Today marks the start of a major discussion on development of the False Creek Flats in Vancouver.
Below is some selected info, media and web links.
The public launch event is as follows.
False Creek Flats Planning Project launch event
Circle Studio, 390 Industrial Avenue
May 27 2015, 4:30 – 7:30 pm
Excerpt from City description: Welcome to your Flats! Meet your neighbours and local businesses over a snack from a resident food truck and buy a Flats-brewed beer while you explore the history, diverse economy, and unique industrial character of the Flats. Provide your input to City staff about the future of the area, learn more, and sign up for future events. … The Flats is a key job centre in Vancouver that’s over 450 acres large. Bound by Main Street to the west, Clark Drive to the east, Prior and Venables streets to the north, and Great Northern Way to the south, it’s home to over 600 businesses and roughly 8,000 employees.
The City of Vancouver has created a dedicated web page for this planning process:
(CityHallWatch comment: This land offers huge potential, and yet it sits in a hazardous zone (sea level rise, seismic risk, liquefaction, etc.) for us to be considering critical food, logistics, education, medical, and transportation infrastructure. None of the documents we’ve seen so far mention any of that risk. A sane and scientific analysis of the total context will be important, as decisions over the next two years will determine the future of this space for generations ahead.)
SCHEDULE AND GUIDING PRINCIPLES
From the website, here is the schedule (excerpt) for the 16-month consultation and planning process. “During the entire planning process, we’ll seek your input online and consult with an advisory group representing the diverse stakeholders in the Flats.”
Phase 1: Framework and principles (3 months)
Phase 2: Emerging directions (4 months)
Phase 3: Draft directions (5 months)
Phase 4: Final plan (4 months)
Here are the City’s official Guiding Principles
- Retain and intensify “back of house” industrial functions.
- Increase job capacity, with a focus on green jobs and economy.
- Ensure that food security and the food economy continue to have a strong presence in the Flats.
- Create and foster a unique sense of identity.
- Plan for the long-term presence of rail.
- Celebrate and enhance arts and culture.
- Recognize the historic importance of the area.
- Identify opportunities to create new and enhanced public gathering spaces.
- Seek creative and temporary uses for underutilized land.
- Improve traffic circulation by introducing new streets and connections for people walking and cycling.
- Maintain an efficient network of arterial streets essential for goods movement.
- Consult the public and all stakeholders in a meaningful way.
(CityHallWatch comment: Conspicuously absent is any mention of safety, hazard mitigation, resilience against disasters, etc. If there is any time to incorporate those items into the Guiding Principles, it is NOW! Look at Seattle’s experience with the Nisqually earthquake in 2001, and its impacts on reclaimed tidal flats converted into industrial land. )
Here is a very interesting report, including historic context, including First Nations history and later development, use for rail lines, filling the Flats, industrial development and more.
False Creek Flats Statement of Significance (2013) (11 MB) – “Eastern Core Statement of Significance” by Donald Luxton and Associates, April 2013.
- False Creek Flats represent major opportunity for city to plan well (by Trish Kelly, Vancouver Courier, 26-May-2015): http://www.vancourier.com/opinion/false-creek-flats-represent-major-opportunity-for-city-to-plan-well-1.1947105
- 7 ways False Creek Flats could change Vancouver: Industrial zone near downtown core is undergoing a transformation process. (By Margaret Gallagher, CBC News 27-May-2015): http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/7-ways-false-creek-flats-could-change-vancouver-1.3088672
- St. Paul’s Hospital’s proposed relocation to False Creek Flats, and 5-metre sea-level rise (CityHallWatch, 8-May-2015)
- A False Creek – An Artwork commissioned by the City of Vancouver starting June 2012.
Artists: Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky. http://afalsecreek.ca/
- False Creek Watershed Society: http://www.falsecreekwatershed.org/
- Full-Rip 9.0: The Next Big Earthquake in the Pacific Northwest (by Sandi Doughton, Sasquatch Books, 2013).
Excerpt from page 199:… During the Nisqually earthquake, geysers of wet sand sprouted nearby as particles in the already-loose fill rattled apart and water gushed out. Soil turned to thick slurry. Engineers have known for more than a century that reclaimed swamps are among the most dangerous places to build in earthquake-prone territory. Not only is the ground susceptible to liquefaction, but it also shakes harder and longer than most solid soils…
- How Metro Vancouver is preparing for rising sea levels (by VanCityBuzz, 10-Dec-2012)
- Earthquakes amplified in silty Vancouver basin: study. Jell-O and cheese seismic effect would threaten bridges in southwestern Metro Vancouver (CBC, Canadian Press 20-Jan-2014). Excerpt: New research is shaking up the entire notion of what could happen to the Vancouver area during an earthquake, indicating bridges and tall buildings would rattle and sway a whole lot more than previously thought….If a quake occurred within 100 kilometres of the city, such amplification could make the ground quake three to four times more than it would if the basin were not there.
- Vancouver vulnerable to local quake: geologist (CBC News 14-Mar-2011). Excerpt:Clague said a major subduction earthquake off the coast of Vancouver Island would not likely produce a large tsunami in the Strait of Georgia to threaten Vancouver…. “The more extreme scenario is when you get … a magnitude seven earthquake that has an epicentre close to Vancouver,” said Clague. “That would be my worst-case nightmare.” … Clague said some planning has been done, but there has never been comprehensive study of the effects of a major earthquake in the Lower Mainland….He said the varying geology of the region means some areas would respond very differently from others to a severe shaking and studies could help predict the outcome in advance at a fraction of the cost of cleaning up after a major tremor….”I‘m really mortified that governments won’t spend those resources to do it,” Clague said.