After midnight tonight, British Columbians who smoke in their vehicles with children present will face more than just social disapproval. They will become outlaws.
That’s because, to mark World Health Day tomorrow, our provincial government is putting new anti-smoking legislation into effect, which takes direct aim at this behaviour.
All I can say is, it’s about time. Continue reading
12 January 2009
Love it or loathe it, Granville Street is a Vancouver original.
The downtown district for public intoxication, peep shows and post-pub pushing matches is quite the spectacle on a Friday evening — or a Saturday morning, for that matter.
But while Granville is a magnet for the young, the restless and the seekers of cheap pizza slices — it has yet to be universally embraced. Continue reading
Filed under 2010 Winter Olympics, Crime, Culture, Entertainment, Food and Dining, Gentrification, Law and Order, Neighbourhoods, Nightlife, Tourism, Transportation, Urban Planning, Vancouver
September 15, 2008
Peter Ladner, the Non-Partisan Association mayoral candidate in the upcoming Vancouver municipal election, has a transportation vision for the Lower Mainland that goes beyond public transit and private vehicles.
Ladner, a long-time cycling advocate, would like to see more commuters getting around by bike.
Last year, the city councillor and former TransLink board member requested a feasibility study on bringing a bike-rental program to Metro Vancouver.
The consultant’s report is now in, and it concludes that some Vancouver neighbourhoods are indeed ready for self-serve bike renting. Continue reading
Filed under Commuting, Cycling, Environment, Green Space, Law and Order, Politics, San Francisco, Transportation, Urban Planning, Vancouver, Vancouver Province Columns
October 29, 2008
Richard Florida, the high-profile University of Toronto professor, recently spoke to a receptive crowd at a Vancouver Board of Trade cities conference.
Florida, author of the best-selling book The Rise of Creative Class, postulates that cities with more diversity and culture also enjoy more economic growth. Not surprisingly, Vancouver rates high in Florida’s research, given its cosmopolitan make-up and the growth of industries like software and film.
But it’s not enough for a place to cater exclusively to hip professionals, according to Florida. Cities like
Vancouver must also tap into the creativity of their trades and service workers — from plumbers to cab drivers to coffee shop baristas.
Gordon Price, director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University, took
Florida’s point one step further — saying that Vancouver should also tap into the creativity of a quite different class of workers: binners. Continue reading
Monday, August 18, 2008
Forget about beach yoga, kiteboarding or the Grouse Grind. The hippest outdoor activity in Metro Vancouver this summer is riding a bike.
The weekend warriors and the tourist hordes are, of course, a regular sight along the region’s seawalls and bike paths. But thanks to brutal gas prices and our society’s push to go green, more folks are cycling to work, school or the grocery store as well.
Good for them, I say.
Forget about manicured front lawns, white picket fences and the sound of children at play. According to a growing legion of pundits and “peak oil” theorists, the tidy suburbs of today are the forsaken slums of tomorrow.
A recent article in The Atlantic Monthly by Christopher Leinberger argued that once-idyllic cul-de-sacs are about to become the domain of poverty, social disorder and physical rot.
More recently, Smart Growth B.C., the Vancouver-based not-for-profit with a focus on creating “more livable communities in British Columbia,” made the link between sprawling, auto-friendly suburbs and the grim spectre of childhood obesity.
Given sky-high gas prices, the new carbon tax and a growing number of “for sale” signs popping up in family subdivisions, there’s no doubt that B.C. suburban dwellers are facing a financial and psychological squeeze these days. Continue reading
Filed under Architecture, Commuting, Environment, Green Space, Health, Immigration, Law and Order, Media, Neighbourhoods, Politics, Real Estate
Monday, April 14, 2008
Last week, I came across one of the splashiest new additions to downtown Vancouver’s urban landscape: A high-tech, self-cleaning public lavatory at the corner of Main Street and Terminal Avenue, at the edge of the Downtown Eastside.
From the outside, it appeared to be nothing more than an over-sized box covered in bright advertising, including a pitch for Mexican beer.