Ray Spaxman: “It is no longer the olden days”

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From Ray Spaxman, Director of Planning in Vancouver (1973-89):

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Recently, someone at City Hall said to me when I was enquiring anxiously about a new development proposal Downtown, “Ray, it is no longer the olden days”.

It prompted me to share these thoughts with you.

In the “olden days”, say 20 years ago, if you were looking for a site in town to locate a new building, say an apartment, office tower, superstore or perhaps a hospital, you’d either look for a suitable site yourself or, if that seemed too complicated, you’d employ an expert in real estate development to help you.

They would scrutinize the City’s plans to see which part of town the use you were seeking was permitted. Then you’d look around those areas and find a site that seemed appropriate for the your building. You would likely find that City Hall, working with the community…

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