Sharing the Road
“The road is just a piece of real estate. The least efficient way to use it is to give it over entirely to cars.” This quote really stuck with me when I was listening to CBC Vancouver’s Early Edition this morning. It was voiced by Rob Adams, the Director of City Design for Melbourne, Australia - the world’s most livable city according to the Economist (yeah, Vancouver got bumped...
My apologies for not blogging in a few weeks. I am back in Vancouver recovering from an awesome trip across the Atlantic. My husband and I spent the first week sightseeing in Barcelona; the second week doing a self-guided cycling tour of Provence; and the third week hiking in the Swiss Alps. This has been my best trip to Europe so far. I’ve come to realize that the best way to have a...
Postcards from Barcelona
Hola from Barcelona! I am here for the next few days. Can’t believe how much it’s changed since I was a backpacker 11 years ago (they finished the interior of the Sangrada Familia!) Can’t wait to write about the city life and incredible architecture, but in the meantime, here are some photos. Next stop, cycling through Provence.
The city multiplies man’s power to think, to remember, to educate, to...– Lewis Mumford on the city
How do they get all that water in Vegas?
I just got back from a ladies weekend in Las Vegas and if there is one urban query I took away from the whole trip, it was: where on Earth do they get all this water in the middle of a desert?? Maybe it is because we were staying at the Bellagio Hotel, where every hour a giant man-made pond spurts water into the air to the tunes of Celine Dion and Faith Hill. Bellagio Fountains spurting along...
Creativity and City Life
The distinguishing characteristic of the creative class is that its members engage in work whose function is to “create meaningful new forms.” The super- creative core of this new class includes scientists and engineers, university professors, poets and novelists, artists, entertainers, actors, designers, and architects, as well as the “thought leadership” of modern...
Petition to Keep Robson Square closed to Traffic
William Whyte, the godfather of public space theory, once said that ”The street is the river of life of the city, the place where we come together, the pathway to the center.” While most world class cities have lively, pedestrian-oriented, central street plazas with food and entertainment, Vancouver has always been curiously lacking in this department. Robson Square is the city’s only...
Having a Picnurbia in Robson Square
Robson Square finally reopened to the public a few weeks ago (following a year of renovations). In a short window of time before the Square is split in two by the reopening of the 800 block of Robson Street to traffic, Vancouverites are finally getting a chance to enjoy this public space through a design project called Picnurbia. Picnurbia is an undulating beach landscape encouraging people to...
This Country Life: Exploring wineries and farms in...
Ever since I moved back to Vancouver in my twenties, I get stressed out as soon as get on a highway and leave the city. Not because I don’t like other cities and suburbs outside Vancouver, but mainly because I hate driving, freeways and the badly planned communities that make driving necessary (trust me, I am not anti-suburbs. I grew up in Coquitlam…or as my friends affectionately...
Why I love NYC (and my favorite experiences there)
I’ve travelled to a lot of cities in North America and Europe, but New York City is one of those places I could go back to year after year. Maybe it was all the movies, tv shows, art and music set in New York, or the writers, artists, actors, architects, urbanists and musicians that made their mark on the city, but New York has always struck me as a place where great artistic and cultural...
Whistler Village: a model for ski resorts across...
Ever wonder what it is about Whistler Village that makes it so inviting, pleasant and walkable? Having travelled to other ski resorts such as Squaw Valley, California, and Mont Tremblant, Quebec, it becomes obvious that Whistler Village has heavily influenced the design of ski resorts across North America. A few years ago when I was a grad student in Urban Studies, I did a project on the urban...
Vancouver 125th Birthday: Summer Live
Ever since the City of Vancouver announced its lineup of local musicians, arts and culture for Vancouver’s 125th birthday celebration, I’ve been waiting in anticipation. I must admit that post-riot, I was nervous at the thought of having large crowds in Stanley Park (probably not as much as the City of Vancouver). But, what a beautiful weekend it was. From what I could see, the crowds...
Why can't the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza be like...
A few days ago, I was returning from my lunch break to my office in Downtown Vancouver and I passed through the front plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Maybe it was the warm weather, but it seemed ridiculous that this large, central, sunny public space in Vancouver was practically empty. And, the only place people could sit was on the few measly rows of steps outside the Gallery. Surrounding...
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The Cheaper Show: 10th Anniversary
I’ve lived in Vancouver my whole life and never been to The Cheaper Show. After ten years of dismissing it as an overhyped event, crowded with self-conscious hipsters and art that could not possibly be that great at such a low price (bear with me: I am about to admit this assumption was totally unfounded and wrong), I finally decided to check it out. The Cheaper Show is a massive one night...