Making Vancouver an "Inclusive City"

Vancouver architect Gregory Henriquez talks about his innovative mixed-income, mixed use development that will see wealthy and poor residents sharing the same facility.
February 19, 2009, 9am PST | Michael Dudley
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"Gregory Henriquez is a Vancouver architect and author of Towards an Ethical Architecture. He designed the Woodward's building, a mixed-income development in the Downtown Eastside. The project is a bold experiment: When it opens later this year, the development will see wealthy condo dwellers living cheek by jowl with the poor, who occupy 200 subsidized units.

[He says:]

'The first step is to end homelessness and provide all citizens with a safe, affordable home. The next step is to ensure the appropriate support structures are in place to help people who cannot help themselves. In concert, we need creative mixed-use developments, which bring real body heat back to the street.

Gentrification without housing for everyone [must be avoided]. Inclusive communities are meaningful only when the most disadvantaged are taken care of first.

[A]ll neighbourhoods in Vancouver [should] include a broad section of socio-economic groups housed in beautiful buildings that suit their needs. The Woodward's redevelopment is a step toward this dream. It includes market housing, family non-market, single room occupancy replacement non-market housing, and 10 units of Vancouver Resource Society housing for [people with physical disabilities]. This vision is of a truly inclusive city.'"

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Published on Monday, February 16, 2009 in The Globe and Mail
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