Panel Obeservations

Panel Observations from Milestones 2016 Forum

Milestones 2016 Panel. Photograph by Robert Matas

Here is a selection of notable comments and observations from the Milestones 2016 panel discussion:

First Nations

  • The partnership between Canada Lands, Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish and Musqueam Nations on the Jericho and Heather Street lands is historic. Similarly, the three first nations creating the MST Corporation to manage the developments with David Negrin, formerly of Aquilini Development, to lead the organization. – Carla Guerrera
  • But keep an eye on whether the First Nations sites in Vancouver turn into a Tsawwassen Mills-style shopping centre that is car and carbon dependent. ” – Andy Yan

Changes in Senior Management at City Hall

  • New management could bring a different lens to development of the city.” – Carla Guerrera
  • But “are senior managers who came from the U.S. sensitive to significant differences between cities in the U.S. and Vancouver, especially related to taxing powers and the role of the federal government in housing? Can US planners adapt to the Canadian reality?” – Andy Yan

Housing

  • “Single-family homes have become a luxury item. It’s the end of Vancouver’s founding mythology of owning your own home. Vancouver has split into two classes of people, homeowners and renters.”  – Andy Yan
  • “Government interventions certainly have an impact in the single-family market. But the multi-family market – which is where new buyers enter the market – did not slow down at all. So the question remains, did these interventions achieved the intended result?” – Carla Guerrera
  • “Vancouver has the best housing policies of any city in Canada. The policies are there!” – Mike Harcourt

An Increase in the Number of Homeless

  • “Highest homelessness count in 10 years coincides with highest rent increase.” – Jen St Denis
  • “Is Vancouver responsible for housing the homeless who came from across the country? Vancouver should figure out how to work with cities where homeless people came from when planning to house those who live on the street.” – Mike Harcourt

Chinatown Development

  • “It’s ground zero in the battle for affordable housing in the city. The question is what kind of city do you want it to be. There is an essential Chinatown that should be preserved. The city fails if council approves developments based on 200-foot long land assemblies.” – Mike Harcourt.
  • “Don’t put it under glass. Allow “slow urbanism.” Fast urbanism is going to destroy our city.” – Andy Yan.
  • “The city should intervene before developers assembly the land and prepare a development proposal, not after the process is underway.” – Carla Guerrera.