Blogathon Vancouver 2008: Vancouverism

Comments 4 by Rebecca Bollwitt

My Dad told me about this term that’s being used around the globe called, “Vancouverism” and John recently sent me this snapshot from The Guardian: “The regeneration of Vancouver mixes slender, tall towers with low rise buildings and public spaces. An exhibition to celebrate Vancouverism is being held at Canada House in London.”

Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

“Vancouverism is characterized by tall, but widely separated, slender towers interspersed with low-rise buildings, public spaces, small parks and pedestrian-friendly streetscapes and facades to minimize the impact of a high density population.” – The New York Times, December 28, 2005

Not Asia, not Europe, not even North America, but a new kind of city living with elements from all of these – a hybrid that now demands to be taken on its own terms. In the language of city-building, “Vancouverism” is fast replacing “Manhattanism” as the maximum power setting for shaping the humane mixed-use city, important ideas for a new era of scarce energy and diminished natural resources.

The exhibition features architects and engineers such as Arthur Erickson (who did the Law Courts, SFU and the new Ritz Calrton), Bing Thom Architects (award-winning Central City in Surrey among other things), James K.M. Cheng, Fast + Epp Structural Engineers and Trafalgar Timber Construction.

The Vancouverism exhibit will also be moving to Paris in the fall of 2008.

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4 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. fotoeinsSunday, July 27th, 2008 — 9:56am PDT

    (Canada House exhibit beginning June 24): Aw, crap, and I was just in London on June 13! Arrghghghgghghgh …

    The “compare and contrast” method to urban planning where Vancouver, Manhattan, and Hong Kong (say) are met and matched would be a fascinating exercise.

  2. UrbandwellerSunday, July 27th, 2008 — 10:42am PDT

    Yes “Vancouverism” has taken over many parts of the world when it comes to urban planning. San Diego, San Francisco have hailed our model of urban planning. Great post Miss 604!

  3. DarrenSunday, July 27th, 2008 — 1:01pm PDT

    I helped write the Wikipedia article on Vancouverism–there’s a good if slightly rambling quote from Bing Thom that’s worth reading:

  4. VanessaMonday, July 28th, 2008 — 3:30pm PDT

    Oh, incredible description and very accurate. I’ve never heard Vancouver being described quite like that, but I love it!

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