Archive for September, 2009

Vancouver wants your views

VIEWS ON VIEWS: Perspectives on view corridors in Vancouver

October 5, 7 pm

Venue: SFU Segal Business School, 500 Granville Street (at corner of Granville and Pender), Vancouver.

Last October, City Council decided to review heights and protected views in the Downtown. As part of the public process, the SFU City Program is hosting an exchange of views by two (possibly three) advocates who, with their different perspectives, will help the public understand the trade-offs and issues.

View Corridors

City Planning Director Brent Toderian will set the stage with a briefing about the history of view protection and the issues Council wishes addressed. Past City Planning Co-Director Larry Beasley and architect Richard Henriquez will argue their positions with passion and insight.

 More on the study here.

Admission is free; reservations are required.  To reserve, go here.


September 22, 2009 at 2:14 pm Leave a comment

Gaining Ground – Register Now

This is shaping up to be the sustainability summit of the year.


You can find out more and register here.

September 17, 2009 at 9:53 am 1 comment

A Conference in Rome

Diane Archibald sends along this announcement of a conference in Rome at the British School that brings together a rather fascinating mix of architecture, planning and archeology. 


Cultural Preservation Through Architecture, Urban Planning, and Archaeology

October 22 -23, 2009  /  British School at Rome, Italy 

This conference will focus on the preservation of culture(s) and cultural heritage through architecture, archaeology, and urban planning. The main objective is to provide an  interdisciplinary and intercultural forum for a dialogue and exchange on current research and practices in this field.

Of interest are presentations on cultural preservation, cultural patrimony through architecture and urban planning inclusive of restoration projects, building traditions, building technologies and materials, archaeological sites of architectural significance, cultural representation through architecture and architectonic structures, case studies, and contemporary issues surrounding cultural patrimony in our cities. 

Final call for papers is September 28th, 2009.  Papers will be accepted in both English and Italian.

For further information go to,, or contact conference curator: Dr. Diane Archibald Ph.D. –

September 14, 2009 at 2:44 pm Leave a comment

A Great Ride: Bikennale of the Biennale

Celebrate the Vancouver Biennale – Art in Public Spaces with a day of cycling the city – along the beaches, streets and park areas on a specially designed cycling route.  

The Vancouver Biennale in partnership with the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition’s MEC Great Rides program announces the launch of the new BIKENNALE Great Ride, Sunday, October 4, 2009.


To register for the ride go to:

or link through from

This day-long public cycling event combines active participation and fun in the outdoors with an international art and cultural experience. The route will take riders to more than 22 sculpture and New Media installations throughout the city.

The Vancouver Biennale mounts, on a bi-annual basis over a 22 month period, an exhibition of major public sculpture installations, performance and New Media events in public spaces within the City of Vancouver-in City parks, beaches, urban plazas and public transit venues, creating a ‘legacy’ of public artworks by the world’s leading Contemporary international artists for citizens and visitors to enjoy.

September 8, 2009 at 9:48 am 1 comment

Help Define ‘Vancouverism’

Andrew Pask of the Vancouver Public Space Network writes:

I’m currently working on a story for the Vancouver Public Space Network’s bi-monthly publication.  The subject is “Vancouverism” – a key term from the city’s urban design lexicon.  

Although there are already ‘formal’ definitions in place – not to mention a Wikipedia entry, we’d like to see if we can expand this a little bit.  What does Vancouverism mean to you?  What is meant by this transformation  of our city into a descriptor like this?  What should the definition of Vancouverism” include?  What, if anything, is in danger of being overlooked or overemphasized?

Here’s what Gord Price, the Director of the City Program, contributed:

Vancouverism evolved from necessity: the need to make density livable, and to provide tansportation choices once it was clear the city would not accommodate ‘Motordom’ – the auto-dominant urban planning that characterized most of the 20th century. 

Vancouverism took the constraints and advantages of our geography, which on one hand constrained us and, on the other, offered abundant access to the waterfront, and then added a very high quality of urban design.  (Not the same thing as great architecture.  The repeated use of generic forms such as the point-and-podium tower creates a certain sameness in the city.) 

We went up rather than out; we mixed uses rather than separated functions; we priorized pedestrians, cyclists and transit users; we required growth to help pay for growth; and we took advantage of the amenities and the views that added value to both real estate and public space.  It is this blend of livable density and high-quality public space that makes Vancouver and its ‘ism’ so remarkable.

Our geography may have set the stage.  But the actors still needed direction – and we were fortunate to have a generation of leaders and designers who made mostly right choices.

If you’re interested in contributing to this definition, send your your comments directly to Andrew at info@vancouverpublicspace.caHe’ll publish the best of the responses in the next newsletter.  Submissions need to be in by Friday, September 4.



September 1, 2009 at 11:52 am 1 comment