Programs

June 2013

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Posted by: Anna Wilkinson on June 25, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Re-designing from the bottom up: The City of Vancouver unveiled its new sign design for rezoning and development projects last week. The new simplified design is a response to the previous hard-to-read and overly technical signs. Meanwhile in other parts of the city, glitz and glamour are being favoured over simple design, with multi-million dollar homes and surreal hotels marking the horizon. And in Grandview-Woodland we have a radical new plan for redesign and redevelopment. This week we explore Vancouver's stylistic tendencies, ranging from the flashy and ornate, the clean and (not quite so) simple, to the contentious and complicated.

Luxury Living. The Vancouver Observer gives us a tongue-in-cheek take on the fanciest (and most expensive) houses in the city. And yes, those are home cinemas and private bowling alleys that you're seeing. In other multi-million dollar news, Trump Tower is coming to downtown Vancouver. The $360-million Georgia Street development will include a hotel complete with champagne lounge, spa, and banquet and conference centre. It's expected to be finished in summer 2016.

Clean Slate. On the other end of Georgia, removing the viaducts and streamlining the area between Chinatown, Gastown, Strathcona, and the Downtown Eastside, is beginning to seem like a better, and better idea to many, including Mayor Gregor Robertson. As a recent report remarks, "In every city's evolution there are rare opportunities to take bold city-building steps to advance the city's goals and livability or correct a past planning wrong. The potential removal of the viaducts provides an opportunity for the City of Vancouver to do both."

Riding in Style. And for something that is perhaps neither simple or flashy, TransLink is shopping around various options for funding future upgrades to Metro Vancouver's transit system. One idea is road pricing, which could mean anything from bridge tolls to charges for drivers based on time of day or location. Could road pricing be the simplest, most elegant means of funding future transportation infrastructure or is it a complicated solution to an equally complicated problem? Your thoughts?

Decision-Making Style. It looks like Grandview-Woodland will be going through a drastic redesign. As Charles Campbell explains for The Tyee, "The Grandview-Woodland Community Plan calls for a radical remake of the area around the Broadway SkyTrain station: a possible 36-storey building on the Safeway site behind the station, towers up to 22 storeys in "transitional" zones including the area between 11th and 12th avenues near Commercial Drive, and more high-rises up to 26 storeys between Broadway and 7th towards Woodland." But for Campbell (and many others), the question remains: Who decides?

At the MOVeum:

June 26 - Upcycled Urbanism Volunteer Orientation night
July 6 - Curator’s Talk & Tour Foncie's Fotos w/ Joan Seidl
July 13 - Upcycled Urbanism: A Design+Build Project for Everyone - Granville Street Build Day

[Image: Expo 86 Georgia Viaduct and Saskatchewan pavilion, 2001. Photo courtesy of the City of Vancouver Archives, 2010-006.517]

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Posted by: Anna Wilkinson on June 18, 2013 at 6:56 am
 
This week in MOVments we look at the ideas of proximity and distance in relation to transportation, services, tourist attractions, and more. We explore some stats on how Vancouverites are getting from point A to point B, funding community-specific services in the DTES, how a beach is benefiting from being close to the MOV, and a venue that at least one person feels is a little too close to its neighbours. 
 
Getting There. recent report to City Council revealed a dramatic increase in walking and cycling as modes of transportation in the city, with driving trips on a slight decline. Significantly, the proportion of women and girls walking and biking has also grown, which is "seen to be an indicator of the quality and safety of a city’s infrastructure." All of this is so good that some think we should actually be doing a little more braggingAnd speaking of sustainable transportation, check out these neat side-by-side videos of the same Skytrain route: one from today and one from 1986.
 
DTES Services. Two organizations that work closely with the DTES community are receiving funding from the City for continuing and expanded servicesWISH will receive a grant for expanded work with survival sex trade workers and the Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society (ACCESS) will receive money for their ongoing Residential Tenancy Branch. 
 
Kits Beach Hits the Big Time. Kitsilano Beach made it on to Reuters Top 10 City Beaches Around the World list. One of its selling points? Its proximity to this museum and other cultural attractions; the listing recommends hitting the beach as a stop on a jam-packed day of Vancouver sightseeing. 
 
Keep the WISE Alive. East Vancouver's WISE Hall has received a number of noise complaints in the past few months. While the complaints seem to be coming from one newcomer to the neighbourhood, Metro News reports that the event and live music venue is not taking any chances and has started a campaign to raise funds for additional soundproofing of the building. 
 
At the MOVeum:

June 19 - From Here to There: Stories of Food, Energy, and Transitioning to Resilient Communities
June 26 - Upcycled Urbanism Volunteer Orientation night
July 6 - Curator’s Talk & Tour Foncie's Fotos w/ Joan Seidl
July 13 - Upcycled Urbanism: A Design+Build Project for Everyone - Granville Street Build Day

[Image: Kits Beach, 1920s. Photo courtesy of the City of Vancouver Archives, CVA 770-92]

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Posted by: Anna Wilkinson on June 11, 2013 at 7:02 am
This week Gordon Price's post about the worst streets in BC (that's right, Vancouver's own BC Parkway bike path comes in second on the list) got us thinking about bumpy roads more figuratively. From uneven law enforcement when it comes to jaywalking, to a bridge that's on its last legs, to a neighbourhood that could use a bit of a shake up, we're exploring the cracks and rough edges in our rugged city. 
 
The High Price of Crossing the Street in the DTES. The Vancouver Police Department is getting flack from DTES advocacy groups who are calling them out for seemingly discriminatory policing practices around jaywalking. Pivot Legal Society and Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users point to the fact that over 2,000 tickets have been handed out over the last four years in the DTES, compared to zero over the same period in Kerrisdale and Dunbar. 
 
How to Solve a Problem like the Pattullo. So the Pattullo Bridge that connects New West to Surrey is getting old. Like 75 years old to be exact. And lately it's become a bit of a hazard. Options being shopped around for its replacement range from a pedestrian/cyclist-only route, to an 8-lane bridge, to just getting rid of it all together. 
 
A Neighbourhood Less Travelled. So, while foreign investment driving up housing prices may be a myth, the fact remains that a number of condos in Coal Harbour (and other areas) are occupied by part-time residents. What does this mean for the culture of the neighbourhood? Well, quieter streets, but also less lively streets and less opportunity for local business. More on 'Cold Harbour' here.
 
At the MOVeum:
 
 
[Image: Pattullo Bridge, 1938. Courtesy of the City of Vancouver Archives, CVA 260-884]
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Posted by: Anna Wilkinson on June 4, 2013 at 11:41 pm
This week we explore traditions in the city: one that is just emerging, one that marks an end of an era, and one that is only just now being imagined. From a new annual tradition centered around not eating meat, to the legacy left behind by homeless advocate Judy Graves, to the potential impact and influence of high-rises at Oakridge, we're taking a step back for a broader view of a few current issues and events.
 
M.M. 2013. Vegetarians, you have a new holiday: the City has announced that June 10th will be Meatless Monday this year. But why go meat-free? As the Vancouver Food Policy Council explains, the day is connected to the city's commitment to its Greenest City Action Plan. By promoting a more moderate intake of meat the initiative is helping to advocate "for food systems that protect global resources and contribute to planetary health."
 
Judy Graves Honoured. There is no doubt that recently-retired advocate for the homeless, Judy Graves, left her mark on the minds and hearts of those who she worked for and with. Co-workers, politicians, and activists alike shared kind words and sweet memories at her recent retirement party. However, it is unclear whether Graves' legacy will continue with the hiring of a new homeless advocate by the City. 
 
Density Comes to Oakridge? Perhaps in the form of a 45-storey building? Some are all for it, arguing that the proposed rezoning and redevelopment of Oakridge Centre will revitalize the area. Others are wary of the lasting legacy of high-rises in their 'hood. Read this Georgia Straight piece for a fuller picture. 
 
Environmental Legacies. And finally, does BC's official opposition to the Enbridge pipeline mean that we can expect continued commitment to high environmental standards in the future? We sure hope so.  
 
At the MOVeum:


June 5 - Foncie's Fotos Opening Reception (for an in-depth look at the exhibit check out our post on VIA)

June 5 - MOV Annual General Meeting 

June 6 - Foncie's Fotos: Curator Talk & Tour w/Joan Seidl

June 19 - From Here to There: Stories of Food, Energy, and Transitioning to Resilient Communities 

 
[Image: Apartment buildings in Oakridge, 1978. Courtesy of the City of Vancouver Archives, CVA 780-276]