Another Fall book – this one from Patrick Condon’s shop at UBC: a collaboration by 20 student landscape architects and planners who in only 13 weeks produced a detailed 2050 vision for a sustainable City of Vancouver.
Seventeen students combined to do a 2050 plan for the City of Vancouver. The City of Vancouver is considered by many to be North America’s most sustainable city. ith growth pressures unabated, and with housing never less affordable, the big question looms: what next? This is where this book comes in. It contains the answers provided by a team of young visionaries. They discovered that as the city becomes more efficient, more diverse, more intensely utilized, and more equitable, it also becomes a more and more convenient place to live.
It is my pleasure to promote this book, a book emanating from a new generation of urban thinkers.
Along the way they discovered that Vancouver can easily double in population, and become dramatically more affordable and sustainable at the same time. Importantly, they discovered that this could all be done through organic growth, using the city’s original Streetcar City grid of main arterials as the armature. (The “streetcar city” framework, left over from a time when most of us got around on foot, on bikes, and on transit can still provide the framework for a city where most people get around on foot, on bikes and on transit.)
Most importantly, they discovered that this evolution to a more sustainable, diverse, and affordable future does not require the massive high rise focused and multi-block interventions we have become used to. Rather than more and more developments like Coal Harbour and Yaletown, and a more and more expensive skytrain transit systems to tie them all together, they chose a much gentler, much cheaper, primarily low-rise housing strategy – a housing strategy that would be much easier and cheaper to serve with zero greenhouse gas electric trolleys and trams.
In short, they discovered that as the city becomes more affordable, more diverse, and more energy efficient, it also becomes a more convenient place to live. That is why we call it the “Convenience Truth”.