COVID Place making
March 3, 2021

Sidewalk Physical Distancing Just A Dream at Cambie & Broadway

Last year the City of Vancouver developed several programs to adapt the public streets and spaces of the city to the stark realities of physical distancing during Covid.

The City’s three pronged approach included  “Room to Move” which included the Slow Streets rollout and  “Room to Queue” which  provided expanded street space for people to queue outside of businesses.

This involved  taking over the parking lane if needed outside of businesses for line ups. And to facilitate deliveries, “Room to Load” provided  special priority loading zones for business deliveries. Perhaps the extension of restaurant space onto the sidewalk can be included here too.

Let’s get back to that “Room to Move” option. Mike Barrett Bryan-Soron at @MikeSoron on twitter was walking on Broadway at Cambie Street when he took the photo featured above. He posted it on twitter and wondered why during a time of physical distancing sandwich boards were protruding on the sidewalk. Indeed the city’s policy on the placement of sandwich boards on sidewalks has surprisingly lax wording on it. Business owners are “asked to refrain” from placing the sandwich board on the city sidewalk. Add in the Covid pandemic and a row of parked cars and busy Broadway, and pedestrians are pretty well constrained in a stressful narrow available sidewalk.

The City of Vancouver twitterperson got back to Mr. Soron and cheerily asked him to report the situation. Mr. Soron responded “I expect city staff and elected officials to implement existing policies and prioritize pedestrian accessibility without my block-by-block reporting”.

Read more »

Covid times have made us see our streets differently, and also arguably who is there. The usual task of walking down a sidewalk takes on a new stress to ensure that you have given adequate clearance to other sidewalk users.

But what would you do if you ran into this lady and her avatar?

As reported by Sara Barnes  on My Modern Met, Yarn Artist LIisa Hietanen took things to another level when she created  “life-sized knitted and crocheted sculptures”  and  “replicas of her fellow villagers in Hämeenkyrö, Finland. ”

Using metal for the bases and wrapping them the figures look pretty life-like from a distance. And to prove she has a sense of humour, the artist created one of herself walking her dog. You can see that photo in the start of this article.

Read more »

Join author Katie Martin for a discussion about a new model for charitable food, one that measures success, not by pounds of food distributed, but by lives changed. The key is to focus on the root causes of food insecurity, shifting attention to strategies that build empathy, equity, and political will.

Reinventing Food Banks and Pantries with Katie Martin
Date: Wed. March 10
Time: 12 noon Pacific Time

You can register by clicking this link.

Katie Martin has over 20 years of experience developing and evaluating creative solutions to hunger and building collaborations with local and national anti-hunger organizations. Before joining Foodshare, Katie was an Assistant Professor and Director of the Public Health program at the University of Saint Joseph. She has a Ph.D. in Nutritional Science & Policy from Tufts University.

Read more »

While everyone knows that active transportation is good for you, there has been little data on exactly how much carbon emissions are lowered by walking, biking or taking public transit.

A new study published in Elsevier looked at the climate change impact of daily commuting using active travel. By gathering travel activity information in seven European cities  this study found that car travel contributed seventy percent to CO2 emissions across different modes and cycling contributed to just one percent.

Christian Brand at Oxford University and twenty other researchers concluded that if a car driver or passenger changed from a car to a bicycle they decreased “life cycle” CO2 emissions by 3.2 kilograms of CO2 daily.

This study looked at data from several cities instead of just one, and also took into account “full life cycle impacts” of both active and vehicular travel. Using life cycle analysis cycling is not “zero-carbon” emissions because of the creation, maintenance and eventual trashing of bikes, and any associated batteries and motors. The researchers did note that life cycle emissions for passenger vehicle travelled are ten times higher than that of cyclists.

The researchers looked at “short to medium sized trips, ” typically 2 km for walking, 5 km for cycling and 10 km for e-biking ” It is these short trips that “contribute disproportionately” to emissions when conducted by vehicle because of cold engine starts.

Read more »

Graphic artist and writer Stanley Woodvine has a good eye for design and form and he has achieved what so many has wished for: he has “righted”  Bjarke Ingel’s Vancouver House. Not once, but twice.

As Mr. Woodvine writes on his twitter account at @sqwabb  

“seen from Fairview, the scoop out of the lower East side of Vancouver House tower condo has been filled by a perfectly rectilinear tower newly positioned behind it”.

Using his camera at Alder and 11th Avenue, Mr. Woodvine completes the work in the photo below stating:

Read more »