Gross migration

Counting those coming and leaving.

Jens von Bergmann

2 minute read

We have spent much digital ink on the myth of fleeing Millenials, and related misconceptions around the difference between changing sizes of age groups and net migration. And one of our favourite CensusMapper maps visualizes net-migration across Canada. Today we want to take a slightly different angle and take a quick look at gross migration, that is look separately at in- and out-migration. More specifically, we are interested in separating out interprovincial and intraprovincial in- and out-migrants, as well as external in-migrants.

Taxing property instead of income in B.C.

What if we were more like Washington and replaced the provinial income tax by a property tax?

Jens von Bergmann

6 minute read

Vancouver has low property taxes and high income taxes. Seattle is the opposite. What would it look like if British Columbia was more like Washington State? If we got rid of personal provincial income tax and recovered the revenue by raising the provincial portion of the residential property tax, a.k.a. the “school tax”. The tax policy of British Columbia, when compared to Washington, is sending the message that it’s a great place to come and invest in property with it’s low property tax rate, but not such a great place to live and work with it’s higher income tax rate.

Active Fire

Playing with fire data.

Jens von Bergmann

2 minute read

The other day I saw a link to NASA active fire data fly by on Twitter. It’s a satellite-derived world wide dataset at 375m resolution, where one (or several) polar orbiting satellites scan earth in the infrared band from which fire and fire intensity is computed. Redding, CA With the Redding fire in the news I decided to take the data for a test drive. And also try out the gganimate package to watch the fire evolve over time.

Fact-checking Vancouver’s Swamp Drainers

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

Nathan Lauster Jens von Bergmann

11 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.