My new byline for Ecomagination covers "Beach and Howe," a proposed complex of low+mid-rise buildings plus skyscraper designed to revitalize street life around Vancouver's Granville Bridge, while advancing the city's goals around high-density sustainable development in its downtown.
Early blogospheric attention on the design was focused on the skyscraper's dramatic (even sexy) curve-and-twist, as well as the conceptual pollution-absorbing gardens.
But what's really compelling, 21st-C urban green about Beach and Howe is how it's nestling into the oddly shaped urban spaces left behind by elevated highways and bridges, and converting them into a welcoming, functioning neighborhood. If it gets built. (And it seems to be on track toward final approval.)
Completing this article turned into a bear *, because it was harder than expected to land an interview with the architect/the architecture firm. There would have been a big hole in the piece without that key conversation.
But it was wonderful to speak with several smart people -- one of journalism's primary joys, speaking with smart people -- about this design specifically, and the possibilities of sustainable cities generally. And I've got a new book on the to-read list: Patrick Condon's Seven Rules for Sustainable Communities: Design Strategies for the Post Carbon World.
* No offense intended to actual bears.