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MOVments: Location, Location, Location

This week's MOVments is examining the multiple, overlapping geographies that affect how we think about the city and how we situating ourselves within it. Read on to find out about the Museum of Vancouver's position in a shifting urban landscape, the geo-political perspectives that are influencing the shark-fin soup debate, the city across the sea that is giving Vancouver a run for its money, and the city-within-a-city that might be popping up near you.

Museum on the Move? It's no secret that while the Museum of Vancouver may have one of the best views in the city, our location doesn't exactly get mobs of people rushing through the door. Last week the Globe and Mail ran a feature on how we are looking into the possibility of leaving the quiet beauty of Vanier Park for a grittier home in the heart of the city. While our new programs and exhibits have attracted diverse, creative types from across Vancouver, in the absence of an easily accessible bus route or heavy foot-traffic in the area, walk-in visitors are virtually non-existent. We've got our eye on the former courthouse if the VAG ends up moving. What do ya think?
 
The Politics of Soup. As you may or may not have heard, local restauranteur David Chung recently called city councillor Kerry Jang a "banana" for his support of a ban on shark-fin soup in Lower Mainland restaurants. While the use of the word to categorize Jang as "too white" seems outmoded and even slightly comical, Chung's comments offer insight into the contested territory of Asian-Canadian identity in our province. For Jang, growing up in Vancouver meant that he was simultaneously considered "too" Chinese by his white classmates and not Chinese enough by newer immigrants from China and Hong Kong. 

Stockholm Syndrome. It looks like someone over at The Tyee has fallen in love with the captivating city of Stockholm. Crawford Kilian recently visited the northern European city and found out that it while it is similar to Vancouver in a number of ways, it's also doing a lot of things better than us, way better than us. From dense, aesthetically pleasing residential areas to an unparalleled public transit system, Stockholm seems to be the green, cosmopolitan urban centre that we've always wanted to be. As Kilian describes, "Streetcars drop slightly at stops, enabling easier access for wheelchairs and baby carriages, and space is allocated for them inside. Drivers don't take money; passengers buy tickets or monthly passes at convenience stores and other outlets, and can transfer easily from one line to another. Dogs are welcome on board." Okay great, we're just gonna pack up our dogs and move there now. 
 
Oakridge Mini City. And finally, plans are still in the works to redevelop Oakridge mall into what some are envisioning as a small city. Architect Gregory Henriquez has proposed a mega-project that would include "2,800 townhouse and apartment units, a high street, a public commons on the mall roof that includes everything from a wedding pavilion to tai chi spaces, a chunk of office space, a community centre, a library, and street connections to the neighbourhoods around it." The project will have a strong focus on pedestrian and transit routes and is looking to heavily reduce car use in the area. We're excited to see what kinds of innovations spring up here in the near future. 

 

At the MOVeum:
November 8 - Built City @MOV: Urban Evolution "Rescale" with John Robinson & Sadhu Johnston
November 11 - SALA SPEAKS @MOV: Hallucinating in Public
November 18 - SALA SPEAKS @MOV: In Praise of Ambiguity
November 28 - Evolving Geographies of Immigration in Vancouver: History and Horizons

[Image: Planetarium, 1971. Courtesy of the City of Vancouver Archives, 2010-006.192

 

 

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