The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver has come and gone. It has forever changed the city. Vancouver is also known for its unique Vancouverism. Characterized by mixed-use developments, typically with a medium-height, commercial base and narrow, high-rise residential towers to accommodate high populations and to preserve view corridors, Vancouverism is an urban planning and architectural technique pioneered in Vancouver, Canada.
Vancouver is somewhat unique among large North American cities with such a large residential population living in the city centre, and no expressways connecting the core to the suburbs, and still being able to significantly rely on mass public transit for its citizens. It these reasons contribute to the fact that it is consistently ranked among the most livable cities in the world. Not to mention its gorgeous landscape during the spring, summer, fall, and winter seasons. Perhaps Vancouver should also be known in Vancouverism for its knowledge capital. Why? Here are some main features:
1. Libraries - If anything, Vancouver has some of the most gorgeous libraries in the world. Its Central Library in Library Square occupies a city block in the eastward expansion of downtown Vancouver. Centred on the block, the library volume is a nine-story rectangular box containing book stacks and services, surrounded by a free-standing, elliptical, colonnaded wall featuring reading and study areas that are accessed by bridges spanning skylit light wells. The library's internal glass facade overlooks an enclosed concourse formed by a second elliptical wall that defines the east side of the site. This glass-roofed concourse serves as an entry foyer to the library and the more lively pedestrian activities at ground level. Public spaces surrounding the library form a continuous piazza with parking located below grade. The building's exterior is often said to resemble the Flavian Amphitheatre in Rome
2. Social Media community - Vancouver has one of the most vibrant, trendiest Web 2.0 communities in the world. An urban city, the majority of these companies are clustered around downtown. Some of the best Web 2.0 writers and bloggers hail from Vancouver, BC. Mitch Joel's 6 Pixels of Separation, Miss 604, Stephen Hui, Rob Cottingham, and the Search Principle are but a few examples social and semantic media trendsetters.
3. Open data / Open Access initiatives -Some of Vancouver's public institutions are progressive minded. Just take a look at the Vancouver City Archives. It's been luring open-source and open-data enthusiasts to a meet-up in January with the promise of free coffee, free Wi-Fi, and free information. Holding such an informal social and coding session is not only a logical fit for the direction the archives is taking, but certainly opens up new opportunities for what the Semantic Web is going to look like.
4. Multiculturalism 2.0 - One of the most culturally and ethnically diverse in the world, almost 60 per cent of people in Vancouver are expected to be a visible minority by 2031. As such, Web 2.0 has changed the way multicultural citizens perceive, interact, and communicate - particularly so in the city of Vancouver. In fact, it is often new immigrants who arrive in Canada that have better survival skills and have used the Web extensively for research before arriving in Vancouver. These immigrants tend to be urban, wealthy, and the most technology adept and often ahead of the trend. As a result, in multiculturalism 2.0 city, one's individual online identity is replicated like one's cultural identity, which is fluid and not limited to “websites about websites."