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Indy Dreams and Urban Nightmares

Indy Dreams and Urban Nightmares: Speed Merchants, Spectacle, and the Struggle over Public Space in The World Class City

Copyright Date: 2002
Pages: 140
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  • Book Info
    Indy Dreams and Urban Nightmares
    Book Description:

    Lowes examines the conflict that arose between a Vancouver community and the civic boosters who wanted to move the Molson Indy Vancouver motorsport event to their neighbourhood park.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7022-8
    Subjects: Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. ix-xii)
    Richard Gruneau

    In the early 1970s, a classmate of mine in graduate school wrote an interesting research paper on behaviour in bars in Hamilton, Ontario, during ‘Grey Cup Week.’ It was a modest little study that he undertook by visiting bar after bar during the week’s festivities, observing how people behaved in different kinds of bars. The findings were also modest, but revealing nonetheless. In middle-class hotels and lounges my classmate found lineups, larger-than-usual crowds, and an atmosphere of almost delirious celebration. But in the city’s cheap draft beer lounges and taverns, frequented by the unemployed and by low-paid industrial and service...

  4. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xviii)
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xix-2)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 3-13)

    At the dawn of 1997, promoters of the Molson Indy motorsport event in Vancouver were confronted with an immediate and life-threatening crisis –homelessness.Since its inaugural race in 1990, the Molson Indy Vancouver (MIV) has been sited at False Creek on the former Expo 86 grounds, one of Vancouver’s most prized pieces of downtown waterfront real estate. However, accelerating residential and commercial development in the area had rendered the site economically unfeasible for the MIV’s promoter, Molstar Sports and Entertainment (a division of Molson Breweries).

    A new phase of construction planned for a development megaproject on the north shore of...

  7. 1 Spectacular Consumption Spaces
    (pp. 14-37)

    In media coverage of the Molson Indy Vancouver, a recurrent theme is that the race puts Vancouver on ‘the world stage’ – a sensibility frequently captured by reference to the argument that hosting this spectacular international event could make Vancouver ‘the Monaco of North America, Canada’s Monte Carlo.’ This allusion draws on all the glitz and glamour of Monaco: the high-flying royal family and its Hollywood connections through the late Grace Kelly, its palaces and mansions, posh hotels and casinos, breathtaking Mediterranean landscape, a playground for globetrotting financial power players, and not least – Monaco’s annual Formula One race, the Monaco Grand...

  8. 2 Competing Visions
    (pp. 38-57)

    Let us step back from issues of general theoretical concern and begin concentrating now on the specific case of the Molson Indy Vancouver and the crisis that ensued in the spring of 1997 from its proposed relocation to historic Hastings Park. This chapter is a necessarily descriptive account of the developmental history of the park over the past century. My goal is to map thechanging mode of consumptionat Hastings Park – the dramatic shift from the domination of the park landscape and its programming activities by intense entertainment spectacle to more passive consumption opportunities. This emphasizes a spectacular natural...

  9. 3 Selling the Spectacle
    (pp. 58-91)

    Vancouver Mayor Philip Owen woke early the morning of 17 January 1997 to find that a load of manure had been dumped on the sidewalk and driveway of his home. Claiming responsibility was a group called CRAP and their message to city politicians was clear – the Molson Indy would not be welcomed at Hastings Park in 1998. These anti-Indy activists dumped the manure while Owen and his family slept in their Shaughnessy home, an upscale area in Vancouver’s west side, and then later called a local radio station to protest the noise and disruption caused by the Indy every Labour...

  10. 4 Resisting the Spectacle
    (pp. 92-111)

    Why was the local community at Hastings Park so successful in fighting the promotional campaign waged by Molson Indy relocation proponents? The pro-Indy forces mobilized what seemed like a compelling economic rationale; the Vancouver media seemed generally onside, initially; and Indy was able to draw on the campaign efforts of an army of volunteers. The answer to this question is complex. To begin to answer it, we need to know something about the Hastings Park community itself.

    Hastings-Sunrise is a community in transition. It has a working-class pedigree – a place where former waterfront and rail workers, tradesmen, and labourers were...

  11. 5 Spectacular Space and the Ideology of the ‘World-Class’ City
    (pp. 112-122)

    A city’s public spaces are the primary sites of its public culture. They are a window into its soul, writes Sharon Zukin, ‘an important means of framing a vision of social life in the city, a vision both for those who live there and interact in urban public spaces every day, and for the tourists, commuters, and wealthy folks who are free to flee the city’s needy embrace.’¹ An increasing number of social theorists and cultural geographers echo this point, making the case that one of the most important roles that urban public spaces play is ideological in nature.


  12. APPENDIX: A Note on Method
    (pp. 123-126)
  13. Notes
    (pp. 127-140)
  14. References
    (pp. 141-146)
  15. Index
    (pp. 147-148)