Burrard Bridge


Gordon Price at Price Tags is on again about better quality crossings of False Creek  for non-motorists.  While his preferred option is a low-level passerelle, the idea of re-allocating some of the space on the Burrard Bridge might be an issue again over the next few years as we have a new Council in Vancouver.  Price offers some good tips to them about how the challenges to such a re-allocation (towards bike lanes) are likely to be more political than technical.

At any rate, I’d love to see such a move go forward.  If anything, I figure that the ideal set up would be two lanes for trams to Arbutus and West Fourth Avenue (another project for another time), one lane for cyclists (three metres divided by two directions), and three vehicle lanes.  When one considers how timid we are about crossing Burrard Inlet (only three lanes on the Lions Gate – which is probably fine), it’s amazing how full tilt the False Creek crossings are: six lanes on Burrard, eight(!) on Granville, and another six on Cambie.  That’s a lot of mega lane-age just to get from Broadway to Davie…


I remember hearing in a seminar course once the observation that the west end of Vieux-Montréal is in some ways slightly more ‘authentic’ than the east end.  While this seems true to experience, as the east end (with the place Jacques-Cartier and rue Saint-Paul) are a touch more tourist oriented, this observation went a little further and argued that in the east of Vieux-Montréal, the building stock has undergone significantly more alterations to ‘look more French’, with pitched roofs, etc… along the lines of part of Vieux-Québec.

In the west end, towards McGill Street, the anglification of the building stock, as Montréal became metropolis of a colonial Dominion, with all of the building boom that entailed in the latter half of the 19th century, was left relatively untouched.

Anyways, all this because Spacing Montréal‘s Guillaume St-Jean posted another one of his awesome now-and-then photo montages that shows a rows of buildings on rue Saint-Claude (a block east of place Jacques-Cartier) that received a little roof pitching.  Peut-être on pourraît dire que cette rangée a été refaite au Tremblant.



This blog is an attempt to put together a useful chronicle of all the reading and observing that I do.  I’m an urban planner living in Vancouver BC and I find that I’m often sifting through a whole lot of material of relevance to the built landscape/human habitat/lived environment or however you’d like to put it.  Sometimes I even see and do things myself that may also be ostensibly worthy of recording.

Rather than just accumulate stacks of read or starred items in my Google Reader, or fill endless folders on my computer with interesting reports and documents soon to be forgotten, I thought that I’d put together a site to do the following:

  • Post links to items that strike me, with maybe a sentence or two to set things up;
  • Post pictures I’ve taken over the years and some current and new pictures if I can scrounge up a camera, and;
  • Post lengthier discussions on issues to which I’ve given a bit more thought.

Hope this proves to be a useful and interesting exercise!

Urban Journalism


Dan Lorenz at Where has just put up some content on the future of urban journalism.  He figures and hopes that the demise of the traditional newspaper will open up the field for “(j)ournalists in love with the city (who) would breathe new life into how urban issues are covered.”  Awesome, let’s get on with this.  I’d love to see less emphasis on remote national things (though in Canada these are pretty interesting at the moment) and instead, more content looking at the day to day of the cities we live in.

Here in Vancouver, there’re already a couple of sources that do this pretty well.  One is Frances Bula, whose State of Vancouver is, in my mind at least, the number one source on the who, how, why, and what of how this city works.  The other is a more traditional source, the Vancouver Courier, which is actually pretty good at presenting in-depth analyses and back-stories, which have also been helpful for me in getting up to speed on urban issues in Vancouver.