On Thursday I joined Bruce Hayden and Patrick Condon at SFU's noon time City Conversations series to discuss whether there is a need for alternatives to the glass high-rise tower for Vancouver. All three of us suggested that while there is a place for towers (well, two out of three were more supportive of building towers, right Patrick?) we all agreed that there is both a place and need for alternatives, especially those that can produce more affordable housing. These include fourplexes, sixplexes, townhouses, stacked townhouses, wood-frame apartments up to six storeys, and mid-rise buildings, both 'set on their own grounds', and with zero side yards.
This prompted me to suggest that some of the audience might be interested in the report that I prepared for the Mayor's Affordable Housing Task Force that examined these options and where they could go, and what changes might be required to facilitate them. In essence, I suggest ways to encourage more redevelopment along arterials (yes I know they are busy, noisy and dusty) but also propose a NEW TRANSITIONAL ZONE that might be established between the arterials and single family streets, and around transit nodes and community facilities.
I was reading Frances Bula's Blog and came across a number of discussions regarding building form and density. This has prompted me to share my report, noting that in the coming weeks, the Task Force will be issuing its final report. Then a full discussion will hopefully begin.
So far I have received one formal letter from a neighbourhood organization that criticized me and my report….It didn't even start off by saying how much it appreciated the effort that had no doubt been put into drafting the report….it just jumped straight into the concerns but I will look forward to hearing what others have to say.
Roundtable on Building Form and Design
- post by Michael Geller