zoning

Planning for scarcity

Vancouver's planning regime is set up to reinforce housing scarcity A closer look how Vancouver plans for growth, what's wrong with it, and some ideas how to fix it.

8 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) This is the first in a series of posts where we will explore what’s gone wrong with planning for growth, how misguided planning and policy-making has exacerbated our housing shortage, and ways to start fixing things. The second post in this series tries to estimate suppressed household formation. Planning vs controlling Growth mostly happens along the intersection between markets and regulation. We are all for ramping up non-market housing, which is badly needed, but most housing creation and exchange in Canada occurs within market contexts.

Fixing parking

Paving the way for removing minimum parking requirements.

15 minute read

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.

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.

Bartholomew's dot destiny

Bartholomew made projections of what a Central Vancouver penninsula (UBC, Musqueam 2, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster) with 1 million people would look like. We no just about hit that number time to compare how his projections stock up.

6 minute read

(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) How did early planners envision Vancouver’s future growth? Fortunately for us, they left a prediction in dot-density map form! Here we compare their prediction to a dot-density map from today. Let’s check out how our dot destiny unfolded! Vancouver grew rapidly from its incorporation in 1886 right up to the great crash of 1913, followed by WWI and a raging influenza epidemic (which we all know way too much about now).