Design & Development
December 14, 2018

One Good Podcast Deserves Each Other

We at Price Tags are having a great time with our new podcast, PriceTalks.  So we appreciate the opportunity to be invited to other podcasts that are exploring our city and its issues – like that time on Cambie Reports with Sandy James, Gord Price and the three Cambie Reporters.

When Adam and Matt Scalena asked Gord to appear on their Vancouver Real Estate News podcast, the answer was an immediate yes.  The results have just been posted:

Vancouver Price Tags with Gordon Price

Has 2018 been a good year for Vancouver? The time to take stock is now. Former City Councillor & Founder of the influential “Price Tags” website Gordon Price sits down with Adam & Matt to discuss the present, the past, and the future of Vancouver in one of the most wide-reaching conversations to date. Tune in to hear Gordon’s take on all things Vancouver, including his unique insider account of local politics, why building permits ought to take as long as they do, and his surprising predictions for the next neighborhoods set for redevelopment. Oh, yeah, and we also cover the coming apocalypse.  This is not to be missed!

 

One of the great features of their blog is the Episode Summary – a detailed encapsulation of the conversation.  Though it must take a lot of time to do, it’s a great way to get a sense of the content before tuning in, or to find a particular topic right away.  Great work, guys.

(As per the post below, Gordon guarantees that the Price is not always right.)  Click here for podcast.

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This fall, we launched Price Talks, our new podcast series. Price Talks are conversations with past, current, and emerging leaders in urbanist thought across Vancouver and BC’s South Coast — in academia, advocacy, business, media, politics, and urban planning and development.

You can subscribe to Price Talks via Apple Podcasts, Google PlaySpotify or Stitcher – scroll down to see an episode listing and descriptions below.

We’re having fun with some fascinating guests, and we’ll close out 2018 with a dozen long-form conversations on the year’s top issues, and looking ahead to the new year.

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Back to Delta, which unfortunately still advocates for through vehicular traffic befitting a 20th century suburb and does not champion safe walking and cycling design as a first priority on their streets.

Residents in Tsawwassen on Upland Drive, Beach Grove, and now at 16th Avenue at 53A Street have separately asked the City of Delta to ameliorate traffic problems and to slow traffic down to make it easier for local residents to walk and live safely and comfortably. The response for Upland Drive which is used as a shortcut and carries three times the volume of the surrounding streets was a set of speed bumps which keep vehicle movement on the speed  bump to 50 km/h. However this does not slow speed on the rest of this curving street with no sidewalks, and does nothing to stop the commuter shortcutting.

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The first major motion has passed Vancouver City Council – unanimously!

 

A unanimous vote on an ideological issue is a significant indicator – and Jean Swanson’s motion on renter protection was the first big test for the new council.  The way amendments and process were so skillfully handled among the various parties and interests suggests effective communication and negotiation.  (How much of that, I wonder, was done by the Mayor’s office?)

I would not underestimate the emotional impact of the more than 50 delegations organized effectively by the year-old Vancouver Tenants Union who, hour after hour, over two days, told personal stories of their experiences and anxieties.  Regardless of where any individual councillor stands politically, the emotional effect is substantial.  It wears away intellectual resistance, leaving the need to respond in some way.

Jean Swanson called the amended motion mush.  But the Tenants Union, having achieved a recognition of legitimacy, recognized it as a victory, regardless of the fact that not much actual protection is afforded those subject to a determined renovictor.

In the end, the NPA aligned itself with a vote on an issue coming from the far left; the amendments they supported came from the parties of the near left.  The result is a solid wall of political support for intervention in the rental housing market – another indicator of how much this election has changed the status quo.

What will property and development interests do in the face of this? Watch Jon Stovell and Berkeley Tower.

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Arno Schortinghuis has passed away, and many people feel deep sadness today. He’s gone now, but his kindness, even disposition, dedication, lack of pretention, twinkle-eyed sense of humour, his open nature and deep knowledge — all live on in us, our memories and the things we’ve learned.

He was a champion for expanding choices in transportation, and in particular the creation of safe and effective infrastructure for those who choose to travel by bicycle.  He could be found in boardrooms, meeting rooms, open house events and online — taking on the issues and providing cogent, well-thought-out opinion.

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It’s baby steps, or rather baby incursions by the ocean onto various parts of Vancouver. We begin our adaptation to climate changes.

We seem incapable of changing our habits, so we’ll just offload the whole thing onto adaptation by local governments. It’s all good.

Another King Tide will occur in late December, according to Fisheries and Oceans Canada.  And the peak will be higher than this November King Tide.

My best interpretation of the tide tables puts the peaks as follows:

  • December 24 07:46 am
  • December 25 08:30 am
  • December 26 09:13 am
  • December 27 09:57 am
  • December 28 10:40 am
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It’s been a strange couple of weeks south of the Fraser River in Delta, where new Mayor (and old city manager) George Harvie got right down to business on his motordom agenda, insisting with the new Metro Mayors’ Council that he still wants the Massey Bridge. The new chair of the Mayors’ Council Jonathan Cote told Mayor Harvie that deciding whether there was going to be a multi-billion dollar ten lane bridge replacing the Massey Tunnel was not in Metro Vancouver’s  jurisdiction.

But Mayor Harvie is gathering like-minded pro-bridge people around him, and took the eyebrow raising step of appointing one of the unsuccessful candidates running for council under Harvie’s slate to a position in the mayor’s office. It’s the “director of public engagement and intergovernmental affairs” given to Param Grewal, a $125,000 position.  Mr. Grewal is an older vintage as is the mayor, and of course is advocating for the Massey Bridge.

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Okay, the headline is clickbait.  The housing crisis is not over.  But its causes are being addressed in a substantive way.

Here’s the latest evidence on the supply side:

This is the first set of housing projects selected through the B.C. government’s $1.9-billion Building B.C.: Community Housing Fund established to construct more than 14,000 affordable rental homes for independent families and seniors.

It’s part of a larger $7 billion commitment by the B.C. government to build 114,000 affordable homes over 10 years.

Were you aware of these announcements in the last few weeks?  Did you think it was ‘a landmark investment’?  That this was an ‘historic’ commitment?  That’s how it was described in the press release.

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Petard, meet Hoist.

Dan Fumano at The Sun did a nice job reporting on Colleen Hardwick’s desire to quickly reverse the duplexing bylaw passed by the previous council.

She asked (Gil) Kelley, (chief planner), if she was correct in understanding it would be possible to get the duplex zoning reversed in as fast as 60 days.

Kelley replied that if council wishes, staff could get the matter to a public hearing as early as mid-February, “but that would skip the consultation process that we would normally do.”

“It is unusual for us to do that, but we would do that if that’s what the council’s desire is,” Kelley said.

“The risk, of course, we’re once again, in some people’s eyes, doing something without consultation. Just so you understand that risk.” …

OneCity Coun. Christine Boyle piped up: “Can I just clarify? The suggestion is that we would do less consultation in rescinding this, even though the critique of the decision was that there wasn’t sufficient and meaningful consultation in the first place?”

“I’m not keen on that,” she said.

“And I don’t see how we would publicly justify that without falling into the accusation that consultation wasn’t really why people are against duplexes,” she added.

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