The glorious Ludwig van Beethoven was christened on this day in 1770 in Bonn.
When both Napoleon and Wellington and all the Popes and Kings disappear into legend, the maestro’s music will continue to enthrall us and feed our souls.
The Everloving made the most spectacularly delicious apple pie today.
It won’t last long!
The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society 2020 Photography awards have been handed out. The winner is this fine work:
And I enjoyed these two especially …
the autobiography of a mayfly
would be as short as a page
and as dense as perfect memory
the madness of dashing hither and yon
across the summer’s blue distance
to seek the one mate of perfect desire
the need to avoid the bloodletting wars
of birds and trout at cool water’s edge
to arrive in one piece at the perfect location
the keenness of invention, of new hieroglyphics,
to tempt her away from the maddening crowds
to sing her, to win her with this perfect dance
the sense of fulfillment, slowly drifting to earth
with all power spent, all duty completed
to remember, to listen to the end of this perfect life
Salon has an interesting column on the costs of gentrification. The writer is talking of American cities but the relevance to Vancouver’s situation is clear and obvious.
“The not-so-hidden message of gentrification is that there is always plenty of money to go around, even public money, for the whims of the rich. But for low-income folks — whether they’re the residents pushed out by development, the city employees shafted as priorities shift, or building workers brought in for the new jobs — those resources are a mirage. The private development of mass gentrification, made way for by public policy including public financing, not only systematically ossifies but intensifies the economic inequality within our nation’s cities.
As Ta-Nehesi Coates once wrote for the Atlantic,[W]hen we talk about gentrification, understand that we really are talking about the result of actual policies endorsed, not simply by shadowy interests group, but by actual Americans, erected with the explicit intent of making sure that another group of Americans remain a permanent peon class.”
The writer calls gentrification’s methods “brutal” and the end results “truly tragic”. That is probably true. But I see genuine benefits from the kind of change that comes direct from residents. I think of this not as gentrification (which always comes from outside) but rather as a necessary and healthy renovation (always coming from within), regardless of whether this change is in form or in use. Gentrification and renovation are not two sides of a single coin, they are each a distinct currency.
This piece is worth reading, even several years after it was written.
In January 2014, I quoted Planner Wendy Sarkissian on the history of Eco-Density, the Sam Sullivan/Brent Toderian planning paradigm that Vision Vancouver vigorously opposed to win their first electoral success in 2008 but which, upon taking office, they vigorously adopted and expanded giving us the unaffordable and almost unlivable city we have today. As I see a new group of community activists beginning to take arms against the determinism of CoV Planning and their developer cronies, I thought it would be worthwhile to reprint that article as a reminder that we have been fighting this fight for a very long time.
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One of Australia’s leading urban planning theorists, Wendy Sarkissian, has been looking at Vancouver’s planning system, and she has little good to say about it, especially Eco-Density:
It is now widely accepted that the [Eco-Density] Charter misrepresented community views and did not adequately address issues raised in the public process. There were strong community complaints of misrepresentation by Council officers (and senior planners) of the contents of community submissions; there were serious weaknesses in the analysis of submissions about the draft Charter. In meetings to work out the Charter, it was observed that the moderator skewed public comments.In the community’s view, the 2008 EcoDensity Charter represented a “battering ram” approach to densification. Considerable discretionary power was eventually granted to Council by the Charter, thus undermining well-established policies of community engagement and implementation. Despite the extensive publicity campaign, the community hated and distrusted the policy. It sank Sam Sullivan politically. Shortly after he announced it, his popularity went into steep decline and, despite thirteen years as a City Councillor, he lost candidature after only one term as Mayor …
Research reveals that even the City of Vancouver planners were not convinced that the policy would work. Brent Toderian was quoted in 2007 as saying: “EcoDensity won’t provide housing that meets average incomes. I don’t think we would affect housing supply to the point that prices would go down.”
Groups such as AHV would have us keep on that Vision pathway of build for the sake of building and for the sake of corporate profit. If only they would understand the recent history — say the 30 years from 1990 to today — they might understand that their path leads to an even more ruinous future than the one already bequeathed us.