Learning From Vancouver

Scholar and Brookings Fellow Christopher B. Leinberger says Vancouver provides an accessible model for American cities as they look for examples of sustainable development done right.

"An April 21 article in The Tyee by Canadian Murray Dobbin ended with this advice to his country about your relationship to the U.S.: "Better for both of us that we Canadians strengthen our own country. Let us enhance our communitarian approach, build on our social programs, reverse the decline in education spending, take the lead in fighting climate change, and revive our tradition of progressive international engagement and leadership. That way, if and when, in desperation, our neighbours look for a model to follow, there will still be one. Just next door."

I second that opinion. Over the past two years or so, Americans have been awakening to the fundamentally wrong approach we have pursued for the past generation and more regarding the environment, our health, the built environment and the impact of oil dependency on foreign policy. The unprecedented 80 per cent of the electorate who currently feel the country is "heading in the wrong direction" is just one sign of this questioning.

Having models of an alternative approach is crucial to get us back on track; seeing is believing. We Americans only have a few places, like Portland, Oregon, where we can learn about an alternative to how to build our metropolitan areas . . . and most Americans are tired of endlessly hearing about Portland. We need additional models. Europe is too alien for most Americans (remember that only 20 per cent of us have passports). Canada is so close and you have been exporting friendly images and personalities to us for years; who can't relate to Red Green?"

Full Story: US Needs Vancouver as Model

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!
T-shirt with map of Chicago

Show your city pride

Men's Ultrasoft CityFabric© tees. Six cities available.
$23.00
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95