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Connected City, Potentials for Affordable Housing

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Transportation arterials, jobs, greenways and urban habitat lead us to imagining a variety of housing forms interacting in relation to a neighbourhood’s unique characteristics. The Connected City: A Home for Everyone, invites you to conceptualize new affordable housing opportunities based on forward, outside-the-box thinking.

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Connected City, Potentials for Affordable Housing

  1. 1. The Connected City: A Home For Everyone
  2. 2. The Connected City and You: Re:THINK HOUSINGThe Connected City is a starting place forrethinking affordable housing within a widercontext.Transportation arterials, jobs, greenways andurban habitat lead us to imagining a variety ofhousing forms interacting in relation to aneighbourhood’s unique characteristics.The Connected City: A Home for Everyone,invites you to conceptualize new affordablehousing opportunities based on forward,outside-the-box thinking – thinking that remainsconnected to uniqueness of place, relevant toVancouver’s collection of neighbourhoods, andinterconnected by a synthesis of arterials.
  3. 3. Affordable Housing: Making the Connection “Vancouver’s economy depends on attracting and retaining talent. Affordable housing of all types, including market rentals, is essential to the City’s current and future competitiveness.” John Tylee, Director of Policy and Research Vancouver Economic Development Commission
  4. 4. The Connected City: The City Players Elected Officials may mandate innovation of Civil Servants and Departmental1 best housing affordability practices, as well as 6 regulatory efficiencies/responsiveness while creatively Administrators who can substantively influence utilizing civic landholdings/assets. application for approvals through the interpretation of prevailing regulations and policies. Responsible for reconciling market driven initiative with local aspirations2 Development Industry may collectively reflected in Council approved policy in a way that reinforces influence the volume of "residential product" available at the identity of respective neighbourhoods and city overall. any point in time, the cost of land with respect to supply and demand, acceptable soft costs including marketing Construction Industry are well positioned to and commissions, the responsiveness of product to demographic trends and ethnicity, the quality of exterior 7 inform the market generally about building systems, building systems, the quality of interior fixturing and product quality and longevity, locally available products and integrated private amenities, and most importantly systems, and certain economies that might be helpful whether the market is interested in taking the short or towards housing costs. long view with respect to affordability challenges. Financial Industry can collectively influence Design Professionals, when given creative 83 lending practices for large and small, development initiatives while also setting profitability thresholds/ opportunities, can produce innovative projects that reflect their ability to reconcile varying, and competing, expectations for return on investment. design and technical constraints. Academics are uniquely positioned to challenge the Real Estate Marketing Industry is the 9 design of cities and can be responsive and informed with4 intermediary between the risk takers (Development respect to relevant precedents and achievements that may Industry/Design Professionals/Financial Industry) and influence local outcomes. The Market. Local Community knows the most about local The Market prefers certainty over innovation and is5 context, urban pattern, history, what been lost and is 10 conflicted with respect to its focus on the creation of missing, and opportunities for placemaking reflective of investment vehicles vs creating more personal attachment distinct neighbourhood identity. to “homes” in neighbourhoods for the longer term.
  5. 5. The Connected City: Arterials Concept 1 Interconnected Places: Use the framework of our arterials to both connect and distinguish urban places Vancouver’s existing urban structure, based on the original streetcar city pattern, is a gift. This rational grid provides an armature for connectivity, proximity and immediacy. While simple in its orientation and spacing, the grid allows for distinctive opportunities for compact living across the city. The grid framework can accommodate a doubling of people and jobs, while enhancing the “signature of place” in our city. In this way, life in the city becomes more convenient as it becomes more sustainable - everything is much closer at hand within much more diverse and complete neighbourhoods. As Vancouver adds population and jobs it creates a “city of connected yet distinct neighbourhoods”.
  6. 6. The Connected City: Jobs Concept 2 Strategic Green Jobs: Locate and integrate thousands of new green jobs. Our prevailing urban industrial lands enjoy immediate access to water andrail services. Like the urban grid structure, these lands are a gift. Vancouver’s pattern of large, contiguous employment areas connected to the arterial grid and interwoven with dramatic natural features, will strategically position our city for green economy competitiveness. This plan celebrates this opportunity and also introduces new “smart jobs zones” in proximity to the airport and the University of British Columbia. This concept brings green jobs ‘close to home’ for Vancouverites.
  7. 7. The Connected City: Greenways Concept 3 A Green Grid: An environmental network equal to the transportation network. Building on the achievement of Vancouver’s distinctive greenways, this plan concept expands the idea by interconnecting all parks, schools, natural features and local food opportunities through a system of “green streets”. This simple, and easily implementable strategy, is actually not new. The original streetcar city anticipated this idea when schools and parks were initially assigned locations generally equidistant within the hearts of residential districts. It will require strategically located streets be re purposed for green and social functions. Creating green streets will help build social capital through participatory involvement at the block scale while at the same time creating continuity throughout the city.
  8. 8. The Connected City: Habitat Concept 4 Continuous Habitat: A major new system of accessible natural areas and parks in underserved districts. We are a city in nature with continuous water adjacency on three sides. Given this gift, we have a responsibility to demonstrate best practices for the creation of new habitat towards the enhancement of biodiversity in an urban setting. Our plan declares that this can be done! Our concept highlights zones of latent opportunity where connected networks of natural areas and parks could be restored, expanded, and linked. We recommend the commissioning of required technical work to more clearly identify and implement these critical locations involving additional stream daylighting, augmented by more practical green streets centered on continuous bioswales. The result of this initiative will be the creation of a world class network of new, revived, and expanded green amenity features in underserved neighbourhoods.
  9. 9. The Connected City: Synthesis Synthesis. Vancouver 2050: A Convenience Truth The synthesis of these four simple ideas is an elegant and complex, yet clearly implementable plan framework. It will accommodate a doubling of our population while achieving an 80% reduction in GHG production. We have anticipated an aging population in our work and have accommodated this shift through providing thousands of age-appropriate units in highly accessible and convenient locations. We have exploited latent opportunities for ecological restoration to create a new interconnected green framework “signature” for under-served parts of the city. We have more evenly distributed work places so they will be closer to homes and synergize with other uses. The tens of billions of dollars of new investment represented here provides the leverage to insure affordability goals are met and that enough capital is generated to fund new public amenities in measure with population growth and demographic change. In short, the plan shows a way to save the planet by making our city more convenient; a more convenient city within which to move, to shop, to work, and to raise a family - all the while reducing our environmental footprint. The Greenest City truly is the Convenient City.
  10. 10. Evolving: History of Vancouver Form Changes to one area of the city do not happen in isolation of space and time. By looking at the history of the city, it is clear that population characteristics influence city development. It is also clear that the character of Vancouver’s diverse neighborhoods is strong. As we turn towards the future, it is imperative that we consider the legacy of Vancouver’s history and the character of it’s neighbourhoods.
  11. 11. Evolving: New Vancouver Neighbourhoods
  12. 12. Evolving: New Vancouver Neighbourhoods
  13. 13. Connected City Housing Form: On Arterial Focused “While simple in its orientation and spacing, the grid allows for distinctive opportunities for compact living across the city. The grid can accommodate a doubling of people and jobs, while enhancing the “signature of place” in our city.” (A Convenience Truth)
  14. 14. Connected City Housing Form: On Arterial Focused
  15. 15. Connected City Housing Form: Off Arterial FocusedThe Spaces In Between New, small-scale housing types for areas just off arterials seek to reflect single family attributes, affordability and developability, and neighbourliness. (Patricia St. Michel) Source: Patricia St. Michel
  16. 16. Connected City Housing Form: Off Arterial FocusedThe Spaces In Between
  17. 17. The Connected City and You: re: THINK Design CompetitionGO TO:vancouver.ca/rethink to submit your ideas on howto Connect the City with new Affordable Housingre:THINK Resources:An Exploration of Housing Types:http://dev.vancouver.ca/housing/rethink/pdf/NewHousingTypes2003.pdfA Convenience Truth:http://www.urbanstudio.sala.ubc.ca/2010/book%20templates.htmlElements db: http://elementsdb.sala.ubc.ca/

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