Vancouver – The Most Liveable City In The World

Vancouver - The Most Liveable City In The World

Vancouver has been my home for the last 35 years.  Since 2002 the Economist Intelligence Unit has compiled a survey of the most liveable cities in the world. From 2002 – 2011 Vancouver held first place based on quality of life, stability, healthcare, culture, environment, education, and infrastructure. In 2011 it fell to third place after number one Melbourne Australia, and second place Vienna, Austria.

I suspect Vancouver`s fall from top spot might have something to do with the fact it`s now ranked as the most expensive city in North America. Real estate costs more in Vancouver than even Los Angeles or New York. Click on the link below to see a post written a few months ago about a house on the next block from mine that sold in 10 days for 1.6 million, and you`ll understand.

Vancouver is a stunning place. The first photo I took tonight while working on the roof deck of Science World – the round building shown in the photo below. The body of water is an inner harbour named False Creek; as we worked dragon boat teams broke the water to the beat of a drum, sailboats settled in as the sun set, little water taxis chugged to and fro, music drifted up from pleasure boats filled with friends out for a perfect summer evening. It was a post card evening, responsible for erasing any negative gripes about my little corner of the world.

And yes – even though you see grass and trees in the top picture; I assure you I was on the `green roof` the grass is planted on the deck at the bottom of the dome to absorb rainwater , and provide insulation.

Sandy Media

My world is far from flat. It doesn’t end at the outskirts of my city, the boundary of my province, or borders of my country. Extending beyond  time zones, continents, and hemispheres  my world is round. Layer upon layer, it breaks my heart, feeds my soul, and humbles me. A place crowded with faith, hope, and circumstance; my world is a never ending story.

I grew up believing the six o’clock news. Reporters had integrity, conviction, and purpose. The news was a sacred place, free from the constraints of politics or religion. I thought they were untouchable, above all, I believed they held no bias.

We live in a time where news is dependent on what you want to hear.

Take Hurricane Sandy. Americans lost lives and property; New Jersey and New York took a beating. Millions without power, gas shortages, property damage. Nasty business received with giddy anticipation by media hungry for a “story” to rival Katrina. CNN and Fox aired relentless hours filled with reporters “on the ground”. We watched waves roll in on every beach along the Eastern seaboard. Computer models, predictions, dire warnings – nothing like a good storm before an election.

Sandy was a terrible storm, many Americans suffered, in no way am I making light of that fact. My point is a lack of reporting the full story. I ponder how many people are even aware of the full scope of Sandy’s wrath.  How many know that 15,000 homes were destroyed in Cuba? That 30% of their coffee and tomato crops, up to 90% of banana were wiped out. How about the Bahamas? They estimate damage of 300 million. Sandy took 52 lives in Haiti.

Cuba and Haiti may not be on the “all inclusive” or cruise ship vacation list of Americans. They certainly weren’t part of an election story, nor of consequence compared to a possibly  flooded stock exchange. My dismay comes from lack of regard; dare I say – complete dismissal of their plight. Media wrote the story of Sandy, omitting pages and chapters as they saw fit.

I ponder if the world will ever be round.

Cuban homes inundated by floods in the wake of Hurricane Sandy