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Want Vancouver to have more non-ugly buildings? Maybe support, enter this new urban design competition by July 14

July 6th, 2014 · 8 Comments

I think we can all agree that Vancouver, No. 1 rankings to the contrary, has managed to erect some of the least attractive buildings in the urban world. Every time I travel to any standard American city (Minneapolis currently), I’m shocked to see how many truly lovely houses, interesting mid-rise apartments, and beautifully designed office buildings they have in comparison to Vancouver.

Yes, we do have some well-designed buildings and neighbourhoods — both old and new. But,sorry, folks, there is still a lot of the single-family housing that looks like it was built from the Home Depot remainder bin. There are condos that have gone up recently (the Aquilini reproduction of London council housing next to the Cambie Bridge, to name one) that are a blight. And we have a disproportionate number of office buildings from the 1980s “mid-western insurance head office” architectural school.

So anything that might improve standards is to be welcomed, like these new City of Vancouver urban-design awards. Hope there is more than one entry per category.

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