The Via Architecture Great Debate

July 6, 2009 at 4:03 pm Leave a comment

So which city – Seattle or Vancouver – has the best built environment?

It was the subject of The Great Debate – this year’s annual VIA Architecture Lecture on urban design, hosted by the SFU City Program. (Because the firm that sponsors the lecture is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and because it has offices in both Seattle and Vancouver, it seemed like a good way to acknowledge the occasion.)

Peter Steinbrueck, an ex-councillor in Seattle and an architect, faced off against Vancouver ex-councillor and City Program Director Gordon Price. But with a twist.  Each had to argue the merits of the other’s city.

You can see the debate in Vancouver here:

Debate Round 1

And the Seattle debate here:

Debate Round 2

Knute Berger, the Crosscut columnist, did a great job in summarizing the debate.  He also followed up a few day’s later with some more tidbits.

The now-online Seattle PI did a short piece – but the best part is the comments.  Dozens of ’em, passionately argued.  Here’s some coverage in the Province, and Global TV followed up a week later.   There was also a pre-debate debate on the CBC.

Who won?  As Peter Steinbrueck said, it was really about the merits of two great cities.  But the Vancouver audience thought Peter won, and Seattle voted for Gordon’s argument – both by a margin.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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