Friday, May 05, 2006

Climate change in Canada and Mexico

This topic seems to occupying a substantial amount of space and time in the mainstream media and environmentally-related academic discussions in Canada. Everything seems to be associated with climatic change and the need for adaptation. I wonder to how smart this is and to what extent all these discussions and money spent on climate change-related research will be well spent.

On a related note, this year's 'Fondos Sectoriales de Investigacion' SEMARNAT-CONACYT (Mexico) seem to be strongly focussed on climate change and vulnerability/adaptation. So much that many proposals seem to have thrown the keywords "climate change" and "vulnerability" and "adaptation" in an effort to get funded. Is this how environmentally-focused research is supposed to be carried out?

It seems to me as though Mexico is following the climate change fad. This is not to say that climate change isn't a priority or that it is not occurring. I just worry that this is just one of many environmental priorities and that it should not be THE main one.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Gentrification - The hip word for urban transformation

My interest in urban sustainability (and my current location) has made me reflect on the possibilities for/issues with gentrification of certain areas in Vancouver, particularly in Mount Pleasant (for a bit of history click here). I live slightly southeast of the Main and 16th Avenue area, which in recent years has become the 'hip' area in Vancouver. A few years ago (some people say it might be even 15), the Main St. area was considered "seedy" and unsafe. This blog has actually a nice discussion of the pros and cons of the East Side vis-a-vis West Side.

Noteworthy, I hang out around Mount Pleasant area, but I don't live exactly there (I live more in the "Little Mountain/Riley Park" zone, according to the neighbourhoods map I saw recently). And if you look at this, you might realize that my neighbourhood isn't that bad at all.

The sad part is that I recently learned that a Canadian, Vancouver-shot movie (Mount Pleasant) will depict this area as it used to be 15 years ago (seedy and filled with drug-addicts). I read that the director, Ross Weber, actually lives in the neighbourhood so I hope he will be very true to the current status of Mount Pleasant. I, for one, enjoy living there. And I hope that the Riley Park/Little Mountain area becomes just as hip as Main St. very soon. What scares me is the housing prices OUCH!

PS.- One of my favourite actresses, Kelly Rowan, will participate in "Mount Pleasant"... yay!