land use

Basement Confidential: Vancouver's Informal Housing Stock

Basement suites are the Schrödinger's cat of dwelling units, they span the space betweem formal and informal housing, viewed by some as the problem of, and by others as the solution to Vancouver's housing woes.

Jens von Bergmann Nathan Lauster

12 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) Informal housing While housing is highly regulated via zoning bylaws, building code, and fire code, in situations of housing scarcity we often get informal housing that exists outside of - or only partially covered by - the existing regulatory framework. We often associate slums or shantytowns with the term informal housing, but it also applies to more organized settlements like Kowloon Walled City, or, in the context of subterranean Vancouver, a good portion of our secondary suite stock.

Commuter growth

As our population and jobs grow, so do commuters. Taking a look how commuters grow.

Jens von Bergmann

7 minute read

Metro Vancouver is growing, both in terms of population and jobs. That means the number of people commuting to work is growing and putting a strain on our transportation system. The nature of that strain depends to a large extent on how people are getting to and from work. The Canadian census started collecting data on how people get to work in 1996, which allows us to see how commuters and commute choice have changed over time.

Census custom timelines

Playing with fine geography custom tabulation back to 1971.

Jens von Bergmann

5 minute read

After our recent posts on multi-census comparisons I was pointed to a semi-custom tabulation for census timelines back to 1971 for Vancouver and Toronto. That’s data for the 1971, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011 censuses on a common 2016 DA geography for the two CMAs. This is really cool, not just that it eliminates the need to tongfen the geographies, but in particular because Statistics Canada does not even haven publicly available geographic boundary files for censuses before 2001.

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 Streets and Lanes

How much space is taken up by roads right-of-ways?

Jens von Bergmann

6 minute read

Street Widths

Mitchell Reardon asked me a question about lanes in the City of Vancouver: “Do you happen to have a figure (or quick way to calculate) the number of laneways in Vancouver, and the amount of space they take up?” I have looked at the overall space taken up by roads before using the Metro Vancouver land use dataset, but never looked just at lanes. But that’s easy enough to do thanks to the streets package in Vancouver’s Open Data Catalogue.