Image of the City

Vancouverism 2.0 should attempt to understand the city from the perspective of its citizens. Through mobile devices, Vancouverites and visitors document their perspectives in the city thousands of times each day. We tell friends and followers where we are, we tag the locations of our photographs, and we document our interactions with the places around us. As we engage in these activities in the city, massive amounts of data are being collected and stored that track our collective movements. What might Vancouver look like from the perspective of these electronic interactions? (more…)

Tangential Babel

1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. 3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. 4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. (more…)

Rain Urbanism

Of the 36 cities in North America with populations over two million, Vancouver has the most days with measurable precipitation. It rains more of the time here, than anywhere else. While this moisture supports the magnificent fecundity of the city’s biota, it also suppresses the proliferation of an activated street-life. (more…)

Peripheral Vancouver

Just ask Stan Douglas: the built environment has figured prominently in the narrative of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside; it is impossible to imagine the circumstances of the residents of Hastings Street without also thinking of the abandoned buildings and storefronts they occupy. (more…)

One interpretation of neighbourhood character. Wansey Street Housing, London. DRMM Architect


The Vancouver Zoning By-law is prefaced by a definitions section that helpfully illuminates such terms as ‘family’ and ‘adult magazine.’ However, one word is conspicuously absent: character.  (more…)

Proximities of the Local

In 1976, the world’s most valuable technology company was started in this Silicon Valley garage. (more…)

Where do we go from here?

In the next 30 years, it is anticipated that the city of Vancouver will require approximately 56,500 more dwelling units of various sizes to accommodate 130,000 more residents. Vacant tracts of land for additional housing are no longer available and new residential development will more often occur by densifying existing neighbourhoods. (more…)

Thin Green Line

The Thin Green Line that defines the Agricultural Land Reserve is a boundary that frames our attempts to mitigate growth, preserve arable land and maintain an agrarian landscape character in municipalities undergoing a massive transformation from rural to urban form. The ALR boundary establishes a wonderful edge in many places – a stark contrast between land uses, reinforced by the ‘boundary’ landscape, a place to observe from the safety of the edge. (more…)