Trevor Boddy: HybridCity

Trevor Boddy: HybridCity

Creator: Trevor Boddy, a former architecture critic for the Vancouver Sun.

Purpose: To kick off the Design Thinking Unconference in Vancouver and to stimulate a health debate around the design of the city of Vancouver.

HybridCity Manifesto (edited)

Vancouver thrives when it embraces its many origins, peoples, ideas and forms. Vancouver falters when it strives for purity, isolation, unity of function. We are a city of hybrids, so integrated they slide into each other as hybridcity. Our metropolitan strength, our urban engine’s power is creative diversity—without it, we become brittle, uncaring and dull.

Inventing hybridcity: This city was invented at the stroke of a pen. In utterly no sense did vancouver evolve organically—as in standard urban narratives, be they of Etruscan Rome or Homer Simpson’s Springfield—but rather conceived in a single business and political contract for the Canadian Pacific Railway …For our hybridcity, I proclaim the Pentecostal potlatch, and celebrate Equinox, eid and easter with bubble tea!

Forgetting and denying hybridcity: …Vancouver will never be at peace until it reconciles with its indigenaity, a cornerstone of hybridcity. Vancouver must also confront its history of apartheid. Early ‘racial zoning’ mandated asians’ residences and businesses to be located in Chinatown’s few blocks, and nowhere else…

Building hybridcity: Vancouver now grows never before-seen hybrids of building forms and types: thin condo high rises set on townhouse podia (a hybrid of mid-levels hong kong with Brooklyn Brownstones); towers laminating office with residential with hotel; four condo skyscrapers erupting up out of a costco; a village for 400 residents set on the roof of a home depot, itself set on a save-on foods…

Hybridcity now: Real estate is Vancouver’s civil religion, and marketers, politicians, developers and planners are the descending ranks of its priestly class. …Vancouverites need to understand that their Hybridcity—as artifact and idea—is the creation of public policy. …To make ours the greenest city will require a lot of greenwashing. Hybrids can be sterile, or they can flourish—the choice is yours.



Post by Jenny Uechi on the Vancouver Observer website: Trevor Boddy on how to design Vancouver into a better city – 16 August 2011.

Image edited from photo by Parisa Asadi from the above post.



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