What a week! In a few short days we have been witness to everything that is good and bad about this city. There's been no shortage of news and commentary about the riot on and it's near-impossible to summarize. So this week, a few things to think about.
Brave people who do the right thing. Like these people who formed a human chain in front of a store to prevent it from being looted. Or this man who took a beating for his efforts, and the people who dragged him to safety.
Grief, gratitude and apology. Many Vancouverites gratitude for police. Plywood covering smashed out windows at the Bay and BMO Bank were covered with messages of apology, support for the team, police and volunteers, and condemnation of the riots. The apology wall at the Bay has since come down, but can be viewed in it's entirety here.
Parts of the wall will be stored permanently here at the Museum of Vancouver for future Vancouverites to see.
In other news:
Only Seafoods. The Only Seafoods returns! The newly renovated restaurant will be operated by the Portland Hotel Society and will feature the restaurant's original menu.
Cambie corridor. The BC Court of Appeal upheld the class action suit by Cambie Street merchants about Canada Line construction.
Community gardens. Inside Vancouver visits the community garden on the lawn at City Hall.
Multiple kite world champion. Open File visits one of the most dedicated kite fliers on the lawn outside the museum at Vanier Park. He makes kites do some pretty amazing things.
Image: Erin Brown-John
How the internet kills great neighbourhoods. More on the demise of Videomatica and other businesses that give our city character.
Housing. Vancouver’s real estate is now more expensive than New York and London. A new wave of foreign investment and speculation is driving prices up again, and some fear that there aren’t enough high-paying jobs to support the prices.
Industrial Land. We’ve all heard about protecting farmland and the ALR but demand for housing has put industrial land and the jobs that go with it under threat too.
Olympic Village. The deficiencies are being worked on and the units are finally selling. The City has received it’s first payment from condo sales since taking over the project.
Urban gardens. The Vancouver Sun looks at a couple urban gardens and green spaces around Vancouver.
Urban dance. An SFU student is the recipient of the Pierre Elliot Trudeau scholarship for her interdisciplinary work studying the effects of public dance performance in urban spaces.
Tolls on local roads? It’s under consideration.
Image: Eryne Donahue and Neil Fletcher via the Vancouver Observer.
Another round-up of the things we’ve been following.
The making of. The Vancouver Observer ran a great article with some background on how the Davie Village Community Garden came to be.
Poetry in transit. Ever wondered why there are poems posted inside buses?The Tyee has answers.
Accolades! Congratulations to the students at UBC who won an Emmy for their documentary about the dumping of E-waste in Ghana! Kudos for helping to raise the profile of a very important issue.
The headaches continue. BC Housing has rejected all bids to operate the social housing at the Olympic Village. The City is now looking into the possibility of having to take on the financial burden of guaranteeing loans for potential operators, but the situation has provided another setback in it’s efforts to have the units occupied by winter.
Meanwhile, the developer of the Olympic Village has been having difficulty paying off it’s loan to the City. The City is now going after other assets held by the company and finding that many are already mortgaged.
Recommended viewing. Finally, if you have a bit of time to kill, check out 50 videos about urban planning via Democrablog.
Image credit: Steve Luscher via flickr.
As our Twitter followers will have noticed, we’ve started flagging stories from here and elsewhere about the surging popularity of eating food grown locally. Credit Vancouver writers Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon for giving the local movement traction with their popular 100-Mile Diet blog, book, and television series, and the many Vancouver restaurants who champion regional suppliers (far too many places to list but Raincity Grill and C restaurant come to mind).
In August, we open a feature exhibition that will explore the homegrown scene through a collection of new photographic works. We’ll supplement the show with a series of public programs designed to educate and inspire. Stay tuned. In the meantime, we’ll continue to post about news and ideas relating to all this—there’s certainly no shortage of them.
First published in 2008, Edible Estates spotlighted the return of the kitchen garden. The just-published—and expanded—second edition looks at eight “regional prototype gardens” planted by author Fritz Haeg around the U.S. There are also essays by leading edible-landscape thinkers such as landscape architect like Rosalind Creasy, and Michael Pollan, the unofficial voice of the sustainable-food movement. The book is beautifully designed, too; lots to inspire.
Last week, I tweeted about a great slideshow on Instructurist that looks at the emergence of urban farms in inner-city neighbourhoods in parts of the U.S. It’s worth mentioning again; the range of interpretations is fascinating.
Vancouver’s version of an urban farm is taking shape on Hastings Street next to the Astoria Hotel. Called SOLEfood, it’s a project from United We Can that employs neighbourhood residents. This spring, they’ll harvest their first crop. Visit their blog for more information and ways you can get involved. Right now, they’re looking for garden tool donations.
Lots more ahead on this topic. Send us your own ideas and observations, too.
Image credit: Art Book