Mammoths on Hastings Street, by Hae Jin An, Emily Carr School of Art
This is an extract from Chapter 12 ‘The Heart of Poverty’ in Guy Dauncey’s ecotopian novel Journey to the Future: A Better World is Possible, set in Vancouver in June 2032.
‘The Land that Ugly Forgot’
Back on the trail, I passed a sign that told me that Fourth Avenue was closed to cars every Sunday, and open only to cyclists, rollerbladers, runners and strollers. I rode north over the Cambie Street Bridge, crossing the waters of Vancouver’s False Creek. To see the banners of colored silk fluttering from the streetlights and the central median ablaze with rhododendrons and flowers set my soul ablaze. A banner at the end of the bridge proclaimed ‘The Land that Ugly Forgot’ and welcomed me to the downtown.
I cycled to Wei-Ping’s office on Water Street in Gastown and found a space to park Carl’s bike in a bike-rack designed like a red dragon. I had a while before my meeting, so I walked to the Waterfront station and turned up Seymour, enjoying the wide sidewalks, ample bike-lanes and colorful food carts. Several buildings were covered with ferns and flowering plants tumbled down their walls, as if a rainforest had taken up residence in the city.  At a crosswalk, instead of saying WALK it said DANCE, and there was music that made it impossible not to—not just me but others too, laughing and smiling at each other.