Vancouver, "the supermodel of North American Cities"?

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Align LeftThis USA today article got me thinking, are we really that much better than other similar sized metros/cities in North America? Sure we have our problems, the DTES comes to mind. However, at the same time we’ve been blessed with tremendous natural scenery, great urban landscape, restaurants, beaches, mountains, water, shopping etc…

To those that continually bash Vancouver one question comes to mind. Why the fuck are you living here if this place is as infested, gang-riddled cesspool of homelessness and violence at every turn? It sure as hell isn’t cheap so that can’t be stopping you from moving. The answer is simple, Vancouver isn’t as bad as people with too much time on their hands may lead you to believe. Sure there is poverty, but at every corner, to that I say shut the fuck up? I don’t know if hanging out with UD has made me look at the poverty ‘industry’ differently/objectively, but it sure makes me question their motives.

I will give the naysayers one thing, the recent upswing in violence is worrisome. Let’s hope this is cyclical and will die down soon. Having said that, with all the violence and gun play in our city, I’m not at all worried for my safety. Never have I felt fearful of my life in this city, in fact I’ve walked the streets of the DTES at night many times, still do. Never scared. In fact, the inhabitants of the DTES are really nice people and have been ghettoized by the very industry out there to protect them.

Further, I also wouldn’t mind more pro sports team in this town, however that will come with time (see MJS posts on pro sports in Vancouver). Remember, we are a young city with mainly immigrant families, the NBA and MLB don’t really resonate with them. It will be a few generations before we see more pro sports franchises in our city. More corporations wouldn’t hurt either as that would help with sponsorship. Again this will come in time as our small businesses grow into corporations (see Lululemon).

Truth is we got a lot going for us, we just don’t realize it because we’ve become accustomed to it. We have the people, infrastructure and investment capability to do something great. We just need better civic politicians that can grasp the true potential of this city. We need a Dianne Watts type of Mayor in Vancouver. Gregor just isn’t cutting it so far (neither did Sullivan), but he has ample time to prove us wrong.

To often we rest on our strengths of natural resources. It is now time for us to foster and grow our intellectual resources. I believe we are on our way.

Developing…

photo: source

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