Once again from Jen St. Denis with Metro News housing experts weigh in on the “gentle density ” proposals put forward by the Mayor of Vancouver at the Urban Land Institute chat on March 1. And those experts are “cautiously optimistic” that the City will meaningfully engage with discussions with single family neighbourhood home owners about density. That is going to require a process that Director of Simon Fraser University’s City Program calls “not top down”.
There is also hopefulness that the Mayor is committed to allowing staff to do this work. In a sobering look at what is happening in the west side neighbourhoods Andy Yan provided a map showing that hundreds of residents have been lost from those areas in the last five years, contributing to what the Mayor referenced as a “failing city”.
Andy Yan stated “The city’s facing this blue screen of death and if it’s not careful they won’t be able to engage this issue of housing for local incomes.” In simple terms, the Mayor must commit to an active engaged process with the existing single family residents before they too are displaced or move. As Andy Yan astutely noted “Planning and engagement in Vancouver needs to move away from being the sell job to the teaching moment”.