City needs neighbourhood dialogues, not density

Sam Sullivan’s EcoDensity Charter (patent pending) has sparked an uproar in communities that were comfortable with their community plans and committed to sustainability [“Anxiety over EcoDensity”, April 10-17]. They are indignant that the city seems to be trying to impose some massive density increase on them without consultation.

Vancouver desperately needs policies to make housing available to average working families. In the current market, a family needs an annual income of $147,000 to own a relatively modest home. If anything, EcoDensity has set back changes in city policy that would make a positive difference. Vancouver was well on the way to a sensible approach to increase the stock of affordable, sustainable housing until Sullivan’s NPA came along.

Sullivan voted against the Woodward’s project, a model of sustainable development with a mix of affordable, social, and market housing, as well as public space, commercial space, and cultural amenities.

The southeast False Creek plan, including the Olympic Village, set an ambitious goal for midrange market housing, but Sullivan’s NPA ripped out that provision as one of its first acts in office. Now EcoDensity has neighbourhoods in turmoil.

Until communities feel their needs are understood and respected, Vancouver will be unable to move forward. If the mayor wants to make change, he would do well to shelve his current scheme and ask neighbourhoods to help chart a new direction.

> Geoff Meggs / Vancouver