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.



Vancouver Greenest City in the World 2020

Vancouver Greenest City in the World 2020 Manifesto

Creator: Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and the Greenest City Action Team.

Purpose: To make Vancouver the Greenest City in the world by 2020.

Vancouver Manifesto: Greenest City in the World 2020

Targets for 2020

Green Economy: Double the number of green jobs in the City over 2010 levels.

Climate Leadership: Reduce community-based greenhouse gas emissions by 33% from 2007 levels.

Green Buildings: Require all buildings constructed from 2020 onward to be carbon neutral in operations and to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in existing buildings by 20% over 2007 levels.

Green Transportation: Have over 50% of trips take place by walking, cycling and public transit. And, reduce motor vehicle kilometres traveled per resident by 20% from 2007 levels.

Zero Waste: Reduce solid waste going to the landfill or incinerator by 50% from 2008 levels.

Access to Nature: Ensure that every person lives within a 5-minute walk of a park, beach, greenway, or other natural space. And, plant 150,000 additional dares in the city between 2010 and 2020.

Lighter Footprint: Reduce Vancouver’s per capita ecological footprint by 33% over 2006 levels.

Clean Water: Meet the strongest of British Columbian, Canadian, and international drinking water quality standards and guidelines. And, reduce our per capita water consumption by 33% over 2006 levels.

Clean Air: Have the cleanest air of any major city in the world. And, meet the most stringent of British Columbian, Canadian and international air quality standards and guidelines.

Local Food: Increase city and neighbourhood food assets by a minimum of 50% over 2010 levels. That means increasing all residents’ access to food that is fresh and local, grown without harmful chemicals, and fairly produced and harvested.



Website with full details, documents, videos and more

Video Overview of Greenest City in the World program

Image from Vancouver Greenest City Website