Saturday, May 19, 2018


Written by the late Errnie Crist in 2007.

The North American City is the product of the automobile. It shaped our lives, our culture, and our economic priorities. Land was plentiful, oil cheap and Henry Ford an American hero who turned mass production of cars into a religion.

However, the imperatives for radical change are now upon us. Our reliance on the automobile to commute in the city is past.

Whether we can make the transition to a new 21st century and human environment or not will determine our survival. Global warming is not a myth, the economic cost of single vehicle transportation is not a myth, nor is the waste of land nor is the staggering cost to our health and the depletion of fossil fuel. Change is no longer an option. It is a challenge we will either meet head on or we will suffer serious consequences.

The new 21st century liveable city is designed for people not cars, stated world renowned city planner Hans Blumenfeld on his visit to Vancouver almost 30 years ago. Indeed there are no cars to speak of and to the extent that they exist, they are the exception not the rule.

Transportation in the new city is based on mass transit. It is efficient, convenient, cheap, and pollution free. It is virtually noiseless and pleasing to the eye. It is in harmony with the city’s architecture. It is part and parcel of a new human friendly environment in which people speak to each other and relax while traveling at great speed moving to their destination. It is an antidote to alienation and comprises everything from rapid trains, noiseless street cars, to buses, ferries and mini buses.

The new city has plenty of trees, parks, playing fields, indoor and outdoor recreation and cultural facilities. Most neighbourhoods are self contained for efficiency and yes, there are high-rises. Indeed, compact developments are the rule rather than the exception while total green space is enhanced and pedestrian friendly.

However, the new proposal for high-rises in Lynn Valley is not conducive to this objective. It is the exact opposite. It is outmoded and reactionary.

Far from decreasing reliance on the car it will enhance it. Far from less pollution, there will be more. Far from generating less traffic congestion, there will be more. The reason is that the most important element of enhanced liveability, as outlined in numerous vision statements by the worlds most credible town planners, will be missing, namely a transportation system which reflects this concept and must be its backbone.

If the proposal for high-rises in Lynn Valley, in the name of motherhood and apple pie, is implemented as it will unless the people stand up now and stop it, everything which is outdated now will be worse. Any and all talk to the contrary is at best wishful thinking or an out and out hoax as was the previous densification of the Lynn Valley Core sold to the people of Lynn Valley as a “Pedestrian Oriented Town Center”.


Anonymous said...

John, bring this article up to the Public Hearing on Tuesday. If you won't be speaking, you can submit an email to Mayor and Council before the Public Hearing is likely to end that night. No more comments to the Public Hearing will be allowed after that.

John Sharpe said...

Excellent idea. One way or another this should be communicated to District Council at this time.

Anonymous said...

It should be noted that no one can predict the close of this public hearing. Until such time that all with interest on the property have been heard, it shall not close.

Anonymous said...

Ernie was partly right. Privately owned vehicles will be around for centuries to come in some form. Since he wrote that article the average car in the district has gotten bigger not smaller. I was at the grocery store yesterday and the parking lot was 50% SUVs. Since he wrote that article the mode share has not shifted one bit, despite millions of additional dollars in transit, bike lanes, and walking connections.

Face it, you can't buck human nature and we are born to be social, but in a small tribe structure not a massive faceless city of towers.

The Emery Place Mosaic proposal represents an abdication of the Mountain Village concept in the town plan.

Anonymous said...

Democracy is done in the DNV as I have written previously.

Our local council has been paid off through bribes and anyone who says otherwise is part of the problem not the solution. That is the bottom line.

I genuinely do not know the solution.

Yet I reflect on the use of the use of the gallows etc during the Reign of Terror at the conclusion of the French Revolution.

When Richard Walton responds to the public pleading they have no bread to eat, "Let them east cake" I assure all I will not shed a tear for him as he attempts to depart to his new home in the Monterary Peninsula on October 20, 2018 as his private jet is stormed on the tarmac of YVR and he and Celeste Pelc are pulled out to face consequence for 14 years of poor judgement.

On October 21 there will be Hell to pay. Not only for politicians but for their ass kissing corporate stooges and on-the-take yellow striped cowards.

I will not be involved. I am too old for it all. But I will enjoy watching it unfold.

Anonymous said...

Nice bit of fiction there anon Wednesday, May 23, 2018 9:13:00 pm. Show us proof of bribery and corruption otherwise you're just tilting at windmills.

Anonymous said...

Evidence of bribes paid will be introduced starting Day One of the All Candidates meetings during the 2018 municipal elections and not before.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it Mathew Bond and Roger Bassam!

Anonymous said...

Hate to disappoint, but I'm neither of those people. It's a shame Barry's policy of no conspiracy theories without proof isn't being upheld by John. Stop blowing smoke if you aren't going to back it up. Again, tilting at windmills. Hey, John, are you allowing fiction on this blog or are you going to start moderating this nonsense? There's enough divisiveness in politics without the conspiracy theories and fantasy.

Anonymous said...

No one wrote you were either of those people.

Wait until the first all-candidates meeting (not the one at Cap U)

Nothing stops this train!

Anonymous said...

So, if you have anything at all, why are you waiting until some meeting and not going to the police with your “proof” now? Tilting at windmills.

Anonymous said...

Ripping to shreds the reputation of a councillor in a public forum, castrating forever their political and other careers, and leaving their family in tears is worth far, far more in value than involving the police who will sweep it under the rug for the price of Medium Double Double. It will be the highlight of this fall.

Anonymous said...

What rubbish.
John, why are you allowing the conspiracy theorists to have a voice after Barry established policy against this crap? Either they post proof to support their accusations, or keep it to themselves.

Anonymous said...

Allegations made specifically naming an individual in this forum risk drawing the attention of court action as "defamatory."

Allegations or "rubbish/conspiracy" as one of the posters above labels them are generally protected during all candidate meetings as an occasion of qualified privilege and immune from court challenges.

Families are fighting for their futures against certain councillors. It is a war, and there are no rules in war.

L Leeman said...

Much as I respected Ernie, this article sounds to me like he was a 'true believer' in Maurice Strong's Club of Rome objectives.
Many's the Utopian socialist/communitarian dream that found itself leaning on false footings or wrecked on the rocks of human nature.

Hope you aren't enthralled with the sirens' call John.

Wendy Qureshi said...

Wrong!j Ernie was a socialist and a Marxist, and he always moved that into communication with everybody. He knocked on every door in the DNV early on to get elected.

His prophecies are bang on.

The livability in the DNV is in the toilet.

Wendy Qureshi
Running for City Council October 20th
Kimberley, BC

Anonymous said...

Wendy is correct.

Research is showing that the densification strategy of the DNV by building up rather than out is negatively correlated to good mental health.

"The latest findings from Colin Ellard, a neuroscientist and urban design consultant at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, further support a slew of previous studies that link high-rise dominated landscapes with depression, anxiety and overall sour moods."

People living in densely populated urban areas and forced to rely on overcrowded public transportation are literally taking their own lives as they become overwhelmed with anxiety, depression etc. Never before have so many people lived with so many others and experienced so much loneliness. Research also shows declining sperm counts among men living in densely populated urban areas as well as much lower reproduction rates for women in those areas compared to more comfortable surroundings.

As we know, the vast majority of people living in building units above the 5 storey level would prefer to live on the lower floors or in shorter buildings but the homes are in short supply.

Research also shows that it is universally men that plan and design residential buildings taller than 5-storeys and that many of them design towers as phallic symbols to compensate for their own - while for lack of a better word - "shortcomings" shall we say. Research also shows municipal elected officials who promote and approve these towers are also near universally men, who may well also suffer the same "shortcomings." It would be interesting to gather empirical evidence and do a regression. My hypothesis would be a positive correlation, shown by a scatter graph with a t-test well above 0.6

Anonymous said...

"As we know, the vast majority of people living in building units above the 5 storey level would prefer to live on the lower floors or in shorter buildings but the homes are in short supply."

I'll bite on that whopper. No, the upper floors consistently go for dramatically more money than the 2nd through 5th floor. People pay a significant premium for views. Also when a building is first available its the top floors that sell first even when the lower floors are in equitable supply. First floor is different as quite often they have patios, street level parking access, and additional storage.

Anonymous said...

Wow, anon Tuesday, June 12, 2018 9:30:00 am! As an architect with female colleagues who design towers, your assumptions are pretty preposterous. Please cite the sources of this research you speak of.

Zoning dictates building height. Preservation of single family home zoning over all else dictates building height in the few areas that allow anything other than single family homes. Don't want towers? Allow medium density, multi-family housing in more areas. If people would be willing to accept medium density in a larger area, we could eliminate the need for towers in the community. But every time you protest any form of development, you're choosing towers close to the town centres and transportation corridors.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:43 pm

Wrong again! During presales higher floors sell for more, that fact is true. However at resale, the premium for higher floors completely disappears. In Canada, condo purchasers consistently buy from the ground up. IF you do not know that fact, you should not be opining. It is the ill informed like you that have gotten us to the crisis we are now in by talking through your hast at Public Hearings and the like in front of municipal councils. Next time, do research and be prepared.

Anon 7:09

Industry certification data shows that there are 2,444 architects in Canada. Of that number less than 5% are are women, and I cannot source in BC albeit I would expect there are some.

It should be noted that among people who identify as being in the profession of architecture, but not necessarily architects there are about 25 in the Lower Mainland.

I note that Canadian Architect (Mar 7, 2016) congratulated Esther Majorie Hill, thought to be first Canadian woman to graduate from architecture school (University of Toronto). I am suprised it took until 2016 and perhaps this is an error in publication date.

The following source lists all the female architects in Canada to the best of my knowledge. None are in BC.

I stand corrected so please refer me to two solely residential towers above 12 storeys in the Province of BC designed by a female, for which construction is completed and for wich all residential units are occupied or delivered to their owners, just two.

Anonymous said...

Anon Tuesday, June 12, 2018 9:04:00 pm,
Why would I give you the names of people I know on this blog? Also, you said "universally" you did not specify the Province of BC. The AIBC list of architects shows at least half a dozen female architects in the members whose surnames begin with A, alone. There are several firms headed by female architects in the lower mainland. Also, architects are hired to design towers for developers so if you have a gripe with people feeling inadequate, you might take it up with the development community and not the people they hire to design their projects.

Esther Majorie Hill entered architecture school (U. of Alberta) in 1916 and graduated in 1920 after transferring to the U. of Toronto.

You can google all you like but it's a poor replacement for actual industry knowledge and experience.

Anonymous said...


As expected there are no women in BC that met my definition.

Wendy Qureshi said...

My late husband was a registered psychologist in the province of BC. He said many times that the rearing of our children is the most important thing we as a society do.

Growing up in a high-rise is not conducive to good mental health.

These kids are, very early on, led around. They do not make their own decisions, like maybe jumping into a puddle. There are no puddles to jump into. Only elevators and rules and regs to follow and constant supervision.

Anonymous said...

"Wrong again! During presales higher floors sell for more, that fact is true. However at resale, the premium for higher floors completely disappears"

Hmm Let's see if you are correct...

1550 Fern Street (The Seylynn Tower II)

4th Flr 2 bed 2 bath $790,000
10th Flr 2 Bed 2 Bath $949,000
17th Flr 2 bed 2 bath $949,000
12th Flr 2 Bed 2 Bath $989,000
24th Flr 2 Bed 2 Bath $1,189,000

Nope, you're wrong. If they face the city there is a premium, but generally, other than the first floor, the higher you go the higher the price.

Anonymous said...

Wendy, you aren't a psychologist so you are only stating your opinion. Children are raised in apartment blocks and towers the world over. Have been for decades. If these urban upbringings were so detrimental to their mental and physical well-being, you'd think there would be legislation preventing the practice.

Wendy Qureshi said...

Anon 2:41

What kind of lala land do you live in? I hope you don't have kids.

Anonymous said...

Wendy, I'm grounded in reality. Do you not know people who grew up in downtown Toronto, New York, Chicago or other dense cities with towers and large apartment complexes? I do. They're all decent, productive members of society. You're projecting your own biases and fears on something you know nothing about. And what make you more worthy of having children than I?

Monica Craver said...

I saw how kids raised in apartments in Toronto played in stair wells for fun... Not the kind of childhood I would wish for any child. Nobody needs to live that way because so many developers want to make a pretty penny over selling politicians the goods. The Atlantic wrote about how living in small condos can create greater psychological problems...which is what the bulk of what is being built, these days:

Why stifle childhood in condo boxes?

Congratulations, Wendy, on running for Council in Kimberley. I wish you the best of luck! Glad to see you on this blog again!

Anonymous said...

Anon June 12

Hi Swastika Matt Bond.

We like your stats,

Even better we like the stats of your wife - Michelle Bond - you know she "works in film industry>'

Do Trickie Dicke and 'Assman" also enjoy her "assets."

Oh Swastika would you are to place into the public domain the birth certificate of the two people you claim are your offspring. Or like Mama Mia, perhaps there are 3 dads.

Anonymous said...

John the last comment is completely offside and may constitute harassment. Please remove it.

Anonymous said...

John, are you going to let this blog spiral into the nonsense we're seeing by anon Tuesday, June 19, 2018 9:49:00 pm? Step up and start monitoring the posts here, please. Otherwise this place is no better than facebook or twitter.