The latest iteration from Patrick Condon and David Beers, in The Tyee:
Why have we become so willing to leave behind our paradise? It must not be lost. …
Therefore be it resolved that Vancouver will, by the year 2050, become the World’s Slowest City. …
To achieve this Lotus Land 2.0, the City of Vancouver has set out four measurable goals:
- Slow down travel to make it better.
- Cool out home buyer competition.
- Doze through the tech job frenzy.
- Hang out more.
OUR FOUR GOALS
Goal #1: Transportation (Slow motion)
Slogan: What’s your hurry?
Lotus Land 2.0 chooses to see time spent getting from one place to another not as a collective waste but as a resource. Thus, we will incentivize and enforce the slowest ways to do so: Drivers, rather than roar through, will putt along. Bicyclers and joggers will maintain a pace that produces a smile rather than grimace of pain. Walking will be much encouraged, perambulation particularly. …
By 2050, a city-wide speed limit of 30 kph will be imposed and enforced (city streetcars in dedicated lanes occasionally exempted).
Goal #2: Housing (Grow your own homes)
Slogan: Let’s get hive!
This starts by recognizing our impoverished catalog of housing types amounts to just two: the tower and the bungalow, which unfortunately afford ideal investments for the world’s One Per Centers pushing our market out of sight. …
Limit or eliminate parcel assembly. Relax zoning otherwise to allow rebuilding by right for up to six dwelling units per parcel, conditional only on preserving (in most cases) the original structure. …
Lotusland 2.0 bylaws will promote adapting detached existing buildings into restored and expanded buildings. On-site parking requirements will be eliminated. Parking passes for on street parking will be available at 2,000 dollars per year. Proceeds will be poured back into the housing fund and/or for free bus and tram passes for all citizens.
Goal #3: Jobs (That are actually workable)
Slogan: Serving up something new every day!
We are realistic. We know that 80 per cent of all jobs are service sector jobs, and that proportion is still growing. Service jobs may not pay a lot, but in this age ruled by algorithms they retain a human connection. …
By 2050, Vancouver will be famous for its full embrace of the service and craft economy. We will have the most brew pubs, food trucks, local bistros, dentists, accountants, nurses, teachers, artists, furniture builders, carpenters, transit drivers, music producers, graphic novel authors, disc jockeys, painters (fine and house) and home-stay purveyors in North America.
Goal #4: Public life (More hang time)
Slogan: C’mon. Have a drink! Or whatever!
At the heart of the Lotus Land 2.0 vision lies a network of social gathering spaces for true communion. … We dare to imagine, as building blocks for our hassle-free civic culture, places that combine pub, community centre, seniors social club, yoga studio, art gallery and coffee shop cultures. Places where the absence of our octogenarian friend Joe for more than a day would ring alarm bells.
Life in Lotus Land 2.0, ultimately, will not be a lazy life, really. But it will be a life much different from what we are told must be Vancouver’s frenetic future. …
What is the virtue of achieving a city run purely on green power if its residents are drained of their own energy by the struggle to rush around and pay the bills? Why should Vancouverites fight harder and harder to live in a global hot spot that, by design, keeps turning up the competitive heat on its own citizens?
Cool it everyone! That is the counter-message we deliver here today. Fellow Lotus Eaters! None of us should get busy doing anything! (Except, of course, implementing this, the Slowest City Action Plan for Vancouver.)
For the full version of this highly edited excerpt, go here.