culture park.


urban space.


Foundry restored.

Architect/Planner Roger Kemble

master of arts urban planning, academician royal Canadian academy of arts, member architectural institute of b.c.

Roger Kemble's first foray into UD was a model of his hometown's main street, Scarborough UK: a long time ago.

Private practice, in Vancouver BC, for umpteen years offered many opportunities: then, supported by a CMHC Fellowship, a couple of years at the School of Community and Regional Planning, UBC.

Generously the Canada Council gave him a year, 1988, perusing Canada's urban hot spots and the result was . . . The Canadian City. From St. John's to Victoria: a critical commentary." That opened the floodgates. Previously urban design was in the closet. Now every one's doin' it.

Two years, 1997-8 living in Centro Historico Mexico City clinched it. Wow, that is some place. There are twelve thousand recognized public urban spaces within the boundaries of the Federal District. La Condesa, Colonia Roma, was just coming into its own and did not elude his notice.

And now . . . Nanaimo.

Roger Kemble's work is, and always has been, the amelioration of the civic environment: and the wider implications. He is today abashed at the way urban design has become popularized and how brave talk supercede results at ground level. Everyone is getting on the bandwagon. Academic courses abound with, evidently, little understanding of the politics and unspoken influences on our cities. It is as though public prejudice and bureaucratic control masks the lack of real progress in favour of process. Rhetoric take precedence over our better selves.

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