Today I went to the City of Vancouver Character Retention open house. It was quite informative, city staff were helpful and knowledgeable, and the display board and feedback form asked many good questions. But I came away with a couple of points that I think need to be addressed further:
- Faux character retention vs character design guidelines.
- Understanding economic drivers of teardown decisions.
- Evaluation of RT character retention policies.
- Need to separate character retention from gentle ground-oriented density.
- New Carrots
It gets a little wonky, so here the very short version:
- Current and proposed “character retention” is hollow, just retains shell. Should be handled in design guidelines.
- Real character (or heritage) retention should take closer look at underlying economic drivers to become more effective.
- Gentle, ground-oriented density like 4-plexes is desperately needed in RS and RT, should be decoupled from “character retention”.