Vancouver Councillor gets the Urbanism Wrong

meggs blog 2013-10-25 at 6.06.16 AM

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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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

Jane’s Walk 2013

Janes Walk 2013 Quebec Manor

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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5 Principles for Mount Pleasant Urbanism

3rd & Main

Main and 3rd Avenue

Five Principles for Mount Pleasant Urbanism

  1. Neighbourhood footprint
  2. Built Form
  3. Street Space
  4. Social functioning
  5. GHG-Zero Transportation

Five principles in urbanism can deliver walkable neighbourhoods and livable streets to our longstanding, most venerable neighbourhoods. We can obtain these results in the places we call home by restructuring them as a series of quartiers centered on the place of original settlement; building the urban paradigm with human-scale buildout; delivering social housing in sufficient numbers to meet demand; rebuilding arterials to support social functioning; and removing car trips from the street. Continue reading