January 2, 2022

Predictions for ’22: Tipping Point for S-F Zoning, Van Plan Pan

It’s that time of year: making predictions for the rest of the year.  (Add your own or links to others in the Comments.)

Toronto ‘city builder’ blogger Brandon Donnelly has listed his here – and this is the one that jumps out:

We will see meaningful efforts to further breakdown the hegemony of single-family zoning throughout many North American cities. This has been building for a number of years and I think we will see some tipping point-like moments in 2022. Specifically, expanded permissions for multi-unit housing and greater densities.

Vancouver will have its opportunity with the release (and presumably a vote) on the city-wide Vancouver Plan.

My prediction for the plan: A Nothing Burger.  Council has already passed what will likely be the only substantive change:

The rest will be aspirational, perhaps a consolidation of some policies, and of course, recommendations for more consultation.  But a map that shows you how and where your neighbourhood will change – forget it.  As a great way to mobilize opposition in an election year, not gonna happen.

What a waste of millions of dollars, time and expectations to do something that Vancouver does effectively through its neighbourhood and corridor planning processes and issue-specific policy development – like we’ve been doing for the last half century.

But of course it’s not equitable, or achieves equity of outcome.  Predictably, that’s not going to happen either.

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  1. 2022 will be recorded as the year that personal aerial mobility became a reality. The Jetson One will be known as the invention that brought an end to motordom and to new roads for that matter, and an end to familiar ways of land settlement. The age of the Aerials is on the horizon.