VANCOUVER’S “LIVING FIRST” STRATEGY

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Everyone knows about the towers of downtown Vancouver, but the city has also vigorously pursued neighborhood infill. The blocks around a former brewery on Arbutus Avenue in Kitsilano, an upscale neighbourhood south of downtown, have been redeveloped in recent years. This smaller-scale development is east of Arbutus -- both are new and of similar scale, but one takes a (modernised) three-flat as prototype and the other copies large Victorian houses.

Location: Vancouver, BC Canada. Waterfront

In the early 1990s, Vancouver’s city council adopted a new Central Area Plan based on a “living first” strategy, rezoning eight million square feet from commercial to residential areas and turning over old railroads along the waterfront for housing. The strategy pushes for housing intensity, insists on housing diversity, builds coherent , identifiable neighborhoods, and fosters regional architectural principles. Central area planners have depended on the traditional relationships between the street, sidewalk, building wall, and among buildings to make high densities work. The plan is now at 80% completion.

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Transect Zone(s): T4 general.
Status: 76-99% Built
Project or Plan's Scale: Neighborhood
Features: Live/work, Mixed uses, Sustainable infrastructure, Transit oriented development, Waterfront.
Project team designers: City of Vancouver
Project team developers: Multiple developers