City Making in Paradise at Simon Fraser University's Harbour Centre with Mike Harcourt and Ken Cameron

Mike Harcourt at City Making in Paradise

On Thursday night, Karen and I attended City Making in Paradise, a panel session at Simon Fraser University's Harbour Centre, which featured an introduction of the book of the same name by former British Columbia premier Mike Harcourt and former GVRD planner Ken Cameron. Subtitled "Nine Decisions That Saved Greater Vancouver's Livability", the book, due in September, lays out the case that Vancouver and surrounding area since 1948 could have gone in many directions but instead chose a relatively enlightened one. Stephen Rees has the definitive notes, and I took a few <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sillygwailo/sets/72157600369864728/"">my photos of Harcourt, Cameron, and the other panelists.

City Making in Paradise cover at Amazon.com

Stephen's notes reflect the amount of discussion paid to the Olympics, a decision that no doubt shapes the next 30 years for the city. Only at the end were the Games and their effect on British Columbia and its major cities. For the record, I opposed the Olympics, but not on economic or environmental grounds, but rather moral grounds. It's a done deal—a phrase to describe both the proposed freeway through Strathcona, the opposition to which is fairly mythologized in this city, and the Gateway Project (the subject of some inspired blogging at Urban Vancouver), which Harcourt argues should go ahead, but done right.

The night featured a heckle from the back, the heckler's wife Adriane Carr (yes, the Adriane Carr) writing about it at some length, David Eaves has a recap and thoughts of the evening.