Score a ‘Win’ for Vancouver Urbanism

Place des Vosges (formerly Place Royale, Paris 1600)

Fee simple row houses (clear title or free-hold) are finally legal in British Columbia. A building form with its origins in the Renaissance Italy of Andrea Palladio—also used in Baroque Paris; in London as early as the ill fated monarchy of Charles I; as well as being the building type of choice for the most memorable urban neighbourhoods in New York, Boston, Montreal and Toronto—can now be built in Canada’s west coast.

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The Flat Iron Building & The Urban Room

14 months after Vancouver City Council approved the 2010 Mount Pleasant Community Plan, a hearing was held to re-zone a key site in the neighbourhood to 5.5 FSR (floor space ratio). Neighbours who had participated in the planning process were joined by other citizens and professionals to decry the recommendation to move beyond the mandated 3.0 FSR. In order to illustrate the 3.0 FSR opportunity, and working in consultation with members from the Resident’s Association of Mount Pleasant, we developed a scheme in keeping with local traditions. Continue reading “The Flat Iron Building & The Urban Room”

A New Approach to Density in Vancouver

2009 Form Shift Vancouver, Design Competition, entry by the author

We have gone a little ‘Condo Crazy’ in Vancouver for the last 20 years. Podium-and-Tower can work Downtown. However, when it comes to the neighbourhoods, and the historic neighbourhoods, loud vocal opposition from local residents is clamouring for a new approach. Continue reading “A New Approach to Density in Vancouver”

Community Forum: The Density Fallacy

Can we build high density neighbourhoods without building towers? At a Community Forum will be held in Mount Pleasant where the rezoning hearings to 19-storeys for the RIZE Development at Main and Broadway, and at the May meeting of the Grandview Woodlands Advisory Council, are turning up neighbourhood opposition for tower forms outside the downtown, and a growing groundswell of opinion supporting new neighbourhood build out that supports transportation, affordability, livability, and human scale.

Continue reading “Community Forum: The Density Fallacy”