Friday, June 15, 2012

Artist Studios and Bike Lanes

Usually I treat with skepticism and a healthy dose of irony the self-congratulatory email blasts that arrive in my in-box from Vision Vancouver on a regular basis extolling the party's latest triumph at City Hall. These announcements often seem to me to be platitudinous wish fulfillment masquerading as planning and policy (the greenest city by 2020 anyone?). (I don't think I've been a paid-up member of the party since Robertson's inaugural mayoral run, but that of course hasn't meant that they've tossed my email address.)

Imagine my surprise, then, when I opened up my email yesterday to find not a missive from the mayor reflecting with shame (or nostalgia, for that matter) on last year's Stanley Cup riots (as most media outlets in the city have been doing this past week), but announcing progressive new measures (not least in terms of making available new affordable studio space) for Vancouver's artists. Good news for a city that has the highest concentration of artists in Canada. Details of the announcement can be found here.

What's more, this came on top of news that the Vision-dominated Council had approved making permanent the separated bike lanes along Dunsmuir and Hornby, as well as introducing a public bike share program like those in Toronto and Montreal and other major cities around the world.

Not a bad week's work, and for once my applause is genuine.


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