Welcome to my city – Vancouver!
Vancouver is positioned in southwestern British Columbia, Canada, between Burrard Inlet to the north and the Fraser River delta to the south. We are known for our fine natural harbour facing the sea and mountains and having the mildest climate in Canada.
Ours is a coastal temperate rainforest where conifers and ferns flourish. On average, rain visits us 165 days per year along with the wind that comes off the ocean. The Greater Vancouver area has a population of about 2.5 million, which makes us the third largest metropolitan area in Canada. But it is our density that takes first place with over 5,400 people per square kilometre.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, over half of the world’s population now lives in urban areas.
What does that mean for those of us living within cities?
According to Henry David Thoreau, “City life is millions of people being lonesome together.”
Michelangelo, on the other hand, wrote, “I love cities above all.”
Jane Jacobs, an American-Canadian author and activist who influenced urban studies, believed “Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”
Cities challenge us to work together, to find common ground, to listen and learn from each other. Yes, there is loneliness but there is also compassion, belonging and hope. Each day offers an opportunity to thrive within complexity, to engage with others, to seek positive outcomes for all.