Filmmaker looks at sustainable Vancouver

Post by Mike Klassen in


Sustainability advocate and filmmaker Kirsten Dirksen profiles Vancouver

It was a pleasant surprise to me when one summer morning a woman with a top notch video camera began recording my back alley, also known as Vancouver's first Country Lane. Filmmaker Kirsten Dirksen is a TV producer-turned-blogger-turned-ecogeek who, according to her bio, has transformed her life into an eco-experiment, documenting every endeavor.

Her interest in my neighbourhood piqued my own curiosity and we conducted an impromptu interview in the lane, talking about "thin parks" and laneway housing.

Dirksen now also writes at Huffington Post, and she sent me a note today that she had posted her videos from the Vancouver trip. The first one is about the Country Lane, and features a few words from me and Ken Nguyen from the City's Streets Design department. Ken's dressed for work, and I was ready for some gardening.


Mike, it seems like a great idea, but some have told me that because of our 'rainy season', the lanes became too muddy and the country lanes program had to stop. Is this true?

If so, I still think the idea of using more pervious pavers could work, especially given the greater possibility of laneway housing.

Michael, I have photos of this lane from the dead of winter. Neither slush, nor weeks of rain were not able to ruin the surface thanks to the grid in place. The heavy snowfall from last Christmas resulted in some pretty serious tire ruts near the end of the lane. I thought it would be the end of it, but I was wrong. The lane looks lovely today, if a little brown in spots from the grass drying out.

The CoV is looking at "greener" lanes based around an asphalt strip. It has its positives, but I've argued that we can balance off some of these lanes in different areas. They're great to have especially in park deficient areas. The greatest impediment to building future Country Lanes is not their durability but their cost. In order to properly install them about 10 inches of surface have to be removed from the existing lane.

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