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Old Posted Oct 18, 2009, 4:57 AM
WBC WBC is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Metrotown/Downtown
Posts: 704
Originally Posted by paradigm4 View Post
The hyperbole isn't necessary.

If you understood the regional development plans, you would know that the goal is in fact to create decentralized town centres where people can live, work, and play in the same community. So yes, downtown isn't nearly as important as the other town centres become more complete. We are not attempting to be Toronto or any other number of cities where people live in the burbs and travel into downtown for work everyday.
Start of tirade.

No we are not attempting to be Toronto and I am aware of the decentralized plan for our development. However, I am not sure that that is much of a plan. To me it looks more like acknowledging the status quo and placating the local mayors as being a mayor of a town center sounds better than being a mayor of a suburb.

Everyone on this forum is well aware of the fact that by catering to condo developers Vancouver downtown is being turned into a resort/burb. While the number of commuting trips downtown is declining or stagnating, the number of trips that downtown residents take to work in the burbs is on the rise. Nobody wants to invest any money in commercial buildings downtown as it is more profitable to build condos and high end hotels. Any time developer shows up and suggests to build a new condo, city council backs down as developers throw a few goodies their way - a city plaza here, a restored old building facade there, a new fountain somewhere else and the rezoning permit is granted. Now you have a central business core with condos popping up at every corner. As a result you have daycares next to liquor stores and clubs, office buildings next to co-ops and so on. That is not planning -that is crap. As new residents move in (and especially as they age and have kids) they will demand piece and quiet and eventually they will win thus making pressure on businesses to get out of the area. So what is the point of this? To turn downtown into a new residential area by continuing to erode the business infrastructure downtown? Or was the idea to provide a balanced environment that would encourage people to live/work in close proximity?

Another thing is that this idea that everyone is going to live, work and shop in their own little town center is at best Utopian. Do you know how much people change jobs in this country? So every time I get a new contract or change a job am I supposed to move? Or does this mean that I cannot freely travel from one location to another to shop or to be entertained just because some geek city planner had this fantasy about how we should live our lives? The freedom of movement, travel and trade had made the Western world what it is today. That does not mean that I am saying we should build highways and overpasses over the entire city. But as other posters said, I think that we need great public transit and the best road-network we can afford.

The biggest problem above all is that we tend to elect small minded Vancouver mayors who need a map to find the Main street and who think that Vancouver consists roughly of Shaughnessy, Kits and Downtown. And to whom City of Copenhagen is a mythical example of how things need to be done (incidentally, did you know that roughly 60% of adults in Denmark are either employed by some level of government or are supported by some form of government payments. I bet that our mayor or Stephen Rees fail to mentioned that little fact when they show up all spandex-up to talk about Copenhagen and their great bike network and how we should build one. They also fail to mention the 25% VAT tax plus the 43% to 63% income tax. Yes, I bet that everybody is riding a bike because they are all on welfare and can't afford anything else). And yes, in that world you can travel everywhere by a bike and you don't need overpasses as you have all the time in the world. But guess what? Vancouver and its suburbs is a bit bigger than that and are not a welfare state.

End of tirade.
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