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The West Coast Charrette

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland called the post-Covid recovery ‘Our Moment to Change the Future for the Better.’ The West Coast Charrette explores 4 shelf-ready actions that will transform Canada’s metropolitan regions.

West Coast Charrette Report 

Fourteen professionals, educators, community activists and editors contributed to this response to rising house prices, and the Covid shut-down of the economy.

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Better Transit, Alright: But NOT Another Skytrain Extension!!!

Here is a H*I*N*T Mr. Trudeau: Better Transit = Affordable Housing. Guarantee Canadians Affordable Houses at the Next Election & you have my vote!

With a Federal Election Campaign now all but official, Prime Minister Trudeau is out in front of the election announcement tossing transportation money at all big cities in the nation. For Greater Vancouver, its a $1.3 Billion pledge that will fund the WRONG kind of transit.

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Victoria Street: The Heart In Downtown Kamloops

Downtowns have a lot to offer. The key is to make them great places to walk. That way, parking the tank and sending in the infantry on a 5 minute march becomes fun rather than a chore!

Every city has a downtown: A place to go, to see and be seen. Sometimes, changes come to a downtown attracting more people than ever before. That was the case 30 years ago when the Downtown Revitalization Program changed the character of Victoria Street in Kamloops making it a People Place. In 2020-2021 during the Covid epidemic, the sidewalks were widened downtown to provide safe outdoor seating. Now that Covid is under control, a win-win opportunity presents itself:

(1) Make the sidewalks widenings permanent; and

(2) Introduce back-in angle parking to increase the parking capacity in those places where the sidewalks are not widened.

Below is a walk along Victoria today illustrating long-standing strengths, and discussing new emerging opportunities of place.

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Housing Crisis in China

Shenzhen, Communist China’s poster-city planned to take over Hong Kong as a financial hub for the command economy has a BIG problem… And it is not just the cost of housing in China.

Bloomberg is reporting the cost of an apartment in Shenzhen is equal to 43.5 times a resident’s average annual salary. However, they are not reporting the size of the apartment (you can bet it’s not large).

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Ending the Vancouver Housing Crisis: A Farewell to Skytrain-and-Towers

The second post in the series about ending the 25-year+ Housing Affordability Crisis in Greater Vancouver. Discussion here led to completing the West Coast Charrette.

[T]he Surrey-Langley Skytrain business plan depends on increased ridership along the route, and ridership depends on greater residential development, which in turn is dependent on population growth, which in Metro Vancouver is fuelled largely by immigration.

Graeme Wood, The Courier

It is hard to decide what is more ‘improbable’, the quote above suggesting that immigration is fuelling Skytrain ridership, or the photo at the top showing Skytrain as the right technology choice for a Regional Transportation System.

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Ending the Housing Crisis: Recalibrating the Vancouver Housing Strategy

If there is one take-away from the 2009 Financial Crisis, and the 2020 Covid-19 Crisis, it is that when the appellation ‘crisis’ attaches to an event, it is a signal for government to act. The Vancouver Housing Crisis demands action. Council: End the Housing Crisis!

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Vancouver Council voted on 27 May 2020 to take a new look at the population growth assumptions behind a plan to over-build Stats Canada projections by 250%. Watch my video presentation to Council.

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The Regional Transit System

The ‘Usual Suspects’ have lined up to deliver Subway-and-Towers along what they call the ‘Broadway Corridor.’ Yet, what is really needed is a Regional Transit System capable of delivering a rapid supply response putting houses-on-lots in sufficient numbers to End the HOUSING CRISIS.

1. THE BLUE LINE REGIONAL SERVICE

There is an affordable, sustainable—and immediately available—option for a Regional Transit System linking the North Shore, Vancouver, Surrey, Chilliwack and places in between that must be considered as a first priority in the Metro Vancouver-Fraser Valley regions (shown as a Blue Line in the map above).

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The Trump China Doctrine

On 30 October 2019 Secretary Of State Mike Pompeo laid out the full agenda of concerns the U.S. has with Communist China

The CCP and PRC—the Chinese Communist Party and the People’s Republic of China—are not to be regarded as one and the same as the freedom loving people of China and people of Chinese origin living in communities throughout the world.

We’ve seen governments with ideologies like this before. The CCP is a Marxist-Lenninist regime that has been practicing for too long a win-lose approach in engaging the West. More often than not the relationships have been lopsided in China’s favor. The reach and the methods China brought when it was invited to joint the international community have created grave problems that can no longer go unheeded.

“Collectively, all of us, need to confront these challenges from the PRC.”

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On the Foothills of a Cold War with China

Speaking just 21 days after Mike Pompeo presented what amounts to The Trump China Doctrine at a gala in New.York. Henry Kissinger cautioned against too much bravura.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, age 96

The architect of Detente between the U.S. and China in 1972, warned that the two sides had escalated a trade war into ‘the foothills of a Cold War’ speaking to Bloomberg’s New Economy Forum. Three weeks prior Kissinger had been seated at the head table at the Hudson Foundation Awards Gala where Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had delivered what many consider to be a reply to China’s President Xi speech celebrating the 70th anniversary of Communist rule in China.

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