In June, City of Vancouver planning staff released the draft community plan for East Vancouver’s Grandview-Woodland neighbourhood. To the shock of many residents who were extensively involved in the consultation process, the City is proposing to upzone substantial parts of the neighbourhood including approximately ten 22-36 storey towers in the Broadway and Commercial area. These proposed changes raise important questions about the preservation of existing affordable housing stock and the implications of major condominium tower development on the social fabric of the neighbourhood. Has community trust in the planning process been eroded with these surprising land-use directions? Where did these directions originate from if not from community consultation?
On this special podcast, we discuss the draft community plan, concerns about the future of the neighbourhood, and broader issues of public engagement with community leaders, residents, Translink, an urban scholar, and a member of the Mayor of Vancouver’s Engaged City Task Force.
- Jak King, historian and president of the Grandview-Woodland Area Council
- Nati Herron, resident, former member of the Grandview-Woodland Area Council, previously involved in the Victoria-Fraserview/Killarney Community Vision
- Robin, renter in Grandview-Woodland
- Jeff Busby, senior infrastructure planner at Translink
- Lindsay Poaps, member of the Mayor’s Engaged City Task Force
- Dr. Leslie Kern, assistant professor of gender studies at Mount Allison University and author of Sex and the Revitalized City: Gender Condominium Development, and Urban Citizenship
The City of Vancouver’s Corporate Communications department was given seven days advance notice for an interview. After more than four email and phone exchanges throughout the seven-day period, an interview was finally refused on June 24th. Corporate Communications indicated that a spokesperson could not be provided before the Tuesday, June 25th deadline.
Feedback on the draft plan can be submitted online until July 3rd. A new workshop to discuss the Broadway/Commercial sub-area and the proposed transit-oriented development has been organized for July 6th, which you must RSVP for as “space is extremely limited.” The Grandview-Woodland Area Council is hosting an open forum for residents to express their opinions about the draft plan on Monday, July 8th from 7-9pm at 1655 William Street.
The City talks with Vision Vancouver Councillor Andrea Reimer as we mark one year since 2011 municipal election.
Andrea Reimer was first elected in 2002 as a School Board member with the Green Party, she joined Vision Vancouver and was elected to City Council in 2008. Councillor Reimer was appointed in 2008 as the Chair of the City’s Planning and Environment Committee and Council lead on the Greenest City Action Plan, overseeing Vancouver’s efforts to become the greenest city in the world by 2020. Along with six other Vision councillors and Mayor Gregor Robertson, Andrea Reimer was elected in the 2011 election to council. She is currently Chair of the Standing Committee on Planning, Transportation, and Environment and council liaison for the Greenest City Action Team. She is also a director at Metro Vancouver, and is appointed to the city’s Family Court / Youth Justice Committee, Urban Aboriginal Peoples Advisory Committee, and Women’s Advisory Committee.
The City’s Andy Longhurst sat down with Councillor Reimer in July 2012 to talk at length about a number of issues, including neighbourhood engagement, which has come under fire in recent weeks. We also discuss the controversial Rize condo tower in Mount Pleasant, rental housing, affordability, and questions of how the city should continue to develop.
WEB-ONLY CONTENT | Hear more from Councillor Reimer (from the July 2012 interview) on whether green initiatives sideline social justice issues, and whether the City should be doing more to protect the many older single-family homes which are often demolished in Vancouver’s pricey real estate market.
On green initiatives vs. social justice concerns and the viaducts:
On renovictions, the loss of affordable rental stock, and the demolition of single-family homes: