'Interventionist' Planning Credited for Vancouver's Success

Vancouver's "Living First" strategy, which emphasizes downtown living, as well as careful attention to designing the downtown skyline, has made it one of North America's most livable cities.
April 10, 2006, 6am PDT | Michael Dudley
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"Most North American cities have been turned into doughnuts by decades of flight to the suburbs. Not so in Vancouver, the third largest metropolis in Canada. At least 45,000 people have moved downtown in the last 15 years -- more than doubling its population, which is now expected to reach 120,000 by 2020.

Much of the downtown area is now peppered with apartment blocks, rising to 30 storeys or more...The towers are usually set on podiums with shops and restaurants at ground-floor level and flanked by three-storey 'row houses' -- terraced houses, we would call them -- to cater for people who prefer their own door onto the street. Over 600 of these row houses have been built in the city centre so far.

None of this has happened by accident...Vancouver has a strong planning and regulatory regime, one of the most interventionist in North America."

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Published on Thursday, April 6, 2006 in The Irish Times
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