From Scout Magazine writer Ellen Johnston: "I actually like towers. I love the canyons of downtown Vancouver, the lights high in the night sky, and the fact that so there are so many people living there who use public parks and the seawall as their main sources of outdoor recreation. But is this the only model for densification in the city of Vancouver? No! This isn’t even Manhattan’s model, as the densest borough of the densest city in North America. Many of its neighbourhoods, like Greenwich Village exist on a much more human scale. "Density can be achieved through a variety of means, to suit a variety of neighbourhoods. For example, Vancouver lacks, but sorely needs, more rowhouses. And no, I don’t mean rowhouses that are actually part of a condo complex. I mean fee-simple, owned by one person (not a developer) rowhouses. This type of construction populates many of the great neighbourhoods of the world, from the Plateau in Montreal, to Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia to Camden Town in London. Our city’s bylaws have largely made it impossible to build these types of dwellings, but they are exactly what we need, because they provide a compromise between density and individuality."
"It’s time for the city of Vancouver’s black and white thinking on urban density to end. We need to reform our zoning laws so that we can allow for slower growth infill. It means that every time single family houses are torn down, we should be able to replace them instead with fee-simple rowhousing. Without this slow but steady change, we will simply continue to be a city blinded on both sides, between those who want their neighbourhoods to stay exactly the same and the 'big bad' developers. Full article here.