Friends Ben Banky and Linda Rae pointed me to a web site with amazing panoramas of Vancouver’s changing urban landscape, 1978 to 2003. It’s a terrific example of how somewhat abstract issues like urban planning can be given an immediate and apprehensible visual meaning.

It’s also a great example of the wealth of resources that can be used to enhance public consultation — if they’re effectively deployed. This set of images could be a great tool for stimulating public discussion of the city’s plans. And implicitly, that’s the goal: after all, they were put online by the city’s planning department. But all that’s offered as a feedback mechanism is an e-mail address at the bottom of the page — without any questions or context for giving feedback.

I’d love to see a resource like this one harnessed to a more concerted consultation effort. It could be a great catalyst for debate and discussion on the city’s future.