May 14, 2022—I almost missed the alert in CityHallWatch (CHW). I’ve been working to a professional deadline, barely had time to do more than lightly monitor the slow moving disaster that is the Broadway Plan and its potential approval at Vancouver City Council next Wednesday [May 18]. Thank you, CHW, for bringing to my attention city staff’s intention to wipe out 45 years of Vancouver planning history. I hope this is not a requiem for the best of our city—my five minutes of remarks to Council may change before the event on Wednesday [May 18].
These are the eight neighbourhood guidelines and policies that the Broadway Plan repeals—45 years of history declared redundant
In one sense, it was inevitable that the ascendancy of the Broadway Plan would require some tidy up. I understand that, but am gob smacked by what that tidy up really means— the desecration, the disrespect, the destruction of 45 years of Vancouver’s planning history—eight separate major plans and policy documents covering Kitsilano, Central Broadway, the Arbutus neighbourhood, Burrard slopes and Mount Pleasant. We should pause to think if we are truly ready for that. Staff say yes, let’s repeal the lot. I ask for clemency.
The innocuous staff recommendation that will erase 45 years of Vancouver’s history
Full disclosure—I had little to do with the creation of the eight key planning documents that are now set to be erased from our history. My excuses are the usual—too busy raising a family, establishing an architecture and planning career. My community involvement was pretty much limited to coaching my daughter and son in baseball and soccer—community involvement lite.
But I and thousands of other citizens could do community involvement lite because we knew there were more connected, more committed and compassionate folks who were doing the heavy lifting for us—they are the folks who attended thousands of meetings and work sessions, were thoughtful about their neighbourhoods and the wider city context, made the compromises that resulted in the eight or more significant plans, policy plans and guidelines that benefited all of us for decades yet will be cast aside for the Broadway Plan.
What have we lost and what have we gained?Continue reading