One of the best ways to see a waterfront city is from a boat. I do it at every opportunity. So here are a few more photos of modest, but in my view very attractive old and new mid-rise buildings, as photographed from a river cruise along the Main in central Frankfurt.
I share these photos since as Gordon Price, Brent Toderian and Bob Ransford well know, I am becoming increasingly concerned over the scale of many of the new mid-rise and high-rise buildings in Vancouver. While I'm all in favour of density, especially in the name of sustainability and affordability, I really think we're starting to go way too far. I don't want Vancouver to become Manhattan...or Hong Kong. I think I want it to be more like a European city that limits the areas where high rise towers are accepted.
I think the scale of the relatively small five to eight storey apartment and commercial buildings along the Main riverfront is delightful. This is what we should be building along Cambie Street and in other redevelopment areas in the city and region.
This is what we might have built in and around the Olympic Village instead of the structures which....to my mind....are too tall to be mid-rise, and too short to be high-rise. The proportion of these buildings is all wrong!
The irony is that at this scale, it is still possible to achieve some very high densities...similar in many instances to what is achieved with a well sited and proportioned high rise. So please take a look at these buildings...knowing that there are many more similar pictures forthcoming, especially from Hamburg where I am now staying and writing. You're going to be astounded with some of the very innovative newer buildings happening here!
But first, a bit more of Frankfurt's riverfront...