April 9, 2018

Living with Kids in Higher Density~Five Kids, One Condo

Three bedroom challenge (P/V)
Kirsten Dirksen is a television producer who has become an on-line video blogger.  Her company Faircompanies.com has a media site that looks at the aspect of less complicated, simpler living styles. As a vlogger she came to Vancouver to interview Adrian Crook who lives in the Yaletown area of downtown with five children in a two bedroom condo. Adrian likes living downtown for the health and psychological aspects of walking everywhere and notes that while “Vancouverism” includes a taller housing form in the downtown peninsula, that has not been embraced in the largely single family areas away from the downtown.
Price Tags Vancouver has chronicled  Adrian Crook’s quest to have his children using transit to school and Price Tags has also examined a program in Calgary with Bus Buddies where children are allowed to take transit to school. Adrian does have a blog about living in the downtown with his five children, and he is also running for City Council.
The  twenty minute video on YouTube features Adrian’s kids and shows the simple adaptations that have been made in the condo to maximize usable space. There’s a home office that turns into a murphy bed at night, a bunk bed that can morph into a table and desk, and a triple stacked bunk bed.  Parents everywhere will see in the video that  children’s socks still disappear -even in smaller footprint spaces.


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  1. For voters who research individual candidates before a vote and who are not beholden to a unanimous party slate, Adrian Crook is a guy who seems to understand the important issues. Crook’s website reminds me of Neheed Nenshi’s original Calgary mayoralty campaign with its well-honed Twelve Issues postings and shoestring budget and great reliance on social media and the youth vote. It worked. And then some, to the great shock of the establishment.
    Crook is affiliated with the NPA, but the party doesn’t occupy a prominent position in his website. In fact, he seems to be going out of his way to avoid mentioning the NPA in the most visible parts. He places issues and policy prominently, and is an independent business person. There are some policy parallels with Hector Bremner, but Crook has a fresher outlook and doesn’t come with BC Liberal baggage.
    There are some doubts. It’s not obvious where cutting red tape to accommodate development will flesh itself out in the reality of city hall (cutting policy and corners in processing applications? allowing developers to violate key bylaw practices? …), and his blanket city zoning policy may read similarly as Patrick Condon’s One City Plan, both of which will require serious oversight to prevent dictatorial architectural or urban design form or major land taxes to be imposed from above. But I’d place more value on Crook’s personal experience with family housing, far more inclusive transit advocacy and interpretation of that experience into the hard realities of city planning and finances than Condon’s theoretical / academic / form-over-function approach based on their published writings so far.
    It appears that Crook may be worth a good hard look for a mixed slate on Council.

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