Anakana Schofield – Author of Martin John and Malarky

Several more trips along the Fraser River, today I noticed how retail developments are popping up along Marine Drive in this drive-in square-rectangular designs. There are clumps of new condo towers appearing, but no sense of walking to the shop. So we have high-density housing model along a stretch that’s surbanized as far as services. How are you to participate in a neighbourhood if you’re commuting to fetch a loaf? There’s also a curious spread, retail developments want square footage that they cannot get in other city locations, while housing heads physically upwards. The people seem squeezed in and up, while the business spreads outwards.  Both models seem to encourage people to have less contact with each other. I’m in favour of urban density, I think cities are built for that purpose, they aren’t suburbs, they aren’t rural but I don’t like the boxy-shop-boxed-in-with-car-parks-packed-with-obese-sized-cars and mega-sized packages of staples.

It reminds me of the pickle they made out of Dublin. I recall driving to visit a friend’s place in the Dublin mountains and encountering these frankly bizarre “marooned” apartments, that are maybe ghost apartments these days, who knows.

Vancouver’s infrastructure is so much better so there’s little comparison in terms of the living experience because transit turns up here.

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