City planner says major sporting events can build better cities

Post by Daniel Fontaine in ,


Vancouverites have really enjoyed gathering in big crowds lately

We recently came across a great editorial in Planetizen by Vancouver's well-respected City Planner Brent Toderian. He talks about how major sporting events can impact an urban area. We thought our readers might also find it of interest as our Canucks charge their way to the Stanley Cup.


As I heard a national reporter put it recently, it’s not often that an entire city is focused on one thing. In Vancouver it happened during the 2010 Winter Olympics. A year and a half later here, it’s happening again.

The entire city is buzzing - more than buzzing, more like increasingly obsessed - as we gear up for the NHL Stanley Cup championship series, between our Vancouver Canucks, and the storied Boston Bruins. Some readers might be more interested in the NBA championships that are also starting, between Miami and Dallas, and this post could just as easily speak of that example. But I write this from the perspective of my front row seat in a series host-city... and besides, we're Canadian after all, and nothing seems to galvanize us as people and a nation more than hockey.

Throughout our Canucks playoff run over the anxious first three rounds, its been exciting watching the effect of the playoff process on our civic swagger, public realm and urbanism. The past weeks have seen a rapid activation of our city and many of its streets, spaces, restaurants and bars, infected with Canucks fever and a strong dose of civic pride.

The atmosphere around Rogers Arena has been electric on game days to be sure(an effect facilitated by the integration of the arena into the urban fabric), but the City has really facilitated things in a much broader way by closing down streets and setting up an increasing number of big screens on streets and in plazas, drawing huge crowds. And we're not alone - our suburban neighbours, and other cities and towns across British Columbia have been doing the same, energizing their downtowns, public spaces, shopping streets and the like. A whole province's public realm, activated by hockey mania.

It's been fun watching the city's transformation, once again confirming my long-held theory that winning (or even competing for) cups and other such championships can be very positive for a city's urbanism.

How so? Well, as noted above, they can change the public's use and perception of the public realm, particularly on key streets or in key districts. Often this happens in a planned way, as with our City's recent initiatives, and sometimes it happens in ways a city couldn't anticipate. Sometimes celebrations happen spontaneously, when the public realm design is there to facilitate it. My un-scientific observations suggest that related crowds tend to gravitate to more urban places, financially supporting businesses in urban settings that facilitate public celebrations after the home team wins.

Sometimes this effect can be so powerful, that it forever re-brands a public space. I saw this first-hand in my last planning post in Calgary, where the iconic 50,000+ crowds taking over 17th Avenue after each win, during the 2004 Stanley Cup run, forever re-branded the street as "the Red Mile", at least during hockey season.

Playoff runs can also spark debates on what streets are worthy of such celebrations, and the eventual victory parade. Cities might ask, "if such a street doesn't exist, perhaps we should plan one?" In one of his great video essays on Vancouver's Stanley Cup dreams, Stephen Brunt makes the joke that when they celebrated the Calgary 2004 run, they did it on the "Red Mile". In 2006 in Edmonton, they did it on "the Whyte Mile", or Whyte Ave. But when the Ottawa Senators were in the 2007 Stanley Cup playoffs, a team that plays in an arena in the deep suburbs, he joked that "they must have done something - maybe they walked around the Home Depot in Kanata..."

Some might note that the public realm may also be the stage for bad things to happen, if fans are disappointed with their team's results. Vancouver saw this back in 1994 when the Canucks lost game 7 to the New York Rangers, and the infamous riot ensued.

On top of critical factors like the public realm design itself, the city's management and strategies for such events and the approach and experience of police, a big factor in whether positive or negative outcomes occur if the home-team loses may be the general experience and maturity of the city in hosting events and parties in the public realm.

This is perhaps even more important than whether the city has experience winning or losing championship series' specifically. To be sure, there are cities that have much more experience than us in championship runs; our opponents, Boston, have just in the last 10 years celebrated an NBA championship, two World Series wins, and three Super Bowls.

But what we lack in sports-related experience, we make up for in civic celebration experience. Again, I saw this in Calgary when the devastating game 7 loss in 2004 still led to a huge good-natured crowd with thousands of high-fives and hugs, albeit through tears, along the Red Mile. I think this was the case, because of the city's extensive experience in public celebration, whether it’s from the 1988 Winter Olympics, or the annual Calgary Stampede festivities that energize the city.

Here in Vancouver, our remarkable transformation and success in the public realm during the 2010 Olympic Games and the experience it afforded us in every category, has substantially changed our maturity and experience throwing a great civic party, win or lose.

I have complete confidence in our City's readiness to leverage this playoff run into huge fun for Vancouverites, and a great success for our city.

I'm sure there are many other obvious, and less obvious benefits to a city from sports success, in the areas of city-branding, economic development, tourism, civic pride and so on. Perhaps readers will contribute comments on their own observations, or links to related studies.

I'll end with the anecdote shared with me by a visiting urbanist, here to speak at an architectural conference this past week. He shared that he was talking about Vancouver with some young professionals after the long conference day. One young lady was a student from Iran, and she noted how the excitement of the playoffs has been making her feel like a real part of the Vancouver community. The group all noted how proud it makes them feel when they pan the crowd at a Canucks game, or in a street-crowd, and you see so many nationalities sharing in this common event.

To them, the biggest success is really about celebrating civic pride and feeling part of a community. My friend said to me, "Canada's cities are so much about welcoming people from around the globe, rich and poor. Anything that brings us together as a community is a great thing for a city's urbanism."

I couldn't agree more. And with apologies to my good friend Kairos Shen, chief planner for Boston, I can't wait to celebrate our Stanley Cup win with our diverse and hockey-crazy Vancouver community, out in the public realm.

- Brent Toderian, MCIP is the Director of City Planning for the City of Vancouver, and the founding President of the Council for Canadian Urbanism (CanU).


The Thought of The Night

'It's June. Finally the weather cooperates. Outside the temperature is 25 degrees Celsius, inside 15-16 degrees Celsius with a humidity at about 30%, and with the top ice at about -4 degrees Celsius for a healthy game. I'm talking about our Rogers Arena. 12 -14 dehumidifiers, if there are lots of bodies inside and if there is a lot of inside-outside traffic. And there is. A lot. Those Diesel generators, hmmm, must be working overtime...I assume.'

Then I'm thinking, the NHL should start calling itself the NH3 as in Ammonia, which is largely used as refrigerant in the majority of skating rinks throughout North America, weather they say they are using it or not that's another thing. Well, they are.
It's inserted as an afterthought in one of those generic names like...chemical conditioners (high energy efficiency and low cost, with one downsize... it's a little toxic, in some instances even volatile, but hey, it's hockey, it's only the favorite pastime here in Canada, the only game that combines three sports into one, figure skating, boxing and snooker.

As for celebrations...

I saw an approximately 5.8 ft, 250 pounds man in a 'Chest High Five' routine with another guy, on Saturday, in downtown. They were both wearing XXXXL Canucks shirts;'Luongo' said on one of them. I couldn't read the other one. They thought they were macho because their favorite sport was hockey, but really now, is there anything gayer than wearing another man's shirt, and doing jumping jacks?

At the end of the game they shouted 'we won, we won...weeeee, woooonnn!' Nope! Calm down people, you didn't win anything, a group of 15 guys, who would probably not give you the time of the day...won. All that you did actually, was filtering beer into piss in a very short period of time, and got to wear your idol's shirt on your back.
I think people are too fixated on sports in this city. Maybe it's about time to fixate on something smoking and drinking, or even better, combine them.

BTW have you seen those Boston fans with those ridiculous spongy bear heads, and spongy claws? Oh, yeah, that was very mature. Manly!

OK, place to celebrate. Ahem.

The interesting fact that is missing from this article penned by the Director of Planning is...the 'small print' curiosity that the 'Greenest City in the World by 2020', the fastest runner in the LEED race, Net Zero buildings, green roofs, communal gardens, city chicken coops that run free, divorced bike lanes hosting a sporting event that based on the not so encouraging late carbon offset numbers, should not be taking place during this time of the year. Definitely not in Vancouver, BC, the best place on Earth...

But wait a minute, the photo ops are too good to pass, the populism does miracles in an election year, keep the young inebriated. Listen, we even found enough dough to cover these mere inconveniences some people

And who are we kidding, we could send Andrea Reimer to plant trees in the Interior anytime, her transportation allowance it's still open.

Do the people of Vancouver need a place to celebrate great sporting events? Sure, why not? But why not let the Tourism industry, the Hospitality, the Restaurateurs, the Kitsch Sporting Goods and Memorabilia industry, the Good the Bad and the Ugly from the burbs, the Canucks owners, to cover some of the costs associated with such a display of tender love and affection...

Stanley Cup or no Stanley Cup, in two weeks, the city is still going to scrap the bottom of the revenue feeder for crumbs, and it will still come up empty.

'To close public parks washrooms or not to close,
That is the question.'

And I would like to end with an anecdote too.
When Brent Toderian attends an architectural conference,Three Wise Men...leave town.

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

"but really now, is there anything gayer than wearing another man's shirt, and doing jumping jacks?"

Really scraping the bottom of the barrel eh gliss?

your attempt to spin this one is shameful... the English language is something that Gliss is very skillful with, your innuendo is pretty low, come on boo you are smarter and more creative than that..

@Gerry great clip.... I also thought of your video skills Saturday night.. there is a new bike on the road, a low rider, it has been rigged up with an electric hub and the owner told me he also does them with gas engines.. they go 45mpr...
I see a potential hazard as more folks get creative with the need for speed in those divorced bike lanes. (I'm officially stealing Glissy's term)

@Glissando.. priceless and right on the mark again... let me share this with you.. I took dinner to the "friend " I speak about, on Saturday night. As we sat on the stoop to the doorway he calls home eating rotisserie chicken sandwiches.. we listened to shouts from local condos when the Canucks scored... he was wearing a Canucks jersey he found in the trash... funny I found it a most bizarre situation... he was happy with so little...but I couldn't help but feel sad.. because I knew it would be so much nicer if he was sitting in a nice comfy chair in his own living room.. but then again I guess he was..
All that money spent on a game as this guy sleeps and lives in a doorway, his life limited because he has no place to park his shopping cart, with all his possessions...Glissando you are so right!!
Thanks for keeping us tuned into what should be so obvious...

Enjoy the sun today everyone...

You know George, have you noticed every single time I post something you call it deceitful, spin deflection, shameful, etc? You couldn't even help yourself in previous posts before understanding what I was writing. I think you need to calm down a notch and perhaps ignore me for awhile.

As for gliss, no innuendo. I'm calling out his homophobic remark. He may not be into the Canucks but using gay as an insult--pretty weak. Am I honestly the only one who takes issue with this?

Gliss did NOT make a homophobic remark... you need to settle down.. that word existed in the English language long before homosexuality was ever talked about are twisting it.. why, that is what I don't understand...

As for my jumping on your comments, it is because you are usually attacking what has been said and I guess you have me conditioned.. I will try to read your comments more thoughtfully... but in this instance I knew exactly where you were headed.. and I didn't agree.

Boohoo, you are likely the only one that takes issue with it and my gay friends would likely agree.

I wouldn't under estimate the power of sport. Nelson Mandela used it in 1995 to help heal a country. It wasn’t the only thing he did but he recognized the power sport had to bring people of different stripes together. Whether or not the 15 guys would give anyone the time of day is irrelevant in my opinion – what is more impressive is the diverse crowds that gather to watch and celebrate.

Paul... to play devil's advocate... is it the sport?... or the place and reason to party that brings out the crowds...

I would venture to guess that many of those new "fans" right now, never watch a game during the season.

I am fascinated by the astounding numbers of women that are die hard fans all of a sudden... or is it the old "where the boys are theory"..just a thought.

I have to laugh.

At one point my dad and his biz partner had seasons tickets to both the Canucks and the Lions.

When the teams went through rough patches (in other words long losing streaks), they coudn't give the tickets away. They eventially cancelled both. need to sell a kidney to afford them!

The 'ish' Thought of The Morning

'Te Amo Hombre!'

I hope that doesn't sound too... Spanish for you, Boohoo.
Hey, I am a garish man with garish tastes. Here...

'Me gustan los aviones, me gustas Boohoo.
Me gusta viajar, me gustas Boohoo.
Me gusta la mañana, me gustas Boohoo.
Me gusta el viento, me gustas Boohoo.
Me gusta soñar, me gustas Boohoo.
Me gusta la mar, me gustas Boohoo.'

I also wanted to say that if you want to get into semantics with me, one of us should be wearing some sorts of a Dictionary or something.

Thanks,but really, you shouldn't have. I don't have a problem with Pillars of Politically Correctness Society like Boohoo. I use my language any way I see fit. Period.

Thanks for that video. That's exactly what I wanted to say! If I only knew about its existence... watching Penny Ballem, gosh, made my day, she is such...a lovely, intelligent, emphatic,lover of animals, caring, honest woman; she is also a medical doctor, but of course you knew that, one who even took an oath to cure pain and suffering on sight, through a simple Power Point Presentation...and talk.

Anyhoo, Boohoo.

'Me gusta marihuana, me gustas Boohoo...
Alabim alabam alabim bom bam
alabim alabam alabim bom bam
obladi oblada obladi da da
alabim alabam alabim bom bam'

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

Winning the 1995 Rugby World Cup was a major achievement for SA as they identified with rugby the same way we do with hockey. So, I think it is a bit of both. The camaraderie of being together during the matches is definitely less sport specific. However, the satisfaction of winning the top prize in something that is so clearly Canadian is about the sport. I don’t think Vancouver would be as crazy if this was the Grey Cup (granted the difficulty is much different).

Hey it's cool glissando...I know it's pretty gay of me to be so offended.

"come on boo you are smarter and more creative than that"

There you go making those assumptions again George. You should begin to see a pattern here.

Passive aggressive personal insults from you? Yes, there is a pattern.

I don't know if sporting events can build better cities, but they can certainly galvanize and make it obvious where work needs to be done. Does shutting down Georgia for a few hours make for a better city? I don't think so...

"My un-scientific observations suggest that related crowds tend to gravitate to more urban places, financially supporting businesses in urban settings that facilitate public celebrations after the home team wins."

This sounds like it should be true--but how to explain the suburban gatherings at busy intersections surrounded by strip malls--the anti urban place.

Hey Gerry, good video. I second Councillor Anton's request to have a proactive accounting of these costs. I also wonder what other options there might be to these spontaneous celebrations, and what those costs might be?

Mr. Toderian's observations are interesting, but aside from the general observation that people like to gather together in urban and even suburban locations to celebrate a common theme, he doesn't go much further. He says:

"Playoff runs can also spark debates on what streets are worthy of such celebrations, and the eventual victory parade. Cities might ask, "if such a street doesn't exist, perhaps we should plan one?"".

Why assume this urban location has to be a "street"? Including consideration of our weather, what other options are there? Given there has been many people who have clamoured for a civic square in Vancouver for many years, it would be worthwhile to discuss the pros and cons of a civic square or perhaps several squares vs. a 'royal mile' in such an article, or maybe here.

The Thought of The Day

'I see the segregation in this city. Only, I see it at street level. On Hornby Street, on Burrard Bridge, and on the Dunsmuir Viaduct. Before this Vision Apartheid regime took reign we were all together in this, sharing the same piece of concrete road. Cars, trucks, motorcycles, shopping carts, skateboards, bikes, scooters, and the occasional jaywalker united as one. In harmony. Until now.'

you make very good points, but with all due respect, the 1995 Rugby World Cup Finals in Johannesburg, SA shall not to be compared with the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Oh well, yes, that final took place in June on the 24th to be more precise and SA won 15-12 against the All Blacks. ( I even watched the game live :-) )

But here the comparison shall stop IMO.
Unless what you are suggesting is that we are at some unconscious level a segregated society...Hmmm,you know what? I think we are. Maybe you are right and I am definetly wrong.

But here's the thing, with SA, apart from being a fantastic achievement, against all odds, how much did that, change the lives of those ghetto black kids living in immense poverty at the outskirts of the big city?
Not an iota.

Forward 16 years to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in soccer. Same cities, same country, same ...segregated lives. After spending 11.5 Billion dollars on preparing to host the venue, they had to spend another cool billion on securing the venues and shelter the officials, athletes and the accidental tourists from being assaulted for a pair of flip-flops.

The following are excerpts from 'South Africa And The 2010 World Cup: In The Eye Of The Storm'

1. 'SA was hit by a series of strikes in all sectors of private, public works and government civil servants.'
(Same here...Canada Post anyone?)

2. 'There is also the issue of official corruption, cronyism, lack of social delivery, clientelism and a burgeoning self-interested and self-aggrandizing African bourgeoisie, buttressed by a vicious form and practice of extreme nepotism.'
(Same here, can anybody spell VISION, PENNY, JOEL?)

3. 'Doctors along with health givers and professionals have been on strike; strikes have been witnessed and are still being witnessed like the Escom workers, city sanitation workers, and multiple union strikes and general chaos that border on a storm: the aftermath of the World Cup portends a dark future. The people who are presently building stadiums are going to loose their jobs in droves at the completion of the Cup Finals.'
(Same here in the not so very long ago past, remember the Olympics?)

4. 'South Africa is already hit by unemployment ranging around 40%+. There is a furor about the cheap labor practices of employers utilizing illegal aliens by paying them less, and thus robbing-off the locals of gainful employment; there is the issue of crime heists, murders and general social disorder, malnutrition and intra-African internecine warfare. In the midst of the preparation for the World Cup in South Africa, there is a broiling cauldron of mass disaffection and discontent about the state of affairs and corruption by the elite and rich against the poor in that rich country.'
(Same here, on a tamed level though, but here)

So Paul, you may be having something there after all. Maybe, we need to gather together once in a while, to have a place from where to scatter off in all directions afterward, from having nothing in common in the first place... but a game of hockey.
Fair enough.

Rugby World Cup, FIFA World Cup, Stanley Cup, Grey Cup, Summer Olympics, Winter Olympics, Butter Cup...all these mammoth events, they do more than bring people together, they bring the Corporations together, the Owners of these teams together, the 'Let's make a Buck on Those Shmucks' Foundations together.

In conclusion...this summer, if you notice someone peeing on the beach in Kits, don't be mad at him, or her (the dogs are exempt anyway), the washrooms might be closed for lack of city funds.
Simply go to that happy place where all sport fans are going when they become melancholic, and say to yourself 'Peed there, done that!' and than proceed to the nearest ornamental bush...

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

"But what we lack in sports-related experience, we make up for in civic celebration experience"

Whoopee. Treble phot ops all round!

Mr. Toderian, it costs taxpayers a lot of dough to underwrite this "civic celebration"---which, actually it isn't. Is is a celebration that is about a privately owned sports team.

I think you should either leverage off this situation (and others like it) and try to make a buck off of it for the City---or get the Canuck's to dump some money into the cost of managing the event.

What might be holding you back from one or the other?

"Unless what you are suggesting is that we are at some unconscious level a segregated society"

You nailed it. If you look at the crowds in DT, they are, for the most part, a sea of Canuck jerseys. You can’t differentiate the rich from poor, young from old, etc. People who may never run in the same circles do so for a brief period of time. Might help some to see that the perceived differences aren’t that great.

You are also correct – I was using SA in 1995 to illustrate a point as Nelson Mandela is one of those people that only comes along once in a life time. It is one of the best examples I know of that demonstrates what sport can do. Having said that, I didn’t mean to put them on the same level. Vancouver, for all its faults, has never experienced anything like Apartheid.

a sea of Jersey's.. how much does one of those Canuck Jersey's go for?

“But here's the thing, with SA, apart from being a fantastic achievement, against all odds, how much did that, change the lives of those ghetto black kids living in immense poverty at the outskirts of the big city?”

I know this is slightly off topic but I don’t think it was intended to be the ultimate fix. The entire event was more around forgiveness which was needed before SA could move into the “fix” stage. It took a symbol from Apartheid, the Springbok logo, and gave it to all of South Africa rather than just the white minority.

I agree that the World Cup in 2010 didn’t have the same effect because, in part, they were using it (in my opinion) to achieve a different end more economic based. I don’t think that was Mandela’s intent in 1995.

About the same amount as sponsoring one table at UGM during Christmas or Thanks giving - if I am reading between the line correctly ;)

LOL Paul
no lines really, just curious...

but now that I think about it... how much is a table at UGM?

I seriously have no idea, I do know they are expensive.. another stupid question, does the Hockey Club get those funds or independent shop keepers.. or both.

Sorry I'm not a hockey person..

UGM - $150-$250/table depending upon the event.

Jersey can be slightly cheaper but in that range for “authentic” NHL wear - the big issue is the NHL license. When we went to purchase jerseys for our duffer league team we found that out in spades – Vancouver colored jersey with logo - $200/each; same color scheme without logo - $80. I suspect the Canucks probably pay a fee to NHL every time they sell a jersey but not sure.

"Anything that brings us together as a community is a great thing for a city's urbanism." Like poor planning based on land lift economics. The ultimate irony is that this was the night the Canucks played one of the most exciting games in their history.

Thanks, Bill, I was beginning to wonder if anyone had noticed. :-) To distill what Toderian says-big sports events make us feel good, so let's build (or close, or alter) something. We already put half a million people a night into the West End and Kits for fireworks. English Bay would be a great venue for a celebration including planned entertainment, and we could monetize with bleachers a la fireworks. Why do we have to build or change anything at all?

Gliss, thou dost not gloss...

I got this Chomsky quote from a post by Alan Abel on "The Tyee"

"I always thought Noam Chomsky nailed it in Manufacturing Consent (film):

Take sports -- that's another crucial example of the indoctrination system, in my view. For one thing because it offers people something to pay attention to that's of no importance. That keeps them from worrying about things that matter to their lives that they might have some idea of doing something about... know, I remember in high school, already I was pretty old. I suddenly asked myself at one point, why do I care if my high school team wins the football game? I mean, I don't know anybody on the team. They have nothing to do with me, I mean, why I am cheering for my team? It doesn't mean anything-it doesn't make sense. But the point is, it does make sense: it's a way of building up irrational attitudes of submission to authority, and group cohesion behind leadership elements-in fact, it's training in irrational jingoism."

Hear, hear!

I have to admit that I've always struggled with sports mania.

I was a team player in high school (but it was as a member of a band).

We had to work together to make something sound good and we weren't out to smash opponents.

Oh well, I've never felt comfortable with sports competition, why should I change now because the Canucks are in the Stanley Cup.

Gerry Mc.

You hit the nail on the head with the indoctrination system comment.

That is exactly what Adolf Hitler did for Germany with the 1936 Olympics.It helped take the little peoples minds off what was really happening.

Wow. Sounds kind of similar to something else doesn't it. Kind of makes me want to go out now and buy a pair of little red mittens.

There are lost of articles to read on how he side track the people till it was too late.

Wow. Sounds kind of similar.

re Ballem/Anton video. Thanks, Gliss. But your previous comment is the REASON for it's existence.It inspired me to do it up and post it. Otherwise it would have sat on the back burner 'til who-knows-when. Maybe I should have given you a co-production credit!

You want more eerie parallels, search this site for articles on Joel Solomon's "500 Year Plan".

The Thought of The Afternoon

'I'm thinking of George...Carlin. I'm sure 'our' George, would like him too.'

Gerry if you liked that quote, you will most definitely love this:

BTW, re. your last video 'ARCCA PLANNING AND POWER SHANNON MEWS' one speaker, John Hickey, mentioned the condescending presentation of the Director of Planning Brent Toderian.

This is what I had to say not long ago:

The Thought of The Night

"I'm thinking I should be going into the Greeting Card business. First one I am designing, is for Vision Vancouver. Picture this...the front of the card shows a freshly dug hole. Crosses and funeral stones everywhere. Inside, the card says ' DROP IN ANY TIME!' That would do."

Have anyone attended the free lecture/ session called 'High Buildings - Excellence in Architecture' from cca. 10 days ago at the Fairmont Vancouver Hotel?
Someone who attended the Urban Design Panel meeting confided in me the fact that the whole meeting was a complete disaster. All at the hands of the Director of Planning Brent Toderian.

Apparently after a number of hours of discussing the project (the Toyota Site on Burrard and Drake)they had to take a vote. It took them half an hour to get to the point of voting because of the numerous Toderian interruptions who was basically foaming at the mouth, tried to influence the outcome by letting everyone know that they have to vote in such a way so that the City Council will be comfortable with approving later.

Keep in mind that the panel was formed by the members of the UDP plus few honourable guests, architects Jack Diamond from Toronto and Richard Cook from New York , plus a number of prodigious local starchitects, Bing Thom, Richard Henriquez.

And Toderian was giving THEM lectures on how to vote so to appease to Penny Ballem and to her Vision employers.
I think the project was turned down in the end for lack of clarity of how to vote and on what. LOL

So there it's no wonder there is no leadership coming from the Planning Department. Everywhere you look only ass kissing artists. How do you know you are one? Well, if you are not a recent Vision hire and You've kept your job till are one.

And yes BT, I am talking about you.
So no doubt in my mind that MARA is pissed off on the City of Vancouver and on its leaders. Oh, wait. What leaders, when there is no leadership?

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.
Glissando Remmy | May 1, 2011 10:56 PM | Reply

For some background info. you may go back and read the original post by Daniel, here at City Caucus under the title name 'Marpole residents accuse City Hall of "ignorance or arrogance"'

This is the problem!
How can we (all the little people) have the time to go to all the meetings, presentation, un-conferences, focus groups, projects and whatever else gets thrown at us.

Do you have all the time?
Do I have all the time?

I look at all these people who show up to these things.
They make a lot of money and it's part of their job to show up and tell us their plans for the City.

i had a problem with a particular division of the City and it took 28 phone calls to find out who might solve it.

George loves George Carlin... LMAO that clip makes so much sense.. it's actually scary!!

Hey George:

Depends on the name on the jersey.

They can cost upwards of $400....

My jersey is roughly 35 years old...

Barry I agree,if you look back to the roman empire all you needed was a building some lions and a few tasty followers of christ.The crowd loved it and it gave them a COMMON PURPOSE,if you get my drift.Move ahead to the turn of the last century and look at what was written by the Fabian Society it was exactly the same thing,remember in those days sports were played mainly by children and universities.It took a lot of capital to develop into what we have today and the masses are eating it up.And yes I do like hockey,I guess they got me too DOH!!!!

Chris (one of many)
True. And I think Glissando Remmy acknowledged this problem by posting the clip with George Carlin (if you didn't watch it, do it, it is so revealing)
I agree with you the people that makes the audience for these meetings are in reality PAID TO BE THERE! Big surprise. No wonder nothing gets done. At least not according to the voice of this city. From the familiar unworthy Toderian's patronizing attitude to the arrogance of Gregor Robertson and his Vision council. Geez.
Today's comments are top! The people named above are the bottom. Just out of curiosity Daniel;, how come you are the only one saying that Brent T is a well-respected city planner? Are you implying the City of Portlandia?
See ya.

Gerry, another excellent and preceptive video. Please keep them up.

Glad to see I'm not the only one questioning why a city that has been relentlessly increasing the tax burden on residents sees fit to spend millions on celebrating a for-profit organization like the Canucks.

This is not the World Cup, or the Olympics which are at least able to legitimately claim some level of international recognition and hence some manner of ROI.

As to Toderian, is he still just renting? Seems strange to entrust planning of a city to somewhat not willing to commit to it. But what do I know...

The Thought of The Night

'These days at City Hall, all meetings are friendly meetings. It's like a party of friends without the drinks and the hors d'oeuvres served at face value. For our benefit of course, so we don't crave. the civil servants are in, the politicians are in, the people in attendance are in, they are all part of the Vancouver Futureworld Amusement Park staff.'

That's where the Solomon funds and the Newell rubber maiden's money come in handy. For all those people, in attendance, it is their job to be there. Their only job. Advocacy is big business. the business of changing other people's opinions and promoting yours.

like replacing Dumb with Dumber.

But when it's well funded, advocacy it's just like any other work day at the office. Only without the word 'work' in it.

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

Wow, a lot of people sure seem to harbour hard feelings against sport, or in this case, the Canucks' run to the Cup. While I agree there is certainly a lot of capitalism (ie ridiculous prices) involved, I think the pros far outweigh the cons. After all, what is wrong with people temporarily uniting in a common goal of winning the Cup. Not only are we uniting, but we are having FUN. All ages. Die hard fans and playoff fans alike. And the excitement and positive feeling found in the city translates very well to visitors to Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, which is terribly important to a place where tourism is a big part of the local economy. And the City certainly does seem to be getting the hang of providing free venues for events, so the fun is not relegated to those with the bucks (noting that a lot of this type of community type planning for the Olympics occurred during the 2005-08 City term, and kudos to City staff on this). And perhaps this temporary unity will translate into a more far-reaching unity as BC and Canadian citizens.

I would like to point out, as well, that professional teams do give back, whether it is the Canucks, the Lions, the Whitecaps or the Canadians, through their charitable foundations and community work. And promoting sport to youth is one very important aspect of raising well-rounded children (though not the only aspect, of course). I participated in both team and individual sports in my youth, and I gained so much from both. Both were great, but I gotta tell ya, there is nothing like the feeling of being part of a winning team.

So in closing, Go Canucks Go - I hope that phrase is okay with the NHL lawyers :)

"...and the City certainly does seem to be getting the hang of providing free venues for events". NOT free. Up to $1.2 million of extra unbudgeted expenditures. That's money that must come from parks, libraries, community centers, homeless programs, bike lanes, road repair, garbage pickup, etc.

By rights, the province should be pitching in for this. It's not fair that such a large burden should fall on the city when it truly is a provincial event.

Great job as usual Gerry..that is one big TV screen.
I must say I have sympathy for those condo dwellers. Lets hope they are hockey fans.

Your last sentence says more than teh rest of your post:
"- I hope that phrase is okay with the NHL lawyers :)"

The Canucks are a big business. Why my tax dollars are going to subsidize their hoopla is mystifying. There's no city money to keep open a petting zoo that thrilled kids 365 days a year, but there's city money to help keep millionaire athletes in Range Rovers and Porsches?


You must be dreaming in technicolour, KLH.

"They give back to the communitites through charitable foundations and community work". Yes, they get tax receipts and they work their brand so as to capture the next gen of Canuckites. This is not a crime, but please, KLH, do try not to elevate this business to such an exalted and sainted position.

Re: Brent Toderian. As per usual, we have a bureaucrat speaking so much, but saying so little. I suppose we should be grateful that we don't have to compensate him by the word.

Whoop de doo. Community solidarity? Showing people from around the country and the world that we can bring out the biggest collection of knuckle-dragging, bar hopping, heavily tattooed, wife-beater shirt wearing idiots (and that's just the women!) into the downtown core? Let's hope we don't have the ultimate demonstration of "team solidary"---which generally sees some drunken louts pounding on other drunken louts---for all those good people to take home as memories of their trip to Vancouver. But hey, we get to pay for all that policing, so no matter, right?

I was downtown on Saturday during and after the game. If this is the best example we can give ourselves about what it means to be "community minded",then god help us all.

Because the future looks far more "Clockwork Orange" than "Disney Channel" on the streets of Vancouver during game time.

From where I came from, community minded meant checking on your neighbours, seeing if the elderly were doing alright(especially when the temperatures were at an extreme)
Having a neighbourhood party where the kids could play street hockey, people meet each other etc.
It didn't mean thousands of people descending on the main streets of downtown Vancouver (with all the booze and dope that they could carry.)

And to all the people that will yell at me because they think we have to have community meeting places like Europe does.

I can guarantee that the Spanish public (and Police) wouldn't put up with any of the nonsense that I've witnessed on the streets.

Climbing on lamp standards and cars?
Real community.

Brent Toderian should better stay in Vancouver and do his job (or perhaps leave us and go somewhere else, like a smaller city where he would more like in his element) instead of flying to the East coast (another one!) to lecture them (on what?). Poor them, they must have paid money to attend. That's a downer.

Check out!

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