December 31, 2015

Year-End View From Gordon Price

The kind words from guest editor Michael Mortensen below motivated me to express my own reason for gratitude at year end.
First, an update.  I’ve been in Vancouver General (what a great institution!) for a month now to deal with cancer of the appendix – a very, very rare and non-invasive form of the disease.
Prospect for recovery: full.
But the surgery is most invasive – 12 hours of it, the toughest thing I’ve ever had to deal with.
Here’s the thing: even in my 60s I’m in good shape – a consequence of decades of walking and cycling, in addition to some sports, integrated into daily life- a lifestyle I pursue because in a city like this it is so easy and pleasurable to do so.
Decades ago Vancouver made active transportation a priority.  And committed the resources to build the infrastructure.  And took the risk, often across the political spectrum, to push through contentious projects.
Sure, weather, culture, topography and other factors help.  But many places could do this too, and haven’t made the same commitments.
As a result, we are one of the healthiest, fittest cities in the country, and hence the world.
And that translates directly to the bottom line of health-care costs, and to recovery response when interventions occur.
No, my years of activity did not spare me this cancer.  But I can’t imagine how difficult it would be for my body to cope now if I lived a sedentary lifestyle, counting on technology to substitute for a lifetime of inactivity.
This is not about preaching the merits of healthy choices.  We all know it, public health has overwhelming documented the benefits, and, anyway,  people don’t respond well to chastisement. They respond better to that which makes them feel good, when opportunities for activity are accessible for all, safe and practical.
From my ward I can see the North Shore mountains in brilliant display.  And I know many thousands are on the slopes, celebrating their bodies and the city they live in that offers such a magnificent playground.
That view alone is part of my healing process.  It entices me; I want to be out there with my friends, sharing the culture of this place. Keeping fit. Recovering.
And once again, posting on Price Tags – documenting, exploring, comparing, learning about cities that make this human experience more gratifying, and healthier through good design and the right policy choices.
And for that opportunity to share and interact with you, PT readers, I am deeply grateful.

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  1. ‘We shape our [Cities]; thereafter, they shape us’. Winston Churchill stopped at buildings, but your wider view is spot on Gordon! Happy New Year! Wishing you, and all, health and success in 2016.

  2. Gord – thank you for the progress report. I count myself among your legion of fans and you have my very best wishes for a complete recovery.

  3. Gord – Happy New Year, continue to recover quickly and thanks for your important comments. Here’s hoping the park board takes note, too.

  4. rest well and get better Gord.
    In German I would say to you: “Alle Wünsche werden klein gegen den gesund zu sein” which means along the lines of “All our goals pale in comparison to being healthy”
    With that:
    。? 。?。?
    ? Happy New ?
    ? Year 2016 ?
    。?。 ?。?。
    ?。 ?。 ?
    Besides the noble art of getting things done is the more noble art of leaving things undone !
    Happy happy new year & a prosperous, purposeful, healthy & fulfilling 2016 !
    May our beloved city continue to be governed financially & environmentally sound !

  5. So great to hear from you Gord. I feel a lot better knowing you’re in good spirits and in great hands. Can’t wait to catch up in the New Year when you are good as new! All the best… Scot

  6. Gord, it looks from the perspective of the pictures that you might be in the Jimmy Pattison wing. As beautiful and touching as the view is from the top floor of that building, I’m glad you’re not there. Get well soon!

  7. I really enjoy reading your thoughtful comments and stories assembled on this blog. Looking forward to your return to help advocate for our quality of life.
    From the original Vancouver (USA), –Dan

  8. Happy New Year, Gordon! I’m SO glad that you’re on the road to recovery!! I hope that 2016 is your most exciting year yet! I look forward to talking to you soon!

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