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Old 04-02-2011, 06:21 PM   #1
mass88
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Vancouver

I am wondering if anyone has ever been there and what they think of the city? As far as architecture and development, how is Vancouver compared to other cities?
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:55 PM   #2
Mayor Menino's Crohn's
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Re: Vancouver

I haven't been, but I hear that it's clean, and their infrastructure is strong. Menino wants to remodel the waterfront to look like Vancouver and/or Seattle.
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Old 04-02-2011, 09:45 PM   #3
BostonUrbEx
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Re: Vancouver

From what I've seen online, it's supposedly very urban, there's basically no suburbs, and I don't think there's any major highways running very far out of the city (probably the reason why suburbs didn't materialize).
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Old 04-03-2011, 01:28 AM   #4
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Re: Vancouver

Check out YouTube for some really disturbing videos of the East Side of Vancouver. It's like the big city drug den you always thought a big city drug den was but can't find anywhere else these days ...
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Old 04-03-2011, 02:49 AM   #5
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Re: Vancouver

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there's basically no suburbs
False; there are endless suburbs, and many of them are huge, with over 100,000 people. Vancouver is part of a region called the "Lower Mainland", basically a big valley almost entirely filled with urban and suburban development, plus a few farms remaining where the government was afraid suburban development would encroach on what little agriculture can take place in that part of BC.

The one cool thing about Vancouver's suburbs is that the comparative lack of highways - there are some (in fact, a major new one is being built right now), but none that run into the city center - means that transit plays a vital role, and there are serious high density hubs - with skylines rivaling Vancouver itself - developing at suburban transit nodes. Also, the suburbs are wildly diverse.

In the city itself, only the smallish downtown peninsula is very "urban". That said, it's very urban, with teeming pedestrian streets and Manhattanlike thickets of condo towers. Arriving here from Seattle (which is reputationally far more urban than it actually is) was a total shock; it was architecturally a North American city but felt like it had been taken over by Copenhagen's city planners - and then completely filled with Asians. The rest of Vancouver proper isn't exactly sprawl, but is more like LA in terms of urban development - single family housing and strips of 1, sometimes 2 story commercial buildings.

One of the amazing things about Vancouver is that while it does sprawl like any other city, the Lower Mainland is long and narrow, and you are never far from a snowcapped mountain range. Seaplanes swoop around downtown and land right in the harbor. Despite it being extremely civilized and cosmopolitan at street level, there's an air of wilderness about the place - at the edges, on the horizon.

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Old 04-03-2011, 12:00 PM   #6
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Re: Vancouver

My friend Sebastian is a big fan of Vancouver.

For hundreds of photos of the city, check out his flickr feed:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sebwhit...7623907345153/

Unfortunately, you'll have to look at a couple of photos of him. It's truly insufferable.

Pan Pacific Vancouver by flyvancity, on Flickr
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Old 04-03-2011, 02:00 PM   #7
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Re: Vancouver

I lived in Vancouver for several years. It's a great and beautiful city, but of course it suffers from some the same issues that many other cities do.

For example, its public transit authority is underfunded, which is a problem because the expansion of the SkyTrain into Coquitlam (the Evergreen Line) has been in the works for over 5 years and no construction has started yet and funding hasn't been completely secured. One of the central corridors of the city (Broadway/University Blvd) stretching out to the university is in desperate need of rail rapid transit. Right now it's barely keeping up with a frequent-running express bus line running 60ft articulated buses. That said, with the addition of the Canada Line transit has improved a lot and the bus/trolley system in Vancouver is very extensive and comfortable.

The city definitely has suburbs, but many of them are far more accessible than other N. American suburbs. However, it's difficult when there are areas in downtown Vancouver that badly need improved transit, but mobility out to suburbs like Surrey will be important in the future as it's one of the fastest growing area in the Lower Mainland and is getting denser.
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Old 04-03-2011, 03:34 PM   #8
mass88
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Re: Vancouver

As far as development goes, do you think Vancouver is better than most cities? Or worse?
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