Sep 112014

You can hear in someone’s voice and see it in their face when they love a place.

I’m fortunate to be telling a story of a house while Maple Ridge is working on an Area Plan for the neighbourhood in which it stands: Hammond.

One of the byproducts of the process of public consultation is a series of video interviews. In this video, which is one of eight, the older generation of Hammondites talks about what a special place Hammond is. The screenshot is Julie, my mother-in-law, who talks about our house.

The other videos touch on other aspects of living in Hammond over the years, Go to the page of the Maple Ridge homepage called Hammond Stories. (Or you can just click on the green words and I will take you there.)

In all the stories, you can see the tremendous value in retaining the character of a community and saving the actual buildings that have stood there for so many decades. The biggest challenge to preserving a community like this is our short-term economic mindset which does not attach a dollar-value to such things as community spirit, neighbourhood cohesion, walkability, a sense of history or even the energy and materials that built these buildings.

I hope that my Hammond Forever House project will help start a conversation about how a special place can weather the storm of development and increased density in a sustainable way.

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