From Lofty Skyscrapers To Leafy Landscapers

Vancouver is a supermodel of a city:  tall, gorgeous, and photogenic.  Whether she’s sparkling from the lights of towering high-rises at night, or looking moody beneath a blanket of fog in the morning, she is breathtaking.  She’s also civic-minded and keenly aware of the long-term benefits of encouraging residents to participate in sustainable practices like supporting local farmers and biking to work.

Thoughtful urban planning has lead to streets that include bike thoroughfares separated from car traffic with a substantial curb instead of just a painted line. It’s exhilarating to see women on bicycles wearing black leggings and skirts cruise alongside fuel-efficient cars while pedestrians, exiting buses and trains, walk on wide, tree-lined sidewalks.  

Vancouver Street Savvy

It's interesting to see how one’s mode of transportation influences work style.  Cyclists seem to prefer messenger bags while bus commuters carry tote bags.  Everyone is prepared with a lightweight rain jacket that can be slipped on faster than a tourist can type “Fluevog shoes”  into a smartphone. In a unique form of style trompe l’oeil that’s characteristic of the French culture, women are quite skilled at making sensible black shoes look ever so chic.  

On the outer edge of a cluster of high-rise buildings, one doesn’t expect to find plots of lush vegetable gardens...unless you’re in downtown Vancouver during July.  Vancouver has developed a neighborhood hybrid between high-rise homes and the local park that connects residents to their environment and each other.  

Growing an edible garden in a public space cultivates optimism in neighborhoods and is a productive use of natural resources. The West End Farmers Market complements the neighborhood by supplying products from local fishermen, bakers, farmers, and chefs, while also raising awareness about the region’s culinary expertise.  Community attendance at the West End market is encouraged with programs like the Go Green - Bike To Market Route and The Bicycle Valet1   

Vancouver community garden

Community gardens are on display for all to enjoy instead of being hidden behind a fence or tucked away in backyards.  Children marvel at the bright colors and textures of leafy vegetables and develop an appreciation for the lifecycle of a garden.  Community gardeners demonstrate how individuals can give new purpose to green-belts to grow good natured neighborhoods on the edge of downtown. 

Merging the urban lifestyle with park gardens and farmers markets is a dynamic concept that promotes sustainable practices.  When it comes to encouraging residents to experience the benefits of fresh air and fresh food, Vancouver is a super model for a thriving community.