City density patterns

How do city densities compare around the globe?

Jens von Bergmann

3 minute read

I saw the tanaka package fly by on twitter, and in particular liked the application to the world population grid. Cities are interesting beasts, and I like exploring the extent of cities free from political boundaries. I am travelling right now, but I like looking at different ways to calculate and visualize density and could not resist running some inter-city density comparisons. For this, we only show areas with at least 4 people per hectare (or about 1000 people per square mile, the cutoff used by US Census to designate areas as urban), and pick some population density cutoffs above that to show grades of population density.

Airbnb updates

Checking in on the state of Airbnb in Vancouver.

Jens von Bergmann

12 minute read

About half a year ago I did a post on Airbnb data back when enforcement of the Short Term Rental (STR) regulation came into full effect starting September 2018 and have not really writing things up since then. Probably time for an update post. What has happened since, and what have we learned? Overview Let’s take a look how listings evolved. After the initial purge of listings before the start of enforcement, not much changed.

Tax Speculations

Estimating what to expect from the Speculation and Vacancy Tax.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

28 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) BC has introduced the Speculation and Vacancy Tax and instructions for filling out the declarations are in the mail. The tax targets homes in major urban centres that are left empty, or that are owned by “foreign and domestic speculators” that “don’t pay [income] taxes” in BC. The tax rate is 0.5% of the assessed value in 2018. From 2019 onward rates increase to 2% for foreigners (not permanent residents nor Canadian citizens) as well as citizens or permanent residents that are deemed members of “satellite families.

Planned displacement

How can we ensure that densifying Vancouver won't be taken out on the backs of the most vulnerable?

Jens von Bergmann

9 minute read

When we (Denis and Jens) got together for coffee the other day, Denis showed off some maps of renter density in the frequent transit network that he was working on. The idea immediately clicked and we decided to work this out together. Motivated by the issue of renter demoviction caused by the 2017 Metrotown Plan, we set out to quantify how one could plan for displacement on a regional level, instead of treating it as an unwelcome consequence of development at the lot level.

Vancouver renters

Understanding renter households in Vancouver

Jens von Bergmann

12 minute read

Disclaimer Apologies up front, this is a bit of a hodge podge of a blog post. I have about half a dozen stubs on rental data and affordability that I looked at at some point while trying to understand some aspect of rental affordability. But it’s a large and complex topic, and I never took the time to distill out coherent storylines. Rather than keep pushing things off I decided to grab a couple of relevant pieces and put them together in a short blog post.