Poster Board Comments

The Year in Review – A Panel Discussion

“What were the defining decisions, actions and events in planning and development in 2015 that could prove to be transformative in Vancouver’s evolution?”

Panel audience reviewing 2015 events, January 26, 2016
Panel audience reviewing 2015 events, January 26, 2016

The list below of significant 2015 actions, decisions and events in planning and development with the potential to significantly influence how Vancouver evolves was brainstormed at two workshops in early January 2016. The list was published online and displayed at the panel discussion event on January 26, where the audience was invited to provide comments and additional suggestions.

A selection of community comments on the events are shown below.
• Click on the event name for background information.
• Click on the thumbs to view full-size.

Viaducts to be demolished
“Don’t remove them. Create a ‘high-line park.’ We need all the green space we can create and keep if we’re going to cope well with the increase of population density.”
Vaducts To Be Removed posterviaducts_600v_1748

Renewable City Strategy
“Love the concept. How do we continue to strive to have breathable air? Let’s be more open to some small experiments rather than grandiose plans that might not succeed.”
Renewable City Strategy posterrenewable-city_600v_1749

Starchitect towers arrive in Vancouver
“Giving away the city to to p ten lists is an insult to the intelligence of community.”
“High rises are not egalitarian. They declare our view are for the very rich only. Selling our birthright not an option.”
“I prefer mundane. We do not have to enter the unhealthy ‘world class’ competition.”
Starchitect Tower Proposals posterstarchitect_1200_1751

St. Paul’s Hospital relocation
“New site’s best feature – you don’t access it via a bridge. Bridges area all at risk of earthquakes. The greater good is served by a new hospital. But pay attention to local neighbourhoods.”
“I would like to see St. Paul’s become the fulcrum in the area re. delivery of services for mentally ill and/or addicted in the DTES. The provincial government and City of Vancouver need to work with non-profits in DTES to integrate and coordinate. Too many services and no enough coordination.”
“This should augment the current services.”
St. Paul's Hospital Relocationst-pauls_1200_1753

#Don’tHave1Million protests
“The elephant in the room and the key driver for so many conflicts regarding planning. Vancouver housing is so commodified that we may as well trade it on an exchange like a barrel of oil.”
“What kind of city will be without affordable housing solutions for families that will work here? We are counting on ‘global capital’ to build our town. Folly.”
“This campaign has the potential of being very divisive. There has never been a generation that didn’t think they were hard done by. We need to get away from the notion of real estate ownership for everyone. Can’t be sustained.”

Arts Factory opens
“Doubt this will have any impact long-term. Artist live-work studio chanes have had far greater impact.”
Arts Factory Opens posterarts-factory_600v_1750

Brenhill Decision
“It seems that developers get their way, regardless. Citizens’ voices are perhaps heard but are not listened to, or their advice/wishes are not seriously considered. Citizens will continue to use the tools at their disposal, including lawsuits.
“Ruling overturned on appear or not, perhaps a lesson in remembering to provide more ‘integrated’ project information, rather than piecemeal reports.”
“City did not do adequate engagement. Nor did they listen, respond to honest concerns. Overturned only on law, not ethics. We are still looking for a truly responsive, open, accountable civic party.”
“Don’t get caught up in the anti-developer schtick – it was the arrogance of a special interest group that threatened to steal Vancouver’s decision-making away from democratic public process and hand it to court in shackles that do no benefit for the citizens. The event to celebrate was the Supreme Court reversal.”
Brenhill Decision posterbrenhill_600v_1754 brenhill2_600v_1755

Bridge safety fences approved
“This was politicking, nothing more. Not great for our future.?
“How sick should the city be’? What is being safeguarded by the rule of risk management and its triumph over delight and dignity. Barbed wire crosswalks are maybe next.”
“Absolutely no data to suggest suicide barriers on bridges impact total suicides across a region. We should not ruin aesthetics of heritage bridges for political points.”
Burrard Bridge Safety Fences posterburrard-bridge_1200_1747

False Creek Flats planning process begins
“Enormous opportunity to foster environment conducive to job growth, while also creating a new urban fabric from what is mostly empty land.”
“Don’t do this without paying close attention to neighbours’s concerns. Nothing replaces knowledge experience of people’s lived experience. Be respectful of the people.”
“Greenhouse. Growing veg should be a legit industrial use of industrial lands. That is more useful than warehouses that employ tiny numbers of workers.”
False Creek Flats Planning posterfalse-creek-flats-1200_1734

Heritage Action Plan approved + Shaughnessy becomes first conservation area
“It should be up to each neighbourhood to have this discussion and make a decision that fits with overall general principles. Listen to the people.”
Heritage Action Plan posterheritage-action_600v

Transportation plebiscite fails
“Victim of the reductionism of top ten lists. The referendum ‘yes’ side failed to resonate in the basement of the imagination – where everyone acts as though life and death of cities is just a video game.”
“Negatively, but as with my [ ], transportation portfolio requires leadership. Sorely lacking, unfortunately. Regional muni’s need to be united front on their message, goals, and priorities.”
“Highways are needed to move goods to market. We are a port city. Don’t just think of commuters and city dwellers when making decisions that affect all British Columbians. We all pay taxes.”
“Adding more traffic via Oak is ill advised. More transit and park-free-&-ride are required.”
“The muni’s had 18 months to prep for the plebiscite. Too many cooks, no strong single message. What makes us think the mahors won’t be ‘political’ were they in charge?”
Transportation Plebisite Fails postertransportation-600v_1745transportation2-600v_1746

Grandview Woodlands Citizens’ Assembly report
“This was a top-down autocratic response to grassroots activism. Fascist congrol does not engender trust. Respect the neighbourhoods.”
“I’m glad they tried it, but the proof is in the proverbial pudding.”
Grandview Woodlands Assembly postergrandview-woodland_1200_1743

City Hall Leadership Changes
“Council listens to everyone. The problem is when staff do not engage with them. Decisions are made from inside people, not from defending themselves against provocation thrown at them.”
“We know why these changes happened. Reflective of deep unhappiness among staff, lack of true engagement with public, fascist dictates. Improve your true engagement with the citizens.”
“Does  Council listen to planners and other upper echelon staff? Magic 8-ball: not likely.”
CityHall Staff Changes postercity-hall_1200_1737

Waterfront tower re-ignites debate on Waterfront Hub
“Chinatown and Gastown are interesting places, full of history, cultural richness. What is it about Vancouver that wants to level all of that? (What will be left for the tourists?!)”
“Actually, two issues: 1) the crystalline, alien architecture; and 2) the near-abandonment of the duty to coordinate more broadly than one site.”
“Towers do not make a hub ‘real.’ Only human scale can do that. Pay attention to geography. We are north of 49. Sunlight is a challenge in teh winter. Shade makes an unwalkable city. Planning 101.”
“The issue is not the tower but that the City nearly threw away the opportunity of making the HUB real – the ongoing struggle of fundamentally to capture attention in lieu of the [ ].”
Waterfront Tower posterwaterfront-tower_1200_1738waterfront-tower2_1200_1739

Links to more highlights from the panel event
Panel event description
Panel event videos
Panel presentations – transcript
Community perspectives
Draft list of 2015 significant events – as reviewed at panel event
Panel bios