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Stephen Rees

Not "chicken and egg" but two sides of the same coin. I think some of the best placemaking
I have ever come across is by the Danish architect Jan Gehl who realized that it is not the
buildings that matter so much as the spaces between the buildings. And that city streets are
not for people to get through as quickly as possible on their way from one place to another,
but places for people to meet and interact - and above all to stop, and watch the other people.

In North America we have been distracted trying to accommodate cars instead of people. It is such
an obsession in Vancouver BC that the the City council has just dodged - once again - the idea of
turning over two traffic lanes on a bridge to cyclists - to reduce conflicts with pedestrians.
That is sad enough but the council's stated objective was to create the "greenest city". We still
try to keep rapid transit grade segregated from cars - which just leaves the cars free to move where
they will. The very idea of streetcars seems revolutionary and we have not one pedestrian street.

Yet we keep being told we are the most livable city in North America. High praise for a low standard.

Gord Price

Ah, that's why I read you, Jarrett: a planner who quotes St. Augustine in defense of a principle.

Much the same issue came up when we at the City Program asked an artist, Bernie Lyon, to try to capture our sense of place, located as we are in downtown Vancouver. You can see what she came up with here: http://sfucity.wordpress.com/2009/05/12/lines-by-lyon/

What's noticeable is that the movement of people through our place defines the place itself.

Doug Winnings

Completely of topic-ish, but ....it continually blows my mind how Vancouver is always taking credit for being such a green city, but other than a walkable downtown that's choked with cars, there are almost no other places in the entire city you can walk to or between. Transit is useful to an extent in the central part of Vancouver proper, but it's sprawl-o-rama with the occasional highrise condo after that. I guess the number of eco-warrior cyclists in all weather gear battling traffic in the rain makes a place 'green'.

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the firm

Jarrett is now in ...

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