Toot, toot – a little bit of personal horn-blowing here.  But, honestly, this journal article is the best summary of my thinking on the subject of auto dominance (and the growth of Vancouver) that I’ve put to print in one place.  My thanks to InRoads, the Canadian Journal of Opinion, for the opportunity.



You can find the full issue of InRoads by going to the Contents page here where there’s lot of other good reading, or go directly to my piece by clicking on the title –Vancouver and the Insatiable Automobile – for the pdf (article starts on the second page).

I’ll be pulling out a few quotes over the next few days – like this one:

From its beginning, Vancouver City has been a suburban city – a collection of single-family subdivisions strung along streetcar lines. 

Whether affluent Point Grey, working-class South Vancouver, middle-class Mt. Pleasant (in the image, rightor downtown West End, all were originally single-family neigh- bourhoods. When the occasional apartment building started popping up in the West End, the rich decamped to Shaughnessy, where the sanctity of the single-family home would be encoded in legislation.

Vancouver also became an electric city. With the arrival of the electric streetcar, just invented in 1887, the average urban resident was freed from animal power – the human foot or the horse – and could now get around five times faster than before. And the city spread out to where the land was cheap.

More excerpts in coming days.  The whole story here.


  1. That was a very good article, thanks for the work. I can’t even really find anything important to disagree with.

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