Programs

July 2013

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Posted by: Anna Wilkinson on July 23, 2013 at 5:30 pm
 
This week we start off with emerging details about Vancouver's long-awaited bike share program. From there we explore some forgotten public spaces by following the city's country lanes, we visit the Lower Mainland's contentious agricultural lands, and finally we travel to that glimmering urban centre in the distance: the happy city.  
 
Bike Sharing Rolls Forward. Last week new details were released about Vancouver's bike share program. The gist: Spring 2014 will see 1500 GPS-capable bicycles installed at 125 docking stations around the city. What about our helmet laws, you ask? Not to fear, there will be dispensers at each station, with each helmet being checked and cleaned before going back into rotation.
 
Green Laneways. When is a garden also a parking lot? When that garden is a green laneway. According to Jordan Yerman from theVancouver Observer, laneway houses coupled with grassy 'country lanes' running alongside them could be the solution to our density woes. Read on to learn more about Vancouver's largely forgotten green alleyways.
 
Land-Banking. It looks like the practice of land-banking, or buying agricultural land and then letting it go fallow, is more common than anyone thought. The Globe and Mail explains that foreign owners often buy land in the Lower Mainland's Agricultural Land Reserve without knowing about restrictions on non-agricultural development. City officials are hoping that raising taxes on fallow land will encourage landowners to lease it out to farmers who want to get their hands dirty.
 
The Happy City. A recent panel at the Indian Summer Festival explored the idea of the 'happy city' and how Vancouver is faring on this emotional front. As The Tyee explains, panelists that included writers, researchers, and educators agreed that public spaces that encourage easy interactions with strangers make people happier. What then of a city dotted with isolated condos and high-rises? Is there hope? The answer is yes. Read on for more on the intersection between urban design and emotional wellbeing.
 
 
At the MOVeum: 

 

[Image: Farmland in Delta. Photo courtesy of Evan Leeson via Flickr]

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Posted by: Anna Wilkinson on July 17, 2013 at 1:50 pm
 
This week, an interactive map of Vancouver occupations got us thinking about patterns and socio-economic trends in the city. As the map reveals, doctors are seemingly more likely to live in Shaughnessy and musicians on Bowen Island. But elsewhere in the city people are defying expectations and reworking conventional wisdom. Unexpected donations to the arts, innovative art and architectural interventions, and shifting ideas surrounding homeownership are forcing us to reconsider what we thought we knew about the city.
 
Funding Win. While the arts and culture sector is generally facing funding cuts, one unique Vancouver program recently got a big break from an anonymous donor. Vancouver Coastal Health's The Art Studio Program received more than $208,000 allowing it to stay open another year and provide people with mental health and addiction problems therapeutic access to art classes. A longterm financial solution will still need to be put in place for the program to continue.
 
Taking Art & Architecture to the Street. This Saturday, July 13 saw Granville Street come alive with MOV’s long-awaited public design and build event, Upcycled Urbanism. Hundreds of Vancouverites and passersby took part in the re-imagining of one of Vancouver’s busiest streets to build beautiful, hallucinatory, and playful structures out of re-purposed polystyrene. Stay tuned for the official wrap-up, but in the meantime, here are photos to relive the day, posted on Xinhua, Flickr, and Facebook.
 
And a hat tip to our neighbors for their massively successful Khatsahlano! Festival, for bringing Kitsilano streets to life with vibrant musical acts and innovative art works, including a POD container gallery where MOV shared its new mobile app and virtual exhibit, The Visible City with the Festival’s estimated 100,000 attendees.
 
Getting Real with Vancouver Real Estate. For many of us the dream of buying real estate in the city is just that, a dream. As this Globe and Mail article explains, as of last year over half of all single-family detached homes in Vancouver were valued at one million dollars or higher. This has caused a major shift in how young people are viewing homeownership and the Canadian dream: "Young, well-educated wage earners, who for decades have regarded a detached home as a natural aspiration, are now revising their expectations, ratcheting down their hopes." Great take on the cultural ramifications of Vancouver's real estate market.
 
At the MOVeum:

August 15 - Redacted Readings
October 2 - Legacy Dinner

[Image: Khatsahlano! Festival 2013. Photo by Christopher Porter via Flickr]
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Posted by: Anna Wilkinson on July 9, 2013 at 6:52 am
 
Summer's finally here and we at MOV have been spending more and more time outside (which reminds us, we're going to be out on Granville all day for this on July 13). Stepping out your door this week could mean encountering a number of issues, sights, and sounds: from getting free and easy with patio protocol in the city, to the politics of graffiti, to tickling some ivory on the city streets.
 
Late Night Patios. Mayor Gregor Robertson is pushing for extended hours and expanded seating for the city's restaurant and cafe patios. Currently, patios close promptly at 11pm across Vancouver. At least according to Facebook, it looks like we're overwhelmingly on board with the change.
 
Mo'Hinder, Mo' Problems. Michael Mann of the Georgia Straight tackles the wave of Mohinder tags sweeping the city. Depending on who you are this scribbly graffiti is either a hilarious postmodern take on an urban artform or property crime, plain and simple. One person who's definitely not laughing about graffiti in the city is artist Jeannie Kamins who just had her blue heron rookery mural vandalized
 
Urban Orchard in Bloom. If you're like us, you're delighted by the proliferation of urban gardens in the city. That's why we couldn't be happier about the largest urban orchard in North American opening right here in Vancouver. The orchard at Main and Terminal will be leased by SOLEfood for a dollar a year from the city. 
 
Public Pianos. Vancouver public spaces just got a little more musical with pianos installed at three different locations across town. It's all happening as part of the 'Keys to the Street' program implemented by CityStudio, the City of Vancouver, and Vancouver's post-secondary schools. Learn more about the program here
 
Rainbows on Davie. And lastly, we're also feeling pretty excited about the permanent rainbow crosswalk in the West End. Just in time for Pride Week. 
 
At the MOVeum:
 
August 15 - Redacted Readings
 
[Image: Piano player outside the VAG. Photo courtesy of Stephen Rees via Flickr]
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Posted by: Anna Wilkinson on July 5, 2013 at 2:51 pm
 

For months, teams of designers, students and regular folks have been hard at work re-imagining, re-configuring and re-designing Granville Street. Finally, on Saturday, July 13, their design dreams will be revealed as MOV and our partners invite the public downtown to participate in the transformation of the 700 Block of Granville.

Their designs will become a reality through the use of hundreds of super-sized polystyrene building blocks salvaged from construction sites around Metro Vancouver.

The material is part of pioneering work by Langley-based Mansonville Plastics, which rescued polystyrene and ground it down for use in new blocks. After our event, materials will be returned for a third round of recycling and re-envisioning.

The entire Upcycled Urbanism project came together around just such ideas of 'upcycling.' Way back in January, the project was born from a common aspiration of UBC’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA), the Vancouver Public Space Network, Maker Faire Vancouver, Spacing Magazine and MOV to offer people new ways to re-envision public design. As we've been reporting since then, teams of students, artists, designers, and makers have been talking about and planning public interventions that juxtapose unexpected forms and ideas against otherwise mundane spaces.

So what can you expect to see on July 13th? We don't want to give too much away, but you might see a giant living room, a super-sized game zone, or, as one team member put it, an "all-out public hallucination." As Zanny Venner of VPSN explains, the idea of disrupting expectations is intrinsic to the project: "I think people will be surprised at how much of an impact the material of polystyrene can make. You wouldn't necessarily think so, but it has inspired people to transform a street space into a unique and unexpected social landscape."

Excited? There's still time to join a build team by emailing us at upcycledurbanism@museumofvancouver.ca. And on July 13th everyone is invited to watch, encourage builders and engage with this interactive landscape between 10:00am and 8:00pm.

See you there!

 
[All images from our Volunteer Orientation Night on June 26, 2013]