Archive for the ‘urban planning’ Category

Harvey Molotch’s “The City as Growth Machine”

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

This is sociologist Harvey Molotch: like a handsomer Munch from Homicide: Life on the Street
“A city and, more generally, any locality, is conceived as the areal expression of the interests of some land-based elite.”

Harvey Molotch‘s seminal 1976 article “The City as Growth Machine”—which is still applicable today—just happened to be published the same year of the UN Habitat Conference on Settlements that took place in Vancouver (and is the subject of my upcoming book).

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The Tudor house, colonialism, white gold and toothache

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

“This is why we love the Tudor period so much, because it’s the age of discovery, and there’s a sense that anything was possible.”

“Discovery”? That’s one way of putting it.  This BBC documentary, Hidden Killers of the Tudor Home, outlines how the sudden change in house architecture and lifestyle in the Tudor era for the middling rich—merchants and yeoman farmers—was made possible by merchant trade with conquered colonies.

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Gastown poster – 1960s or 1970s style

Saturday, July 4th, 2015

Because of my research on a 1976 event, people keep bringing me things from that general era. Thanks to my friend Resi for finding this in her mother’s house and bringing it to me yesterday. Not only is this Vancouver neighbourhood nearby to me (and now gentrified many times over), the map shows the Gastown Wax Museum where I worked many a summer in Vancouver, though its sign seems to be on the wrong building.

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Murder Murder

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Apparently this is not a renegade settler war party, it’s a new “bloodgrass” band from Sudbury in Northern Ontario called Murder Murder.  You can listen to their banjo-esque non-Northern-Ontario-ish neo-bluegrass murdery numbers at the link above.

Music aside—and the imported Appalachia sound is a whole other issue—here I’m just going to look at their fashion, promotion and visuals.

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Craigslist: “For Sale: Vancouver City Hall. Cash only, please. No Questions asked.”

Monday, April 6th, 2015


Ha ha. Sadly, this Craigslist ad was quickly taken down, but not before lots of us took  screenshots and copied the text (a friend uploaded it to her Facebook).

The ad only lasted only 23 hours. Someone must have flagged it. Considering that it only went up on Easter Sunday and was taken down Easter Monday, some City Hall employee or Vision Vancouver party functionary must be pretty vigilant.

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Post-mortem on the old Eaton’s building: an interview with Cesar Pelli

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

The TD Bank building and Eaton’s building by Cesar Pelli, photo © Michael de Courcy, mid-1970s

This is not a true post-mortem, since Cesar Pelli‘s 1973 Eaton’s building has not actually been demolished—and how rare it is to be able to say that in Vancouver, now one of North America’s capitals of demolition.

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