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Vancouver: Density Eases Traffic?
Alex Steffen, 9 Sep 04

Worldchanging ally Alan Durning reports on some surprising findings: despite a decade long growth spurt and a high-density building boom, the number of cars on the road in Vancouver is actually going down

Also, check out former Vancouver city councillor Gordon Price's Price Tags newsletter, on the Northwest Environment Watch site. It's chock full o' goodness (though why, oh why is it in PDF format, NEWers?).

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As a former Vancouverite, I can't argue that it's a nice city. But on the other hand, as someone who lived downtown, I found the living quarters very nice, very small, and very overpriced. I think this is a major issue that will need to be addressed by the attempts to maintain or increase high-density urban center planning - how can you expect people to pay so much more for so much less?

Yes, it better for the environment. Yes, it's more efficient. But dammit, half of those "high-density" apartments have little or no storage space (and this is coming from a guy who doesn't own very much stuff). How do you expect people to raise families in these areas?

Am I mistaken in my interpretation of what is considered "high density" centers? I was living in Yaletown, which I would consider high-density - would Kitsolano count as "high density" as well or is that something else?

One caution in praising Vancouver's approach: always remember the population. It is a small city, population-wise. I wonder how well the model will scale...I wonder whether Hong Kong (to which Vancouver is often compared) qualifies as a high-density urban center that complies with the ideals of sustainable urban development? If not, why not?

Posted by: Brendon J. Wilson on 14 Sep 04



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