Council may soon be dealing with the motion presented by NPA Councillor Colleen Hardwick to reconsider the duplex rezoning passed in the last days of the previous council:

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Zoning and Development By-law No. 3575 and related changes to Strata Title Polices for RS, RT and RM Zones and RS-7 Guidelines, and RS-7 Guidelines be referred to public hearing for reconsideration by Council at the earliest date possible while giving the minimum required notice under the Vancouver Charter.

What we learn about the alignment of votes and the messages sent will be more significant than the motion.  Each councillor will be sending a message about how seriously they take the housing crisis.  Is process more important than outcomes?  Is the housing crisis not so severe that we can delay or even avoid action?  Is preserving neighbourhood character our real priority?   (What are you watching for?)

Then there are the power dynamics of the new council.  Who will align with whom?  What is the new working majority?  Is the mayor part of it?

We may know the answer in hours.  But my hunch is that the motion will be punted, somehow ending up in a city-wide planning process.

But there is one thing that should be on the record.  Hardwick’s motion states right at the beginning:

There was no meaningful public consultation prior to referral to public hearing to amend the RS zones and related strata guidelines as proposed in the Policy Report dated June 27, 2018;

And of course that’s true.  The key word is ‘meaningful’ – as defined by one of my Price Tags Laws of Public Consultation: “A consultation process is only meaningful and effectively conducted l if it comes up with a conclusion I agree with.”

The motion is also correct that there was no extensive process prior to the introduction of this ‘quick action’ proposal for duplexing, since the extensive process had occurred as part of the larger housing strategy.  Think of it like this: If the council approves a city-wise planning process, one that involves tens of thousands of people, every neighbourhood and many years, will it also require similarly extensive processes for every action that follows from the adoption of the plan?

That’s what this is in part about: to introduce a requirement for process on every action, large and small, that could change the character and scale of existing neighbourhoods.  To slow things down.  To give existing residents a right of veto.  To send a message that the housing crisis is not so severe as to quickly require a change in the status quo.

For the record, here is that process for the Housing Strategy.  Depending on what happens with Hardwick’s Motion 10, we’ll see whether very much of it mattered.

 

Housing Vancouver Strategy (2018 – 2027) and 3-Year Action Plan (2018 – 2020) 

Housing Vancouver: Our Process and Key Milestones

The ideas, objectives, and actions in the Housing Vancouver Strategy are the result of over a year of intensive community and partner engagement and public consultation. There have been a number of updates to Council on the evolving policy, targets, and engagement process to date, as well as a public report to Council on the Housing Vancouver Emerging directions as part of the process to arrive at a final strategy. In summary, the process included:

• Engagement with five Creative Advisory groups, comprised of local experts and stakeholders, in order to determine best practices and innovative ideas around key housing issue areas

• Multiple conversations with key stakeholders over 14 months, including the Mayors’ Advisory Committee, the Development Advisory Group, the SRO Task Force, and the Urban Development Institute

• The Re:Address Conference and Re:Address Week in October 2016, which brought together local and global experts on housing, affordability, and community development to discuss global issues around housing and cities. It successfully engaged both the public and partners, with over 35 speakers representing Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, San Francisco, New York, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Glasgow, Vienna, Melbourne, Sydney, and Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland)

• Engagement of national stakeholders in a series of discussions in fall 2016 hosted by the Federal Ministry of Finance, focusing on challenges and opportunities for expanding housing supply in Canadian cities experiencing serious housing affordability issues. The City also made a comprehensive submission to the Federal Government on their National Housing Strategy, in early November 2016

• Broad public engagement with Vancouver residents, including two on-line surveys which drew over 10,000 responses; The Big Conversation, a one-day workshop which saw nearly 200 Vancouver residents from diverse backgrounds come together to discuss their personal housing challenges, and their visions for the future of housing in Vancouver; and embedded engagement in planning processes and open houses across the city

• Deep dialogue and engagement with government and non-profit housing leaders from Vienna, Austria in June 2017 regarding the importance of social housing and the role of government in supporting long-term housing affordability. A week of events with the delegation concluded with a workshop comparing the Austria and Vancouver approaches to housing delivery, with attendees including the Vienna delegation, City of Vancouver, and local academic partners from Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia

• Consultation with key local experts and stakeholders during the process of drafting and reviewing the final Housing Vancouver strategy and 3-year action plan. This included a review panel consisting of academic experts, key local stakeholders and practitioners, and policymakers from the region and province tasked with providing detailed comment on the draft strategy document; the Housing Vancouver stakeholder launch event, where over 80 stakeholders were provided the opportunity to comment on key actions from the 3-year Housing Vancouver Action Plan; a working session on data and monitoring with local academic and data experts; and meetings with additional key stakeholders including industry representatives, City of Vancouver Renter and Urban Aboriginal Advisory Committees, and government and non-profit partners

Comments

  1. They also elected someone (a consultation in and of itself) who thinks that ‘there is no question that neighbourhoods need more density’ … this person is the same one who wants to reban density and consult further.

    #cognitivedissonance

  2. Time to get way more creative with our existing land base friends.
    60% of Vancouver is zoned for uses affordable to less than 5% of households ….
    Our leafy streetcar suburbs give us all the clues we need.

    1. The existing Vancouver land base cannot be considered in such terms as imagined, as if it is so much dirt in need of user redistribution. Home owners do not think in land base terms and will not heed such calls coming from developers in search of building sites or planners bent on densification that will result in the destruction of existing neighbourhoods. Our leafy streetcar suburbs give us all the clues we need, they certainly do, to understand why they will preserved. They are beautiful treasures.
      Planners and developers should stop thinking that they can solve the affordability problem in a tiny little land area like Vancouver, when in fact affordability has already been solved in the greater Vancouver outlying areas. All we need now is mixed land use planning for these areas that will offer alternatives to the employment commute to the downtown core.

      1. My thesis .. which goes back to a UBC Geography MA called “Retrofitting Suburbs” is that this model of change can be applied region wide. I used Richmond as an example of new investment – in the absense of new plans or new ideas – reinforcing the old postwar suburbs with even larger and more expensive homes . The status quo does not meet our needs.

        1. A development strategy that requires the wholesale destruction of existing housing stock across a broad swath of the city is not a defensible planning thesis for the simple reason that it is wasteful in terms of material resources and it comes with a large carbon footprint. If we view greater metro Vancouver as a seamless zone in earths biosphere and ask: Where is the housing unaffordable? Everywhere and nowhere is the answer because it depends on where you want to be. At the centre the costs are high and at the edge the cost is sometimes non-existent. We are all chasing the illusive line between these extremes in one way or another; survival in the urban economy. We should not think that the constant rebuilding of the city is a good idea or even necessary.

          We need to adjust the boundary of our thinking to coincide with the biosphere we are living in if we want to do a better job of planning for our future.

          1. You’re describing the status quo…. have you been out recently? Come for a walk in my Dunbar neighbourhood.

          2. The greenest car is not the hummer that is still here … and so too is the greenest house not necessarily the house still here.

            (and yes, this analogy is apt … a car and a house are similar users of energy over a year)

            If we were to be rebuilding poorly and ‘to code’ only, then I would agree with you, and Jens von Bergman and I have both done the math on the payback period … but rebuild better, as passive house or similar, and the payback is within the first mortgage.

            If at the same time you increase density, you allow more people to live using less resources, and though it might be counter-intuitive, sometimes the greenest house is not the one still here.

            If you only allow people to build SFH’s, to MM’s point, they will only build a SFH, and it will be cheap and to code and be wasteful. If you actually want to cut down on energy use and GHG, allow things to be rebuilt more dense, and require that they be vanguard energy performance, and then all can win.

          3. …. wholesale destruction of existing housing stock across a broad swath of the city ….

            That is the faulty logic used by critics who seek to maintain our 70-year exclusionary zoning policies forever. Do you seriously believe 60,000 4,000 ft2 lots should remain protected as open land for the next century? It’s a matter of urban design, site planning and architecture based on sound creative abilities to both protect heritage / character homes and trees while building new adjacent homes.

            I’d add also a flexible Planning Dept. that would be willing to allow an extra unit or two in return for renovating heritage structures and recycling materials from the ubiquitous houses without redeeming design.

        2. Nothing wrong with large expensive homes. A diversity of housing options is a good thing. There’s room for everyone and for every style of housing and for every price range.

          1. 60% of the land base locked into forms of development affordable to income of only 5% of the population … makes sense????

          2. Michael, You should have given my comment a few minutes to sink in before responding to it. 😉

            Neighbourhoods will evolve over time at their own pace and in accordance with the wishes of those living in those neighbourhoods. That’s a good thing. It’s the right thing to do. Let the neighbourhoods decide which blocks should have higher densities and which should maintain their historical low density characteristics. Densities will naturally increase throughout the city over time as the city naturally evolves.

            As a first step, the mass duplex zoning for all SFDs needs to be reversed so residents can begin planning the future of their neighbourhoods.

          3. What’s wrong with a “city-wide discussion”?
            The DNA of Vancouver’s neighbourhoods is remarkably similar – 33, 40, 50 ft lots by 120′ deep with a 20′ lane.

          4. What’s wrong with a “city-wide discussion”? The DNA of Vancouver’s neighbourhoods is remarkably similar – 33, 40, 50 ft lots by 120′ deep with a 20′ lane.

          5. First, What’s wrong with discussions at neighbourhood level? Nothing, as far as I can tell. Do you have a problem with it?

            Second, The problem with city wide discussions is your idea that, “The DNA of Vancouver’s neighbourhoods is remarkably similar.” Neighbourhoods may have some similarities, but each neighbourhood is different: Each has its own set individual residents and each resident has their own hopes and dreams for their own living environment and that of their neighbourhood. Most residents want to have a meaningful voice in determining how their neighbourhood grows and evolves. I believe they should have a right to that. Discussions at the city wide level necessarily exclude the vast majority of residents from being part of any meaningful discussion. As a substitute, we end up with surveys loaded with leading questions and biased multiple choice answers that basically all lead to the same predetermined conclusions. It’s no wonder that residents feel completely disempowered when it comes to planning their neighbourhoods; They have been, and they’re angry about it; Just ask Vision.

          6. A city-wise discussion – by definition – includes those residing in the neighbourhood.

          7. There are a number of issues with large expensive homes. The ideas behind them, of conspicuous consumption, status, and privilege are pretty much the same drivers behind our looming eco-collapse. It’s time to put on our big-girl pants and temper our enthusiasm for displays of wealth.

            The relevant image that’s making the rounds at present.

            https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/02/worlds-richest-10-produce-half-of-global-carbon-emissions-says-oxfam

          8. Permitting the Subdivision and Strata Titling of multi-family infill meets the interests of families who want to live in a smaller footprint; this form of multi-family living is probably less attractive to the Lamborghini set.

  3. The mass duplex zoning was always a sham in terms of affordability. In a city where the price of a new strata townhome has been driven up to $1.5-2 million, who thinks duplexes would be even remotely affordable. It was a cheap stunt, that was really just a part of Vision Vancouver’s death rattle.

    1. @Bob
      How much would the house on the same lot have been before?
      I bet you > the duplex.

      Yes it was a tiny first step … but it was at least a symbolic step … a step backward will be seen also as a symbol, and that symbol leads nowhere but the current sham of affordability.

      Yay.

      1. Look at it another way Ian: Vision and the BC Liberals had allowed those SFH lots to become inflated to levels way out of line with local incomes, then buyers disappeared and property flippers can’t unload a SFH to save their life. Now do you see who the duplex zoning is really bailing out? Connect the dots.

        1. Those visionistas have a lot of clout to make the same thing happen in Toronto and Berlin (etc) also.

          Unless you want to hang a ‘we’re closed’ sign on the city … these aren’t altogether useful dots to connect.

    2. Sure, that is why council (many of whom declared to CBC ahead of the election that they would not revisit the decision) wants to reverse the rule, because this measure doesn’t go far enough – that is why they are changing the duplex zoning to multi-family – oh wait, they are putting it back to detached? Must be because they are so concerned about affordability … and the environment – ha ha ha ha ha… what a joke these people are.

      Here’s a hint – if you can’t be honest about why you are doing what you are doing – it’s probably not being done for a good reason….

    3. A funny and provocative thought …

      What about mass RS-1 Zoning a la Harland Bartholomew c. 1928-29
      Was there block by block, neighbourhood by neighbourhood consultation?

  4. I’m curious Gordon….you write: “The key word is ‘meaningful’ – as defined by one of my Price Tags Laws of Public Consultation: “A consultation process is only meaningful and effectively conducted l if it comes up with a conclusion I agree with.”

    Would you have corollary to that? ie what ideally in principle would be meaningful consultation…an important question and something I am pondering.

  5. I am confused and frustrated by my fellow renters and millennials.

    Surely preserving neighborhood character is less important than keeping the rent down? Housing supply growth MUST be good for renters!

    It’s like there is this furious uprising of the proletariat who demand special protections for property owners. Why?!

    Where are the economically literate protesters seeking policies for the renters, the working class, the young? Those guys need housing, jobs, economic growth.

    It is the retired, the wealthy, the property owning class who is indifferent to jobs, hostile to new housing supply competing with their nest egg, suspicious of dynamism.

    Why are the young, with little property, mediocre jobs and little to lose, so darn risk averse to a little construction and growth? It boggles the mind.

    There is so much whinging about inequality, but zero willingness to allow the economic disruption and creative destruction which would grow the pie AND shuffle the cards around a bit. Inequality is largely a story of housing values – we could absolutely build more housing to keep prices and rents down. Instead, we preserve the status quo, property appreciates, incumbents prosper, and the young pathetically revel in their victimization, masturbate, and spend their activist energy policing culture in trivial campus disputes and social media slapfights.

    Egad – I may have to move into the woods and build my OWN bloody house, since it is illegal in Van!

    1. @ Ryan, I don’t think you fully grasp the enormous power of propaganda and those who wield it. The Proles perpetually vote for and voice opinions in favour of policies against their own best interest. Propaganda is so ubiquitous and subtle that they don’t realize they are controlled by it. Absorption in social media doesn’t help. But the parallel system of ensuring they are always a paycheck away from homelessness assures they don’t have the time or energy to get their head above water long enough to see it.

      It is by design. Don’t blame them. It is up to those who do see it to try and expose the deceit.

        1. One of the most powerful ways propaganda works is to focus individual’s attention on inconsequential things so they remain unaware of the subconscious infiltration of ideologies.

    2. Ryan, this duplex zoning certainly did nothing for the renters, the working class, the young. If you want to direct your anger, aim it at the city councils and developers who are encouraging Million Dollar condos at sites like Metrotown and Oakridge rather than rental towers.

      1. Do you own property at present; if so, are you willing to sign a covenant today, effective inmediately and in perpetuity, that it shall be henceforth be used only for rental residential use?

        1. No, but then my property isn’t located at a transit hub. It’s laughable the hoopla made about these condo developments at transit nodes that are geared to buyers more likely to be parking a Maserati in their parkade then ever get on transit. The provincial government has given municipalities the tools to create and enforce rental only zones, it is up to the city to develop the backbone to use it.

          The last civic election showed that candidates can finally get elected in Vancouver without the soul destroying hand of developer money behind them. Time to start governing on a basis of what’s best for residents and not what’s most profitable for developers!

  6. There are three older apartment buildings in my neighbourhood that were built on three individual standard 10 m (33 ft) lots. All are two storeys tall and fit in height-wise with their detached house neighbours. Two have attractive bay windows in front. One was upgraded with double glazed windows and hardy-board shingles a couple of years ago.

    A quick count of gas meters last summer and I determined that they house seven, eight and 16 units respectively on standard lots for a total of 31 units of affordable rental housing where only nine would be permitted under today’s zoning, not all being affordable.

    When critics loosely refer to the “wholesale destruction of leafy neighbourhoods” they are not referring to Vancouver’s urban street tree and park land forest legacy, which are not just protected forever, but replaced as needed with hundreds of additional trees planted every year. Moreover, veteran mature trees on private lots can receive further protection should council be encouraged to beef up its tree protection bylaw and fines for violations.

    We are not talking about the wholesale razing of entire neighbourhoods with the Making Room initiative, when you look at historic low-rise precedences and the public urban forest.

  7. The proposed duplex zoning would be a lot more enticing if more density (FSR) were offered. You can subdivide the property but the FSR remains the same which makes for some small units (if you opt for secondary suites). Under the current Rs zoning you get a bit more density when you build a laneway home over a duplex, so I would propose to double the density for a duplex development with an allowable height of 3.5 stories, which I think would spur more development in the RS neighbourhoods. and make the units a lot more livable. Especially the secondary suites. I would hope the rest of the Municipalities in the Metro are thinking along the same lines, given that almost all lots outside the CoV are 50 to 60 feet wide. An appalling waste of land in a city where real estate prices hit the stratosphere.

    1. More people equals more stress on water and sewer services. I suspect if we up-zone the whole city all at once in an attempt to disperse density increases , we end up having to up-size water and sewer services through out the city at a much faster rate. Very expensive.

      Doubling the people in RS neighbourhoods will also double the cars and worsen traffic congestion throughout the city.

      1. New development pays its share of new infrastructure. On average there were more than 4 people per household in 1951, now trending to 2. Mode splits for walking, transit, and cycling are rising. All of Vancouver is transit accessible.

        1. It is true that new development pays a development cost levy, however, no one has ever determined if it is a fair share and it is often argued otherwise by both regulator and developer. The cost of development and how it is paid for is really beside the point when discussing the environmental impact of urbanization.

          It has become painfully and tragically obvious that there is something wrong with the way we are doing things as evidenced by the latest US national climate assessment (4th) released last week with a roadside warning: Dead End Ahead.

          I concur with the City of Vancouver Affordable Housing Study that there are many disenfranchised groups in need of housing assistance and I believe that support should be provided because it is necessary for the well being of the entire community. However duplex re-zoning has nothing to do with an affordability goal and everything to do with Vancouver Inc., the constant destruction of homes and the reconstruction of housing units in pursuit of profits by developers. It’s a business, it has a market and it’s means of production is no different than any other industrial fossil fuel based CO2 producing operation. It fits neatly into the causes of climate change; globally scaled industrialization. The product is not green. It is part of the wasteful dead end.

          It is time for the planning community to claim higher moral ground with a global climate frame of reference. It is time to recruit and include climate scientists on planning teams.

          1. There has been a huge missed opportunity during the latest development boom to build homes and other buildings that are energy efficient and sustainable. It is not true to say that replacing a single family house with a new multi-family building is a net contributor to climate change and environmental degradation in the medium to longer term – if done well.

            It is well documented that urbanites contribute much less to both than their sprawly counterparts, so the mere condensing of dwelling units alone could reduce GHGs and loss of land to development. But it must be mixed-use and reduce transportation demand.

            But taking it to the next level of energy efficient buildings means the environmental payback of replacing a crappy old building with a Passive House or similar is short – perhaps less than a decade -after which there will be a net reduction of GHGs. New buildings are also held to a higher standard of other environmental metrics like water use and storm water management.

            The economics are there too. The payback time for the extra upfront costs can be as little as immediately – but most commonly within the first 1/3 of the life of the building at today’s energy costs.

            Thankfully, Vancouver at least, is on a major roll with Passive House development – beginning to be too many units to count.

  8. I suppose it could be said that if an urbanites’ carbon footprint is say 100 tons it’s not really so bad because a suburbanites’ footprint is even bigger.

    I suppose one could think that some buildings are ‘crappy’ and should be replaced but the notion seems a bit elitist.

    The subject of this thread is the idea, the proposition, that changing single family zoning to duplex zoning will make housing affordable. Others have already convincingly refuted the idea that duplex re-zoning will provide the affordability required for those folks in need of housing. Simply put, it will not. And secondly, if such a plan were carried out it would be both wasteful as well as yet another detriment to the normal functioning of our biosphere and its weather systems.

    What are we trying to do anyway?

    1. The “Status Quo” is demolition and replacement with largest home possible. There is little value in the improvements. It’s all land value. Expanding rapid transit AND permitting more land, building and energy efficient multi-family housing options on our existing urban land base is the way forward – it’s a triple bottom line: social, economic, environmental.

    2. 100 tons? Let’s talk in realistic numbers if we’re going to have an intelligent conversation. Canadians emit about 13 tons per year. Suburbanites about double that of urbanites on average. Many European nations, both wealthy and not so, are down around 4 or 5. (We’re pathetic.)

      New housing will never be the most affordable (unless subsidized) but new housing becomes affordable old housing. Denser old housing will be more affordable than sprawly old housing. Denser new housing is more affordable than sprawly new housing. No matter how you slice it, denser housing is both more affordable and lighter on our planet.

      As mentioned previously, it is not wasteful to replace an inefficient poor quality building (if you prefer that term to crappy) with a high-thermal-performance one. It pays back the environment in a hurry.

      We’re trying to make our cities and the world a better place. You?

      1. +1

        JensVB calculated a ~26 year payback for a PH SFH replaced over an existing house … the payback for a multifamily PH over a SFH would be much faster yet (euro multifamily faster yet)

      2. The point is that the duplex rezoning does nothing for either affordability or densification. Pretty much all “SFH” in Vancouver are actually 2-3 family dwellings already – there’s one or two basement suites together with the main house. And pretty much all new builds are the same. Not only that, but the basements are entirely rentals.

        So what does the duplex rezoning do? Encourage developers to knock down these 2-3 unit “SFH” and replace them 2 duplexes (each the size of the original main floor, so no room for basement suits), then sell each duplex for the price of the original SFH. Or close to it. So, no more dense than before, and by the way, we just lost 1 or 2 rental units.

        This duplex rezoning is poorly thought out and really just a gift to developers.

        J

        1. @ bar foo, I doubt duplexes will be very attractive to developers, that being “big bad developers”. A few very small developers may take advantage. But for a small developer it’s a big risk and big money for what would still be an expensive product. I’m certain the outgoing council knew this would be a fairly inconsequential move with few repercussions and unworthy of the massive consultation some would have preferred. It’s more symbolic. A baby first step.

          Basement suites in old houses were always an afterthought with abysmal floor plans and wasted space. Often with low ceilings, even lower under ducts and beams, freezing cold floor slabs, terrible leaky windows, drafty, dark and subject to the landlord needing entry for mechanical system maintenance and repair. In new duplexes they would be planned from the beginning and avoid all of those shortcomings. You’d fit more usable space in a smaller footprint. Where once you had two units you can have four. It wouldn’t go from three to two because you can’t have a laneway house if you want a duplex.

          Yet.

          I’m sure that’s coming. So ultimately you’ll be able to have five units where once there might have only been one. This strategy is all in service to those many people who just can’t let go of the idea of a neighbourhood of houses. The feel of the street would be largely unchanged. It’s not the answer. It’s an answer, one that might play out here and there across the city maybe gaining some momentum once laneways are allowed.

          To get the density we should be aiming for around transit hubs and stations we need to call in the big bad developers.

          1. I agree with Ron. Van Der Eeerden

            We need the right ideas and investment at all scales. This “big-bad-developer-planner” is creating Transit Oriented homes at higher levels of intensity along with commensurate amenity – market homes, rental homes, and below market rentals – along with child care centres, cycling and walking infrastructure, local shops and services, and local amenities.

            Target Profit margin? c.15%

      3. The magic average CO2 emission, whatever the number, produced by the entire world population of 6.9 billion people and climbing is causing extreme behavior in the climate system, melting ice at the poles and in Greenland thus raising sea levels, causing forest fires, desertification, methane emissions from melting permafrost, etc……. It does not matter who is doing better than who, we are all going down because we all live here on a finite planet. It’s the waste that you don’t really care about that is killing life all over the planet.

        1. Obviously it matters who is doing better than who. It removes the excuse to do poorly as we do. The worst emitters have the most work to do and getting rid of sprawl is an import step. It’s one reason European countries do better.

  9. What does the term “existing urban land base” mean? It’s a meaningless term. It’s nothing but a statistic, a number, a bit of data sometimes connected to an algorithm developed by speculators that suggests somebody can make a lot of money if they can just get the rules changed by telling a few stories about energy efficiency, rapid transit, multi family housing (what happened to the duplex story?) etc.
    The so called ‘existing urban land base’ where theorists like to imagine the completion of their planning fantasies is in reality land occupied by people, who do not care about this dream. And why should they? There are many ways forward other than destruction, including new towns built to current best practices standards for example.

    1. New towns? So forest destruction is okay? Just don’t touch that crappy old house!

    2. New Towns? Really? I’ll call Mr. Ebeneezer Howard right away and have him find us a “New Town” site in our little valley bordered to the south by the U.S.A., mountains to the north, Salish Sea to the west, Fraser River through the middle and the fertile ALR flanking it. We have a Regional Town Centre plan – solid and working hard since the 1970s. Our little City is at the hub of the plan, richly served by transit (and soon more) and cycling routes. Our suburbs are hollowing out – average households shrinking from +4 people in the 1950s to a little over 2 today.

      The DNA of Vancouver’s (and Greater Vancouver’s) suburbs allows only a few choices – instructions if you will – for new investment, materials and energy. The concept of Making Room and similar initiatives is simple – allow multiple options for incremental development and allow people’s new investment to better meet social, economic, and environmental needs. It’s pretty democratic. Don’t want to redevelop your house – that’s fine – keep it as is. Others might want different types of living arrangements – give them that right and make it EASIER for people to do the right thing (share land; share heat; shed a car etc).

      A fine example is my friend Richard Bell – who had to jump plenty of hoops to create some housing infill that met his family’s needs:
      https://bc.ctvnews.ca/vancouverites-turn-to-co-ownership-to-jump-into-red-hot-market-1.2728069

      It’s incremental change that adjusts to our needs . The status quo is frankly a teardown replacedby a megahome.

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