The Economics of High Rise Buildings

In the City of London government mega projects combine with private sector towers to keep real estate prices beyond the reach of the average citizen.



NEW LONDON SKYLINE 2026: Architectural rendering as advertisement—paid by The London City Corporation

Have you wondered—as I have—where the half-million-plus daily passengers expected to travel London’s much touted, brand new, cross rail Elizabeth Subway Line will land? Well, now we know. What we call ‘towers-and-skytrain’ in Vancouver is called ‘towers-and-underground’ in London. It sounds different, yet it is the very same formula. Only names and location have changed. The first western city to reach 1 million inhabitants since the times of ancient Rome is headed the way of Wall Street. Greed will triumph there over good urbanism. We will see this taking place in concrete form as we examine the ‘profit curve’ informing decisions made by developers about how high to build. We shall see them piling typical floor upon typical floor until the economies of construction tip and adding more floors threatens to dent the profit margin.

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Vancouver ‘Broadway Subway’ Exposed: The BS Line

After 30 years of building Skytrain-and-Towers in Vancouver there can only be ONE reason to build a subway under Broadway: Build more towers!

Vancouver NOT-TOD verso


Provincial Governments can be accused of hiding the truth about Skytrain for 40 Years: we built skytrain to attract foreign capital to build residential condos on station sites and beyond. The truth is we don’t need more subways or streetcars or skytrains in Vancouver. Our governments now have a bigger problem to fix—DELIVERING AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

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Vancouver to Calfornia …in a Tesla

A new era is dawning fuelled by electric cars, exuding clean air, beating back the threat of Global Warming and promising to deliver affordable housing along new electric super highways. Paradoxically the way to avoid standing-still traffic jams filled with Teslas as far as the eye can see will be to build walkable neighborhoods and livable streets.

Easter Island Company


What about this: drive my car to California, electric ‘super’ charging TOTALLY free… That was the proposition I accepted from a very good friend when my family was planning one of our favorite spring getaways: Vancouver to Carlsbad Beach, California in a two-day drive.

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TRUMPs Gambit: Trade Fascism for Communism


Beach Front Towers for North Korea? Trading Hotels and Tourists for Nuclear Missiles? After rattling sabres with the G7, President Donald Trump played the ‘modern development’ card to Kim Jung-un. Apparently, he also played a video. The real question is whether China will buy in or not

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Trudeau’s Pipe Dream

Canada’s Federal Government thinks it will sell dirty Tar Sands crude from Alberta by piping it into Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet. Pierre Trudeau’s son better take a second look at his re-election chances once support from British Columbia is subtracted.

Trudeau J


The Federal Government’s announcement 29 May 2018 that it would buy the Edmonton-to-Vancouver Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5 billion met with loud opposition from a broad segment of the Canadian public. Most don’t believe this is in ‘Canada’s best interest’. We suspect it is in the ‘Federal Liberal Party’s’ best interest.

The real issues on the west coast the Prime Minister appears not to understand. Since the 2010 Olympics house prices have more than tripled around here (3x) while wages have barely kept up with the rate of (low) inflation. 

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UBCM 2017: Housing Crisis What Crisis?

There is but ONE issue facing Canadian politicians today: the runaway price of housing. What say you, Mr. John Horgan?


The so-called ‘Vancouver Housing Crisis’ receives gasping responses from local and provincial politicians at Union of British Columbia Municipalities conference. Yet amid the Oohs and Aahs only one thing rang clear—the message is not getting through. Politicians in attendance did not grasp how they must stop runaway housing prices the actions of previous legislatures triggered more than 30 years ago.

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The Birth of Venus and the Allegory of Spring by Sandro Botticelli

Created at the height of the Florentine Renaissance a new way of looking at Sandro Botticelli’s two most famous works poked into my imagination.



Against the grain of art criticism, the only way to look at Botticelli’s enormous paintings from the mid to late 15th century is as a matched pair: A diptych.

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