What Makes a City Vibrant?

Vibrancy is People.

“A city is about having a center, or an intersection people tend to associate with culture, gatherings, and activities. A vibrant city has a core and a pulse that is always beating and when you visit that core place your spirit is lifted and you leave having experienced something new and different.” (from CEOs for Cities)

chinatown1967_wwwurbantreef

Keeping our cities vibrant: Vancouver’s example:

Citizens of Strathcona rejected a freeway through Chinatown in 1967  “Immediately, protest came from every part of the city, and a crowd of 800 people gathered in City Hall to shout down the consultants’ proposals. The Chairman of the city’s planning commission resigned on the spot, and a year later, the plan was scrapped. Apparently, the spirited editorializing of the local papers in favor of cutting out civic blight with a concrete knife had influenced no one but a handful of architects.” read more

save kensingston poster

Keeping our cities vibrant: Toronto’s Kensington Market’s example:

Having just spent a few wonderful days in the Annex and Kensington Market, I am so happy to see a neighbourhood pull together to voice their concerns over the negative impact of big box retail.

“People don’t walk to stores in a walkable city, they walk through neighbourhoods with stores,” said Vaughan (a Toronto City Councillor) while at the podium. “Big box is the antithesis of a walkable city.” read more.

Have a look at Toronto’s Annex and Kensington Market through the eyes’ of a traveler (me).

IMG_5567IMG_5436IMG_5469IMG_5437In the lanes of the Annex, graffiti artists show their work. Every garage was the canvas and the lanes became the gallery.  IMG_5571 IMG_5577 IMG_5572 IMG_6001 IMG_5608 IMG_5685 IMG_5700 IMG_5740 IMG_5798 IMG_5780 IMG_3829 IMG_3846 IMG_5690 IMG_5519  IMG_5449 IMG_3790 IMG_5339 IMG_5318 IMG_5344 IMG_6004 IMG_5477 IMG_5498 IMG_5587 IMG_5475 IMG_5443For some, their work is political.

People are at the center of vibrant, livable cities.

 

 

Ray Kappe: Architect, Urban Planner and Educator, California

Photo - Ray KA TRIBUTE + RESOURCE

An internationally recognized architect, urban planner, and educator since 1953, Ray Kappe‘s much awarded and published work is considered to be an extension of the early Southern California master architects: Wright, Schindler, Neutra, and Harwell Hamilton Harris.

Some good advice In the words of Ray Kappe:
“I’ve always sought out the edges, the views, and a feeling
of expansiveness.”

“I was once asked what I think are the ten most important principles that helped make me a successful architect, planner, and educator…

(1)  Think positively, not negatively.
(2)  Accept structure but know that it is to be questioned and broken when necessary.
(3)  Always be willing to explore, experiment and invent.  Do not accept the status quo.
(4)  Know yourself and keep your work consistent with who you are and how you think.
(5)  Maintain good moral and social values.
(6)  Be humble, honest, compassionate, and egalitarian.
(7)  Have conviction about your work.
(8)  Be open and say yes to most ideas and requests. The good ones will be valuable, the bad ones will cease to exist.
(9)  Allow employees and fellow workers freedom and the ability to work to their strengths. Avoid hierarchy.
(10) Money should be the residual of work, not the goal.  But do not compromise your worth.”

rayk1_1