Cities used to be social places designed for people. Now they are designed for cars and commerce. Even in urban oasis like Vancouver the discussion centers on such things as building heights, bike lanes and bus routes—in other words infrastructure issues. People have been left out of the equation.
My goal is to bring people back in to the discussion and promote a people centred urbanism. If we feel that we are separate from our city, we will continue to be ‘victims’ of all the things that aren’t working, instead of becoming a part of the solution. We need to stop waiting for someone else start the initiatives that we want to see. If we truly desire not just livable, but lovable, communities we need to become “co-creators” of the type of cities we want to live in.
Once we consider ourselves a community, and stewards of not only one another’s well being, but also the well being of our city, anything is possible. By retaking control of our cities and making our own changes—no matter how small—we can take back our cities from the machines and machinations and return to people centred cities.
Bio: Yuri Artibise is a public policy wonk with a passion for cities and social media. Through his Yurbanism brand, he explores the ‘Y’ of urbanism by sharing ways to make our cities more livable, community-oriented places one block at a time. He currently works with PlaceSpeak, an online location-based community consultation platform and contributes regularly to Spacing Vancouver.