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 BANNERLINE & Urban Affairs
The Vancouver Province, the west coast metropolitan daily of Southam newspapers, Canada's pre-eminent national chain, assigned Gary Bannerman to write an "Urban Affairs" column in 1970, and a free rein to travel the country and interview leading newsmakers: Montreal's legendary Jean Drapeau about World's Fairs, revitalization of Old Montreal and Olympic games; urbanist Jane Jacobs and the mayors of many cities. He analyzed the evolution of Toronto's Yorkville into a stunning national focal point of restaurants, the arts, and trendy new lifestyles, a prototype of redevelopments that have enhanced many North American cities. The Urban Affairs column sparked an interest that has never left.
  • Urban Affairs column, Vancouver Province (1970-72)
  • Consulting assignments for Canada's Urban Affairs Minister Robert Andras (1971-73).
  • Assisted in the redevelopment of Vancouver's Gastown from one of Canada's ugliest skid roads into a subject of civic pride and a major tourist attraction (1970-75). One of seven people honoured by the City of Vancouver as Freeman of Gastown, recognizing this achievement.
  • Author of a magazine format book Gastown the 107 Years, outlining both the history of the neighbourhood and the modern renaissance.
  • Growing out of the Gastown experience, where a few dedicated property owners and businesses also benefited the far greater numbers who refused to help, Bannerman joined those who campaigned for Business Improvement District legislation in British Columbia. Gastown became the first in 1988.
  • Became a student and admirer of the work of leading urbanists such as Jane Jacobs and New York's William H. Whyte.
  • Interviewed countless numbers of famous city politicians, planners, transportation experts, urban economists, researchers and architects over a 20-year broadcast career.
  • Consultant to B.C.'s largest BIA, the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (1997-present), assisting the DVBIA with publications and a wide range of specialty assignments.
  • Through DVBIA & IDA association, became familiar with - and a student of - the work of urbanists Dr. George Kelling of New York ("Fixing Broken Windows") and Dr. Allan Jacobs of San Francisco ("We over design and ruin cities").
  • A BANNERLINE-designed program entitled "culture of communications" earned the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association the top year 2000 award for downtown management, from the International Downtown Association.

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A Culture of Communications

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