Urban Fold

Amid Growth, Vancouver Survives

The growth of Vancouver has far surpassed what planners projected half a century ago. And though some problems have followed, the region's growth hasn't wrought the city's downfall, as many expected.

"'There's a disconnect right now between growth management and transportation,' says Ken Cameron, who spent 17 years as a senior planner with the Greater Vancouver Regional District, recently renamed Metro Vancouver."

"The province has chosen to remake the region's transportation planning authority in a way that separates it from the district's land-use planning, Cameron says. And the massive Gateway project, which includes new truck routes along the Fraser River and twinning of the Port Mann bridge, has been created 'outside the framework of an overall, agreed-on plan,' Cameron says."

"But Cameron and former B.C. premier Mike Harcourt's book insists that what has made Metro Vancouver so successful is that remarkable 60-year period of collaborative planning that did closely connect transportation and land-use planning."

"We may grumble about the traffic, about the sprawl of houses through the Fraser Valley, about many imperfections in the local landscape. People also like to say disparagingly that Vancouver is 'Venice surrounded by Phoenix.'"

"But we're so used to our advantages we don't see them any more, Harcourt and Cameron say."

Thanks to Brent Toderian

Full Story: Some things worked

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