My neighbour Claus Andrup and I recently published a little book about our home town in Metro Vancouver, if “published” is the correct term.
Our purpose with the book is simply to take a walk through Maple Ridge. “The central area, while significantly improved since 2009, is still vastly under-developed. Outside the central area, neighbourhoods have been created, and are being created, without nearby commercial services or aesthetic focus. And while there is something called an Official Community Plan, there is a lack of civic cohesion or consensus around what direction we should take.”
“We’re hopeful that at some point in the near future the cascade of proposals for the development of the central area and Port Haney will solidify into something like a momentum towards actual construction… Much of the land in these inner-city areas is currently vacant, in a metropolitan region with one of the hottest real estate markets on the continent; this suggests that there may be some benefit in changing our approach.”
We printed 25 copies of this item. We gave one to the Mayor, and he said he liked it. As of this posting, there are two copies for sale at the Maple Ridge Museum, so hurry on down. Due to limitations with the ePub program, our designer tells us that the first conversion of this small-format book into an e-book produced “a jumbled mess.” We’ll keep trying, and post a link on this site if we succeed.
Hi Ian, Claus,
Cool! I hope I’ll get a chance to see the book. I’m out of town for the next little while… Are you going to have a copy on display at the library or at the Museum as well for people to take a look at? Good way to get this necessary discussion going. Hopefully you’ll manage to get an e-version up as well! Other than just city planners/engineers and developers designing our town, we may need more real input from residents and maybe urban designers/architects.
Hey Jackie – We have given a copy to the Museum collection as well as putting the two on sale, but the cost of printing additional copies is high. To promote discussion, we clearly need to put the thing online. We’re checking our options.
Sounds like a great resource. The ‘jumbled mess’ phrase seems somehow appropriate when the subject of the booklet is considered.
I recommend talking to Gordon Kirkland about the epublishing aspects. He is an independant publisher of his own books and has a lot of experience with epublishing that he is willing to share. He recently gave a talk to the Golden Ears Writers group with great advice and some specifics, which I did not note down.
The title for the next little book may be “Incomplete Maple Ridge” Example: We have been fortunate to have Thrifty’s take up residence in Haney Place Mall (I can recommend the ribeye), but the exterior is very uninviting, it seems to me – and others I have spoken too. There is just this wide expanse of blank wall that makes what is an otherwise great shopping experience, hidden behind what would better be suited to a prison. It is typical of the Ridge. We only manage to finish things in a half-assed manner. We have some decent ideas, but once the construction workers leave the scene it becomes clear that there was no appetite or the feeling to spend money landscaping, aesthetics and creating an inviting space. It will take leadership to steer developers in the right direction. With so many projects currently underway in the downtown one can only hope that they will not disappoint. Two big ones of course are the casino on Lougheed and Target. If we have a ‘design committee’ they should be tasked with addressing the abysmal record we hold for poor design, landscaping and creating inviting and memorable public spaces. So far we get about 3 out of 10 for results and 5 out 10 for attempt.