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Posts by Farzine:

Ross’ Tale of Two Cities

This time, Vancouver and Vancouver sub in for London and Paris. Don’t fear though; shadows of Dickens remain. In his sweeping, heartfelt and often critical portrait of the city, Gary Stephen Ross offers up a crystal clear “before” picture of this aspiring town just ahead of the throngs about to descend on us for the Olympics. He asks us to ask: What Next?
“Vancouver’s youth, like its size, is easy to overlook. From the air, the downtown commercial grid, circumscribed by salt water and shining in the sun, calls to mind a sort of a mini-Manhattan, as snugly fitted as a Lego project. But look closely, and you’ll notice that only recently have the central buildings started to poke dramatically upward; only now is a mature skyline taking shape, the last of the baby teeth being displaced.”
It’s a worthwhile read. Find … Continue Reading

A Streetcar Named… Revival?

Sorry all, another lame title by me! Anyway, check out PP’s shiny new exclusive video.

A Streetcar Named… Revival? from Planning Pool on Vimeo.

Did you notice the vintage ads in the old streetcar, I reckon they’re a bit more modest than the stuff Vanessa saw in Portland. And be sure to pay special attention to the fantastic soundtrack, performed by our own very talented Vanessa Kay!

Having long been interested at the sight of those old streetcars that still made a circuit along Vancouver’s Southeast False Creek, trundling along with elegance and poise when seen against the car traffic that rushes past, I thought it would be neat if PP did a feature on it. After … Continue Reading

Home, is where I want to be…

…lift me up and turn me round. So sang David Byrne in the Talking Heads. Here’s a fantastic little film created by Jason Owen for a housing policy class at SCARP on “the meaning of home”.

Home…is where I want to be from Planning Pool on Vimeo.

Shot using a fancy Digital SLR rig and carefully put together in editing, this stop-motion film fits so well with Naive Melody that one could easily be forgiven for thinking that the Talking Heads had Vancouver’s West End in mind when writing this little ditty.

Kudos to Jason for doing such a killer job on this. Watching it makes me warm, fuzzy and well…homey!

Check Your Head!

Last March, as part of the SCARP Symposium on Sustainability, Adam Kumbede Education Programme Coordinator of Check Your Head (www.checkyourhead.org) joined other food activists to share his ideas on the subject of Food Sovereignty, embracing the question, “How are we in Metro Vancouver planning for systems that support the production of healthy and culturally appropriate food using ecologically sound and sustainable methods? What does a just urban food system look like?” Following the session, Adam took a few moments to speak about his work with Check Your Head:

Planning Pool’s Interview with Adam of Check Your Head Youth Education from Planning Pool on Vimeo.

Marpole Grows: Communicating Development Scenarios

Marpole Grows from Planning Pool on Vimeo.

As part of an on-going research project conducted by UBC urban design professor Maged Senbel, students in SCARP’s Digital Video and Planning course prepared a few short films on development issues facing the south Vancouver neighborhood of Marpole. This particular film, created by  An Minh Vu, Silas Archambault and myself seeks to engage the community in a conversation about how they would like to see Marpole address inevitable development pressures, brought about by a new Skytrain station, among other things. 

It was originally screened at a community meeting where students from other classes, mostly design, presented their own projects. Among these was an impressive scale-model of the area around the new station, as well as a series of 3D computer models. … Continue Reading

On the treatment of peepee in Koh Phi Phi

First of all I’d like to apologize to our Thai readers for taking liberties with the Thai language, subjecting it to puerile puns such as the one in the title of this post. More generally, I’d like to apologize to everyone else for subjecting you to potty humour. As a visitor to PlanningPool you, Dear Reader, deserve better than this.

But not in this post. It’s late. And I’m sometimes terribly immature.

In my defense, the title is at least somewhat relevant. Koh Phi Phi is a small resort island a queazy hour-and-a-half by boat from the southeastern Thai city of Phuket. After a bout of mildly academic work in Singapore, a fine city that could one day serve as a convincing substitute for “The Village” in a Southeast Asian version of The Prisoner, I found myself on vacation here. And … Continue Reading

A Tale of Two Chinatowns (And a Little India)

Just arrived back from a trip to Asia where, among other things, I took part in a short exchange with the National University of Singapore.

This was all part of a History course that took a comparative approach to exploring planning issues in the ethnic spaces (mostly chinatowns) of Vancouver, Singapore and to a lesser extent Malacca, in Malaysia. The students were divided into several working groups, covering areas such as mapping, architectural modeling, real estate marketing, and video (which I helped to facilitate). Each was responsible for creating a final project presentable to university and government officials, professors and local planners.

So as our little group nosed around these two fascinating cities, talking to planners, historians and local residents as we went, we managed to produce this film. Its purpose is to function as a snapshot of life as it’s being lived … Continue Reading

Stuffed to the gills

Bursting with a few cameras, a laptop and a pile of other gizmos, I lugged my backpack onto the bus this morning, where I sat down and pointed my iPhone browser to the New York Times. With embarrassment, I began reading an article on Anne Leonard’s “Story of Stuff”, a 20 minute film that addresses this fetish many of us seem to have for the things that we consume.

One of the first example she brings up is the iPod. Ouch.

Warning the audience against the hazard of depending on linear production and manufacturing systems in a finite world, there isn’t much here that most ecologists don’t already know. But they aren’t the intended audience – the film is spreading like wildfire across grade schools across the US, with educators clambering to get it into their classrooms.

It’s a pretty inspiring use … Continue Reading