Vancouver Planning Coalition
Long Term Issues: in policy and discussion papers. (Links coming).
- Arterial Roads, Community Planning and Urban Design
- Planning Administation and Public Cost Benefits.
- Save the Arbutus Corridor Committee; Win-for-all Solutions: Transit, Parks & Housing.
- False Creek South
- Mid Rise Zoning, moving out of wood.
Origins: An outgrowth of committees working with Vancouver City Planning advisory committees. Based upon the need for communication with inter-professional groups. Seeking ways to deal with needed changes and alternate solutions.The VPC was formed as a coordinating body seeking alternate policy directions to input to the City. Input from all sources and all new ideas are welcomed and the Steering Committee aims to work with any concerned citizens to seek new ways of approaching urban problems outside the "conventional systems". Any commuication can be directed to any of the following affiliated sites for ideas and expansion of communication.
New Housing for the urban homeless. Creating a Village.
Protest around the Downtown Eastside and the lack of affordable housing in the city with the highest real estate prices in the country. The focus has been on a Provincially owned abandoned Woodwards Department Store which may or may not be part of the solution. In order to broaden the discussion, the VPC and others have tried to start looking at alternatives.(See also article by Art Cowie; at Homeless article)
- Brief discussion Tiny Houses, Tiny Village
The VPC ideas started with Charles Dobson looking at tiny houses, really tiny houses for a variety of uses, and he is working on that topic now. And Art Cowie, after the local elections, asked, why not for housing for those that have none? This was after looking at the Woodwards old department store site, and the Downtown Eastside opportunities for the residents and the City as a whole. Woodwards is one of many now left unexplored. This involved parts of other visions for Abbot street and return to the Canals.
In looking for new solutions, nothing should be predetermined except 1) code for life and safety and 2) overall envelope for performance and aesthetics. New and dynamic options must be explored.
If we are to look at temporary models, as if the poor will somehow go away, there are the alternates. The numbers quoted for the true village options cannot be achieved with the temporary tents or trailer town options; for good reason, crowding, sanitation, and building code. Nobody would want to see a downtown village of containers or trailers, but as an interim land use while land is fallow, it might be acceptable. But such solutions need space and with any model providing housing which is now lacking, folks with kids will move in one way or the other.
For graphic comparison and a short term solution, there are the tents under a tree canopy and the trailers with a minimal elbow room. From comparisons and the cost of even temporary solutions, one can see why it makes sense to build the village properly.
At the other extreme, Woodwards could be treated not as a building but like a space colony, a settlement platform, an urban homestead. Such a solution could also be rendered from new construction on another site.
Basically, an urban homestead can be simply a skeleton, likely steel frame/pan, concrete poured with roughed in services. A scotch grid is for flexibility in design and demand. Main rooms 12' wide, secondary bay only 8' wide. Mix and match allows for variety of users and hopefully incomes. We should aim for gradual homogeneous mix so these do not become ghettos, but still give poor folks a foot in the door, so to speak.
The real inspiration for a new community, a low rise high density urban village comes from another place. The model is a community found most commonly in human history, in scale and organization, a small village still found in the Mediterranean but elsewhere too. This part of old Athens is not just for poor people, it is a well rounded community and includes artists and students and working people and the odd tourist.
The reference to Anafiotika is part of the UBC School of Architecture studies abroad in 1973....this is single family housing at higher densities than the high rises of our West End. And it is quite charming and livable. It can be shown that concerns Small lots and over density can be overcome if the residents feel it is their own community.
- Temporary Tenting
- Intermediate use of sites
- Creating Tiny Urban Villages
- The House ...&....the Street.
2 storey high rises.