Urban heritage is important to our quality of life in many ways. It projects our history, the history of a city, the history of the life of a city, the urban geology of a city, and what is important in terms of celebrating a city’s legacies. A good way to describe the importance of heritage buildings is to look at the suburban matchbox developments across the landscape without any reference to the past, any reference to history, any reference to the evolution of good architecture, or to architecture generally.
I have come naturally to appreciate the value older buildings, both in terms of the aesthetic and from the functional perspective. I particularly enjoy in the Vancouver context an environment that can only be provided through the presence of a heritage building. Higher ceilings, windows that open to the climate we have here, and all the other features of a classical building.
We are arguably the youngest city in North America. Despite that we have taken on a very enviable attitude toward heritage. Vancouver is on the cutting edge of having set up the right policies and the right attitudes to not only preserve but to celebrate what has been retained in the last ten years
We still have a way to go. We are not free from the unfortunate accidents that occur with respect to the removal of heritage buildings. Vancouver has to be on its guard in respect to preserving even recently completed buildings.
It is important for the community to be continuously involved in the role of understanding the importance of heritage and to participate with the professionals to develop balanced criteria to select what should be retained and what has little merit
Philip Boname founded Urbanics Consultants in 1976 as a firm of land economists and development management consultants. The firm provides real estate development, project management, and economic impact services to create viable mixed use commercial, industrial, and residential projects including hotels and resorts, recreation and tourism facilities, shopping centres, downtown revitalization and waterfront development projects, and arts and cultural centres in North America and around the world.
Urbanics has been involved in the planning and development of major mixed use projects such as Granville Island, Whistler Village, Westminster Quay, Lonsdale Quay, Prince’s Island Village, and South Edmonton Common. Urbanics office is located in the penthouse of Vancouver’s finest heritage building