Or, more precisely, Yaletown-Roundhouse Canada Line station.
Artist Fiona Ackerman created this mural south of Broadway on Ontario as part of the 2017 Mural Festival.
At the Elbow Room Cafe on Davie near Seymour, renowned for its sauciness if not its sauces.
HERE are details on the Vancouver Park Board’s conceptual design proposal to renew the pier at Jericho Beach.
Things to note: Accessibility for all to the pier and to boats — in cooperation with the Disabled Sailing Association, including hoists and lifts.
The open house on this project, if you missed it, was lively and busy. More opinions, as usual, than people — a good thing.
Well, this does get serious attention, and not many are laughing.
Glen Korstrom in Business In Vancouver takes on the topic of re-zoning in Vancouver’s notoriously exclusionary single-family districts, and elsewhere in the Metro region. He quotes Anne McMullin, CEO of the Urban Development Institute Pacific Region and Tsur Sommerville, director of the UBC Centre for Urban Economics and Real Estate.
Metro Vancouver municipalities’ failure to convert single-family zoned neighbourhoods into areas where developers can build multi-family homes is being criticized by the development industry’s association, the Urban Development Institute Pacific Region (UDI). . .
A new plan that provides for a loosening of single-family restrictions across the region would be good for consumers and developers, [McMullin] added.
“Right now, [municipalities are] trickling out the available land, so the land becomes expensive for the developer and we’re not creating any competition for the buyer,” she said. “It’s being done one building at a time.”
Tsur Sommerville . . . agreed with McMullin that rezoning wide swathes of single-family-zoned land across Metro Vancouver is a good idea but he does not believe that it will happen in the short term. . . .
If there were to be a broad based change to single-family zoning across the region, Sommerville thinks it will most likely occur because the initiative has the support and pressure from higher levels of government.
That would disperse the political wrath against the municipalities which have to enact the change, he said.
“From a housing supply, housing affordability perspective, [rezoning single-family neighbourhoods to allow for more density] is what has to happen,” said Sommerville.
My highly personal criterion for recognizing successful public art is the “photo index”: whether people use it in their photos.
This mural is located on Granville St., between 7th and 8th, on the side of the Ian Tan Gallery.
Mural painted 2016 by Milan Basic (@milanbasicart) & Oksana Gaidashiva (@oxana_gaida). Artwork design by Kristofir Dean (@vegiterra), kristofir.com; @IanTanGallery.
Not being much of a Halloween guy, I’m not sure what I’d do with the prize if I won this contest. And what do you bet the banana costume somehow has a discrete Del Monte logo on it somewhere. Say, maybe I could wear it and challenge the winner of the Big Sushi Race at a Canadians baseball games next season.
Following the platform announcement by the NPA civic by-election candidate (who wants to see Vancouver-wide rezoning and higher housing density everywhere) more council candidates have joined the call.
So far, the calls for an end to Vancouver’s exclusionary zoning seem to be edging upward among many other ideas about improving housing affordability. There is also a steady drift towards improving availability and protection for those who prefer to rent.
With thanks to Mike Howell in the Vancouver Courier:
First: Pete Fry of the Green Party wants inclusionary zoning, plus support for renters:
. . . the party’s housing plan is focused on what can be achieved with existing tools at city hall. He, too, advocated for inclusionary zoning to create affordable housing and tie that type of housing to median local incomes.
Other measures include creating a city tenants’ office to support tenants and prevent “renovictions” and short-term rental conversions, provide incentives to build “truly affordable purpose-built” rental housing and streamline building codes and zoning bylaws to develop more forms of housing, including townhouses and row houses. . . .
Fry said the Vancouver Greens would work with their provincial counterparts, which struck an agreement with the ruling NDP government, to create strategies to address speculation on real estate and build more public housing.
Second: Judy Graves of OneCity wants new zoning city-wide, new taxes on the wealthy and on speculators, and income-based controls on rents.
Graves proposed a luxury property tax of 1.5 per cent on the wealthiest one per cent and 0.5 per cent on the wealthiest five per cent of residential property owners. She also wants all city-owned rental buildings to be rented at 30 per cent of a tenant’s income.
Creating a “flipping levy” to target speculators and opening up all neighbourhoods to inclusionary zoning, an approach that would tie affordable housing to a new development, are other ideas that Graves rolled out Tuesday as part of OneCity’s housing plan. . .
Although the party has described the plan as “made-in-Vancouver,” Graves acknowledged creating a luxury property tax and flipping level would require approval of the provincial government.
Third: Vision’s Diego Cardona puts his early focus on renters:
1. Putting the first $500,000 in excess revenue from the empty homes tax towards the Vancouver Rent Bank, which helps renters in crisis and prevents homelessness.
2. Creating a ‘Renters’ Advocate’ at City Hall. This position would be the City’s point person when dealing with the Residential Tenancy Branch, and help support renters when dealing with illegal evictions. . . .
3. Advocating for more pet-friendly rental housing. . . .
4. Diego will support Vision’s advocacy to the BC government and will continue to stand up for renters by working to stop unfair evictions, go after bad landlords, and make life easier for renters with measures like closing the fixed-term lease loophole in the Residential Tenancy Act.
[Ed. my apologies for the partial post of this early today. Workers cut our electricity without warning this morning, and somehow WordPress posted my ab initio draft. I did not find this out until later when I dragged my portable to the local coffee shop].
The Vancouver Parks Board wants to renew the pier in Jericho Beach Park. It’s another of the lovely treasures that are part of Vancouver’s waterfront DNA.
You’re invited to check out the initial plans and make your reactions known.
The Vancouver Park Board, in partnership with the Disabled Sailing Association, is renewing the aging pier at Jericho Beach and providing an accessible dock for sailors with disabilities.
The reconstructed pier will:
- Provide an accessible floating dock to provide for users of all ages and levels of mobility, accommodating up to 15 sailboats for the Disabled Sailing Association’s adaptive sailing program
- Provide seating and views of Burrard Inlet and English Bay
- Offer recreational fishing and crabbing opportunities
- Accommodate future sea level rise
This looks to me like a cool and spontaneous assemblage of found material where you could sit and watch the sunset over English Bay. Located under the Burrard St. Bridge, north end.
Found some wonderful material just off Carrall St., north of Hastings. Amazing, it is, what’s out there.
NPA’s Bremner lays a plank in his platform for the vacant City Council seat to be filled on October 14. Apparently not a person to be shy with his opinions, or to think small, he is proposing city-wide re-zoning to tackle housing supply, which will certainly be the monster issue in the upcoming by-election and beyond.
Thanks to Jen St Denis in Metro Vancouver:
“There are two things that experts agree on: climate change and the supply crisis in Vancouver,” Bremner told Metro during an interview outside city hall.
“It’s time to end this pretending we can solve it with basement suites and laneway houses.” . . .
Instead of neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood zoning, Bremner believes Vancouver needs a city-wide plan, and all single family should be opened up to allow a mix of “missing middle” housing, from townhouses to duplexes to low-rises. . . .
When it comes to pushback to density from residents, Bremner believes a more careful consultation process will bring the majority of people onside, when it’s clear how more density will benefit them.
I wonder how this will play in NPA land. My impression of the traditional NPA voter is the resident of a cozy SFH, well-protected by exclusionary zoning, and probably hard to persuade about the benefits of nearby density.
Following quickly, Vision Vancouver says this:
Bremner’s campaign comments are a far cry from when he came to speak to city council on July 25th, at a public hearing for a new development at Burrard and Nelson. Bremner opposed the project, which includes 331 new units of housing along with 61 social housing units. Stating that he lived in a building across the street, Bremner (Speaker #42) urged Council to say no to the hundreds of new housing units the project would provide, instead making a passionate plea for Council to turn it down and take more time to do further traffic studies.
This re-tweet appeared recently.
19 hours ago
We’re getting started on a comprehensive plan to make housing more affordable, close speculation loopholes & reduce $$$ laundering. #vanre
At the start of a longish process, Vancouver is in the game to be one of the host cities in the United 2026 FIFA World Cup bid.
“The host cities that are selected from the list announced today will define the United Bid,” commented Peter Montopoli, Canada Soccer General Secretary and Canada Bid Director for the United Bid. “We are pleased that six Canadian cities have completed the Request for Information and we look forward to working closely with these potential host cities in the next steps of preparing a world class bid to secure the 2026 FIFA World Cup for the United Bid of Canada, Mexico and the United States.” . . .
The 2026 FIFA World Cup™ will be the first tournament with the expanded 48-team format and will require world-class facilities and infrastructure. Canada, Mexico and the United States are uniquely suited to accommodate FIFA’s high-level standards for hosting a FIFA World Cup™.
More on United 2026 HERE.
Did a quick visit to the new Emily Carr University on the Central Valley Greenway a few days ago. I liked the plaza out front, its big electronic display, and the bike racks everywhere. I did notice the big clear bike lanes to the west of the U, connected directly to the CVG at E 1st and Thornton St.
Attention: fossil fuel marketers. A large market has just signaled its intention to close. China joins the U.K., Norway, the Netherlands and France in planning to ban the internal combustion engine.
It might be time for fossil fuel companies to review their timelines and assumptions about future product sales volume. And for all others in this fossil fuel business to rethink such things as pipelines.
Joe McDonald writes from Beijing in the Independent about a policy signal that’s hard to sweep under the rug.
China is the biggest auto market by number of vehicles sold, giving any policy changes outsize importance for the global industry.
A deputy industry minister, Xin Guobin, said at an auto industry forum on Saturday his ministry has begun “research on formulating a timetable to stop production and sales of traditional energy vehicles,” according to the Xinhua News Agency and the Communist Party newspaper People’s Daily.
Meanwhile, in Bloomberg News:
China will set a deadline for automakers to end sales of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, becoming the biggest market to do so in a move that will accelerate the push into the electric car market led by companies including BYD Co. and BAIC Motor Corp.
Xin Guobin, the vice minister of industry and information technology, said the government is working with other regulators on a timetable to end production and sales. The move will have a profound impact on the environment and growth of China’s auto industry, Xin said at an auto forum in Tianjin on Saturday.
The world’s second-biggest economy, which has vowed to cap its carbon emissions by 2030 and curb worsening air pollution, is the latest to join countries such as the U.K. and France seeking to phase out vehicles using gasoline and diesel. The looming ban on combustion-engine automobiles will goad both local and global automakers to focus on introducing more zero-emission electric cars to help clean up smog-choked major cities.
“The implementation of the ban for such a big market like China can be later than 2040,” said Liu Zhijia, an assistant general manager at Chery Automobile Co., the country’s biggest passenger car exporter that unveiled a new line for upscale battery-powered and plug-in hybrid models at the Frankfurt motor show last week. “That will leave plenty of time for everyone to prepare.”
The action is unmistakable. Cities touting themselves, and pundits speculating on potential winners. And others comparing the process to bidding for the Olympics, but with a very short deadline (October 19).
HERE’s Conor Sen at Bloomberg View on potential winners:
This is the Olympics of corporate relocations. The winning city will be able to offer a large metro area, a deep and educated talent pool with a strong local university system, a robust international airport, sufficient highway and transit infrastructure, a reasonable cost of living, a welcoming culture, a business-friendly environment, likely eye-popping tax incentives, and a local business and political community able to work together to make a convincing pitch.
By my tally, the options are: Toronto, Boston, Washington, Atlanta, Dallas or Denver.
The New York Times breezily whittles down the candidate cities, one criterion at a time, to pick a single winner. Canadian cites don’t make the starting line, due to relevant data not being in the right sets, or something. With thanks to EMILY BADGER, QUOCTRUNG BUI and CLAIRE CAIN MILLER. The answer is: Denver.
So Denver it is. The city’s lifestyle and affordability, coupled with the supply of tech talent from nearby universities, has already helped build a thriving start-up scene in Denver and Boulder, 40 minutes away. Big tech companies, including Google, Twitter, Oracle and I.B.M., have offices in the two cities. Denver has been attracting college graduates at an even faster rate than the largest cities. The region has the benefits of places like San Francisco and Seattle — outdoor recreation, microbreweries, diversity and a culture of inclusion (specifically cited as a criterion by Amazon) — but the cost of living is still low enough to make it affordable, and lots of big-city refugees have been moving there for this reason. Amazon would be smart to follow them.
HERE’s Joseph Parilla in Brookings:
For what it’s worth, I think Amazon will ultimately make this decision based on where they can get a quality technical workforce at scale, especially one that has a concentration in a key area of expansion for the firm. Regions with research universities with good business schools and computer science departments will be a logical fit, and they will likely want a site with some baseline density and vitality.
New York and the Bay Area offer very large technical labor pools but also a very high cost of living, which will likely exclude them. The draw of Boston’s labor and university base is strong, as evidenced by General Electric’s recent arrival based on those factors. Atlanta is intriguing: its sprawling physical development may be disqualifying, but the city provides a combination of a deep white-collar labor pool, supply chain technology capabilities, Georgia Tech, and a relatively low cost of living. Toronto is Canada’s strongest contender. Going abroad would be politically controversial but Toronto would offer a diverse, cosmopolitan and educated labor force, the University of Toronto’s globally relevant computer science and business school, and a hedge against U.S. political risk.
CityLab’s Aaron Renn speculates on the Bay Area, Boston, L.A., New York, Dallas, Philadelphia and Atlanta. He gives his personal nod to Chicago.
At Slate, Henry Grabar reviews the criteria rather broadly. And gives his nod to Baltimore, Chicago, Denver and Philadelphia. He bookends the analysis with these fascinating thoughts, and some inkling about Amazon’s culture:
It is a one-of-a-kind, six-week sweepstakes, with a $5 billion HQ up for grabs. Nothing like this has ever happened before. At 8.1 million square feet, constituting nearly 20 percent of Seattle’s Class A office space, Amazon’s Seattle campus simply has no parallels in U.S. cities . . . .
The differences between those cities is fodder for endless debate. But what may ultimately be more consequential is where Amazon decides to locate its headquarters within those cities. For all the talk about millennials abandoning car ownership, the biggest determinant of transportation choice is job location. In Seattle, Amazon has established an urban corporate paradigm that serves as a desperately needed counterpoint to the suburban campuses of Apple, Facebook, and Google in Silicon Valley. Amazon reports that 55 percent of Seattle employees walk, bike or use mass transit to get to work.
With its new headquarters, the company has the opportunity to tip the balance of an entire region toward or away from mass transit. The deck is stacked against infill development. But with cities scrambling to put together the pieces for Amazon, expect at least some of the proposals to double as downtown revitalization efforts. Entire cities have been built on less.
Out for a walk on a sunny summer holiday morning. People were all around, doing things, being active, taking advantage of a beautiful place on a spectacular day.