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Showing posts from June, 2011

Spacing Vancouver!

Spacing Vancouver has finally launched!  (More on this in a later post!)

Viva Vancouver!

Vancouver is launching a new program/department for public space this summer called 'Viva Vancouver' and it has me very excited. Viva is the outcome of 3 pilot programs: Summer Spaces 2009, the 2010 Olympic Pedestrian Corridors and Rediscover Granville in 2010. From the looks of it, each space has a community partner which is a great way to ensure that these projects have advocates from within the city and the citizenry. And what's particularly lovely about this program is that it includes some great space ideas that I'm fond of such as 'Pop-up Parks/Cafes'. This idea will come to life in Mount Pleasant and here's some info:

What: "Modular Deck" occupying up to 2 parking spots on E. 14th Ave just east of bustling Main St., the custom designed modular deck will provide free 'no-purchase-necessary' seating for pedestrians strolling by. The Cities of San Francisco and New York have both been testing this 'pop-up-cafe or free public seating…

Car-Free Vancouver!

Last Sunday, Vancouver celebrated Car-Free Day. There were many streets in the city that closed down to automobiles to let pedestrians take over. My fellow coordinator and I set up a booth on Deman Street for the Vancouver Public Space Network. We handed out transit/bike maps, seed balls, other information and we also set up a map for people to share with us their fanvourite public spaces in the city (sadly, I don't have a photo). It was interesting to see that a lot of people choose streets/corridors over singular places. However, the big exception was Stanley Park. 
I also decided that it would be a great venue to push for Robson Square (or a the idea of a square in Vancouver in general). Here are some pictures:

We asked people, "What does your public square look like?"
Here are some responses:


Historic 'Save-on-Meats' reopens. The concept is exciting: butcher shop, diner, AND food incubator! ...and as it opens, fears of Gentrification swirl about: The Dependent has a great article on this topic in Gastown as looks at it in a fairly balanced way. Indeed, "The line between revitalization and gentrification is blurry and awkward."Re:Place Magazine is moving into the fold of Spacing! I'm excited for this because I've wanted something of Spacing's quality for Vancouver.  I've been following Re:Place for a while now and I'm glad to see them and their content expand. I Love Transit Week is coming up! Send Translink your submissions by July 7. Audio/History/Story: The Cul de Sac. Funny stuff! Photography: 50 Story Abandoned Building.

The Day After: Vancouver is Still Beautiful

We've had an interesting few days - and that is putting it mildly. On Wednesday, June 15, the Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley Cup final and the city burned. As I watched everything unfold on my laptop screen, I felt sad, depressed, and angry at the spectacle of violence that I was powerless to stop. I was embarrassed for my city and my generation - people across the world riot against injustice and we riot after we lose a hockey game. It was ugly. But let me back up a bit.
I am not a hockey fan per se and I didn't follow the series that much but I was intrigued at the change in the public realm during the games. It many ways it felt like it was during the Olympics last year. A 100,000 people turned up in the downtown core.
 The city even got on board and closed down Georgia Street, Vancouver's widest, during the games and set up giant TV screens, or 'Live Sites'. CBC set up a family zone in front of their building. Overall, I was excited for the potential of more …

Cranky Version(s):

Gordon Price once said something that shook me up a bit. He said, “Change that is acceptable is not necessarily change that is sufficient.” At that moment, thoughts about my generation's future and many of the debates that we’re currently having in our city and region flashed in my mind. Some of these debates encompass topics that are well know: density, development, bike lanes, etc.

A few weeks ago he expressed this phrase a bit more fully and penned a post on his blog he called ‘The Cranky Version:’
...why would those in their twenties put up with financing the Boomers end-life at the cost of their own beginnings? Why would they remain passive if they felt Boomers were taking them down even as they stood in the way of change. Put that combination together – inequity in the present, disregard for the future and refusal to change – and you have the conditions that disrupted North American society in the late 60s and North Africa practically yesterday: young people with resentment…