It looks like the EcoDensity bashers in Vancouver are winning the war. They’ve changed the nature of the density debate, so that instead of talking about how to build more compact neighbourhoods with enhanced public transport in the name of sustainability, we are instead debating whether or not real estate developers are driving all of this.
The Globe and Mail’s Trevor Boddy rightly argues that the density dialogue needs to be reinvigorated. But how? The issue has become a political volleyball over the last year, to the detriment of those who are actually trying to address the issues of environment through urban planning.In my opinion, some folks who know better have thrown the issue off course in order to score easy political points against Vancouver’s ruling political class. And that’s a shame. Here’s what Boddy has to say.
Until the sour turn over the past few months, Vancouverites have been fans of increasing residential density for the best of all possible reasons: our city works better because of it; it has added value to our houses and apartments; and most of all, it makes for a green and healthy place to live.What a strange world if Vancouver derails its experiment with density in the very areas of the city that need it most, just as the rest of the planet has turned us into a verb, speaking of “Vancouverizing” their sprawl into compact urbanity.It is time to make the positive case for how density has made this a better city, and if carefully managed, will continue to do so. In the face of the culture of complaint that has arisen, there needs to be a clear declaration of how our city has improved through doing more with less.