In December, Iain challenged me to make 2016 a year of understanding. To help people understand what planners see in our cities.
So I pulled out a reference book I originally snagged at Munro's titled: Urban Code: 100 Lessons for Understanding the City. The lessons were developed from observations gathered in NYC's SoHo neighbourhood, by MIT students Mikoleit and Pürckhauer. The "code" builds upon Christopher Alexander's Pattern Language, by contributing contextual examples, and a higher-level analysis towards sense of place. The resulting set of principles, unique, and not comprehensive. Finding 100 examples relating to Victoria will be the assignment.
An Instagram account @subject_property along with a series of blog posts will be used to share photos, sketches and video. It only made sense to start with No.100, Fractures create Friction, and to take the time to share our experiences of operating at 1014 Meares Street (home of Is this Menswear?) and the evolving relationship of being in a transition zone: commercial to residential, loud to quiet, tall to short, bright to dark, concrete to wood, pavement to grass, and so on.
Meares St. primarily serves as a commercial lane to arterial Fort Street. Found uses are highly diversified. The south side of Meares contains medium density residential, while the north frontage includes a mixture of commercial offices, 2nd floor residential and the landmark work/live complex: the Mosaic. Ancillary uses observed include, but not limited to:
commercial deliveries, dine-out courier services, waste storage and pick-up, short-term parking, long-term parking, signage boards, pedestrian flow, rush-hour traffic, discarded furniture, cycling traffic, street vegetation and stormwater management, mail delivery, city utility metering, hydro-lines, graffiti, littering, smoke breaks, and dog walks.
Is this Menswear is located on the edge between downtown Victoria (Harris Green) and the residential neighbourhood of Fairfield. We are happy to be part of both neighbourhoods and their futures.