Vancouver Would Be Cooler If is a column that advocates for things that exist in other cities that could serve to improve or otherwise celebrate life in our own.
Over the years this column has asked for many miniaturize iterations of our city. Most recently, it was for tiny models recording all the demolitions of our oldest buildings. Prior to that (in order of appearance), it was for a huge carpet modelling our streetscapes; a tiny, spherical representation of our skyline; and finally, a birds-eye mosaic of our city grid.
I just love how miniatures lend different perspectives, which is never a bad thing for a citizen to take advantage of. It physically puts people on a plane of comprehension that Google Earth just can’t get to. That’s why I’d like to see the entire Lower Mainland made small like this vast model of New York City – the largest architectural model in the world – which is located inside the Queens Museum.
Originally built over three years by architectural model makers Raymond Lester & Associates (and their 100+ person team), the highly detailed work of art was revealed in 1964 and – up until 1992 – repeatedly updated to reflect changes in the ever-evolving city, with old buildings (er…models) replaced with new developments.
Of course, ours is a city that is also locked in a permanent cycle of demolition and construction, so the model would need to be updated often. But therein in lies some of the appeal: having a vantage point over the whole might slow some of us down just enough to better see and appreciate its sometimes seemingly disparate parts.
Watch the Art Insider video below to get an idea of the scale of thing, and imagine how cool it would be if Vancouver had one of its own.