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Showing posts from April, 2011

Street Hockey: Celebration in Public Space

Two nights ago I attended the Harland Bartholemew event and it was amazing to see a packed room at the same time the Vancouver Canucks were playing Game 7 of their first series. Just goes to show how dedicated we planning nerds are. Just as the event wrapped up the Canucks lost their chance to win their game in regulation time with one minute to spare - it meant over-time, do or die.

After leaving the event, I walked with my friend to his car and you could feel the anxiety in the city. Streets were quiet save for the solemn smokers outside restaurants and pubs waiting for the game to restart. As we got to his car, the city, all at once, errupted in screaming. The Canucks had won the series and the city was about to collectively celebrate this victory.

A crescendo of car horns, shrieks of joy, and other noise makers filled the air.
There are very few times when an entire city (seemingly) syncs together. It was as if time and space had condensed and we had all been at Rogers Arena for t…

Event: Harland Bartholomew’s Master Plan and Papers on the City of Vancouver, 1926-1948

Vancouver is having a stellar year for nerds. The next event I'm looking forward to is a public presentation of Harland Bartholomew's Master Plan and Papers on the City of Vancouver. There are already many documents available online here. REGISTER HEREHere are the event details:
In this 125th birthday year for the City of Vancouver, this public event looks back at the Vancouver that might have been, the metropolis that it has become, and the urban challenges and opportunities that lie before us. In collaboration with the City of Vancouver Archives, Bing Thom Architects is proud to sponsor the full digitization and public presentation of Harland Bartholomew’s Master Plan and Papers on the City of Vancouver. These documents will be freely available in a number of digital formats through the Vancouver Archives website. The panel discussion on April 26 will launch this project and provide a venue for a public discussion of its significance.

In 1926, Harland Bartholomew and Associ…

The Cambie Rocketship: Memories of Vancouver's 50th Birthday and Expo 86

Since Cambie Street was put back together after the contruction of the Canada Line, I noticed a funny little plaza next to the bridge with a rocket ship at it's centre. Being a Sci-Fi nerd, I imediately fell in love with it.  However, I've never gone up to it in person but today I was getting some pizza at the Flying Wedge in Kits and they had a write up on the wall about it. I came back to the office and googled it only to find some amazing information. Given the timing of Vancouver's 125th birthday and the 25th anniversary of Expo86, I thought it was appropriate to post:

From the City of Vancouver website


Lew Parry
Description of Work:
A 12-foot-long stylized rocket ship made of bronze and stainless steel sits on top of an 11-foot-high stainless steel base. The design of the rocket ship looks like a 1950s Hollywood movie space ship. The design was originally created in 1936 for the Sheet Metal Workers Local 280 float for the Pacific National Exhibition Jubilee P…

Event @ MOV: Anthony Townsend, A Planet of Civic Laboratories

April 08, 2011 / 7:00 PM Join us for a conversation with Anthony Townsend, a noted public intellectual with the California-based, Institute for the Future. Townsend explores the connections between technology, urbanism and innovation. He will speak about his research funded by the Rockfeller Foundation: "A PLANET OF CIVIC LABORATORIES: The Future of Cities, Information and Inclusion".
City of Vancouver Councillor, Andrea Reimer will join Anthony for a follow up conversation about his research.

The South Granville BIA Responds

The South Granville BIA has responded to my post. You can read all my tweets as is on twitter to verify things. However, since they deleted theirs the only way to get the story out was to screen cap them all. I'd like both sides of the story to be told. This blog is about me and my love of urban planning - I think that BIA's are important neighbourhood/community agents. I do believe that some do better jobs at it than others. For instance, I tweeted to the SGBIA that they should look at the Strathcona BIA because of the amazing work they're doing. It's all about balance: I believe that businesses can benefit from sustainable practices and better place making for people. Here is their response:
Brandon, this is very disappointing.You fail to mention that 3 days prior you came through with a 'you should do xyz like XXX BIA...' We gracefully accepted and thanked you for your suggestion. 3 days later we get another 'you should ...' There are lots of things …

The South Granville BIA: An Example of How Not to Use Twitter

Fact: The Internet is full of drama. Recently, I had a little bit of my own. As you may know, I've recently moved to South Granville and being interested in 'city things' I started looking at my new neighbourhood and it's potential for greatness. I sent a tweet to the South Granville Business Improvement Association about NYC's pop-up cafes that I personally think would do great in this area since there is a deficiency of outside cafe seating. However, my enthusiasm was immediately dampened by the SGBIA twitter account. The exchange went back and forth and, perhaps I was pushing too hard, but it went extremely negative. Since, the SGBIA has deleted their messages to me but I managed to screen cap about 95% of it. You can read most of the exchange here. I'm kind of astounded by their reaction and am stunned that one person who represents all the businesses along this stretch of Granville street could think this was an appropriate use of their twitter. What do yo…