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Transportation Transformation

April 26, 2011

Just out from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives:   

This study lays out a plan for a 30-year initiative that would transform the ways in which people and goods move across our province. This in turn will create complete communities with affordable housing choices, more and better jobs, and a better quality of life for all British Columbians.

Not only is the report both local and global (it makes the link between climate change and what we can do specifically in this province) but it also addresses aspects not usually covered – particularly what rural communities and small towns can do – and what this means for those most vulnerable.

And there are lots of great illustrations.  Like this one showing how Kingsway could be transformed:

Disclosure – I was one of the ‘authors’ in that I was happy to participate in the overview and critique.  But most of the credit should go to Marc Lee and the crew at CCPA.  More here.  And if another pdf file is not what you want to you’re looking for today, try this – a really well-down video that captures the essence of the report.

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And while we’re at transportation transformation in Metro (and really good videos), here’s another:

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The first two buildings that pop up in the animated renderings are the gorgeous new Bing Thom designed central library opening this fall and the proposed City Hall – Surrey’s essential commitment to the transformation of Whalley (or Surrey City Centre, as it’s being branded) into a true Metro downtown.

Paul Hillsdon comments here.

Not to leave the City of Vancouver out of it, there’s a new draft plan just out for the Cambie Corridor – which is, as Patrick Condon characterizes:

… a corridor plan that is worth sharing. It speaks to the densification of a former streetcar/now subway corridor in Vancouver. It’s the first explicitly urban design plan for a location outside the downtown and the first plan of any kind for a long urban corridor (rather than for a neighbourhood ).

More here.

UPDATE: An extensive interview with Planning Director Brent Toderian on the Cambie Corridor planning process, by Erick Villagomez in re:place.

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3 Comments
  1. Ron permalink
    April 26, 2011 3:39 pm

    The type of midrise in-fill shown on the future Cambie corridor rendering (and on the Burnaby Kingsway rendering) is actually occurring now on Kingsway in East Vancouver (even as far east as Collingwood) – albeit at a relatively slow pace (it’s also similar to the midrise buildings along West Broadway and other arterials).

    Without a “prime location” near to Kits Beach, Kerrisdale, Granville Island, Commercial Drive or another “trendy” neighbourhood, it’ll just take time for these run-of-the-mill/ in-fill development projects to take root over a broader area.

    These projects (away from the trendy areas) are also the most likely to offer “affordable” housing, as they aren’t necessarily subject to the mark-ups associated with being in a prime location. I could even see some being built without granite countertops and high end faucets.

    The question is whether such small scale projects (without the prospect of large mark-ups and “buzz”) appeal to the larger developers required to accelerate the pace of change (or do we want that change to occur more organically (slowly) over time?).

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