I had a conversation recently with a friend in Berkeley, reflecting on the need for safe and flexible urban spaces to facilitate art and expression in cities. By “flexible”, I mean mostly to euphemize “derelict”, because the low value and security of these spaces is ultimately what opens them to the hand of creativity and the housing of inconsistent incomes. The conversation was prompted by the enduring vitality of Berlin in these respects.
Vancouver has a shortage of such spaces, but in pockets of the Downtown Eastside they do exist. The thirst to make use of them seems muted, at least from my perspective as a non-producer. Is this a result of unrelated forces of law, crime, or even weather? Or does Vancouver lack the inherent spirit for such endeavours?