vancouver's vision

"It starts with having a strong vision."

"We don't want ghettoes for the rich nor for the poor."

Larry Beasley
Co-Director of Planning and
Director of Current Planning
Vancouver BC, Canada

If you have the bandwidth, and the time, download Carol Coletta's interview (in her NPR radio show, Smart City) with Larry Beasley who has led Vancouver's amazing growth and has turned it into one of the most liveable cities in the world.

The MP3 link is here, but you can also download it via iTunes Podcast Directory (do a search for "Smart City").

The interview with Larry is just the first 30 minutes but it's a revealing look at how a clear vision, that goes beyond just economic growth, can create a wonderful livable city.

The interview with Tim Jones (the lower half of the program), CEO of Artscape, a Toronto organization that develops real estate and programs for the city's artists and creative sector, is also very insightful. (I personally think we don't do enough for our artists. And creativity is a definite comparative advantage in the globalized economy.)

Image credit: Vancover, BC -Home, Sweet Home!


chiqui said...

I love reading about people who are genuinely interested in improving cities. My all-time favorite is Jaime Lerner, the ex-mayor of Curitiba, Brazil, who proved that you don't need a lot of money to improve third world cities -- just creativity and will. He and his team actually got their kicks out of solving the cities' problems. He was an architect by profession (curiously, so was Atienza, it's been said..) I don't understand why mayors don't realize if they just really use their powers correctly and put their minds to work in the right direction, miracles like Curitiba can happen & they will be immortalized for their achievements. Instead, ours choose short-term gains instead with no long-term benfits. I guess the money's just too good.

Urbano dela Cruz said...

I like Lerner too. Also Penalosa from Bogota.

I think it's a recent (i.e.-the last 2 decades) development - as power devolves to local governments (a global phenomena), mayors find more creative solutions.

Our LGU code was signed in 1991 but has really been in operation only in the last 10 years. Our mayors are only now beginning to understand the powers available to them. Jesse Robredo (Naga), Hagedorn (P. Princesa) and Fernando (Marikina) have led the way.

I'm optimistic that we'll raise more creative mayors soon.

chiqui said...

Sorry, yes, that's true we do have our own models. However imperfect, (Bayani has the will but is an enemy of environmentalists. And those horrid blue and pink structures uglifying our city ..could've been better), I do have strong admiration for them for their clear goals of improving their cities.

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