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By Matt Hern

An unapologetic protection of urban lifestyles in a time of environmental crisis.

summary: An unapologetic protection of urban existence in a time of environmental challenge

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Extra resources for Common ground in a liquid city : essays in defense of an urban future

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Many of my friends have a resigned, good-natured assumption of the city’s slow freefall into oblivion. “You like it here? Really? ” People often speak of the size and chaos of the city as untenable, as impossible to really live in, the city as lost, beyond help, beyond repair, to be temporarily tolerated at best. The easy shot would be to describe Istanbul and Vancouver as two cities going in opposite directions, one heading down, the other on its way up, waving as they go by. There’s something there, and it does feel like Istanbul’s fatalistic sense of decline is mirrored by Vancouver’s ebullience, punctuated by British Columbia’s cringe-worthy current marketing tagline: The Best Place on Earth.

You like it here? Really? ” People often speak of the size and chaos of the city as untenable, as impossible to really live in, the city as lost, beyond help, beyond repair, to be temporarily tolerated at best. The easy shot would be to describe Istanbul and Vancouver as two cities going in opposite directions, one heading down, the other on its way up, waving as they go by. There’s something there, and it does feel like Istanbul’s fatalistic sense of decline is mirrored by Vancouver’s ebullience, punctuated by British Columbia’s cringe-worthy current marketing tagline: The Best Place on Earth.

We can wish it, but it’s not going to happen. I’ve taken another view. I’m perfectly happy to see developers make money. What I want to see is a significant amount of that created wealth come back to the commonwealth of the city. So, there is a quid pro quo in this city which is relatively unique in North America saying that it is a privilege to develop in our city and you will make contributions back. Real contributions. Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of contributions. And this is not just amenities.

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