Friday, June 5, 2009

The Vancouver vs. Seattle Debate

Via Architecture is presenting "The Great Urban Debate", pitting the urban vision of cross-border neighbors Vancouver and Seattle. 

Moderated by local writer/historian Lance Berelowitz, the case for Vancouver will be made by Peter Steinbrueck and the case for Seattle will be made by Gordon Price. It's a reversal that should yield some worthwhile insights into the differing character of each city- a long gestating comparison most often associated with the presence of the I-5 freeway through downtown Seattle and Vancouver's rejection of a similar proposal in the 1960's.

Peter Steinbrueck has been involved in Seattle's civic politics and urban issues for many years and is the son of late Seattle architect and University of Washington faculty member Victor Steinbrueck. The elder Steinbrueck studied under Lionel Pries at U of W in the 1930's and later taught alongside him. Pries was also a seminal influence on Vancouver's own Barry Downs.

Gordon Price is currently heading up the City Program at SFU after serving on city council for many years. See his blog for more information and a post about the debate.

The event takes place in Vancouver on Tuesday, June 16th at 7pm at SFU Harbour Centre (515 West Hastings Street). The Seattle evening takes place two days later at the Seattle Public Library, recently designed by Rem Koolhaas.

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