Urbanism

Friday, July 27, 2018
Vancouver political watchers were on the edge of their seats as the first of three towers proposed to slice into the Vancouver skyline’s long-protected view of the mountains met with a council decision Tuesday July 22. As expected by some, the... Keep Reading
#SaveOurSkylineYVR
Monday, July 23, 2018
With the first of three mountain-view-penetrating proposed towers heading to Council for vote tomorrow, there's a lot of talk both for and against the context and importance of Vancouver's view cones. #SaveOurSkylineYVR It's easy (cynical) to paint... Keep Reading
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Integrity of office and public trust. Yesterday morning I tweeted news that the City's top properties guy: Bill Aujla, manager of Real Estate and Facilities had tendered his resignation to go and work for the Aquilini Group as VP of Real Estate. The... Keep Reading
Thursday, June 21, 2018
Fallout over the BOFFO-Kettle deal that would have seen a new drop-in and supportive housing along with close to 200 market condos built atop an assembled parcel of private and public owned land and Commercial and Venables. As I commented to the Sun... Keep Reading
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Some years ago I met w/ Daniel Boffo, over n'hood resistance to height/density and perception that inclusion of city land in project called to question net public benefits, notwithstanding Kettle contributions. I suggested that the best solution... Keep Reading
Friday, February 2, 2018
Union of BC Municipalities have released a Housing Strategy for BC that consolidates some excellent recommendations - more rental housing - demand management - comprehensive homeless strategy - all government collaboration - manage prices through... Keep Reading
Monday, December 18, 2017
Two stories, one address - but a common malaise and a failure of city government to address real issues affecting regular Vancouverites. Published last week - one story (in the swan song edition of the venerable WestEnder) "Taxed to death: How... Keep Reading
Friday, October 20, 2017
During this recent by-election, I really focused on what the city can actually do — within their mandated and legal role. Zoning and land-use decisions are the big tools at the city's disposal. The outrageous land valuation increase detailed in this... Keep Reading
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
I recently visited the old Cardero Grocery for the first time in many years, it was nice to see it hadn't changed much, the classic "Chinese Corner Store" once so familiar to Vancouver neighbourhoods. A friendly local mom and pop grocery for... Keep Reading
Amazon HQ in Seattle (Elaine Thompson AP)
Sunday, September 10, 2017
Let this sink in. While so many of Vancouver’s bricks-and-mortar small businesses are struggling to stay afloat, our mayor is trying to woo a multinational corporation whose business model is based on replacing local bricks-and-mortar shops.  ... Keep Reading
Friday, August 25, 2017
A massive development rezoning, estimated worth over a billion dollars in market value. The luxury tower project being proposed by a well-connected and influential developer will reportedly deliver close to $90 million in public benefits spread out... Keep Reading
Friday, August 25, 2017
A Chinese language only ride hailing company called GoKabu.ca has been operating in our city for over a year. They claim to serve an average of 10,000 trips a month. All while governments have been hand-wringing and talking about talking about ride... Keep Reading
Monday, August 7, 2017
Ever wonder why so much of our city's (dwindling) affordable rental stock are of a 50's-60's-early 70s vintage? The City tries to incentivize rentals with density bonuses, the Province tries to support rentals with subsidies — what's been missing is... Keep Reading
Friday, August 4, 2017
Concord Pacific nets some positive press over a handful of affordable art studios, but the “inclusionary zoning” sleight-of-hand is mostly about clever marketing and is deserving of some deeper analysis beyond the clickbait. The story about the... Keep Reading
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Thoughts on new micro-suite development on 100 block West Pender by Vancouver's Affordable Housing Agency. The conditions of this rezoning are consistent with how Vision Vancouver redefined "social housing" in their 2014 DTES Plan. For this... Keep Reading
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
As I post this, authorities are still determining the loss of life from the smouldering remnants of the 24-story Grenfell Tower in West London. Videos and images of the early morning towering inferno leave little doubt that the final tally of... Keep Reading
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Tomorrow, Friday March 31st is the public’s last opportunity to provide feedback on the City of Vancouver’s disastrous new planning policy for Chinatown before the proposal goes to City Council. The Chinatown Economic Revitalization Update and... Keep Reading
Joe Wai
Friday, January 13, 2017
Very sad news to note yesterday, the passing of Joe Wai. Many in Strathcona might only know of Joe Wai as the nickname for the ubiquitous stuccoed and bay-windowed duplexes and triplexes throughout the neighbourhood, as the 1970's BC Housing built... Keep Reading
Friday, December 23, 2016
I don't want to knock the City of Vancouver's recent work to build modular mobile housing for people at risk of homelessness — but this article illustrates how we might have missed the mark with that particular project. Vancouver's units —proper... Keep Reading
Thursday, August 4, 2016
At long last, the City of Vancouver has hired a Chief Planner, Mr. Gil Kelley. Kelley comes with a solid background of West Coast urban planning experience: two years as head planner in San Francisco, fourteen years as director of planning for... Keep Reading
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
The litany of lost opportunities to meaningfully address the housing crisis in our city is depressingly long, and given the role that the real estate industry can play in that equation — you might be surprised to learn that the City of Vancouver... Keep Reading
Saturday, April 23, 2016
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Concord Pacific has had a pretty profound impact on our city. In just thirty years, the Li-Ka Shing founded company has gone on to develop large scale master planned communities across the country, but their (ongoing)... Keep Reading
Friday, January 29, 2016
I’ve lived in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant for close to thirty years, and in Strathcona/Chinatown for most of that time. It’s my home, and an area I’m very fond of —of course, a lot of Vancouverites and visitors are fond of Chinatown, and it represents... Keep Reading
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Vancouver is a growing city with worsening congestion, affordability challenges, and a finite amount of developable land — investing in good transit now is an absolute necessity if we want to keep our local economy robust and our region livable. The... Keep Reading
Thursday, December 17, 2015
The holiday season is well upon us, and this weekend marks “Super Saturday”—the busiest shopping day of the year and the last Saturday (December 19) before Christmas. If you’re like me and leave gift shopping to the last minute, the thought of a... Keep Reading
Thursday, December 3, 2015
Today, December 3rd marks the International Day of Disabled Persons (first declared by the United Nations in 1992). On that note - it seems appropriate to talk about disabilities and accessibility in B.C. It’s impossible to talk about accessibility... Keep Reading
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
What might the Trans Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement mean here in the City of Vancouver? — with the notion of foreign investment already a hot-button issue in Vancouver real estate and unaffordability; what might the TPP and its extrajudicial... Keep Reading
Friday, November 13, 2015
The provincial government recently announced $35 million in funding — for what are termed as routine capital grant upgrades: things like window and boiler upgrades, roof replacement and energy efficiencies. Vancouverites, were of course disappointed... Keep Reading
Friday, November 13, 2015
Housing affordability: If it's bad for buyers, it's worse for renters. Early last week I attended the SFU Community Summit's Housing in the City: Beyond the Headlines panel discussion on issues relating to housing in B.C. and efforts to move us... Keep Reading
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Thursday October 27, a milestone in a several year personal and community struggle was achieved. Vancouver City Council approved an amended staff report to remove the viaducts in principal, with the inclusion of a serious commitment to immediate... Keep Reading
Thursday, October 15, 2015
Reported in Today's Sun: "89 home care workers lose their jobs in Vancouver." * Census data tells us that B.C.'s population is ageing faster than the rest of Canada — at 15.7% of the population, we are a full percentage point above the national... Keep Reading
Friday, September 18, 2015
Like many Vancouverites, I owe a sincere debt of gratitude to VCC. I wrote my first lines of HTML code in a VCC classroom, allowing me to upgrade from print-focused graphics to remain successfully self-employed and engaged in newly emerging... Keep Reading
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Vancouverites recently heard the news that some of the city’s largest underdeveloped greyfield sites — the 21-hectare Jericho Garrison site and another 8.5 hectares near Cambie and 33rd — are being reconsidered in a new partnership between First... Keep Reading
BIG Architecture / Westbank : Vancouver House rendering
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
The notion that at least some of Vancouver's development is being targeted to wealthy investors and thus skewing our own housing market – making it more expensive for local residents – shouldn't come as much of a surprise to anyone who lives here... Keep Reading
Vancouver Vanishes, Vision Vacillates
Thursday, June 5, 2014
After five years of unfettered majority rule on city council, hundreds of heritage demolitions, and thousands of tonnes of landfill; Vision Vancouver today trumpeted long overdue measures to thwart the unmitigated destruction of our city's heritage... Keep Reading
Thursday, May 22, 2014
"According to the Bank of Canada, the average selling price of a home in Vancouver is now nearly 11 times the average Vancouver family’s household income" So who's buying? What drives our sky high real estate market? It's a real failure of... Keep Reading
Handout Image published in Vancouver Sun
Friday, May 16, 2014
Local media was buzzing with reports of Bob Rennie's recent keynote speech, in which he placed the blame for Vancouver's affordability crisis on single-family neighborhoods, while defending his own development interests. As reported by the Sun's... Keep Reading
photo c/o False Creek Residents Association
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Have you noticed the green lights on the towers around the northeastern end of False Creek? Have you noticed that giant fenced-in parking lot that sometimes hosts the circus - but is mostly empty? Well, both sights are related to the park that was... Keep Reading
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
While Gregor and the gang push more concrete and glass towers as the panacea for affordable housing - the data paints a different picture. Look at the numbers for average purchase price (which of course ultimately dictates rental price) of concrete... Keep Reading
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