags Editorial Board was considering the 2016 “Gordies” award for the most puzzling planning work, the new Vancouver Art Gallery design did come up. There was a quick scuffle online to find that the design was actually revealed in September 2015 and therefore could not qualify for the 2016 most puzzling planning work award.
In 2014 Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron were chosen to come up with a design for the new Vancouver Art Gallery, but not at the current site at 750 Hornby Street. The Hornby Street location is the 1913 Rattenbury designed courthouse that was renovated in 1983 by Arthur Erickson to accommodate a 172,320 square foot gallery. The new art gallery was to be located at 688 Cambie Street on land provided by the city on a 99 year lease. The original report to council in 2013 proposed a new art gallery that was double the size of the current gallery with 85,000 square feet of gallery space.
The project was to cost 350 million dollars in 2013. The Federal government and Provincial governments conditionally pledged 200 million dollars with the remaining $150 million to be raised by private fundraising. It should be noted that this amount of money has never been privately fundraised for one project in Canada. To get people excited about the new gallery, Herzog and de Meuron who have also built the Tate Modern in London and the National Stadium (the Bird’s Nest) in Beijing drew up a conceptual drawing and model.
Herzog and de Meuron-Tate Gallery-London, National Stadium-Beijing
When the new design was released by Herzog and de Meuron, reaction was mixed. This is a firm that likes the grand gesture without scaled interest on the ground plane that would be warm or welcoming to building visitors. Critics noted that there were also plans to fence in the bottom for more exhibition space, and there was no vision on how this space would work with that of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre’s open space across the street.
Herzog and de Meuron proposal for New Vancouver Art Gallery, 688 Cambie Street
This 310,000 square foot wood clad building would be approximately 20 storeys high but have seven floors for the public and two floors below grade for storage and parking. There would be 85,000 square feet of galleries, a new education centre, an auditorium, and library and archival services.
There’s not been much news about the new gallery’s progress at the new location on Cambie Street. The current 750 Hornby Street location with the wonderful lions at the entrance still functions as one of the city’s primary places to meet, greet and people watch. Price Tags is watching too.
A compelling video from 2014 (quoting 2014 budget prices) is narrated by Vancouver architect Peter Cardew about how the current Vancouver Art Gallery could be renewed and expanded. Peter Cardew was commissioned to look at the gallery spaces a decade earlier, and his take is very similar to that of the late architect Bing Thom’s-the current location of the art gallery is the centre of pedestrian traffic and importance in the downtown. Bing Thom Architects developed a “post-gallery” plan below the building’s North Plaza.
Like many Vancouverites, the late Bing Thom architect extraordinaire loved the current site of the Vancouver Art Gallery on Hornby which is the place to sit, to people watch and functions as the navel of the city. Bing proposed a remarkable redo of the old gallery once vacated to include a light-filled entrance to a 1,950 seat underground concert hall, a multi-use theatre and retail stores. Importantly he also proposed reopening the Georgia Street entrance of the building and focusing a new plaza on Georgia Street as the City’s primary public space and square.
Peter Cardew thought the Vancouver Art Gallery should stay on this site. In this article Peter Cardew thought “ as much as 176,000 square feet of additional space can be added to the historic courthouse building by creating additional underground spaces underneath the outdoor plaza facing West Georgia Street. It includes an underground “Grand Hall” measuring approximately 300 feet long and 70 feet high that incorporates a glass ceiling from the plaza to allow natural light to stream in. The vision also proposes to renovate the existing gallery spaces and repurpose UBC Robson Square into added space for the museum.”
At that time in 2014 dollars, Peter Cardew estimated that the cost of changes would be $100 million less than the proposed $300 million dollar Larwill Park site on Cambie Street across from the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. And there are precedents-both the Louvre in Paris and the Tate Modern in London expanded their facilities at existing galleries.
“I don’t know any gallery in the world that has such a prime site as the Vancouver Art Gallery does. If it were a vacant site that is where the Vancouver Art Gallery would be.” -Peter Cardew
For Day Four of the 2016 Gordies, two awards are being given in the category of “Most Puzzling Planning Work”.
The 2016 Gordies “For Most Puzzling Planning Work” go to:
Jericho and Heather Lands: “Huge potential for city-making on 92 acres of desirable real estate at Jericho and 21 acres at 37th and Heather. The potential is only exceeded by the ongoing silence. Major opportunity for transit-oriented development at Heather Lands; some work required on this for Jericho via Broadway Line extension.”
Provincial Gov’t to give $35,000 interest free to eligible home buyers. “Even as the Feds’ CMHC requires higher down payments to help avoid debt risk to homeowners. How many months until that Provincial election??”
On Wednesday we are awarding the 2016 Gordie for “Planning for Big Impact [Positive or Negative]”
There were a lot of contenders in this category. The Editorial Board of Price Tags and Price Tags Commenters agreed on the following:
The 2016 Gordie for Planning for Big Impact-Positive or Negative- Five Winners-
Tsawwassen Mills/Commons– “giant transit-free all-cars all-the-time mall in the middle of nowhere. What could go wrong? Or more likely – what could go right?”
Waterfront Station Transportation Hub: “a major transportation node at the confluence of Skytrain, West Coast Express, Seabus, cruise ships, float plane airlines, HeliJet, arterial streets, bike lanes, greenways, freight trains, transit buses. Vastly diverse mix of people in the area. Possible transformation into a destination. Expansion of transportation services to include passenger ferries and inter-city rail. More HERE. Immense potential. More complex than most space programs. And we mean outer space, not interior design.”
Arbutus Greenway: “from an abandoned rail line into a publicly-accessible Greenway for all Vancouver citizens. A chance for something spectacular and transformational. Great job by negotiators. Heartening improvement for Vancouver’s people.”
Approval of Kinder Morgan oil pipeline: “Federal and City policy disconnect.”
Vancouver has been a creative hotbed for environmentalism, urban design, art and social policies – but is that coming to a halt due to high prices and other factors?
Arguing the PRO side are Sandy Garossino and Caitlin Jones:
Sandy Garossino is Associate Editor at the National Observer, as well as public commentator and arts advocate. A former independent book publisher, Garossino has nurtured and promoted independent street artists and cultural diversity. By coincidence, four of her adult children have careers in film and music outside Vancouver.
Currently Executive Director of the Western Front Society in Vancouver, Caitlin has worked at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Rhizome.org, in NYC. She writes extensively about contemporary art and most recently the impact of Vancouver’s real estate market on art and artists.
Arguing the CON side are Mark Busse and Jane Cox:
Mark Busse is Director of Creativity and Engagement at HCMA Architecture + Design, helping lead their interdisciplinary design team and TILT Curiosity Labs initiative which explores creativity, design, and engagement in all its forms, including an artist in residence program and community initiatives such as Likemind Vancouver, CreativeMornings/Vancouver, and Interesting Vancouver.
Jane Cox is the Director and Founder of Cause+Affect, a strategic brand consultancy. She is a recognized leader in culture building, social entrepreneurship and civic engagement. Cox’s clients benefit from her extensive experience and insight into transforming detailed business plans and strategic objectives into active and compelling brands that inspire, connect and drive impact.
Another article on our doomed Chinatown by Kerry Gold in the Globe and Mail:
Gentrification isn’t just nibbling at Chinatown’s edges. Thanks to rezoning changes, it’s taking major bites out of the neighbourhood. … Class inversion is happening in cities throughout North America. Urban cores used to be the domain of low-income groups, while the wealthier demographic lived in the suburbs. In recent years, wealthier groups are choosing urban living and pushing low-income groups to the outskirts, or further.
“You have to ask, ‘Where is this coming from? Who are you serving?’” asks Kevin Huang, executive director of the Hua Foundation, a non-profit for young Chinese-Canadians. Mr. Huang is also committed to supporting the people who form the tight-knit Chinatown community, and who are now under threat of displacement. …
“With this rezoning, I think this is a battle for the soul of Chinatown, and what does it mean for us as a city in terms of diversity and inclusion,” Mr. Huang says. …
“We seem to be treating Chinatown as a development site instead of a community,” civic historian John Atkin says.
The old mom-and-pop shops are already hurting, faced with mounting property taxes and aging ownership. The educated next generation doesn’t always want to take over the old business. And those new corporate retailers wouldn’t be able to buy from within the neighbourhood or from small local farms the way current businesses have for a century. The old local economy of Chinatown – a model of sustainability before it became a buzzword – would be destroyed….
Melody Ma, a self-professed “policy wonk,” grew up attending dance classes in Chinatown. Both Ms. Ma and Mr. Huang see the city’s failure to prioritize people, with their histories and traditions and lives, as the problem. Other cities have adopted culture as an integral part of their urban planning, including New Westminster and Montreal, so they’ve asked Vancouver City to consider doing the same. …
“That means developers will have to make sure they consider the needs of the community prior to even talking to city hall – that we’re recognizing the culture and history and the aspirations of the people who live there,” she says.
It’s more than the buildings. Unless the culture is preserved, the place becomes commodified and soulless, she says. To thwart displacement, the city offers up bigger building potential in exchange for a few units of social housing. But what good is social housing if a community is wiped out? …
Small businesses such as Mr. Mah’s face deeper challenges if the city doesn’t craft policies to protect them. …
But pressure on the community will only intensify because the area is in the crosshairs of future densification. A couple of blocks away, the viaducts will come down and the new St. Paul’s Hospital will transform the historic area into a hub of high-tech medical care.
Ms. Ma says “it was a mountain to climb” just getting council to agree to consider culture as a priority.
“We have to ask ourselves, ‘How do we place a culture or community first – rather than just follow finance?’”
I am a loss to understand what is wanted for Chinatown – or what is even possible.
Should it be a goal to “prioritize people, with their histories and traditions and lives,” if it means we’re intending to preserve a cultural product that was a consequence of one of the most racist periods in our history. Chinatown was a ghetto in the worst sense of the word.
Is the desire to exclude anything that doesn’t reflect that era?
And even if there was an inherent racism in that assumption of exclusion, how can a zoning code preserve or even encourage businesses no longer wanted, no longer viable?
The forces of time and change mean there is essentially no hope to maintain the cultural moment of Chinatown. Surrounding development forces, the removal of the Viaducts, a new St. Paul’s and changing demographics guarantee that.
Why would we set ourselves up for failure?
Shaping urban form and use is the purpose of zoning and development bylaws. Saving a culture is not. And that’s as true for the gay village on Davie and the Punjabi Village on Main as it is for Chinatown on Main.
The ‘suicide barriers’ (the black metalwork in the rear) going up on the refurbished Burrard Bridge don’t look that bad. Certainly not the awkward intrusion some feared, perhaps because they are fitted in between concrete stanchions that echo the design of the original balustrades.
The Lancet’s authors are re-thinking disease prevention, and in the first of a three-part series, conclude this:
A key part of the solution is city planning that reduces non-communicable diseases and road trauma while also managing rapid urbanisation.
This Series of papers considers the health impacts of city planning through transport mode choices. In this, the first paper, we identify eight integrated regional and local interventions that, when combined, encourage walking, cycling, and public transport use, while reducing private motor vehicle use. These interventions are
Equitable distribution of employment across cities
Managing demand by reducing the availability and increasing the cost of parking
Designing pedestrian-friendly and cycling-friendly movement networks
Achieving optimum levels of residential density
Reducing distance to public transport
Enhancing the desirability of active travel modes (eg, creating safe attractive neighbourhoods and safe, affordable, and convenient public transport).
. . . . Designing pedestrian-friendly and cycling-friendly cities will help to reduce inequities and produce co-benefits across multiple sectors, including health, traffic management, environment (mobility, air quality, energy, water, and climate change), and the economy. Better planned and designed cities will help to build communities by decreasing commute and mandatory travel times away from one’s neighbourhood.
City planning is therefore an essential element of a multilevel, multisector response to face the major global health challenges of the 21st century. Appropriate legal, administrative, and technical urban planning and design frameworks are urgently needed to create more compact cities that facilitate active travel modes to promote health and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Active transportation has been identified as a key personal choice that helps reduce the incidence of several common chronic conditions, such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, and breast cancer, as well as reducing life expectancy.
In the light of recent discussions, I am pleased to see that “road trauma” (people maimed and killed by cars, then blamed, followed by laughable penalties for death-dealing motor-vehicle operators) is also in the sights of the Lancet’s authors. Perhaps this paper helps start the wider conversation about Canada’s car culture, and how it seems so at odds with life, health and safety. But I’m not expecting much to change.
To quote the Lancet article:
The health burden of motor vehicle-related injuries continues to disproportionately affect active transport users (as discussed in this Series) and those without access to a vehicle, including poor, young, and older people. Concerns about traffic and road safety are a major deterrent to parents permitting children to use active travel modes. In high-income countries, such as the USA and Australia, many city streets have become child-free zones, with rapid declines in the number of children using active transport modes to travel to and from school and around their neighbourhoods.
In several countries (eg, Germany, France, The Netherlands, and Sweden), injury and fatality rates for active transport users have been reduced by more than 70% (from 1975 to 2001). These countries have implemented new laws of strict liability, where vulnerable road users (not drivers) are assumed to be innocent. These countries have also lowered speed limits in towns and cities to 30 km/h; introduced high-quality transport systems; introduced demand management strategies, including reduced car parking; devised protective road designs that reduce conflicts between pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers; and improved traffic signals. These practices could be trialed elsewhere to reduce the global burden of road injury while also increasing the demand for active travel and reducing NCD risks.
After joining the snowbirds in Palm Springs, CA, I get it: the weather is perfect; and even though it’s like visiting the suburbs for a vacation, that mid-century modernism was the height of the California Dream. Sitting on the patio next to a kidney-shaped swimming pool on a warm starlit evening in November certainly has its charms.
What I don’t get is the absence of bikes just to get around.
The place is flat, the weather is ideal for much of the year, most trips are under 10 K, and there’s lots of room to lay out the infrastructure.
And yet I saw more bikes on the Canada Line car coming in from YVR than I did on their Class 1 cycling trail (above).
‘Old’ Palm Springs is one of about a dozen communities that make up the urban region of the Coachella Valley. It’s only about 50,000 residents on a 6×10-km grid of arterial roads, each typically six lanes wide, that make access to everywhere so easy. In between are the classic subdivisions of one-storey homes straight out of Sunset Magazine – celebrated every year during Modernism Week.
Of course Palm Springs was laid out for the car, the roads are wide, there’s seemingly an utter lack of congestion, parking is everywhere and it’s free – so why wouldn’t everyone drive? So they do.
But it is also an outdoorsy community, attracting active retirees, gay and straight, who come for a more laid-back lifestyle. One would think cycling had particular appeal for the knee-challenged – and, indeed, there are plenty of MAMIL sightings and pelatons of the grey-haired and lycra-clad on their carbon-fibre steeds. Just not a lot of them in the grocery-store parking lots or on racks out front of gyms.
But apparently that’s not enough. Something is missing – and my bet is that it’s culture. Here’s a place that has all the advantages and reasons to cycle, and yet they don’t. We northern people, on the other hand, here and in Europe, have a lot of seeming disadvantages, and yet we do.
Maybe there’s more to it. Think I’ll go back to do more research.
It’s taken a long time for the pieces to come together.
The City of North Vancouver has been working on the transformation of the Lower Lonsdale properties at the waterfront for … well, it seems like decades. After all, Lonsdale Quay and the Seabus Terminal opened in the late 1970s – but the lands to the east retained their industrial purpose, with little change to the property at the very foot of Lonsdale. There was no there there.
Now, with the development of the Versatile lands and the arrival of the Polygon Gallery, it’s coming together. Here’s the latest:
The City of North Vancouver has received a $400,000 donation towards its revitalization of the waterfront. Donated by Richardson International through the Richardson Foundation, the funds will be used to deliver a unique water feature at the Foot of Lonsdale that will be a one of a kind, playful and vibrant gathering place for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy one of the most spectacular locations on the waterfront.
The City recently celebrated the completion of its popular 48m long Megabench, the first of many dynamic public spaces coming to the Foot of Lonsdale and is the City’s newest landmark.
Overall completion of the area is planned for Fall 2017, delivering a City waterfront that will be a regional attraction and year-round destination. For more information about the City’s waterfront, visit here.
I see they’re calling the area the Foot of Lonsdale. FoLo?
Yesterday Councillor George Affleck and Rob McDowell got a preview of Evergreen (formally, the Evergreen Extension of the Millennium Line) – and sent some shots from the initial run.
PT welcomes your impressions as you get a chance to try out what is now (again) the longest automated light-rail line in the world. (Theological arguments aside on the definition of light rail when it comes to SkyTrain.)
The 11-km $1.43 billion line took long enough to reach Coquitlam (PoCo, not surprisingly, thinks it would have made more sense to cross the river to them). But at last it’s open – connecting at Lougheed.
And then through the Motordom landscapes of the northeast part of region.
Entering a six-km tunnel – apparently the coolest part of the trip, according to George.
Paralleling the main line of the CPR and serving Port Moody, still industrial and port-serving in ways not seen from the road.
Moving on to the residential and commercial centre of Coquitlam.
Evergreen already has a lot of intermodal connections with the frequent bus network and West Coast Express, and there is already a substantial amount of residential density near some of the stations. There will be about 40,000 passengers a day anticipated on the line, rising to 70,000 in about five years.
Transit lines are century-long commitments to city building. There will be short-term impacts (the crowding induced elsewhere along the rapid-transit network), medium-term (more affordable housing options with better transit links) and long-term (the movement of job centres into some of these locations to make them truly complete communities).
Evergreen is a manifestation of the half-century-long regional vision (“cities in a sea of green”) – still proving to be far-sighted once we make the commitment to actually follow through on its intentions.
The landscape architect behind New York’s award-winning High Line has been selected to design a major new park in Vancouver. James Corner will design a multi-use park for about 21 acres of space in northeast False Creek – on one of the last undeveloped areas of waterfront land downtown. …
The project, which is tied to the dismantling of the viaducts leading into downtown, includes a new Creekside Park Extension, renewal for Creekside Park and Andy Livingstone Park, and a pedestrian and cycling bridge that will take people up into the downtown core.
“It’s a generous, open scale that will be significant,” said Mr. Corner, founding partner and chief executive of James Corner Field Operations.
“That part of the city is quite fragmented and confused at the moment between the roadways and the stadium and the derelict land, parcels of land that are presently disconnected. [It’s an] opportunity to really build connective tissue that ties things together and allows people to walk or cycle more seamlessly from one part to another,” he added. “[We’re] looking for ways to tie this park more meaningfully into the neighbourhoods so that it’s a park for people, a park that is used by people.”
Gord Price: Good to see progress on this site – and the choice of Corner, along with local firm PWL. But I’ve always thought it more than a bit disingenuous of those who have criticized the City, Park Board and Concord for not proceeding with the site earlier – as though a promise had been broken to the local residents, mainly those in the CityGate complex who are almost completely surrounded by existing parks.
Having been on Council at the time the Official Development Plan was approved, I understood that the contract called for the parks to proceed at the time when development approvals for a certain amount of housing had been issued, according to the long-range plan. Which is what has happened further west. The rezoning of the northeast part of the site and the reconsideration for the removal of the Viaducts changed the expected timeline- but just as well. If the park had proceeded, we would no doubt be lamenting an inferior design or considering whether to rebuild it at some cost to take advantage of the proposed changes.