Vancouver Councillor gets the Urbanism Wrong

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During the 23 october 2013  Mount Peasant Community Plan Implementation Public Hearing held at Council Chambers Councillor Geoff Meggs consistently asked speakers at the podium misleading questions about the Mount Pleasant Charrette Plan. Prepared by the Mount Pleasant Implementation Committee (MPIC) acting independently of City planners the plan boldly calls for a New Planning Paradigm to come into effect outside the downtown tower districts.

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Communities Come Together

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City Hall is applying the wrong planning paradigm in Norquay, DTES, Mount Pleasant, Marpole, Granview-Woodland, and West End according to the neighbours. The people are mad as hell and won’t take it anymore. Join us 24 September at the front steps of our City Hall to keep our democracy free of the wrong kind of growth. The neighbourhoods are saying they welcome investment, but will not cede their future over to large scale development. People have clearly indicated a preference for a human scale urbanism, and consultative planning processes.

The New Urban Paradigm

Livable Streets, Walkable Neighbourhoods, Affordable Regions

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China Creek Park

Re-zoning neighbourhood land to tower densities is fuelling land speculation and triggering a crisis in housing affordability. How can we reverse this trend, build walkable neighbourhoods and livable streets? Continue reading

Small is Beautiful

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8th Avenue and Prince Albert, Mount Pleasant

On 22 june 2013 the Mount Pleasant Implementation Committee (MPIC) held a self-directed design workshop to test applying charrette methods to the redevelopment of the neighbourhood. On the evening of 24 june the results of the workshop were presented to the public at Our Town Café. On 11 july the products of the workshop were shown at the MPIC meeting. Download a pdf copy of the presentation here.

The findings are startling!

  1. As one of 23 neighbourhoods in the City of Vancouver, all more or less of equal size, the Mount Pleasant share of the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) targets for 2040 can be estimated as 7,000 persons. This is one twentieth of the 140,000 persons in the RGS.
  2. Good urbanism is not just about Density. Historical precedent, the human experience in public space, and neighbourhood-level social functioning must also be taken into account.
  3. Mount Pleasant is the only historic neighbourhood in the city developing its own brand of urbanism outside the downtown core. Continue reading

A neighbourhood chronology

Chro MTP Chronology

Schematic diagram of Mount Pleasant (North is at the bottom of the drawing; Kingsway is shown entering from the top left or south-east corner).

Even the most schematic diagram of Mount Pleasant betrays a layered history and a complex past for Vancouver’s first neighbourhood. Indigenous people lived here for 10,000 years before European settlement. Their presence barely left a mark on the landscape, yet they remain a vital presence in the community today.

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Jane’s Walk 2013

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Quebec Manor (1915) 7th & Quebec Street

42 people turned out on a sunny Sunday afternoon in early May to follow local history raconteur Robert McNutt and urban design practitioners Stephen Bohus and Lewis N. Villegas on a tour of historic Mount Pleasant. The walk was organized in memory of urbanist Jane Jacobs. Download the walk map here.

This year the walk was structured around key buildings and places that may guide new construction and planning. The models identified and discussed on the tour included: tall buildings; storefront buildings; apartments; row houses; public open spaces; ‘Great Streets’ and transit implementation options.

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