|38 weeks ago I read a theory that going for 50 coffees with people you’ve never met is the entrepreneur’s equivalent to the theory that doing anything for 10,000 hours will make you an expert on it. While I get the idea, 50 coffees is far easier than practicing something for ten years, and while I’m far from lazy I decided to set out on a fairly simple mission: over 50 weeks I’m inviting 50 interesting Vancouverites, most of whom I have never met before, to go for coffee. I’m using this as an exercise in networking for myself and for V.I.A. while also using it as a platform to introduce you to some people who are doing really cool stuff in the city you live in.
Recently I made THIS POST where I connected local professional skateboarder, Rick McCrank, with the future of the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts and the public competition the City held looking for your ideas for them. I then brought you FOR COFFEE with former Chief Planner of the City of Vancouver, Brent Toderian, and shared his opinion of them which is, in a nutshell, “Take em down!”. Today I’m pleased to bring you to coffee with Geoff Meggs, who has championed the discussion from the beginning.
When they were built, decades ago, the viaducts were supposed to connect the downtown core to a freeway system, but construction of the freeway ended up being completely halted due to the neighbourhood it went through standing up against it. Geoff and I met at Harvest on Union street, with the end of the viaduct as a backdrop, to talk about their future. Up to this point this series of 50 Coffees has been used to tell the story specifically of the people whom I meet with and introduce you to them so before we go any further the standard introduction I’ve developed is in order:
Meet Geoff Meggs. Award-winning journalist and author, labour movement supporter, founding member of Vision Vancouver and a City of Vancouver Councillor since 2008. Our paths had crossed briefly a couple of times before this coffee (handshakes at an event here and there) and it was great to be able to sit down with him and talk about what will be a monumental decision being made for our city by Geoff, Mayor Gregor, and the rest of Council based on reports from city staff as well as your input.
Now on to those large wedges of concrete that I walk under every day on my way from my home in The Village On False Creek to the V.I.A. office in Chinatown!
In what they’re calling “a bold new concept”, last week the City released a summary presentation of a proposed idea for the land under the viaducts which would start with them being completely taken down! This would be a huge turning point for the future of our city, as big as the freeway being blocked decades ago, and I’m encouraging you to check out what they’ve got to say and to have YOUR say on what you think should happen by attending the open houses.
As it stands, I love this proposal. Click through all 46 pages of the summary using the navigation above or if you’re not that keen here’s my… uh… summary of the summary as well as some points in it that I think are particularly awesome:
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