Happy 35th Anniversary, Habitat Forum & UN Habitat!


These videos, courtesy The Hackery, document the construction of Vancouver’s Habitat Forum site of the 1976 UN Conference on Human Settlements. The beautiful First Nations mural was designed by artist Bill Reid, and the hangar it adorns sat on land now occupied by a chain link fence and sailboat storage at Vancouver’s Jericho Beach, just east of the Sailing Club

Happy Birthday, Habitat!

Habitat Forum and the UN Habitat Conference on Human Settlements took place in Vancouver from May 31- June 11, 1976. Today marks Habitat’s 35th birthday, coincidentally also taking place in the year of Vancouver’s 125th birthday. Congratulations to all those who built and organized Habitat! The UN department responsible for human settlements is to this day called UN Habitat, and its founding document is called The Vancouver Declaration. Interestingly, though, most Vancouverites don’t remember this foundational event that took place in their city. This is unfortunate, as Habitat ’76 was formative for the city, for the UN, for the international community, and for the growing studis of urbanism, sustainable urban development, green architecture and efforts to tackle homelessness and poverty worldwide.

It’s exciting that so many of the original organizers of Habitat Forum, including Al Clapp and Evelyn Roth (who is coming all the way from Australia), will soon be in town to celebrate this milestone.

The videos included here have been kindly uploaded by David Repa and The Hackery. They were transferred from 8mm movies recovered in an estate sale. See the whole playlist. There’s no sound, but they provide some fabulous footage (often a little impressionistic) of the site, the hangars and the general mood of Habitat. Huge thanks again to The Hackery and David for this rare resource.

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