No, I’m not refering to myself. Brent Toderian is the Director of Planning at the City of Vancouver. He has wriiten a very interesting blog post on Planetizen.  He talks about the road closures and other transportation measures for the Olympics as the largest ‘traffic trial’ ever. There are even suggestions out there that some of the changes should be made permanent.  Brent briefly outlines some of the increases in sustainable transport that have been seen, in terms of numbers. For example, one day saw 250,000 people use the new Canada Line. Well over the 100,000 estimated. Perhaps his most emotive comments though are concerned with the ‘transformed public realm’. The atmosphere, the celebration, the reclaiming of the streets and the city centre by their residents are all significant changes. Will they last? Brent is certain that a permanent change will follow, perhaps the most significant legecy of the games in fact.

The article quotes some media reaction which includes my favorite quote from the post:

The reason that downtown Vancouver has come to such vibrant life isn’t because of the Olympics per se. It’s because thousands of local residents have reclaimed their city centre as public social space.

It’s my favorite not because I necessarily agree with it, but because whether or not this statement turns out to be true or not has significant implications on the public realm legecy that Brent talks about.

I recommend reading the full article, which you can do by clicking here.