development

Remove the Viaduct!

Good ideas need to be spread wide, in hope they gain traction. Paul Hillson has an idea that I hope Vancouver planners take notice of: removing the Georgia and Dunsmuir Street viaducts.

The viaducts have served their purpose, as the train tracks they originally rose over no longer exist. Today, they serve as a reminder of the direction Vancouver nearly went in the '70s - they are the only part of a massive highway construction plan that ever saw completion.

Focal Point: East Fraserlands

I've always been interested in parts of the city that are particular points where change is happening, or where ideas of the current moment are best presented in one spot. Case studies of a kind, you could say.

One such example is the East Fraserlands development, what has been called "the last Vancouver megaproject", since it is one of the few remaining large single undeveloped parcels of land around.

SE False Creek Olympic Village Over Budget

The Millenium Development Corp's Olympic Village project is facing some serious cost overruns, it seems. Rumours have it the project is already $60 million overbudget, and everyone's wondering who'll be on the hook.

Apparently the city could be responsible for covering the cost, though nobody's certain and council is not talking at the moment.

Canada Line now spurring evictions

Now that the Canada Line is nearing completion, at least one residential complex along the line is evicting its tenants in what has become a regular event in Vancouver: the evict/renovate/jack the rent cycle. I've lived in one of these buildings at Oak and 14th (now "Coco", some high-end condos).

It's the dark side of the otherwise positive effect a new rail line can have on a neighbourhood. Property values along a new rail line appreciate an average of 10% faster than the rest of a city, and a new line opens all kinds of possibilities for new, dense development.

Finally! Vision + COPE look like they'll play nice

It looks like (pending approval by the Cope membership) Vision, COPE, and the Greens have agreed to work together. Or, at least, not step on each other.

This is the best news in some time, cheers to everyone that has been sweating it out behind the scenes on this. I bet it hasn't been easy.. it always sucks that the 'left' can be so fractitious.

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