Quoting in part from Barbara Yaffe in the Vancouver Sun:
‘Local politicians for years have tried valiantly to convince Lower Mainlanders the only real solution to unaffordable housing is densification. But if results of a new survey on preferred development are to be believed, there is a big problem with their strategy: The public is not buying it.’
“It’s clear that B.C. residents need a more complete, inclusive conversation with planners and developers about density,” remarked Jack Wong, CEO of the Real Estate Foundation of B.C. which sponsored the survey of 1,701 British Columbians, nearly two thirds of them from the Lower Mainland.
“With a million people expected to move into the Greater Vancouver region in the next 40 years, we need to come up with a new shared vision of what an ideal community looks like.”
Wong’s philanthropic foundation awards grants to non-profits working “to improve B.C. communities and the natural environment”.
His remarks are an understatement. The survey suggests that municipalities have utterly mishandled the task of involving and educating their residents to enable them to cope with the enormous challenges facing the region.
Developers are more interested in building high-density towers than low-rise buildings because, obviously, there is greater opportunity to profit through economies of scale.
Meanwhile, communities have felt shut out of decision-making, as exemplified by recent pitched battles over official development plans in Marpole and Mount Pleasant, and heritage restrictions in Shaughnessy.