North Shore False Creek—The view of the mountains blocked

Vancouverism—the tower-and-podium architecture that began building post-Expo ’86—boils down to just two essential parts: Towers-and-Skytrain. The towers block the sky and the view of the mountains and stop the sun from reaching the city street and sidewalks. This in a place where skies are either overcast, or raining 60% of the time. Nobody wants that. The Skytrain blights the neighborhoods it crosses preserving an unencumbered ground plane for automobiles. People want the public realm to support social functioning as well as traffic, not just one or the other. The Vancouverism doesn’t give much consideration to the human experience of place, or what should be understood to be the quality of the urbanism. Vancouverism’s gigantic land parcel assemblies obliterate human scale. There is no ‘there’ there. No legible hierarchy of street, block, district and neighborhood. The whole is not greater than the sum of…

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2 responses to “Vancouverism@30

  1. In Vancouver RAMP took the city to court over the Rize development. The results were nothing short of surprising. The judge was of the opinion that Mayor and Council are ultimately free to pass whatever by-law they chose regarding built form and character of development. Their political backers want towers but towers are not in the local area plan? No problem! Up go the towers.

    Thus, our ultimate power is at election time, and during elections, in garnering public and local opinion. Citizens can stop tower developments in their neighbourhoods but it will take a majority of citizens to vote in a government that will have a conscience and act according to what their public demands. Once in office, money talks louder than votes.

    The tactic we have employed is to draft an alternative plan. Then, we advocated for an alternative. The lesson we learned was that ‘activism’ begins and ends with the election. Once the new council is in, neighborhood activism is window dressing—or coalition building—until the next election.

  2. Hi, Help me start an action plan, pls. Would a strategic plan require the mayor and council to be accountable and stop granting over height and underparkable developement? I hope to slow things down in Moodyville. How did it go from 3 story to 6 story development with less than one parking spot per unit”? Louise Bradley

    Sent from my iPad


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