Already praised for its efforts at encouraging residential density in its urban core, Vancouver's mayor is pushing for a new EcoDensity charter that would push for higher densities citywide. But even in Vancouver, residents are wary of more density.
"The City of Vancouver has been...hearing considerable public angst...over EcoDensity, which is a plan to enhance sustainability with more concentrated, ecologically friendly development..."
"Mayor Sam Sullivan launched the EcoDensity Initiative in June 2006, suggesting that it could help improve environmental sustainability, enhance housing affordability, and improve livability. "Many people who are upset about building decisions, zoning decisions, blame EcoDensity for any new developments," Sullivan told the Georgia Straight in an April 8 phone interview. "In fact, we've gone two years since I announced this process, and not one bylaw has been changed. So we have the most extensive public-consultation process that I've seen in my 15 years on council."
Brent Toderian, the city's planning director, says EcoDensity will help residents cope with rising energy costs and the growing impact of climate change. "Right off the bat, higher density reduces your energy signature: the amount of energy you use and the amount of greenhouse gases you generate on a per-unit basis," Toderian told the Straight in an interview after the public hearing concluded on April 3. "Smaller units with shared walls-right off the bat-emit less greenhouse gases per unit and per square foot. The density also creates a critical mass of economics that allows you to do greener technology, district energy systems, et cetera.""