Monday, February 14, 2011

UBC SCARP community engagement and "neighbourliness"

This video summarizes a design event focused on co-designing the future of the Britannia Centre. Facilitated by Maged Sembel's classes from UBC's School of Community and Regional Planning.  In part, it features the co-design work of Stanley King. 

Note the richness of citizen ideas as partcipants express a desire for an integrated  neighbourhood of  diversity, creativity, and affordable living.  Co-design images emerge showing pedestrian spaces for every age group, and activities relating to art, food security and community. 

At the end of the video, a cameo of Ray Spaxman, former director of planning for the City of Vancouver, and a champion of "neighbourliness":

"Ray Spaxman was recruited as city planner by Vancouver's leadership in 1973, when the public was in full flight from the excesses of modernism and out-of-control development.  Only a decade and a half previously, the tallest building in the West End was the Sylvia Hotel. ("Dine in the Sky" said the sign on the roof.) And not many people thought several hundred concrete slabs had really improved our urban ambience all that much.  

Spaxman was responsible for changing the way planning and development was done in this city -- and he summed it up in one word: "neighbourliness." A building had to be respectful of its neighbours, and of the citizens on the street.  

Buildings, in other words, had to be more than sculptural objects on vacant plazas -- "pigs in space," as some planners call them. It didn't matter how "iconic" a building was if it selfishly ignored the urban environment in which it dwelt."
 -- Gordon Price, "It Takes One Icon to Know Another", Vancouver Sun, Web.