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July 29, 2016

Daily Scot – Weekend Reading

Fresh to hit the newsstands this week, it’s another who’s the best in the world ranking.  Stepping up to the plate is London based Monocle Magazine with their annual Quality of Life survey of the Top 25 Livable Cities in the world featured in their July/August issue.

I appreciate Monocle’s refreshing analysis and metrics to determine their version of the best metros on earth.  Criteria such as: can you get a good meal after midnight, commuters who cycle to work, are dogs welcome? …move the needle.  In addition to the bog standard crime and safety stats, they employ a heavy emphasis on quality of food, drink and retail: “Those with a high number of independent bookshops prosper; those with a high number of Starbucks less so”.
Who will be number one this year?  Will Vancouver move up or down from it’s 2015 ranking of 7?  Grab the issue and find out.  Available at Whole Foods, Chapters/Indigo and select bookshops.  Happy BC day!

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Skateboarders rippin’ it up in Rip City during a street contest in the Pearl District.  The old warehouse loading docks provide great viewing platforms for this and other events.

Nice touch by the City of Vancouver to update their bike lane signs to include Skateboarding as seen on the new Nelson Street Bike Lane.

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A few shots from my recent brief trip to Portland

Murals, two rows of funky picnic tables and…why not string colour flags off the city’s street parking signs and light poles.

Fine dining preferred over parking in the Pearl

Nice detail of rusted iron tree grates allowing water infiltration.

Keeping the Beasts out

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It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that city life equals a loss services and amenities routinely available in the car-orientated suburbs.  I feel this from time to time as an apartment dweller in the West End.  But the great thing about Downtown Vancouver is if you dig a little deeper the city is continually being programmed by a range of businesses for compact urban living.  Hidden among the residential towers of Downtown South/Yaletown along Richards Street is a branch of Encorp’s Return-It depot specializing in beverage container and electronics recycling.

This ‘Express’ location provides a facility for Condo residents to simply walk down with their pre-purchased bags loaded with bottles, place them on the scale, enter their membership info, and the goods disappear into the back sorting area. In a day or two your account is credited after an off-site inspection and you’re good to go.

No need to drive out to a large suburban plant that requires ample parking and space for truck movements, the Express location maximizes its site with a well programmed floor plan making your life as a city dweller more convenient and accessible.

 

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Interesting article in the Globe and Mail from Josh Gordon, assistant professor in the Simon Fraser University School of Public Policy on how building additional housing stock will do nothing to ease unaffordability if foreign speculation and purchasing is not controlled through policy.

“Young Vancouverites (and Torontonians) are currently being put into competition with massive amounts of foreign money, sometimes of dubious origin, which is something older generations never faced. Please don’t tell us where to move or what our expectations should be until you acknowledge those facts and help us address them. We know it will be harder to buy a detached house than it was before, but first, put us on a level playing field.”

Full Article here

 

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