|37 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.
Meet Brent Toderian. Former Chief Planner for the City of Vancouver, current proprietor of Toderian Urban Works, he has influenced and implemented policy at City Hall for years and is now working as a consultant. Like my last 50 Coffees subject, Yuri Artibise (who sat in the exact same chair where he’s pictured below), Brent is the dictionary definition of the word “urbanist”: He’s “A specialist in the study and planning of cities” and from what I see, and what he tells me, I think he’s done a damned good job of it.
I introduced you to him last week when I shared THIS photo that he shot along with his thoughts on The Village on False Creek being not just balanced, but a remarkable community. He went into greater detail about the international awards that it continues to win month after month and I recommend you look back on it HERE. I also quoted him in my recent POST about the future of the viaducts and his opinion that they should come down.
And while I may have quoted him twice since we went to coffee I haven’t quite yet exhausted the trove of inspiration he left me with after we parted ways from Terra Breads. One opinion he shared, which I fully agree with, concerns The Village on False Creek where we met, where that Terra Breads operates, and where I obviously now live. He said that “Once fully complete, the new square and seawall may arguably be the best public space in the city”, By “fully complete” he meant once the Urban Fare, the London Drugs and the Tap + Barrel restaurant open up, those being what may be the final pieces to really bring the area to life. It’s been 4 weeks since I moved in to this place and after the first day it was obvious that this new neighbourhood, to me, and to my neighbours, is incredibly well planned. Follow my In The Village On False Creek series over the coming months as I bring you more.
And rest assured that you haven’t seen the last of Mr Toderian on our blog – he’s now one of my top go-to urbanists!