Nov 19 2007
Can Vancouver export sustainable urban design to the world?
Dubai is as good a test case as one could hope for. Media expert Michael Klassen notes that the future Hong Kong of the Middle East has already snagged five of our city planners. The plan is to use the same expertise that made Vancouver into a world-class city and showcase for sustainability to give Dubai a look to match its ambitions.
But EcoDensity only makes sense in a place that can actually accommodate density without massive resource transfers and subsidies. Vancouver has plenty of water; Dubai doesn’t. Vancouver has access to green hydroelectric power; Dubai eventually may be a solar-energy superpower, but it’s not there yet. Dubai’s service economy has to import virtually all basic commodities and manufactured products. This may be a case of importing the look of Vancouver without the underlying sustainability.