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Showing posts from March, 2011

UBC Line Rapid Transit Study

Yesterday morning, I attended a blogger breakfast held by Translink for the launch of Phase 2 of the UBC Line Rapid Transit Study. They provided a table of us with some great information on the study thus far and the 'alternatives' for the line. Basically, the 'alternatives' differ by technology and alignment. I found the breakfast incredibly enlightening - Translink has put a lot of work in this study and it's worth your attention because Broadway is such an important corridor to Vancouver and the region.

When looking at the alternatives, it's easy to get swept up in looking at fancy vehicles or looking for the cheapest option (given the financial constraints we face). I would ask that you thinking more constructively. Look at the alignment (street-level, underground, elevated), road space allocation (parking, travel lanes, sidewalk space), station placement (they're pretty much the 99 B-Line stops), and on the evaluation itself.

It was also stressed in …

Robson Square: Steps to a Great Public Space

Last week or so, I came across the steps to the Art Gallery and saw a great thing: people using public space. I then thought of the potential a new Robson Square if the street were to stay closed and if the city were to introduce table and chairs.

Podcast: The Path(s) Not Taken

You may recall that I was part of a Museum of Vancouver walking tour earlier this month. I helped lead a group of people under the viaducts to talk about the history behind them, the Vancouver that could have been, and their possible future. Demian, my partner in crime from VPSN, talked about the ideology of planning during the 1950s and 1960s. I went on (re: ramble) to talk about the history of the viaducts themselves and highway programs in Vancouver. Michael Green from MGB Architecture and Design talked about the built environment of the area and Gastown, which would have been lost had highways been constructed. Overall, I think it was fairly successful. The MOV put together a podcast of the proceeding - have a listen!
Moving Through: The Path(s) Not Taken: Viaducts, Expressways, and Almost Vancouvers. by Museum Of Vancouver

Having Purpose

 Thinking back to earlier this year when I applied to Grad School, I recalled doing a lot of paper work but also a great deal of thinking. One particular part of the process I think was valuable was writing my Statement of Purpose. Although writing a statement of purpose is part BS and part sincerity, it forces you to write down why you're doing what you're doing and then you can look back on what you've written and say, "Yeah, This is what want to do and I'm happy with it." I find that we get stuck or settle into 'the motions'. Instead, we should understand what gets us excited. Writing a statement of purpose every now and them should help us recommit ourselves to what we want to do with our lives. I think everyone should have to do every now and then - put pen to paper and, in one page, create a statement of purpose.

Here's my statement similar to what I've sent in for my grad application:

Growing up in the suburbs of Vancouver, I always…

Event: What's Up with the Viaducts?

***Sorry for my lack of posting lately - busy time at work!***
A few weeks ago, I helped lead a walking tour for the Museum of Vancouver on a topic that revolved around the history and future of the Georgia Viaduct. The City seems to be gearing up to a public consultation process on the future of this piece of infrastructure that was created for a Vancouver that doesn't exist - one with freeways. The SFU City program and the City of Vancouver are holding a free forum. There is no doubt that the viaduct's future is hugely significant to Vancouver's built environment. Its conception was wrought with protest and controversy and its future will probably be too, so bring your ideas to the table. See below for details.   What are the options for the Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaducts? What would be the impacts if they were taken down – and what are some of the opportunities that would result?


The SFU City Program is hosting a free forum for the public, in conjunction with the City of V…

Video: Dan Burden - Creating Livable Communities

Art: Roundabout Vancouver

My friend just forwarded this link to me and it's about the WE: Vancouver exhibit that's currently on at the Vancouver Art Gallery. It's a fascinating bunch of images that show roundabouts in Vancouver that seem so odd because they're monolithic trees in the middle of paved streets.

About the exhibit:
Roundabout Vancouver
The Goodweather Collective is a group of emerging designers who work across media and disciplines with a consistent interest in the built environment and the analysis of its construction. With a finely tuned sense of humour, they have constructed a recasting of Vancouver’s traffic roundabouts that takes us on a detour through time and space to imagine another type of city.This imagined place is created through a network of roundabouts, one at every existing intersection. While the present City of Vancouver sanctions various treatments for the centre space of roundabouts—community gardens, a monumental rock, and so on—in this “retroprojective” propos…

Reading

I strongly believe that a lot of good can be done by retrofitting what we've already built. This Big City has a post on refurbishing cities. A lot can be done to an area if some decent design is put into it. Reminds me a bit of what's going in Toronto with Regent Park. Of course, this opens up the big 'G' conversation (gentrification!). The City of Angels (and highways) is planning ambitious change: a 1,680-mile bikeway system and sweeping new bike-friendly policies.The Economist makes some points about suburban/urban migration: supply, supply, supply, don't forget supply!Here is some great information on research that is being done in Toronto about transit and the suburbs: Transit Deserts & Hulchanski's Three Cities.

Vertical Villages

 I moved last Monday and immediately noticed some great difference between my old apartment and my new one. For one, the great variety of local restaurants and business within a few minutes walk. We arrived at the new place a bit too early and had to wait about an hour to gain access to the suite so we opted to get some late lunch/early dinner and we had a little difficulty in choosing as place to eat at. At my old place, you'd have a few options and then the mall foodcourt (yuck). In the suburbs, where I grew up, you'd have to drive to a restaurant and there would be a low chance that the people around you were your neighbours. I feel like the places around my new places are frequented by the people that live in the that neighbourhood and therefore, there's a stronger sense of community - of people you know in the places you know.

After we ate, we walked back and began to unload the truck. Residents were coming and going and many of them stopped to talk. One of them wel…