Fact-checking Vancouver’s Swamp Drainers

Swampy facts: the dark, broken, and ugly side of housing talk in Vancouver.

Nathan Lauster Jens von Bergmann

10 minute read

Down south of the border, a politician who shall remain nameless campaigned on “draining the swamp” of Washington D.C., trafficked in countless conspiracies, and lied his way into office. His lies painted a picture of a United States turned dark, corrupt and menacing. He promised to fix it, Making American Great Again, mostly by shutting down globalization and kicking out the immigrants. In Canada, we like to think we’re immune to this kind of rhetoric.

Making Room

How is low-density housing currently used?

Jens von Bergmann

13 minute read

Recently the City of Vancouver pivoted their planning for RS (“single family”) and RT (“duplex”) neighbourhoods from downzoning, to slow the pace of teardowns to adding infill as an incentive to to keep older buildings through extensive renovations, to now proposing the Making Room program to allow stratification and higher unit density, and Mayor Robertson adding an amendment to direct staff to look into also allowing multiplexes. This change in policy grew out of a series of consultation processes, and it is quite interesting to browse through them chronologically and observe the shift in how participants talk about low density zoning.

Aboriginal overrepresentation in correctional services and police checks

The long legacy of Canadian aboriginal relations

Jens von Bergmann

4 minute read

In the past weeks I got interested in several news stories on aboriginal youth admissions to correctional services, adult incarceration rates and frequency of getting carded. I have this habit that when something interests me I go grab the original data and take a look myself. Having done this three times on related issues within a fairly short timeframe I decided to throw my code snippets together into a blog post.

Skytrain rents

How much is it to rent a 1 or 2 bedroom near a skytrain station?

Jens von Bergmann

2 minute read

A friend of mine is looking for a new rental, which reminded me that I always wanted to do a quick map of rents near skytrain stations. Should not be too hard.

Skytrain station data

First we need the skytrain stations, which we grab from TransitLand using our transitland R package that we used before to look at transit frequency in Vancouver.

Interprovincial Migration

Playing with the cansim package to access and process NDM data.

Jens von Bergmann

3 minute read

CANSIM switched over to the New Dissemination Model (NDM) this past weekend. What this means is that we now have better organized CANSIM data. Yay. But it also broke my R package to easily access and process cansim data. Not so yay. Luckily it was an easy fix to switch things over to the NDM, and the cleaning of data gets even easier. And I also build in functionality to access tables through the old trusty cansim numbers.