My name is Lindsay Brown. I am a Vancouver designer and writer. I am currently writing a book about Vancouver’s 1976 UN Habitat conference with particular emphasis on the Habitat Forum portion of the event.

Please email me with your Habitat memories or questions! I am most eager to talk to you, interview you if you were there, and otherwise include you in the book. Email me with a phone number where I can call you. Thank you!

Follow/contact me on Twitter: @HabitatForum
or make contact through my Habitat Forum Facebook Page 


  1. David McCullum

    Wow! It was great to meet you last night at Gordon’s opening. I am married to Emily [Erickson, Arthur’s niece – Ed.], and grandson of Hugh Keenleyside. I am really glad that you mentioned this project, Lindsay, as even looking at a few of the images on your site really took me back.

    Keep going!


  2. Jane Burkinshaw

    I have a Bill Reid screen-print cloth banner (Tsimshian Raven Screen) from the event, retrieved by a friend who was helping with the de-construction of Habitat, and given to me by another friend in the 1980s. I didn’t attend the event as I only moved to Vancouver in 1977. The banner wasn’t well looked after before it was given to me and had a bit of staining and one or two small holes, but I’ve had it professionally conserved and it looks really very good. I’m happy for you to use an image of it if you would like to.
    Kind regards,

  3. Kenneth Dodge

    I worked with Mr. Clapp during Habitat Forum and have heard of his health problems i wish to speak with him please relay this request to him ASAP thank you J.Kenneth Dodge

  4. Scott Johnson

    Ms. Brown,
    There are 2 red lines on the 76 site map. They run between the buildings, including the front entrance. I built and designed those. I was a foreman of outdoor walkways working under Al, Ian Ridgeway and Dan Clemens.
    One thing, we were constantly filmed and photographed, there has to be a great stash somewhere. The Plenary Hall was the worst vandalism, if only one thing was to be saved, that was it. I think that particular shock has a lot to do with the loss of continuity and archive.

  5. Hi Lindsey.
    Do you have any information about Tondo Foreshore Urban Renewal Project in Manila or the Experimental Housing Project – PREVI in Lima, both presented at the conference in 1976. And, even if partially forgotten by the media, are still considered by the experts one of the major and comprehensive projects in tackling down the urban poor in third world countries. The first by reorganizing one of the most crowded slums in Asia, and the second with experimental progressive low cost housing. Up two now both experiences are considered the last serious attempt of western society to help their less fortunate fellows without imposing a foreign culture

  6. Sarah Albertson

    Hi Lindsay, I was only 4 when Habitat happened, so I only have foggy memories. I do remember that during the early 70’s there were New Year’s Day giant bonfires of Christmas trees at Jericho Beach. I hope you can dig up some old photos, my memories of it are just incredible!

    • admin

      Hi Sarah – I remember those fires! I have a huge and growing archive of Habitat photos – they’ll be released when the book comes out in 2015 and I’ll make sure to let you know. After the book is out, some of the photos will be uploaded to this site. What do you remember about Habitat, even if only foggily?

  7. Jeff Hinman

    I won a trip and a week’s stay at Habitat as a participant in the UN photo competition that was held in conjunction in Habitat. The 5 other photography competition winners and I roomed at the university. I sent some information about it to Lindsay on April 7, 2014 . I do not know what the UN did with all the photos from that exhibit which were images of various living conditions and environments around the world. I was the only amateur photographer among the competition winners. It was a great experience being in Vancouver.

    • admin

      Jeff, Thanks for this! I have been unable to unearth those photos but am still trying. I’ll let you know if I turn anything up. Thanks for your recent email, too.

  8. K

    I have a few habitat coins if your interested

    • admin

      Hi K, Yes, I’d be interested! What do you want for them? Lindsay

  9. I was wondering if you could tell me more about Bill Reid's involvement in this project and if there are pictures of his art?

    I was wondering of you have photos of Bill Reid’s work he did on the building that was torn down, what happened go it and did he attend? If so what involvement did he have?

  10. Cass

    Hi Lindsay,

    I was only two during Habitat ’76, so I can’t help much with memories (besides a lot of legs, dogs, and an interesting mix of young hippies and older businesspeople.) I’m keenly interested in Vancouver history, though, and would love to pre-order the book if you could direct me…best of luck!

  11. Brian R Smith

    Joel Goodman, architect & designer, and myself were at the event with the Earth Balloon inflatable we had fabricated in back in Minneapolis. 1st of its kind, hand painted, zipper entry, it was fun.

    If you are still collecting material I’m glad to see what I can find.

    Brian Smith

    • admin

      Brian: Yes, please! I’ll also email you. Thanks! Lindsay

  12. Shirlee Lewis

    I made the sterling silver pendants and lapel buttons for Habitat Forum.
    and a sterling silver sculpture mounted on Lapis for a presentation.
    Have one pendant I wear occasionally and a photograph of the sculpture.
    best regards, Shirlee Lewis

    • admin

      Shirlee – do you have any photos of these or other photos of yourself making these? It’s not too late to include them!

  13. Made a Community Television compilation of audiovisual images from Habitat. Global Developement Workshop 1, a collage of sound and extracts of mostly UN owned copyright on my own narrative.
    Presented my own vision of a controlled future, from altruistic goals in model, and graphic form, informally set up in the best spot. Taken down by staff? possibly for not conforming to correct hierarchy attending protocol?

  14. Hi…

    I was eighteen when Habitat banners filled downtown and remember the sense of excitement about the event.

    Four years later I chanced upon the demolition of the hangars in progress and have quite a few photographs. If you are interested I can send you some. I will be posting them also to my own website in a few weeks time. You can check in the photography section. (I found this website looking for pictures of the hangars in their prime!)

    Good luck with your work…

  15. stan stallman

    I worked at the pub that summer; still have my ID card and one beer token.
    …….. crazy !

  16. Gary Wilcox

    HI Lindsay

    The Summer ’76 issue of The BC Photographer featured an extensive portfolio of the photos that were exhibited at the Forum site.

    I may have a copy if you’re interested.

    • admin

      Gary – Yes please!!!

  17. C C

    Just sharing a few memories…

    I was part of a small group out of Olympia, Washington. Our group was called Alternative Energy and Living Systems. We were asked to display at Habitat. We didn’t know what to expect. Our display consisted of a portable solar greenhouse (with thermal storage), a low-cost solar water heating system and a solar desalination system all made from low-cost and available materials. This was not the World’s Fair, it was better. The interaction at Habitat with a phalanx of committed, smart and creative people was exhilarating. It was also intimate and personal.

    There were ‘happenings’ going on all times of the day and night. At one of the midday gatherings of folks setting up the conference, I ran into a interesting fellow. We talked for hours and met up several evenings to share a comradery of living lightly on the land by using appropriate technology. The fellow’s name was Jim Bohlen. I didn’t realize Jim’s Greenpeace connection until some time later. I have great memories of a few of our discussions.

    The following will sound as if I am name dropping, but that’s not the point. The point is, there were great minds circulating in a relatively small area for days and revelations were there to be had. It was like a techno, hippie, diplomat, policymaker, artist, engineer, mind blender (yes blender and maybe bender).

    One morning as I was setting for the day’s exposition, putting water from the bay into the solar desalinator, an older gentleman stopped by and started chatting. After graciously listening to my spiel on the systems we were demonstrating, he asked me over to his display, to tour his dome. Though I shouldn’t have left our display, being the only one there, I followed the Mad Hatter to his dome. He was excited to tell me about the strength of the structure using fewer materials and its natural shape. I couldn’t believe that I was getting a personal tour of Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome by Buckminster Fuller. On the way through a doorway, he scraped his head and started bleeding. I asked if he was OK and with a wave of his hand he dismissed it and kept on talking. One of his cohorts finally collared him and took care of his minor wound.

    I also remember meeting Prime Minister Trudeau. I have a few great photos with him but haven’t been able to locate them. I was impressed with his knowledgeable questions on the different technologies.

    In those days, we would be in contact via different magazines or press articles, conferences and word of mouth. Working in the sustainable space was sometimes a lonely endeavor. People were scattered around the continent doing many of the same things but Habitat brought many change-makers together and I believe helped energize a generation. It was also one great time.

  18. Cathy Hodgins

    Hi Lindsay, I am Jim MacNeill’s daughter and I am going through his belongings and looking for the correct place to send stuff. I have just emailed the UN Habitat folks to see if they want the rug hooking that hung in dad’s office, the large blue flag, or any of the silver necklaces and broaches I have. I also have a poster that I think Archives Canada will take. I also have dad’s journals from this time….They will go to archives but I wonder if you might want me to scan the ones from say 74 – 76 and send them to you? Let me know your thoughts!!!

  19. Wayne Powell

    I’m always late to a party, but came across this project and it brought back some very fond and lasting memories of visiting Habitat ’76 (although I haven’t been able to locate my coin!). I was 12 at the time, and remember coming away with the impression that so much could be done both on an environmental basis and to “simplify”urban life through simple innovations. The event inspired an interest in food gardening and solar energy, and I remember building a solar water heater based on inspiration from that event. It was a very big event, and I do believe my passed Grandfather, who was a local sign painter in the area had some roll in the event (he had a hand in painting many things in and around Vancouver, including the original Port Mann bridge, the large commercial signs towards Tawassen, and had the contract to hand paint those Coke buttons and a few of those commercial murals you may still see on Vancouver buildings). And I do remember being excited to see the Trudeaus who were a like royalty to us then (as now). Long after the site was dismantled, I used to visit a pier near there and the military installation, during my lunch break at UBC, to throw a crab net into the harbour waters to catch a nice supper! (The waters were a bit cleaner then.) Thank you for the memories.

  20. Caroline Allen (neeTannrr

    Hi there, online to confirm year of Habitat to write my father Terry Tanner’s obituary. As a family we spent like what seemed almost every day at Habitat. I have some pariphenalia from the event (old t/shirts, binders, and many photos) as I remember the walk for clean water, making posters for the walk. Meeting Bucky Fuller and Margaret Mead (at our house for dinners) during the event. The house made of sulphur bricks, the old warehouses with wonderful native paintings and food fare inside….and much more. Sure it’s far too late for your book but happy to share if you still have an interest.

  21. Donna Wong

    I’m even later. Our daughter was 1 year old when we visited from Victoria. Memories of music and learning a lot about alternatives ways of living. I remember it was great and influenced my outlook on social politics. I have a copy of the Habitat Forum Guide for Habitat ’76 if you would like it. Found it a few days ago unpacking boxes hidden away in basement.

  22. Wayne Stremel

    Robert Mullen #29

    • admin

      Thanks Wayne!

  23. Wayne Stremel

    Robert Mullen #29 aka Barney

  24. Mike Pelling

    Hi Lindsay,
    This is a great project and I may be able to contribute. I believe there was an Australian contribution, not sure if a talk or display, about the concept of residential conservation. This was largely the idea of a local artist here in Melbourne who encouraged people to buy land in a certain area, build and live in it but keep it indigenous. Through mutual political activity with layers of government, a unique zoning was created to protect this area. This specified no dogs, cats, horses, fences and the planting of local indigenous species only. Thus the flora and fauna was to be protected. At the same time a co-operative was also created following the same ideals and perhaps going one step further in that a large area of land was purchased and shares ownership created so that participants agreed to the control by the co operative of such things as house size and orientation. It also meant frequent work parties etc, to control weed intrusion for example.
    I would be very grateful if you could confirm the Australian involvement in the conference and any detail about participants. I have tried via the internet but have not found anything specifi,
    Thanks, again, Mike

    • admin

      Thanks Mike – that’s fascinating! I’m emailing you.

  25. Hi Lindsay:

    My name is Gary Gillman, and I blog on historical beer and brewing topics at in Toronto. Perusing beer-related images online at Toronto Public Library, I came across this fascinating image:

    Can you point to any information on this “long bar”, e.g., what was served, the brands, prices? I’d be interested to write a blog post on it and of course will give full acknowledgement for any information provided. The numerous wood barrels are unusual for beer then, today with craft brewing, beer in wood barrels has come back but there was none in Canada in 1976 as far as I know. Perhaps the liquid in the barrels was whiskey, or wine?

    The lady at the front seems to be pouring standard blonde lager beer (you can see one person with a cup of such beer in the back) from a pressurized metal tap, but the caption refers to “tankards of ale”.

    I wonder if a special dark ale was made and perhaps served from those barrels. The only word I can read on them is Tilford. Park & Tilford was a Canadian whisky brand. But beer may have been brewed to fill barrels that formerly held whisky.

    Any assistance is greatly appreciated.


    Gary Gillman

  26. John Mitchell

    Hello Lindsay,
    I was at Habitat ’76 and it was wonderful. I remember a Jack Wasserman column in which he described what he saw at 2:00 o’clock in the morning on a warm summer’s night. 3 men wandering down the 4th Ave. hill around Tolmie, with a bottle of champagne and 3 glasses. It was Buckminster Fuller, Alan Fotheringham and Arthur Erickson, having a very nice evening. Do you have any of the Habitat 76 silver dollars?

  27. Are you still interested?

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