April 6, 2022

Draft Vancouver Plan: First Impressions

The Draft Vancouver has been released here:

The first coverage is coming out.  Here’s Dan Fumano in The Sun, and Kenneth Chan at The Hive.

Viewpoint will have more too – but we wanted to get this post up so readers can provide their first impressions too.  Comment below.

I have three quick perceptions (that I am quite prepared to revise), with a more deserving analysis as the details and implications become apparent.

The first impression confirmed an expectation.  After hundreds of days in process, thousands of people consulted and millions of dollars spent, much of the plan is what was to be expected and could have been accepted in a motion to Council years ago: “Equitable Neighbourhoods.  An Economy that Works for All.  Climate Protection.  Anyone against?  Passed unanimously.”

It is painfully woke, to the point of parody.

Other than four white guys in Kerrisdale (it could have been five, but one has tinnitus), who doesn’t qualify as equity-denied?  (“I’m a woman, I qualify.  I’m a senior, I qualify. I’m Asian, I qualify.  I have income below the average, I qualify …”).  That list must include minimally three-quarters of all Vancouverites, who will all presumably deserve special consideration and precedence.

But there are two unexpected elements to the plan that I didn’t expect: the Metroplex and 41st-49th Highrise Corridor.

Here is the detail on Metroplexes:

Metroplexes touch serval Third Rails, like the end of the front yard, a key feature of the garden suburb – and the Vancouver identity.  Oh boy.


The even more contentious issue will be what is coloured as a Transit Area running between King Ed and 49th Avenues on the West Side, and between 41st and somewhere in the 50s on the East Side.  That area, according to The Sun‘s map, will allow for 25-storey highrises.  The Sun had to combine the information on several maps to explicitly reveal something that I suspect City staff and council will not appreciate – unless of course The Sun got it wrong.

I’m expecting some imminent clarification – or campaign literature that writes itself.





In the meantime, add your insights and observations below.






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  1. Perpetual bliss .. apparently .. crime, homelessness, feces and drugs all eliminated .. cheap plentiful housing for all esp families ..

    Or did I misread that ?

    Pretty high density proposed. Unclear if everyone in Vancouver is OK with it ?

    New legislation gives the Province the ability to acquire land within 800m of a transit station for housing, among other things, I wonder how this will play into the city’s planning?

    “The provincial government has introduced changes to the Transportation Act that will allow the Province, through the BC Transportation Financing Authority, to acquire land for the purpose of building housing and community amenities to serve people near transit stations and bus exchanges. . . . ”

    “. . . These changes will allow housing to be built in mixed-use developments, along with child care centres, shops and commercial services, schools and health-care centres, educational facilities, public gathering spaces and recreation centres.”

  3. Interesting alarming and overdue IMO.
    Also disappointing in some respects.
    Focusing on my back yard. I see the plan, if it is to be believed, now restricts the maximum height of the Safeway site beside the Broadway/Commercial Sky train station to 25 story structures. Oh boy! Originally there were to be two slim tall thin towers. Now! Let’s have a series of soviet era Balkan blocks which will please no one.
    Is it the end of front yards? Almost certainly not but it could be the end of new front yards. That’s ok. The town house style frontages in false creek north are quite fine with people eager to occupy.
    I see my block on East 8th between Victoria and Commercial Drive is now designated 25 story also. My primary concern is not finding a high rise across the street but the prospect of having to pay property taxes on the potential but unrealised value of my lot.
    There is a lot to consider here and a boat load to talk about, but hopefully this will finally get the conversation going and perhaps the sane among us can finally let the NIMBYs among us know that they should be ashamed of themselves. You cannot create affordable anything by curtailing supply. Their signage: “No Towers at Safeway” “Yes to affordable Housing” is a contradiction of terms.

  4. We can only pray that the planning analysis underlying the VANCOUVER PLAN is of higher calibre than the mushy aspirational writing. I fear that the fuzzy, obscure text belies fuzzy obscure thinking and process. The text reads as a comedic caricature of planning gobbledygook, Take, for example:
    “Equity-denied groups are those who have been excluded from the design of our current societal systems, and WHOM as a result face marginalization or discrimination.” OUCH! FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, who wrote this?

    This statement is clear as mud. What does “the design of our current societal systems” mean? Is this a planning document or a rhetorical manifesto? How did this pap pass the rigorous review such an important City document demands? Apart from the impossibility of interpreting this kitchen-sink statement in a meaningful way, whoever wrote it needs a grammar lesson, or a competent copy editor! As, the subject of a clause, not the object, “whom” should be “who”.

    I am disgusted.

  5. Interesting thing about “the end to front yards” is that the front yards are what make the ubiquitous front-back duplexes work, and the “garden suites” (formerly known as basement suites) in converted houses. A little bit of semi-private outdoor space creates interactions with the dog-walkers going by. Neighbourliness? Yes.