At the risk of sounding simplistic about a subject in which I am no expert, here’s an interesting game: the following article is from another city in a different country to ours. Sound familiar? Where is it? And could this also apply to Vancouver? I have disguised any names that would identify where this city is, and also substituted equivalent [alternative names] where it could be applied to Vancouver.
“A City For All: Five game-changers for affordable housing in _________.
The game-changers include:
After many years and much discussion, the City of Vancouver recently spearheaded this city’s first ever Urban Design Awards program. The winning results were announced and celebrated at an elegant ceremony held at the Van Dusen Gardens Great Hall on Monday 15 September. The program will be repeated every two years.
Every time I return to Vancouver from a trip to one or another foreign city, I am struck by how many creative yet sensible things that those cities facilitate are not permitted here at home. Compared to such cities, Vancouver seems overregulated. We handicap ourselves in terms of what is allowed under local laws, regulations and customs: sometimes it feels like we are running this town with one hand tied behind our collective backs.
This blog is about someone who I never met but felt strongly connected to, someone who has deeply influenced both my thinking and my way of writing.
Robert Hughes is dead. He would have appreciated the honest clarity of that statement.
Hughes was one of the foremost art critics in the world. He wrote – cogently and plangently – for Time Magazine for some 30 years, and was also the author of several books. I think I have them all. What made him so special, and why should we care about his passing?
It’s been more than six months now since the Vision Party-dominated Vancouver City Council fired the City’s last Director of Planning, and still no replacement is in sight. Recently it emerged that Council has reorganized the Planning Department and is in effect eliminating the Planning Director position, instead advertising for a General Manager of Development Services (which will incorporate the Director of Planning’s statutory functions) who will report directly to the City Manager’s office. This is unprecedented. The position is being politicized, presumably to ensure that the incumbent is more directly under the control of Council and more consistently on message with Vision’s ideological mission.
I recently got back to Vancouver from a trip to Cape Town and a brief stopover in London. Three cities, each one of which has recently had or is about to host a hallmark sporting event: Vancouver hosted the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Cape Town co-hosted 2010 FIFA World Cup events, and of course London has the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympic Games. What did these three cities gain (or lose), from a city-making perspective, in hosting such hallmark events?
Has anyone else had the sense lately how fast things are changing here in Vancouver? I’m referring in particular to our access to various media that many of us have taken for granted for so long, but I could just as easily be writing about, say, restaurants or neighbourhood stores.
I was recently invited onto David Berner’s show on Shaw Cable Television (Channel 4 in Vancouver), to talk about where I see Vancouver going in the next few years, now that the civic election is over.
You can catch the interview on Shaw Channel 4 as follows:
Thursday 24 November at 8:00 am
Friday 25 November at 2:30 pm
Monday 28 November at 4:30 am.
Or click on this link to watch it on YouTube:
Let me know what you think.