Archive for October, 2007



lessons from past societies

October 20, 2007

Watch this Jared Diamond lecture on what we can learn from past collapsed societies. He is speaking about his book, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, which is on my recommended reading list.

He speaks about the need to adapt to the world changing around us and question our values when they become self-destructive.


PPS public spaces workshop

October 19, 2007

Monday Oct 1 2007, I attended a workshop sponsored by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. The FCM Walkability and Placemaking training seminar was presented by the Project for Public Spaces. PPS is an organization from New York “dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build communities”. It was a pre-conference workshop at the Walk21 conference in Toronto. Read on »


prescriptive principles

October 16, 2007

Last night, the City’s consultant working on the OCP said that there must be a balance between statements of principle and prescription (flexibility and certainty) in the OCP. I don’t disagree with that, but I remain concerned about creating policies that might discourage creativity, or worse, end up ignored because they are unrealistic, impractical or completely inflexible. Read on »


ocp in denial

October 14, 2007

All this froth about building heights in the town centre is distracting from meaningful conversation. The OCP should be about principles, not prescriptions. I thought we learned this with the last one. If the policies are not backed up by defensible, logical purpose — if they are arbitrary — they are vulnerable to challenge. Read on »


friendly & inclusive?

What kind of community do you want to live in?

I wish I lived in a community where people treated each other with respect, even if they each hold contrasting opinions. I wish I lived in a community where those differences were approached with curiosity: an interest in learning the reason for the difference, an effort to empathize and see things from the perspectives of others. Read on »


capturing resources

October 9, 2007

For financial sustainability, White Rock (as do most BC cities) needs new sources of revenue. Currently, city finances are stable and sufficient. Read on »


profitable benefit

October 8, 2007

In the minutes from the public meetings last week, several residents are recorded as having said that the property owner is trying to make a profit by redeveloping his property. I think it’s fairly safe to brand this a truism. Read on »