Livable, lovable or leaveable?

Asp pointed out this column in the financial times about Vancouver consistently making it into ‘top livable city’ lists, but not drawing lots of population or interest on a global scale:

Vancouver is Hollywood’s urban body double. It is famously the stand-in for New York, LA, Seattle and Chicago, employed when those cities just get too tough, too traffic-clogged, too murderous or too bureaucratic to film in. It is almost never filmed as itself. That is because, lovely as it is, it is also, well … a little dull. Who would want to watch a film set in Vancouver? To see its skyscrapers destroyed by aliens or tidal waves, its streets populated by cops and junkies, its public buildings hosting romantic reunions? Yet Vancouver (original name, Gastown) has also spent more than a decade at the very top of the charts of the best city to live in the world. Can that really be right?

No. Not at all. In fact, Vancouver’s boringly consistent topping of the polls underlines the fundamental fault that lies at the heart of the idea of measuring cities by their “liveability”. The most recent surveys, from Monocle magazine, Forbes, Mercer and The Economist, concur: Vancouver, Vienna, Zurich, Geneva, Copenhagen and Munich dominate the top. What, you might ask, no New York? No London? No LA or HK? None of the cities that people seem to actually want to emigrate to, to set up businesses in? To be in? None of the wealthiest, flashiest, fastest or most beautiful cities? Nope. Americans in particular seem to get wound up by the lack of US cities in the top tier. The one that does make it is Pittsburgh. Which winds them up even more.

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blueskies
Guest
blueskies

YVR REIC MSM S.U.C.K.S. !!

BPOE?…….. NOT!

Epic FAIL!!

vreaa
Member

Great article, spot on, thanks for the link.

Vancouver is one of about 180-200 second-tier cities in the world.

It has some good strengths, but some definite cracks, too.

When we hear locals likening it to "NYC/Paris/London/Tokyo", we are embarrassed.

Keeping and Eye on T
Guest
Keeping and Eye on T

“These lists are journalistic catnip. Fun to read and look at the pictures but I find the liveable cities lists intellectually on a par with People magazine’s ‘sexiest people’ lists.”

nuff said, Bill Slut type of filler, let's have a focused open line with Levy and Muir as special guests to comment, hell let's call it a super special, and have Bruce Allen report live from Lilloet.

vreaa
Member

Froogle Scott on Seismic Upgrading.

Don't miss it….

http://wp.me/pcq1o-2e0

vreaa
Member
So many good passages in that FT article: "To even begin to understand how these slightly unsettling results are arrived at, we need to understand who compiles them and who they are for. The lists are made by well-travelled academics, researchers and journalists for corporate, media and creative executives on generous expense accounts as well as other academics enjoying grants and stipends. And, of course, by Tyler Brûlé. Most of these people are profoundly concerned with things like well-designed street furniture, a proliferation of eye-wateringly expensive artisanal retail, boutique hotels with good (English-speaking) service and environmentally friendly mayoral policies." — “I’ve been to Copenhagen,” (Monocle’s Number 2) he tells me “and it’s cute. But frankly, on the second day, I was wondering what to do.” — “Sure, Vancouver is beautiful,” says Kotkin, “but it’s also unaffordable unless you’re on an… Read more »
paradox
Guest
paradox

Great find.

I wish I had written that article.

It only fails to mention that it rains for about 300 days a year in beautiful Vancouver, making living here depressing no matter how upbeat you are.

Funny how when people talk about Seattle, everybody seems to agree that it is a rain hellhole whereas Vancouver is ranked so high up – the whether sucks just as much here, with a horrible high cost of living that you don't have in Seattle as a bonus.

jesse
Member

Still… if you want to live in Canada, hate the snow, like mountains, and want a decent (but not great) selection of employment opportunities, Vancouver is the logical choice.

Luckily it doesn't cost that much… as long as you don't mind renting 😛

jesse
Member

@paradox: "fails to mention that it rains for about 300 days a year"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_Vancouver

Although popularly thought of as being a rainy city, Vancouver has only 166 days per year with measurable precipitation on average, and 289 days with measurable sunshine

I find what annoys most people who move to Vancouver is the lack of sustained hot weather.

166 is still a big number, one of the highest in the country.

Best place on meth
Member
Best place on meth

@vreaa:

Vancouver is a 3rd tier city on par with Brisbane, Denver, Bratislava, Zagreb and Stuttgart.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_city

VHB
Member
VHB

Sales a bit below average; listings near highest in last ten years. MoI<6. This market is in neutral.

May 2011 month-end projections

Days elapsed so far 6

Days missing 0

Days remaining 15

5 Day Moving Average: Sales 165

5 Day Moving Average: Listings 306

SALES

Sales so far 960

Projection for rest of month (using 5day MA) 2475

Projected month end total 3435 +/- 680

NEW LISTINGS

Listings so far 1868

Projection for rest of month (using 5day MA) 4593

Projected month end total 6461 +/- 580

Sell-list so far 51.4%

Projected month-end sell-list 53.2%

MONTHS OF INVENTORY

Inventory as of April 30, 2011 14187

MoI at this sales pace 4.13

paradox
Guest
paradox
"Luckily it doesn’t cost that much… as long as you don’t mind renting" I am sure you dont have much experience with renting here. Renting in Vancouver is horrible. The quality of the rentals is a real nightmare. Especially if you are looking for 3 bedroom places. I am sure the reason why many people feel pressured to buy at those ridiculous prices is because renting sucks in the city. I say this from personal experience. Most rentals are month to month which says a lot about stability for a family living in a rental. Compare this with rental in Europe where a minimum 3 to 6 years lease is required. Renting in Vancouver is a very stressful experience and you are always on the edge as to when you might need to move out again. Easier said than done… Read more »
paradox
Guest
paradox

@jesse

I am sure they are not counting all the foggy days when it does not rain but it just feels like it.

The thing about the rain in this city is that it slowly rains for hours and hours and days without stopping. It wears you off slowly. I dont mind 2 hours heavy rain as long as we get blue sky afterwards.

There is a saying in french " apres la pluie le bon temps" but here is after the rain more rain and again more rain for days.

Since october last year, we still have to see some real sunshine here, and it is middle May with sub 10 degrees temperatures. Yeah, maybe july and August will be great and back to hibernation mode for the rest of the year.

betamax
Guest
betamax

"289 days with measurable sunshine"

Unfortunately, that figure doesn't mean sunny the entire day. I've looked at stats which show Vancouver days to be rainy or overcast about 60% of the time.

Regardless of actual numbers, the rain/overcast here is enough to depress many people. I happen to like the rain, but I know many who don't and who can't wait to go on holiday to escape it.

As Paradox states, Seattle has the same weather but it's seen as a rain hell-hole. We just like to pretend otherwise here in Vancouver, and the media goes along with it. As usual, the reality is different.

DaMann
Member
DaMann
I'm going to scream the next time I hear that Vancouver is such a green city. You can put in all the stupid bike lanes you want but when I walk around the neighbourhood seeing al these houses being torn down I just cringe. I see perfectly good little houses being torn down everywhere. Sure some of them ARE teardowns but I also see very good quality places being torn down. I also see how they do it, they demolish it, squish it into a big pile of broken bits and then cart it off to the landfill. They don't remove the insulation, dry wall, nothing. Straight to the landfill. So now Vancouver wants to start a green bin program and make it so that all households have to put food into the compost bid. What a joke. They do… Read more »
jesse
Member

@paradox: "Most rentals are month to month which says a lot about stability for a family living in a rental."

You can get long-term leases in Vancouver, you just have to be patient because they aren't common. I know several families with 3 year leases. Why should finding a good rental take less time than finding a good house to buy?

jesse
Member

@paradox: "I am sure they are not counting all the foggy days"

Maybe… but why state the city gets 300 days of rain? That is simply not true.

McLovin
Guest
McLovin

I disagree about renting in Vancouver. I live in an amazing 3 br with a great view that has not had a rent increase since I moved in 5 years ago. The landlord just came by yesterday and is putting in new blinds and new hardwood floors in exchange for a 1 yr. lease. My cost of renting is about 35% of the cost of ownership. I have kids so I am actually asking for a two year lease. I think you have to be patient.

jesse
Member

CBC: Vancouver rezones Cambie Street corridor for towers

Vancouver's City Council has voted to allow developers to construct mid-rise buildings around the Canada Line Stations along sections of the Cambie Street corridor over the next few decades.

Council approved a plan to allow buildings up to 12 storeys in height on Monday night, and left room for them to go even higher around the Oakridge Mall near 41st Avenue and at the southern end of Cambie Street near Marine Drive.

Maybe they can create something akin to the grand palatial boulevards of Barcelona, another third-tier city. Barcelona's boulevards' buildings only go up 5-6 stories.

Ah Vancouver… you try so hard.

Anonymouse
Guest
Anonymouse

@DaMann:

"They don’t remove the insulation, dry wall, nothing. Straight to the landfill."

Usually the drywall has to be separated as the landfill won't accept it mixed with garbage.

DaMann
Member
DaMann

@Anonymouse:

Usually being the key word. Besides the drywall what about all the wood, wire insulation, flooring and god knows what else. Green city my ass. Construct a LEED building and tell the world but ignore the thousands of perfectly good livable houses going into the landfill.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

@jesse: ….Although popularly thought of as being a rainy city, Vancouver has only 166 days per year with measurable precipitation on average, and 289 days with measurable sunshine….

I call BS! Continuous months of dull grey skies with plenty of rain and the never ending threat of rain! 289 days with measurable sunshine – BS through and through! What a joke? I think Bob Rennie wrote that wiki article.

Anonymouse
Guest
Anonymouse
@vreaa: "When we hear locals likening it to “NYC/Paris/London/Tokyo”, we are embarrassed." Vancouver is way nicer to live in than London, at least if you value a healthy work/life balance. Just getting out of London takes at least an hour, unless you happen to live next to an overland train. An hour after work in Vancouver and you can be skiing on Cypress. Sure, you might start comparing number of art galleries, theatres, museums etc, and complain that Vancouver has "no culture". But not many people in London actually have time or money to actually do all those things anyway. Even visiting a friend can easily be 2 hour return trip across town by public transport, whereas Vancouver is mostly walkable. People tend to have an idyllic view of London based on images of Piccadilly Circus, Tower Bridge, etc, but… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

@jesse: …Maybe… but why state the city gets 300 days of rain? That is simply not true……

Because it's more accurate than insinuating that it gets 289 days of sunshine – nothing could be farther from the truth.

DaMann
Member
DaMann

@Anonymous:

I agree. 289 days of measurable sunshine. Buwwhahhahaha. I will take that bet with anyone for any amount of money that stat is bogus.

WFT?
Guest
WFT?

@Anonymouse:

When you talk about vancovuer, you are only really talking about downtown. That is the only walkable part. And most of vancouver is down right ugly. The entire east side is quite crappy.

And remember, the population of the COV is around 500,000. Most of the LM people life in the burbs. Try takking the bus from DT to visit a friend in the middle of richmond, burnaby, etc. It takes a long time unless they live right on the skytrain route.

also, most people in this city do not have the money to take up an expensive sport like skiing.

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