OLYMPIC 2010 Design input


                    by Bill Meikle               bcmeikle@shaw.ca

We Won!  Vancouver/Whistler will host the 2010 Olympic Games!


I've been living in sea to sky  for a decade now,  and over that time I've come to visualize lots of improvements for this place...



So when we were awarded the Olympics an hour ago I got excited enough to want to share a few of my ideas. Perhaps 
a little centric to Squamish the village between vancouver and whistler,  
Here's a quick web page. 


Now granted, I don't have a degree in architecture, and I'm interested in making a place that people live in forever, not just a place people visit for 2 weeks...

If we visualize the generalized infastructure we want to build,
the improvements that are made for the olympic sporting event
can better resonate with the larger goals, and the spending can be
more efficient.

so, if we dream of a utopia, any
parts that we build now, will make sense as parts of the whole...

Basic Tenets



Basic Tenets:


Sprawl North young van.

  Environmentalists should want Vancouver to sprawl north and stop development in Richmond and up the fraser valley. The rich soil of the Fraser Valley promotes much more biodiversity than the rocky hillsides of the Sea to Sky and parks like Burns Bog that preserve wetlands have to be created and expanded, small organic farms in prime farmland need to be worked intensively.

       Building on arable land, in a province that has just 3% arable land, is just wrong. Of course I'm writing you from a piece of prime valley bottom in Sea to sky, part of an old farm, so I don't exactly walk my talk...

Anyways, the highway improvements that go along with the 2010 games are good news for the B.C. environment. Take the pressure off fraser valley and make a straight road to the north. Bring real estate prices down by supplying a new good commuter road to the north. 


 Speaking of valley bottoms, I think we should leave valley bottoms in sea to sky to flood. Build on the hillsides.
     Any new development in the Whistler and Squamish areas should consider natural floods a good thing and welcome them...


     Native Land Claims should be settled. Why don't we have this out of the way as  a starting point...



        More Land Should Be Privatized.

        There is a lot of Land in Sea To Sky, much of it comparitavely inactive ecologically. A home bolted onto a rocky mountainside where no trees could grow, but with a great view   of the mountains or ocean,has minimal ecological impact compared to a home in B.C.s better farm lands.


  People and bears can co-exist if the people are smart...Numbers can actually increase. 

  Brittania Beach should be detoxed now!


  Woodfibre Pulp Mill should be closed during the Olympics and for a month before and after..or actually,   Woodfibre should be moved up the squamish valley permanently. We know so much more about dealing with toxins that a new modern facility up there built high on the valley side with leachate liners and such can be perfectly clean, and

About 20 miles from the nearest house, is the way to go for that industry...
The woodwaste  energy creation scheme could go up there too...


     Danger: The barrier is a worry.A large geological dam that holds a lake over lower sea to sky.
    Can you imagine having an earthquake and having the barrier slide during the olympics?


  Regulate pressure in Garabaldi lake with gravity pipe ?

  Design seismic early warning system that searches for newly defined Pattern...(french seismologist on Nova, ) that seems to predict earthquake
quite successfully. 








-visualization is possible:



shows a 360 panning drive across the burrard street bridge.(you need quicktime installed) Why not do one of these of sea to sky and composite in
the planned highway?  



Cut less rock, build more structure.


     When dealing with steep mountain sides it seems we have gotten very into blasting them, which seems to lead to unstable rockslide walls that cost a fortune in upkeep over the years.  


My suggestion is

To mess with these walls less, and leave stable slopes stable. 

I think the new highway should look more like a long bridge stucture on poles sitting on a mountainside
than an excersize in moving mountains...



Keep the train, make it faster, straighter, better for commuters...


    More tunneling.?This new highway marks the opening of a gateway into the north. If we are to inhabit and thrive in this mountainous land I suggest we 
become expert tunnel builders. Highways that go under mountains  must be
explored and costed out.


    What about a coquiahalla-ish toll road to sechelt? Leaving from the upper squamish/Ashlew  and coming into Cloham lake, such a road is almost already there in the logging roads.  Funded with private money as a toll, tourist route, the long highway along the coast from california would be complete until eggmont... 


    Also a toll road behind the mountains from the chief to coquitlam? This proposal by a businessman looks good...imagine 8 lanes coming into squamish and a route to the sunshine coast from there. Image a poor dude who lives an hour away from his job by commuter train and makes 40,000 a year and 
lives in a one acre place he owns that he bought for 120, 000, in a new government /native subdivision...



-The importance of single lane, paved roads to tourism. Banff has great paved road accesses into its corners...If we are to build a place for tourists, we should make a place that's fun to poke around in by car on paved roads. Tourists like
paved roads, even if they mean nothing to the people who live in sea to sky right now...The paved road to evans lake is the way, dirt roads wash out at hills in this climate. 


Summer stuff: Lake access with paved roads:

-Murrin Lake is too busy.

        -A Cat Lake Paved access/park

        -A Lucille lake Paved access/ park.



-A secondary road along the cheakamus starting from a Starvation Lake Paved Access/Park, up to the highway at  Berubi's old place with the billboards...


  Evans Lake Ridge road, to butterfly and out at garabaldi town site. 
tourist lake exploration road.


  Elaho hiking trail. Paved accesses to parking lots. Youth hostel at either end. 












-visualization is possible:

check homes like these in whistler:



and any plan can be composited into any home or homesite.


-not in the valley bottoms please.


-Land can be cheap too,

B.C. has a high land/person  ratio, probably several acres per person, but
the government owns 85% of it!

An average guy making 30 or 40 thousand a year in vancouver, can't buy a house.
If there was a different supply/demand situation because a new highway flooded the market
for places within 45 minutes of vancouver, the prices could come down.

When I turn right up the logging road past furry creek I see a lot of land...

This a Main Chance to make the Olympics Beneficial to B.C.s Poor and lower middle class.

Natives, in solidarity with the poor, should back this!


There should be homesteading incentives along new remote routes like up by Bralorne, or a road to the sunshine coast.. or behind the chief...

 Minimizing ecological impact has to be a main goal of adding mankind to this landscape.  Garbage has to be dealt with extremely strictly, to keep animal casualties down. Tightly regulated hunting and fishing if any at all... 



 The right to car free living should be allowed. Hike in housing should be a feature that sea to sky offers and promotes. Right now the government won't sell land that cars can't drive to. 


There should be hike-in Summer luxury tent hotels in garibaldi park. After strenuous backpacking across mountain ridges I want to drink wine, eat a nice dinner by the lake and sleep in a bed with sheets on it in a big tent... 

At the end of season such a hotel should disappear and leave no trace...  




Power Lines:



-moving the main power lines up and out of the way might be an idea.

The ones in the cheakamus valley would be a nice place to hang planters once
the cables are gone...      /: )

In general the people of Sea to sky should get their winter power from the many small waterfalls
in the area. These are fish free, and so offer a fairly non-toxic way of getting power.

Micro hydro electric is the way in this rainy land.

Storage as hydrogen and using ballard generators is the way to go for backup. In fact
Cartridges of hydrogen would be a nice export commodity for Sea to Sky.


In summer there should be wind power, and water should be heated and 

used in heat pumps with stored ice from thermos caves...

I think the sea to sky should be a prototype area for the hydrogen economy.  


Science Fiction Utopia:


     So I close my eyes and imagine the drive between Vancouver and whistler, in a utopian future. Vancouver would be a renaissance city, thriving in a new enertainment/hydrogen/biotech/software  economy...and the olympics would just be feather in its cap. 


     Outside Horeshoe bay there is some new development. The highway is wider, and there are some new houses...The road to lions bay has been improved dramatically, and the mountains are less blasted than built upon to make it 4 lanes...I like having a median between myself and the oncoming traffic. The old highway had a lot of head-on crashes... 

Furry Creek is a small town now, with a school and a store... with the new road, it is 
a doable drive into van for work...The logging road just past it has houses on it too... 

Since woodfibre moved up the squamish valley it's a nice view from the oceanfront places...

and there's a marina and a beach.  

Brittania beach is turning into a second furry creek but retains its historic mine site
and even though you can drink the water and swim in the ocean in front, after a huge cleanup, its still a place a guy can get a trailer with a view for not too much money...
(and a few luxury homes are around it too...at the new artificial beach. )

Coming into squamish there is a large welcoming centre built on the 6.5 acres that have been for sale between shannon falls and the chief for a couple of years..

Squamish has really changed... all the industry has gone up to a new industrial park up the squamish valley and a new contraversial ocean access has been created into princess lousia inlet from the end of the squamish valley road...

there are a ton of new waterfront homes, parks and businesses... a game park up the squamish valley, water slides, an amusement park... and the network of trails is world famous. Squamish has become a major tourist base for exploring sea to sky country, and the region offers a great network of single lane paved roads to poke around in... these are old 
logging roads paved in anticipation of the 2010 olympics, part of the new tourism infastructure built in those years...

A new ski mountain at garabaldi is doing great, and the university is thriving. As well
there are plenty of working man's jobs in construction and at the new woodwork factory
that makes things out of second growth trees...High tech is big. Theres a film studio.
Old growth logging is banned.
Squamish is a hotel centre between Vancouver and Whistler, right in the middle of the  2010 olympics.

In fact, an event for the olympics is actually held in squamish and a venue is built there....

Then going up the road, there is all the new work thats already happening around the culliton creek bridge, and at Creekside. Of course whistler has tried to cap it's development, spreading out into pemberton, up the su valley and of course the callaghan. In my utopia 

the valley bottoms are left untouched, and flooding is a welcome event that brings topsoil...

while in 2003 there were about 35,000 permanent residents between west van and pemberton there are now over 55,000 and almost all live in spacious luxuirious homes built 
mostly from local wood and stone, and glass, by local people.

The road to sechelt is open, but still has a hefty toll, it's on a plan that makes it cheaper each year...

The road to coquitlam behind the chief is open, and has a toll. You can drive from Sqamish to coquitlam in 40 minutes.

An economic story of the prosperity that is Sea To Sky is an innovative trading network started with a sea to sky currency, where 
local people with no money, but with firewood, or knitting, or lasagna, or mechanics skills,  or carpentry skills, or ski lessons,can trade their goods with others over the web...C2Skybucks...  unemployment is almost zero,
and it works.
You register your skills and people trade you for them... granted at the bottom 
end some people have so many bad reports on their employer report cards, that the only people who will hire them are social workers the government pays to do so... 

Project fallow for 3rd world people: Because sea to sky has lots of room, in my utopia 
a village site is built that provides a year of fallow time to 3rd world villages in need.

The people come here and work on projects in sea to sky. Things like stone work. But they have t.v.'s and a swimming pool and good food. They are paid minimum wage in canadian. For people in India or China this is a ton of money. While they are away their fields are put in fallow crops and allowed to regenerate 
as much as possible. A few farmers stay back to watch them. At the end of the year, they
return home and plough in the fallow crops giving the soil much needed nutrients. After a year a man on depleted soil with no money has some cash and some soil to grow in...

project sanctuary for endangered animals.  In the squamish or pemberton valley on 2 or 400 acres I propose a game park you can drive around in. There would be a walking part too... All endangered wildlife therein would be protected and nurtured.

Project Amusement park/waterslide park. This is a huge kids playground that you have to pay to get into.

Squamish, Britania would have ocean beaches. ....boating, swimming fishing, 

there would be a nice paved access out onto the spit with a turnaround and the same kind of windsurfing would go on, but with a campsite nearby..

The ski resorts would give free passes to people who live in sea2sky. A tradition of hosting would begin where a mountain would have a lot of hosts ski-ing for free from the local area.

That's my ideas for now, but I will probably update this in the future...