CONVERSATION #2: CHANGE IN LIVING COMMUNITIES — FALSE CREEK SOUTH
False Creek South is a 55-hectare stretch of waterfront land between the Burrard and Cambie bridges, characterized by extensive green spaces and a diverse mix of housing types. The design of this community has its roots in the values-based social planning that was revolutionary when it was introduced in the 1970s and 80s. By giving priority to values associated with quality of life and a livable city, this area was created with an equal portion of non-market rental housing, co-ops, and condominiums in a “Garden City” setting geared to a pedestrian culture.
The lease agreements, with strata leasehold owners, co-ops and non-market housing operators that made this diverse mix of housing possible, will begin to expire in 2025. As we near this date, the City, which owns approximately 80% of False Creek South, has begun to explore the future of this neighbourhood and its residents. The issues are many and include the leases, the diversity of people that is supported by the housing mix so central to this community, retention and redevelopment of existing urban fabric, development along the edges of the community, such as the lot directly adjacent to Olympic Village Skytrain Station, but also how this example of a values based planned community can integrate with the ever-evolving urban fabric of the City.
Heritage Vancouver Society respects the importance of the built environment, the communities which make up that environment and the underlying social structures which support them as pillars of heritage. We also recognize that heritage can have a strong positive role in the management of change as living communities continue to evolve.
Through this public discussion it is our goal to contribute to the discussion around the inevitable change to False Creek South – a change through which the City intends to achieve broad civic priorities such as the pursuit of development opportunities to provide more housing, and strategic asset management which includes “achieving a reasonable rate of return”.
Bill Yuen, Executive Director of Heritage Vancouver Society
John Atkin, civic historian, author, and heritage consultant
Nathan Edelson, Project Manager at False Creek South *RePlan and retired Senior Planner for the Downtown Eastside, City of Vancouver
Tom Davidoff - Associate professor in the Real Estate and Strategy and Business Ecomics groups at the Sauder School of Business, UBC
Jennifer Maiko Bradshaw - Data analyst, renter, and pro-housing activist with Abundant Housing Vancouver
ABOUT THE SERIES
SHAPING VANCOUVER 2018: CONTESTED PLACES
Welcome to our fourth season of Shaping Vancouver. This season, we focus on the multiple values of places. Change is a fundamental part of heritage. Places are not frozen in time — with the passage of time, changes occur in them layering additional meaning on top of another. These changes bring about the diversity and differing values that characterize a place. And these values may not be the traditional ones we think of — the historic and the aesthetic values of architecture. In many cases, some of those values may conflict.
We engage with these complexities of place and their differing communities by looking at several examples in Vancouver where these multiple values stand out. How do we learn, understand, capture, protect, and balance the differing values that are central for a place so that it contributes to social benefit and for the public to understand, appreciate, and experience the value of the sites? Importantly, we also explore the need to plan for and have appropriate policies that secure the advantages of this diversity and allow for the coexistence of these multiple realities.
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