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Old May 21st, 2008, 03:06 PM   #1
DrT
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Resolve to fight sprawl ebbing?

From The Sun:

Lower Mainland flops on efforts to slow down sprawl
Region allocated increased amount of land to development, Seattle think-tank finds
Doug Ward, Vancouver Sun
Published: Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The region failed to curb population sprawl in recent years after some success in creating more compact communities in the '90s, a new report shows.
The share of new urban and suburban growth that went into pedestrian-oriented development in Metro Vancouver declined from 2001 through 2006, according to the Sightline Institute.

Using 2006 census data, the Seattle-based think-tank found that the amount of land developed in Metro Vancouver to accommodate new residents increased compared with the two previous census periods.

Nevertheless, Metro Vancouver's growth has been "fairly compact" in comparison to many U.S. cities, according to Sightline research director Clark Williams-Derry.

"Yet there are signs that Greater Vancouver's smart-growth leadership may be slipping," said Williams-Derry, in the report entitled Slowing Down.

"The region marked its clearest smart-growth successes before 2001.

"Somewhat surprisingly, the pace of compact growth slowed over the most recent census interval."

Compact neighbourhoods accounted for just 56 per cent of new urban and suburban development, compared with 67 per cent during the '90s.

In an interview, Williams-Derry said that the decline in density could be connected to a slowdown in the rate of population growth in the region between 2001-2006 compared to the previous census periods.

When governments are faced with a high influx of new people, they are often more willing to accommodate people in concentrated areas than during times of low population growth, he said.

While giving the region a failing grade, the report did praise Vancouver and North Vancouver for creating smart-growth neighbourhoods. These two cities were followed in ranking by New Westminster, Burnaby, White Rock and Richmond.

Between 2001 and 2006, Vancouver's pedestrian-oriented communities had a net growth of 27,000 residents -- about four-fifths of the net population growth for the city.

In Metro Vancouver, about one out of every eight residents lives in a neighbourhood with pedestrian-oriented densities with the City of Vancouver home to nearly two-thirds of them.
The Vancouver area led the region in another category -- the share of residents living in neighbourhoods with at least 20 residents per acre.

In Vancouver, three out of four residents lived in such "compact" densities as of 2006. Similarly, four other municipalities -- Burnaby, New Westminster, White Rock and North Vancouver -- had one in three residents at such densities.

But even these numbers are low, according to the report, citing research suggesting that urban densities exceeding 40 residents per acre are required for travel on foot and bicycle to really flourish.

Sightline's report was based on data from the last four census findings. The think-tank divided the landscape of Metro Vancouver into a 30-by-30 metre grid for each census period. In each grid Sightline calculated the population density of circles containing at least 500 residents.

Williams-Derry said in the report that the trend towards greater sprawl is undermining Premier Gordon Campbell's goal of cutting greenhouse-gas emissions by one-third by 2020.

He said that climate-changing emissions can only be reduced if progress is made "in creating compact, transit-and-pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods that ease car dependence for B.C. residents."
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 06:11 AM   #2
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This problem will be irrelevant once fuel rises to about $3, 4, or 5 in a few years. Unfortunately parts of Surrey and Langley could become ghettos in the process.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 06:33 AM   #3
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This problem will be irrelevant once fuel rises to about $3, 4, or 5 in a few years. Unfortunately parts of Surrey and Langley could become ghettos in the process.
Exactly, what I think.
Higher fuel prices first cause people to first disown their SUV's and even higher prices will cause them to disavow suburbia.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 02:21 PM   #4
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I think I remember something about a proposal for a greenbelt around Vancouver, similar to Portland's. I have not heard that issue brought up for awhile.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 07:45 PM   #5
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we already have the ALR and the GVRD green zone, both of which form more or less a green belt
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SEND IT BACK MAN! THAT MUST BE LIKE STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY BUMPS.
COME ON GUYS!!! WE NEED TO OBJECTIFY MORE WOMEN!!!
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 08:31 PM   #6
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"We want to have 4 kids and 2 dogs and have a great big backyard so they can play in it, 7 bedrooms, 3-car garage including room to park our Chevy Suburban, a place to put our RV and boat, a swimming pool with jacuzzi and sauna."

It's too bad some people's idea of a status symbol is about living in excess.

We need to market walkable neighbourhoods where you can buy fresh groceries a block away and have access to quick convenient transit service. That having one or two children is equally as fulfilling as four (not to mention better for our overpopulating world). And we can drive fuel efficient (luxury) compacts instead of hauling around in gas guzzling SUVs. Access to safe, well kept public parks to take the children to...

Sigh. At least that's my dream.

Just a thought... these people who claim they want to live out in the suburbs because it's better for their children without considerring that their children or grandchildren are going to be living in a resource scarce world down the road. I only live out in Mission because this was the only place I could afford at the time but right now I could afford a 1 bedroom in lovely New West.

Last edited by DKaz; May 22nd, 2008 at 08:41 PM.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 10:33 PM   #7
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This problem will be irrelevant once fuel rises to about $3, 4, or 5 in a few years. Unfortunately parts of Surrey and Langley could become ghettos in the process.
no it won't.

there is over half a million people living in surrey and east of it. where would these people go? into burnaby and vancouver? it would be impossible to build the infrastructure fast enough to even contemplate it.

what may happen is:

1) people may start leaving the burbs for the city. the price of housing goes up it the city and the price of housing goes down in the suburbs. eventually, the price will be really favourable in the suburbs and people will move back. there is a balance with economics and utility.

2) business move to the 'burbs to keep their employees happy.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 10:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKaz View Post
"We want to have 4 kids and 2 dogs and have a great big backyard so they can play in it, 7 bedrooms, 3-car garage including room to park our Chevy Suburban, a place to put our RV and boat, a swimming pool with jacuzzi and sauna."

It's too bad some people's idea of a status symbol is about living in excess.

We need to market walkable neighbourhoods where you can buy fresh groceries a block away and have access to quick convenient transit service. That having one or two children is equally as fulfilling as four (not to mention better for our overpopulating world). And we can drive fuel efficient (luxury) compacts instead of hauling around in gas guzzling SUVs. Access to safe, well kept public parks to take the children to...

Sigh. At least that's my dream.

Just a thought... these people who claim they want to live out in the suburbs because it's better for their children without considerring that their children or grandchildren are going to be living in a resource scarce world down the road. I only live out in Mission because this was the only place I could afford at the time but right now I could afford a 1 bedroom in lovely New West.


in this city, moving into one of your dream neighbourhoods is about the same price (if not more expensive) than a house in surrey or beyond. therefore, the status symbol may just as well be the fancy condo in the fancy neighbourhood and living in excess may mean granite counter top and dining out every night to escape the 650 sqft box that the person lives in. do not be quick to judge how people spend their money.

one more thing, the number of children a person has is none of my or your business. whether the number lies between 0 or 18, that number is okay. do not be so quick to judge how people organize their families. besides, do not believe the overpopulation argument. around the world, the birth rate is well below the rate needed to keep a stable population.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 11:17 PM   #9
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one more thing, the number of children a person has is none of my or your business. whether the number lies between 0 or 18, that number is okay. do not be so quick to judge how people organize their families
Yes it is my business, because when the parents cannot support the children, all of the sudden it becomes my (the taxpayers) responsibility.

It also seems to be my responsibility to pay for their schools and everything else, including their healthcare.

If a family of three paid X in taxes and one of nine paid 3X, and if you taxed the large family for their bigger share of everything they consume and all of their higher carbon footprints, then I may have no beef. In reality, it's the oppossitte, I pay more because I have a small family. Those 18 children will jam the roads, require more school buses, more energy, more of everything.

Watch the upcoming National Geographic Special on the tube if you want to see what ONE human being consumes in their life. It will shock you.

It is definitely my business.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 12:14 AM   #10
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news flash DrT,

i contribute to your healthcare via taxes and your children will contribute to your pension. there has always been poor families and their children have every opportunity to grow up and be something in this country.

if you are worried about your taxes you should know that people generally draw from the public coffers at two points in their lives: at the beginning and at the end (and generally, the end is the most expensive). i hate to imagine what you think we should do with our elderly.


who said anything about parents not being able to support their children?


you come across as very ignorant.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 02:43 AM   #11
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who said anything about parents not being able to support their children?
We have 30 million people on food stamps in the US. Most of those are mothers with children whose "husbands" have disappeared.

Guess who's paying? Guess who gets to play surrogate breadwinner? Guess who will pay for their schooling? Guess who is paying for their healthcare? Guess who is paying for their housing?

The days where you need a large family to help you plow the fields are over.
Ironically, it is the poor that have the most children. The mindset of having big families must change for our planet to survive with any kind of quality of life.

And PS, you can leave out the personal insults.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 07:28 AM   #12
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Vancouver will continue to sprawl.
It use to be that someone could still afford a small house reseonable close to the city but thoose days are long gone.
Even 2 people trying to afford a one bedroom apt is a stuggle if not impossible. People have the right to decent housing and for many low income people or people with a chils tha means the Frazer Valley. Even the valley is still much more expensive than most of Canada's inner city housing yet wages in Vancouver are only at th national par.
People will continue to move out further as Vancouver is also one of the few cities in the country whos housing prices continues to rise.
For most, living along the SkyTrain is no longer an option due to higher prices along it's corridor.
Vancouverites also have to deal with bridges and so the people who work in the valley want to live there as opposed to living anywhere else in the region to avoid the termina backups on our few bridges.
Also, although I like the ALR it has resulted in further sprawl in the valley because there is limited land for housing {ie Delta} which means trying to get a house closer to the city is even more difficult.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 09:33 AM   #13
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Very well put. People will continue to move where they can get the most for their money, and Vancouver is out of reach financially for most which will lead to more and more people choosing to live in the suburbs which, as a result, will cause more sprawl.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 10:39 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by D J M K View Post
in this city, moving into one of your dream neighbourhoods is about the same price (if not more expensive) than a house in surrey or beyond. therefore, the status symbol may just as well be the fancy condo in the fancy neighbourhood and living in excess may mean granite counter top and dining out every night to escape the 650 sqft box that the person lives in. do not be quick to judge how people spend their money.

one more thing, the number of children a person has is none of my or your business. whether the number lies between 0 or 18, that number is okay. do not be so quick to judge how people organize their families. besides, do not believe the overpopulation argument. around the world, the birth rate is well below the rate needed to keep a stable population.
No no believe me I fully understand that my actions have consequences. I have a carbon footprint just like everyone else on the planet. There are many with much smaller carbon footprints than me, some with considerably larger. I am doing my part to reduce my carbon footprint each year yet some people think they have a right to consume consume consume. Example... in Vancouver it's considered normal for people to take transit or ride their bicycles or whatever to get around town. Look at Edmonton or Surrey, they tend to look down on you if you don't drive. Out here in the Fraser Valley, buses are definitely Loser Cruisers and I feel like a crusader being a person who makes a decent salary and has a nice car he could drive yet chooses to take public transit. And I have a smile on my face when I see more and more people like myself doing the same.

I say the world is overpopulated right now because well... if we can't produce enough food to feed every person on the planet then we seriously have a big problem don't we?
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 06:16 PM   #15
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quote from DKaz
I say the world is overpopulated right now because well... if we can't produce enough food to feed every person on the planet then we seriously have a big problem don't we?
Precisely.

What many here are saying is that living close to the city center is becoming too expensive for the majority of people and that they will be forced to sprawl further and further away because of the simple economic realities.

The logical conclusion is then that sprawl will be nearly directly proportional to POPULATION GROWTH.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 07:24 PM   #16
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it would be impossible to build the infrastructure fast enough to even contemplate it.
Perhaps, but once chronic inflation kicks in the first thing people will start sacrificing is their driving. They'll be forced to move whether they or the government wants to or not. Think semi-legal multi-family houses. Some parks might even see squatters.

Quote:
1) people may start leaving the burbs for the city. the price of housing goes up it the city and the price of housing goes down in the suburbs. eventually, the price will be really favourable in the suburbs and people will move back. there is a balance with economics and utility.
If a house in Surrey crashes to $50,000 yet you spend half your paycheque commuting every day, why bother?

Oil prices are only going up whether we like it or not. The effects will go far beyond the gas station.

Quote:
2) business move to the 'burbs to keep their employees happy.
You generally locate to the core if you want to minimize commuting energy use. All the SkyTrain and rail lines converge there.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 07:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Precisely.

What many here are saying is that living close to the city center is becoming too expensive for the majority of people and that they will be forced to sprawl further and further away because of the simple economic realities.

The logical conclusion is then that sprawl will be nearly directly proportional to POPULATION GROWTH.

well actually, if you want to be specific, urbanism with its sprawl in indirectly proportional to population growth. canada's birth rate of about 10.8 per 1000 births is about the lowest it has been since 1921. however, since then we have seen explosive growth in our cities and suburbs. basically, the only reason why canada in growing at all is because of immigration.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 08:03 PM   #18
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No no believe me I fully understand that my actions have consequences. I have a carbon footprint just like everyone else on the planet. There are many with much smaller carbon footprints than me, some with considerably larger. I am doing my part to reduce my carbon footprint each year yet some people think they have a right to consume consume consume. Example... in Vancouver it's considered normal for people to take transit or ride their bicycles or whatever to get around town. Look at Edmonton or Surrey, they tend to look down on you if you don't drive. Out here in the Fraser Valley, buses are definitely Loser Cruisers and I feel like a crusader being a person who makes a decent salary and has a nice car he could drive yet chooses to take public transit. And I have a smile on my face when I see more and more people like myself doing the same.

I say the world is overpopulated right now because well... if we can't produce enough food to feed every person on the planet then we seriously have a big problem don't we?
actually, i wish secretly wish i had the inner fortitude to more consistently take the "loser cruiser" (as you put it). i, like most people, am addicted to my vehicle and feel that the non-car services provided suck. hopefully, this changes.

however, do not believe the operpopulation myth. google it. there is more than enough food to go around. its politics and war that make people go hungry, not the lack of food production or distribution.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 09:50 PM   #19
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... basically, the only reason why canada in growing at all is because of immigration.
That is absolutely correct, but growth is growth.

Most highly developed countries have stable to slightly negative domestic population growth rates, but this is entirely dwarfed by third world population increases and in many countries by substantial immigration from these less developed countries.

You also alluded to increasing urbanization, which is a trend throughout the world, as people flee "the land" for more opportunities in the cities.

For Canadian cities in particular, we need to think of ways to make living in dense areas cheaper. This can be accomplished in many ways.

One reason condos have become so expensive are the onerous regulations, impact fees, build "social housing" regulations, pay for heritage restoration, pay for public artwork, etc. that developers face. We need to HELP developers building inside the city, NOT SOAK them. Other policies, such as tax policy, needs to encourage families to live in the cities, instead of the burbs. We could, for example, have higher property tax rates for suburbia, to reflect the higher expense of providing them with services. Other carrots could certainly be employed.
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Old May 24th, 2008, 03:45 AM   #20
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With Vancouver prices those fees are relativly small.
Most is speculation. Calgary has far higher wage costs than Vancouver but housing is still 30% cheaper.
People see high prices so spend anything to get into the market that makes more people to get into the market all of which raises prices and is an endless cycle.
How can a condo that was built just two years ago be 25% more expensive and twice as much as it was 7 years ago..........its not just fees and wages and material prices haven't gone up near that rate.
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