Canadians always love getting big-deal American recognitions. This is one – the Pierre L’Enfant International Planning Award.

It should also help reassure the mayor, who has been heard expressing some reservations about viaduct removal. Cost, presumably, that could go for, oh, housing, not to mention placating some pissed off constituents.

But I don’t think he’d like to piss off June Francis if he announced that the viaducts will remain and Hogan’s Alley renewal won’t.


  1. If this award is so prestigious then why isn’t there a Wikipedia entry? Why isn’t there any information on the American Planning Associations website about this award? Why isn’t there any information any where about this award? Bogus, bogus.

    And why do we think that June Francis, an Associate Professor of Marketing and Director of the Sustainable Development Program in the Faculty of Environment at SFU would support this disastrous proposal to produce a huge, huge, huge cloud of carbon emissions through the destruction of perfectly good infrastructure and replacement of same?

    And why do we think that the Mayor is thinking that maybe this is not a good idea? Because it is not a good idea. It is in fact offensive to everyone fighting to save this planet from acts of stupidity.

    I am prepared to be enlightened. But I so far don’t see no light.

      1. Submitting a proposal for an award is nothing more than an attempt to burnish a bad idea with polish, an attempt to deflect with glitter the obvious omission: a full blown carbon emissions accounting report for this proposed environmental disaster. Awards do not consider carbon emissions. That is why these awards are bogus. That is why concerned citizens cannot expect help from the planning community. Bogus.

        1. Do you drive Jolson? Was there a carbon footprint associated with the construction of the dwelling in which you live? Were trees cut down to accommodate it? Do you ever fly? Do you grow all your own food? Have pared your consumption down to the bare minimum for survival?

          1. I take issue with Jolson’s position, but this reply is equally silly.

            We live in a society. I can have a position or opinion on something I think should change and still do that thing.

            I think we should have cleaner air–but I’m hardly a hypocrite because I keep breathing.

          2. I entirely agree that one is not a hypocrite for using fossil fuels and wanting society to reduce its use at the same time. A century of fossil propaganda, lobbying and monopolizing has given us no choice. It’s why I didn’t use the word hypocrite and it wasn’t actually my point. We all make decisions that might increase GHGs in the short term but still see the long game that works toward reduction and elimination.

            We live in a society and, try as we might not to, some decisions are going to have carbon consequences. Jolson has harped on and on about the carbon consequences of this decision but I think he does so in a vacuum. The proposal will get more people living in a walkable neighbourhood close to downtown. It creates positive buzz about urban living and bolsters a lifestyle that is known to have less than half the carbon footprint of a suburban one. It undoes the freeway mindset that caters to the swift unimpeded flow of private motor vehicles and continues the trajectory of downgrading the SOV as the dominant mode that warrants massive, ugly, hulking, concrete structures to impose its will. And while, for political reasons, the new road network will have the same capacity, it does so in a way that can tame the car and promote other modes in the long run.

            When this idea was first floated I was pretty skeptical about it for exactly the same reasons Jolson is. But on seeing the vision, including reconciliation with Vancouver’s black community, I’ve come around. Ultimately I feel that it will be carbon negative compared to the status quo, but I don’t actually have any data to back that up. Maybe it’s only symbolic in that sense. But to categorically state it will increase carbon emissions, also without evidence, can certainly be challenged.

        2. You claimed above that the award was bogus because you couldn’t find it on Wikipedia, or the APA website. You were enlightened. So now you claim it is bogus just because you don’t like it? No apology?

          Suggest you take your own advice and move on. The decision was taken years ago, it isn’t just some proposed idea. You could contribute to the solution instead of continually trying to revisit the decision.

          The City is discussing carbon accounting in their Climate Emergency response that just came out. That is a current topic. See the staff report.

          1. Not good enough. Not a single word that would control the needless waste of constructed works and the consequent carbon emissions caused by deconstruction and re-construction. Just think about that for a moment, just think of the scale of demolition that occurs in the city on a daily basis. I would guestimate that these carbon emission sources are in total second only to vehicular emissions. Somebody do a study!

            Let’s add:
            Big Move # 7
            THAT Council immediately adopt mandatory regulations to protect the embodied energy found in existing buildings and civil infrastructure.

        3. Award shows are a business by itself. Award shows are for show. Let’s not confuse show business with the real world.

    1. Turning a freeway and surrounding vacant lands, into a transit-oriented mixed-use neighbourhood with the density required to support two existing transit stations, both within a 5 minute walk, is a text-book example of sustainable urban design.

  2. “It may sound frightening, but the scientific evidence is that if we have not taken dramatic action within the next decade, we could face irreversible damage to the natural world and the collapse of our societies.” Sir David Attenborough

    Stopping the proposed demolition of the viaducts is a very easy and painless action to take.

    Stopping the proposed demolition of the viaducts is consistent with Councils declaration of a Climate Emergency.

    Attempts to salvage this bad idea with awards will not help us. It’s over. Let’s move on to the really difficult issues like reducing car use and building mass transit so that people can travel between zones of employment and affordable living.

      1. the average age of a localized civilization is 350 years

        imagine how the rebirth of our global civilization might unfold.

        such a vision has become vividly possible do to
        continued reporting and journalistic focus on global issues.

        in the political realm we hear dangerous threats of mass annihilation made by global leaders, we see state sponsored cyber warfare leading to dysfunction in our social guidance systems.

        climate change research. research that detects rising sea levels, increased intense storms, and rising atmospheric temperatures. all these climate phenomena are driving many other processes that lead to the starvation and migration of people to new places by land and by sea.

        in this environment one can observe in places the collapse of energy supplies, communication systems, the food distribution system, social collapse, and finally population collapse.

        the continued climate argumentation found here on pricetags illustrates that humans most likely cannot control the forces they have unleashed in the geosphere, forces that threaten to bring about the collapse of our local urban social-economic experiment and a return to coast landscape survival.

        where we are on this trajectory back to the past is anyone’s guess, Attenborough pegs the event horizon at ten years from now, the place from which there is no return.

          1. Quite right, without a moral compass there are no means by which decisions can be made.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *