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Vancouver’s new extreme-high-density neighbourhood gets complaints

November 1st, 2009 · 43 Comments

Vancouver’s Northeast False Creek plan continues to wind its way through the system, generating ripples of unease about the high amount of density being allowed in that neighbourhood. That’s in a part of town where you wouldn’t really have to buy a ticket to U2 or anyone else who played in the stadium there, since you’d be able to hear every note from your living room.

The plan, or high-level review, to use the proper term, is coming to council for another round of discussion this Thursday. Among the concerned speakers will be the indefatigable Patsy McMillan, a resident from the Citygate development who started poking city hall and Concord Pacific the day she moved in about their obligations to develop that corner of False Creek the day and hasn’t stopped since.

Here’s one of the message she sent me recently about her concerns with the development of this sometimes forgotten corner of the creek.

On the table now is the re-configuration of Creekside Park extension, a 9.06 acre park that has been promised to the city for 20 years by the contract signed and sealed by Concord Pacific in exchange for the developemnt of 7,650 residential units in the ODP for NFC.

Now, as part of some land swap there is a proposal to build condo towers along Pacific Blvd, effectively cutting the park depth in half and stringing it out lengthwise towards the Plaza beside the walkway.  This is not what they contracted 20 years ago.

They now have more than 10,000 residential units with no further required amenities. The proposed increased density of 7200 more residents in NEFC could make the most livable city unlivable.

Also, if condo towers rise along Pacific Blvd. that will wipe out the Seymour Mtn. view corridor from the south side of FC as high as City Hall. Not to mention the purchasers of the Millenium property no longer having views of anything other than Concord buildings.

This is extremely detirmental to the community that surrounds this promised park, makes it an elitist private area rather than the public realm that is needed to support children from the eastside of Vancouver.

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  • gmgw

    Frances, it’s about bloody time you cited Patsy McMillan in this forum. “Indefatigable” is indeed the way to describe her. I have sat in many meetings with Patsy and stand in awe of her ability to absorb, process, and re-convey information. Not to mention her tireless energy in lobbying and advocating on behalf of her neighbourhood, along with Fern Jeffries, her co-conspirator.

    I have cribbed from material supplied by Patsy a number of times when I’ve posted in this forum on NEFC issues. I urge anyone who wants to go to the source to visit the website of Patsy & Fern’s pet project, the False Creek Resident’s Association: . The site is still under construction but already contains links to some useful information.

    Frances, I hope that you’ll be citing Patsy more frequently from now on. There can be very few people in Vancouver outside of, arguably, City Planning, who are better versed in issues relating to the NEFC neighbourhood, and no one who has put more energy into critiquing the Concord juggernaut.
    gmgw

  • FCN NEFC

    This whole rotten saga goes way back: way before small town florist Gracie, goggle-eyed by the Jardine’s, alias Hutchison Whampoa, bespoke thugs, seduced her and raped us: sorta revenge of the latter day colonials.

    Do I remember correctly? She flogged half of downtown for errrr . . . C$6M +/- or some such ridiculously small change after Xpo! Because locals were not, according to the, “lady who is still not for burning”, up to the challenge: jeezless what nonsense.

    FCN is brutal

    http://www.theyorkshirelad.ca/New.Nanaimo.Center/pudpn/Commentary.pdf

    and NEFC, more so: brutal, according to its . . . errr . . . “High level . . . “.

    The enablers “have learnt nothing and forgotten nothing” (Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, 1st Sovereign Prince of Benevento)!

    This type of stuff shows clearly Vancouver in its undies, rampant child like screaming for attention, fearful of being its self lest, left behind, in the world wide speculative, psychotic rush of “me too-isms.”

  • Solution:

    recognise the Vancouver Planning Office for what it is, ENABLER!

    Award Terry Hui a one-way ticket back to where he came from and, TELL HIM TO STAY THERE . . .

  • PPS .. . and pack that condescending little prick Stanley Kwok off with him . . .

  • PPPS . . . and complicit . . . Larry Beasley and Gordon Price . . . huh . . . like shooting fish in a barrel . . .

  • SV

    Urb-too much coffee this morning? Or not enough? Either way we all win.

  • PPPPS and the latter pair still lording it over impressionable minds . . . QED

  • Blaffergassted

    Would a smaller park have less of a carbon footprint?

  • bob

    I don’t believe the park is smaller, it’s just shaped differently.

  • Joe Just Joe

    I won’t comment on the amount of density being discussed, but I beleive the re-alignment of the park is a good idea. The soil under that parcel is the most contamanented of all the expo lands. If the original proposal is to be developed it will result in an even longer delay until the park can be built. With the realignment the park can be built much sooner and will not need to wait until that parcel is completely developed. So if the arguement is truly about the park then they should be in favour with the realignment proposal (not to mention that the change gives the city the legal opportunity to impose a deadline). The new alignment will not reduce the size of the park in fact I beleive there is a slight increase in size, all it will due is provide twice as much waterfront access and southern exposure (good things in my opinion). I also live in the area and to me the realigned proposal makes more sense then hanging out on a hill next to Pacific with it’s traffic, this proposal would have towers sheilding Pacific somewhat.
    I beleive the real issue stems from the loss of view, which is a valid concern but it would probably garner less support. I would love to hear from Patsy about the realignment issue, to me the density issue is a seperate matter.

  • I tend to agree with Joe on the plan for the park, it makes more sense from an urban design standpoint in that it separates the park from one of the busiest streets downtown. And as far as the view, there is a proposal for protection of the view from the Olympic Village to the mountains as part of the view corridor study, so I don’t think that’s an issue.

  • Blabber, bob. JJJ, Colin . . .

    Meddling little farts: interfering creeps: all of you. Can’t you see the bigger picture?

    You surely need a wake up. You live near by. Huh, you are the ones who’ll live with the ensuing “sustainable” chunks of gray blobs of nothing!

    No wonder the park has been dormant for years, they know they can bamboozle you while you angst over the number of “angels you cannot fit on the head of a pin”.

    Is that all you expect, a little bit of green to sit on: get your bum wet!

    Conditioned, you are led by the nose: enablers have your number.

    Can’t you see? It’s about building relationships in space, for heaven’s sake, associations at ground level, interconnected spatial experience, humane contact, colour, tactile texture, the inexplicable joy of URBAN . . .

    You’re . . . well . . . jeezless . . . wake up.

  • “Narrow covered pedestrian passageways wind through the block, creating links to surrounding streets. A small atrium courtyard, large central courtyards and arcaded walkways alternatively compress and explode the experience of the pedestrian.”

    OMG you don’t have a clue either . . .

  • Joe Just Joe

    Guess I am clueless, please enlighten me with your vast wisdom.
    I did not know because my opinion of liveablity differs from your defination that means I’m wrong. To be honest what you describe as liveablity does not sound all that appealing to me, hence why I chose to live in the neighbourhood that I did.

  • Joe Just Joe

    There is enough space in this city to cater to many different thoughts of what liveablity is. It appears to me that the market has decided which areas are more liveable then others.

  • Joseph Jones

    At noon on Monday November 2 I checked the City of Vancouver web site for upcoming Council meetings. This is the line that follows the Northeast False Creek item:

    Note from Meeting Coordinator: The Speakers List has been closed.

    With over 72 hours to go, citizen engagement has gotten the cut-off. How business-like …

  • The “reshaped” park will be smaller in area, not larger, because a long strip will have to be carved out of the narrow stretched sideways park for the seawall along its edge. In the original configuration, there was just one short strip at the bottom required for the seawall.

    Additionally, the Carrall Street Greenway and Abbott Street will both be extended to the waterfront, cutting the new sidewise park into three small lozenge-shaped strips, rather than the large, contiguous gateway destination park promised now for twenty years.

    I appreciate the fact that councillors are trying to be helpful in speeding up delivery of the park, but there is no guarantee that Concord will proceed quickly – they’ve had twenty years to remediate the soil and all the neighbourhood has seen for two decades is a construction junkyard, a presentation center and an asphalt parking lot rented out to the highest bidders.

    I’m not as opposed to increased density if the park board standard of 2.75 acres of park per 1000 residents is observed, and if there are some amenities offered to the local population. (Hint: the new stadium roof is no benefit to local residents.) Otherwise, we are just cramming as many people as possible into a concrete jungle in a part of the city that has been dumped too long.

  • Blaffergassted

    And I thought the Expo Lands had most of their toxic soils removed. There used to be a big pile of that stuff over near the Port Mann Bridge. Any idea what happened to that?

  • Joe Just Joe

    The toxic soil from already developed expo lands is under David Lam park, Andy Livingstone park, George Wainborn park, and Coopers Park, if you notice the parks are built up onto of that soil. Again not my dept but I’m sure the science says that having a park atop of such soil isn’t an issue.

    The plan is not to extend the streets to the waterfront, the streets would deadend just past Pacific and not continue into the reshaped park, what would be preserved is street end views.
    The size of the park is increased slightly, but weather or not that includes the seawall or not I’m unsure, so it’s possible since it would contain twice the length of the seawall that the number may be padded by it.

    Joseph the reason why the speakers list has been capped is the original meeting was on Oct 22 and this is the second session on the matter. Council is still open to receiving correspondence on the matter, they just needed to place a limit on the speakers so it doesn’t drag on forever.

  • MB

    A plan of the site and other graphics would sure be helpful to this discussion. Can anyone provide a link?

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t CityGate, the home of Ms. McMillan, the densest most built up piece of real estate in Western Canada? How would the NEFC proposal be any different, except in building more CityGates?

    WRT toxic soils, they can indeed be used as fill under parks or parking lots by encapsulating them in watertight mebranes, as long as there are few organics to decompose and produce methane gas. The really toxic stuff gets shipped off to Alberta for incinceration at a special high-temperature facility

  • Joe Just Joe

    The info boards can be found here. They will help get most readers up to speed.

    http://vancouver.ca/commsvcs/planning/nefc/public/index.htm

  • gmgw

    MB said:
    “WRT toxic soils, they can indeed be used as fill under parks or parking lots by encapsulating them in watertight mebranes, as long as there are few organics to decompose and produce methane gas. The really toxic stuff gets shipped off to Alberta for incinceration at a special high-temperature facility.”

    Well, that beats dumping them into the sea off Point Grey, which is what happened to the (considerable amount of) toxic soils from the Expo 86 site (post-Expo).
    gmgw

  • Patsy McMillan

    Let’s put this into context and history. In 1990 Concord Pacific signed an agreement to be allowed to build 7,650 residential units plus approx. 1.5 million sq ft. of commercial space in exchange for amenities which included 42 acres of park/green space. Creekside Park on the NE shore is 9.06 acreas of that 42. Over the past 20 years, since Concord Pacific signed that contract, they have tried to re-negotiate the terms of the contract by either asking for more density, trying to reneg on the required amenities, shifting the required commercial space to their two remaining properties in NEFC and not completing Creekside Park as promised. They now, as of today, have 10,000 residential units plus a bonus of 100,000 sq ft, have not had to increase their park space to resident ratio component, have not built the required commercial space, have not completed their payment of $100,000 in CAC monies for Cooper’s neighbourhood, have built the daycare and afterschool care required for Coopers. 5 years ago the council of the day ( Larry Campbell et al) gave complete control for the development of the park to Concord Pacific. Now, Concord Pacific are asking for their last two properties around the stadium to be changed from commercial space ( they don’t build commercial ) to residential space without having to complete their prior obligations to the City of Vancouver. And , it would seem that the City of Vancouver is in the process of allowing them to do just that. Get an additional 1.5 million sq ft of residential development potential( they sold their last dev. for $1050 per sq ft) without providing further amenities and without completing the contract and the promises that they made 20 years ago. The Creekside Park site as it has been proposed, approved and accepted by all previous councils and park boards is now in jeopardy of being changed or re-shaped or re-configured from a large, fat, square 9.06 acre park which could have been an icon park for the city’s last piece of waterfront to a skinny, cigar park running adjacent to the seawall walkway. What will ultimately become a private domain green space, not a park, for the condo tower owners and not the destination park that has been conceived for the past 20 years. What is really galling is that the new increased residential density of 4 million sq ft. was unsupported by 77% of the survey respondents as well as the HLR consultative group and all but 88% of the survey respondents were not supportive of the re-shaping of the park but this does not show up significantly in the report before council. Also, the report skews the numbers regarding the park/green space requirements. The City of Vancouver and the Park Board’s target ratio of green space is 2.75 acres per 1000 residents. With the increase that Concord Pacific has already received in density bonuses they are deficient in the park to person ration by 6 acres. The required amount of park to person for NEFC increase in density to 4 million sq ft is 19.8 acres. The plan talks about 5 acres of hard surface public space around the VAG and under the viaduct which leaves the new area 14.8 acres short of the target ratio. The report misrepresents this target by using the existing requirement of 9.06 acres from Creekside as part of this total amount making it appear that the target is being partially realized. They have re-used Creekside Park as part of the new deal when in fact Creekside Park belongs to the first 7,650 residential units that Concord built many years ago and should have been delivered to the city when those units were opened. Yes, there is a soil remediation requirement that is slowing down this process. the most toxic soils in all of NFC are on Concord’s last building site. The Prov. taxpayers are responsible for the remediation and the revised park plan could soften that blow but we would be left with a green space that is virtually unusable in the big picture, would not be the Gateway Park from the east that was intended and would allow Concord Pacific even greater density with several condo towers along Pacific Blvd. from Abbott St. to Quebec St. at approx. the height of the last Citygate building which is 22 stories. Extrapolate that as you are driving north over the Cambie Bridge and you will not be able to see the Seymour Mts. which is a cherished Vancouver view corridor. The citizens of the City of Vancouver need to take note of this meeting on Thursday at City Hall which may, forever, change the livability of the City of Vancouver. Once that happens there can be no reversal. You cannot make park land from a condo tower. The future of Vancouver is at stake. The best plan to date is to have the City trade the land east of the Plaza of Nations for a more viable site on the south shore, make all of the northeast sector an icon park with an area for a permanent dragonboathouse, an event, gathering place, public space, and a large usuable destination gateway park that we can all be proud of. A place where families can rest and play, a place where the seawall meets the water’s edge, a place where there could be an outdoor ice rink in the winter, a place where children can run in a water park while their parents enjoy an outdoor meal, a place where non-motorized boats can be rented or launched, a place where groups can gather to enjoy music, lectures, cultural events. All this is possible in a larger size park but not possible in a strip park. Please, please think about it. And support us on Thursday, Nov. 5th at 2 pm at City Hall. This belongs to YOU.

  • Well, in the vein of “mine is bigger than yours” gmgw as usual authoritatively joins the throng . . .

    Of course “toxic soils, they can indeed be used as fill.” Yes indeedie! And you bet!

    But whether that is good practice is of course lost on such know-it-alls . . . and you fill the blanks.

    Leeching delay of course is another matter and leech it will, because on the construction site heavy equipment and rapid movement is bound to break the seal and by the time it is back filled no one will know.

    That is why such detail should be left to the experts.

    Look at FCN. Do you want a repeat of that? Because that is what we will get so long as expert-not gmgw et. al. are contemplating their foreskins.

    But then on-line idle chatter is of no consequence, is it! It’s so much fun to show off!

    Sin embargo, the town would be better served if an overall ambient approach were pursued in discussing these huge public developments.

    Huh!

    Yunno when this blog was introduced, I thought what a wonderful opportunity for enlightened public input.

    Enlightened! Clearly that is not to be . . .

  • PS gmgw . . . and while you are figuring out how many angels you can fit on the head of a pin . . . they’re stealing your undies . . . jerk!

  • jimmy olson

    Ah Gracie… she of the famous Gracie’s Finger saga who then went on to Finger the citizens of Vancouver with infamous Land Give-away… where the new owners continue to Finger us.

    @urbanismo you really should stop sending us to a damn PDF site. Get your self a real web site for gawds sake man! But you are partly forgiven for coming up with your list of “banditos’ who should be sent packing from vancouver with a one a way ticket …. 😉

    @gmgw Do please continue to quote Patsy. But with proper acknowledgements. this is the first i have heard of her. Would like to hear more…

  • gmgw

    Urbanismo:
    Don’t attribute things to me I didn’t say. A more careful reading would have noted my citation of MB, whose approval of the use of toxic soil as fill (a practice I find appalling) I was quoting. As for the likelihood of anyone “stealing my undies” while I’m performing the angel calculation (what the *hell* are you going on about?!?), I’d be happy to mail you a pair anytime you like.
    gmgw

  • gmgw

    jimmy olson:
    I’ll repeat my posting of the URL for Patsy’s advocacy group’s website: http://www.falsecreekresidents.org/
    The site has been under construction for a while, but it already has some useful tidbits.
    gmgw

  • Jimmy O heads-up . . .

    Here’s the big kahuna http://www.theyorkshirelad.ca/ all my own work . . .

    . . . not relevant to this conversation, though: beware it’ll take hours to plough thru . . .

    Here’s my favorite http://www.theyorkshirelad.ca/11thuroom/thuroomframe.htm

    Enjoy and don’t tell the morality squad . . . huh . . . what with no food wine is it still functioning?

  • Many thanks to Frances for helping publicize these concerns. Patsy (and Fern) are true champions of the little guy and know more about the city’s issues than most elected officials. They are tireless in their efforts and take the lead on many of the issues affecting livability in the city and all of the issues affecting False Creek. This city would not be as good a place without their efforts.

  • gmgw

    In the interests of accuracy I should point out that the False Creek Residents Association, whose URL I have now posted twice in this thread and which is a relatively new arrival on the civic advocacy scene, was conceived as an umbrella group incorporating representatives from the various neighbourhood associations around the False Creek basin: the Downtown South, False Creek North, Yaletown, International Village, Citygate, and False Creek South neighbourhoods are all represented, and once SEFC and NEFC have become viable residential neighbourhoods, invitations will be extended to them as well.

    Hence the FCRA could be said to represent a sizable chunk of inner-city population, probably exceeding 10,000 people. Alan Herbert proposed a similar idea a decade ago with his “Pan-Creek” and “False Creek Re-Think” initiatives, but it took Patsy and Fern to put the concept into action.

    There has been talk for some time of forming a coalition of neighbourhood advocacy groups in Vancouver which would cover the entire city. The model most frequently cited is that of Portland, Oregon, where the city administration actually includes an “office of Neighbourhoods”, brought about largely because of sustained lobbbying by a pan-city umbrella group of neighbourhood associations. The pan-city concept has yet to coalesce on a sustained basis in Vancouver, but if it ever does, it could prove a highly effective vehicle for organized grassrooots advocacy in this city– something we sorely need.
    gmgw

  • Vlad the Inhaler

    @GMGW + toxic soils.

    No one “approves” the use of contaminated soil as fill without serious testing to determine the type and level of toxins, the development of plans, obtaining a permit and having an environmental monitor on site. Encapsulating such soil in membranes is commonplace for soils with lesser amounts of pollutants.

    And the one-time dumping of Expo site soils off Point Grey is somehow worse than pumping millions of litres of almost-raw sewage from Iona Island off Point Grey every day?

  • MB

    Thanks for the context, Patsy. My jury is still out and will remain so until I see the architect’s renderings of the site plan.

    Thanks for the link, JJJ. Very helpful.

    Thanks for the entertaining jibes, GMGW and Urbanisimo.

  • gmgw

    Vlad:
    I never referred to sewage dumping (what is this, national “let’s put words in gmgw’s mouth day”???). However, I will cite a phrase beloved of me auld sainted mother: “Two wrongs don’t make a right”.
    gmgw

  • jimmy olson

    @Patsy McMillan … good post. i congratulated you on your through illumination of the events and trying to keep the bastards honest and to fulfill their words. One thing i have learned about dealing with Asians.. esp arrogant ones. They grind you into the earth. And once you have bent over for them and spread your cheeks they have no respect for you. not one iota.
    Thanks Gracie.

  • MB

    @GMGW

    You obviously have little experience with site remediation, let alone planning, architecture and urban design, the prevalent tools to determine what should happen at NEFC and anywhere else … say, for example, Surrey.

    That’s not a bad thing because many concerned residents with little initial experience in these fields learn to work with these tools and are then able to communicate their concerns in stakeholder groups, and roll up their sleeves at the same workshop table as the planners, design consultants and public officials and actually derive comprehensive solutions.

    Regarding NEFC, I’d love to se a series of day-long design charrettes where people like Patsy can sign up and occupy a chair at the table along with other ordinary citizens, professionals, developers, and city staff. That way the energy is directed away from unproductive slagging to actually putting your own pencil to a site plan and designing a real community.

    In workshops stakeholders often learn to truely listen to understand other points of view, and developers often sway more toward the public good in order to have a viable project. It becomes a negotiative process.

    One may get the impression you are not a workshop, building consensus, constructivist kinda person, and would never — god of your choice forbid! — sit next to an Evil Developer, or worse, the devil himself, Brent T., but prefer to merely take the easy route and post overly generous, bitter and reactionary comments on blogs like this. Solutions … who needs ’em when we’ve gotta anti-development war to fight!

    You really need your own blog or web site. I would be curious if you would build on your mother’s advice and make an honest attempt to focus on the “right” in equal proportion to the “wrong” while building up hundreds of pages of material.

    PS: You brought up the topic dumping off Point Grey, not I or anyone else.

  • gmgw

    MB:
    I’m not sure why you’re using a discussion of NEFC development issues to slag me at length, especially considering I’ve posted little in it apart from praise of Patsy McMillan. I guess some people just like to go off topic. And I haven’t a clue why you’re so obsessed with the toxic dumping thing, which was a throwaway comment on my part, but you do keep bringing it up; I can only conjecture that you must have owned one of the barges that was carrying out the dirt and are, therefore, touchy on the topic.

    Re Patsy, she doesn’t need me to defend her, but I know for a fact that she’s attended innumerable charrettes, Council and committee meetings, done one-on-ones with planners, councillors, and politicians of every stripe, and participated in innumerable other fora. I suspect, in fact, that she’s participated in– and organized, for that matter– more of these sorts of events than you knew existed.

    As regards your other speculations on my background, I have spent time talking to planners, engineers, Evil Developers, and so forth Hell, I’ll talk to anybody who’s reasonably polite (I’m making time for you, aren’t I?). I’ve even debated Larry Beasley live on radio a couple of times and lived to tell the tale. In any case, I just wanted to say that a lofty visionary such as yourself probably has more important things to talk about than a worm like me. So why don’cha turn your attention back to them? I’ll just go on shovelling shit down here in the seventh circle and talking above my station now and then.
    gmgw

  • Patsy McMillan

    While you are debating the issues that are not relevant to NEFC I would like to say that yes, I have been attending the consultative group meetings on the High Level Review for 2 years as well as organizing the False Creek Residents Assoc, chairing the Citygate Inter-tower Community Group and sitting on the board of the South False Creek Neighbourhood Assoc. I have learned more about contaminated soil remediation than I ever wanted to know in my lifetime. What truly boggles me through all of this is the fact that so little attention is being paid to this report regarding the last large piece of waterfront in Vancouver and how it will intrinsically change the Vancouver we know and love forever. Of the 1,000 respondents to the city survey on NEFC 88% were not supportive of 4 million sq ft. of residential or 7200 more residents and 89% were not in favour of what Concord Pacific is proposing by re-shaping Creekside Park from a nice fat 9.06 acre park site which would be a functional and usable public realm green space to an elongated cigar park along the seawall with condo towers all along Pacific Blvd. Don’t we have enough skinny green spaces in Vancouver already? And wouldn’t it be forward thinking, visionary even, to swap the lot east of the Plaza of Nations for a more viable, more productive piece of city owned land on the south shore and develop a landmark, iconic park in the heart of the city. Thank god the 3 Greenhorns gave the land for Stanley Park to the City ( or Canada) or we would be looking at condo towers there as well instead of the jewel of Vancouver.
    Please support this idea so we can make it happen.
    Patsy

  • MB

    Okay, I’ve had a chance now to look at the panels provided by JJJ. The founding objectives appear pretty motherhood to me, but are on the right track. Obviously it’s early-to-middle days.

    There are some pieces missing WRT Patsy’s reference to 10,000+ persons in the development and the 7,000+ on the panels. Are the panels up to date? And 10,000+ people doesn;t have to be a bad thing. There are many parts of NYC with similar densities that are actually very pleasant.

    I did see the change in the shape of the park and agree that it has the potential to affect the character of the community. But there isn’t enough detail in the info I’ve seen so far to cast judgement. They are only amorphous green blobs at this juncture.

    Striving for excellence may prove to be worthwhile, but that doesn’t necessarily dictate that one big park is better than several smaller ones. Parks and wide, well-landscaped boulevards can help ventilate and open up dense developments.

    One thing I noticed, a large park extending from the waterfront to the Georgia viaduct will protect the existing west and north views from CityGate. Amazing, that.

    How will the park edges be articulated? What kind of activities and spaces will be progarmmed into the park design? What is the setback from the building walls to the waterfront in both cases? Will the building heights be stepped down to the park to diminish their dominance? Will well-thought out design guidelines be imposed on this development? Will there be an attempt to define the building architecture to break the curtain glass monotony that now dominates downtown Vancouver? Will streets be developed as linear parks in themselves (i.e. generous boulevards), or merely engineered as traffic conduits? Is there provision for public art, performance spaces and unique human-scaled intimate outdoor rooms, or will the park be a huge unarticulated expanse of lawn? I’d rather have a small delightful park — or a series of parks joined together like pearls — than a big, empty, poorly programmed green blob.

    These are the kind of things that need to be developed at length and in detail in design charettes. And the NEFC community is too important to not have a series of them.

    My last note to GMGW: Site remediation and design charrettes have as much to do with NEFC as Patsy’s admirable participation. You oviously have a fine intellect, but you choose to bestow it upon us in the form of incessant pessimism and negativity, often creatively wrought. I can’t recall one positive thing you’ve said anywhere at anytime about anything in this blog. I will ignore your posts from now on.

  • “Striving for excellence may prove to be worthwhile, but that doesn’t necessarily dictate that one big park is better than several smaller ones.” and interconnected as experiences more satisfying that wet bums on wet grass . . .

    Thanqu MB. You are so utterly cool . . .

    “Narrow covered pedestrian passageways wind through the block, creating links to surrounding streets. A small atrium courtyard, large central courtyards and arcaded walkways alternatively compress and explode the experience of the pedestrian.”

  • gmgw

    MB said (slightly edited):

    “My last note to GMGW:….. I can’t recall one positive thing you’ve said anywhere at anytime about anything in this blog. I will ignore your posts from now on.”

    That would be much appreciated, especially coming from someone who has (most conveniently) as short a memory as yours.
    gmgw

  • Peter

    gmgw

    The cross-city network of neighbourhood advocacy groups would be a recreation of Neighbour to Neighbour (coordinated by Mel Lehan – AKA Mr. Kitsilano). A group that did great cross-city work.

  • gmgw

    Peter:
    Thank you. My aging brain was unable to recall the name of the initiative, nor did it come up with the name of Mel Lehan, who deserves praise for a great many different things.
    gmgw