Monday, May 21, 2012

A couple years ago museum directors and curators the world over were flocking to the Columbian city of Medellin. In yesterday's New York Times "Arts & Leisure" section, Michael Kimmelman reminds us why.

Below is a paragraph from that feature, one that could have been written about Vancouver:

What sets Medellín [Vancouver] apart is the particular strength of its culture of urbanism, which acts now almost like a civic calling card [Trevor Boddy's "Vancouverism"]. The city’s new mayor, Aníbal Gaviria [Gregor Robertson], spent an hour describing to me his [green] dreams for burying a congested highway that runs through the middle of town [the Georgia Viaduct], building an electric tram along the hillsides to stem the sprawl of the slums [the proposed Evergreen Line], adding a green belt of public buildings along the tram [social housing?], rehabilitating the Medellín River [False Creek] and densifying the city center ["Eco-Density" TM] — smart, public-spirited improvements. It’s as if, in this country [Canada] whose relatively robust economy has underwritten many forward-thinking projects, every mayor here [former mayor Sam Sullivan] has to have enormous architectural and infrastructural plans [Olympic Village], or risk coming across as small-minded or an outsider [Sam Sullivan].

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