I really enjoyed this hour long video of Gordon Price talking about how constraints breed creativity. The Lower Mainland itself has constraints that frame the creativity of an urban landscape within a sea of green. This sea of green is bordered by water to the west, the US border to the south and the mountains to the north and east.
Some of my favourite takeaway points:
- Counts of traffic going in and out of Vancouver’s downtown core have returned to 1965 levels!! Vancouver may have already reached Peak Car status and has descended the other side of the peak.
- The now-approved Point Grey Road closure is actually more than just another bike route/greenway. It is the one of the final pieces of infrastrucutre in the grand Seaside Greenway. What’s the Seaside Greenway? The Seaside Greenway currently runs from Coal Harbour all the way around Stanley Park, along the north shore of False Creek, past Science World, through the Olympic Village, onto Granville Island and then finally Kitsilano Beach. Between Kits Beach and Jericho Beach there is a gap. The new Point Grey Road closure will bridge that gap and connect Spanish Banks to Coal Harbour with one ribbon of walking and biking pathway.
- The Stanley Park Seawall would never be built in today’s Vancouver. Would Vancouverites approve of the city laying down tons of concrete on pristine, natural waterfront? Think about it.
- The TransLink referendum is going to be a once-in-a-generation event for transit. If a “No to transit funding” vote passes, then transit will come to a stand still for the next ten years and fall behind what is needed. If a “Yes to transit funding” vote passes, then we have the opportunity of a generation to transform the way Metro Vancouver moves.
- So why does transit need a referendum, but millions and billions of dollars put into road/bridge/tunnel infrastructure don’t? Why is roadway infrastructure a given in the province’s eyes, but transit infrastructure is not a given?
- The Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) that aims to protect farmland across the province may be at risk. Recent wording of “belt-tightening” and looking for “efficiencies” has included the ALR in its sites. Will we sacrifice our farmland and food security for economic development?
- Contrary to popular belief, there are politicians in the region, especially at the municipal level, who are willing to vote for the right thing. Even if that vote may jeopardize them at the next election. They will vote for projects that are for the good of the city in the long term despite vocal neighbourhood opposition.
Watch the video. I think the hour is well worth it. You can even multitask while doing something else and keep it in the background to listen to if you like.