Livability and Density — and Norquay
Re: Jeff Lee. “Vancouver named world’s most livable city.” Vancouver Sun (22 Feb 2011) A4
Chalk up another big boast for a standing once again affirmed by the Economist Intelligence Unit. (The fifth year in a row — enjoy this while it lasts.)
The president of Tourism Vancouver rambles on about how “the city has all the right attributes. But being able to sustain something like that is a constant watch.” You bet. But nowhere does sustainability fit into this popularity contest.
The kicker, the key paragraph, lurks far down in the story:
Jon Copestake, the report’s editor, said mid-sized cities in developed countries that have low population densities generally scored well because they had cultural and infrastructure benefits but also had fewer issues with crime and congestion. [Emphases added.]
An already-dense Norquay stands on the verge of having yet more population dumped into its local amenity desert. In the process, our greatest amenities, which no one ever had to pay for, will be confiscated — sunshine and sky, greenery, relative quiet, open streets, social diversity.
City staff and officials salivate at the prospect of calculating how density bonusing can increase CAC levies. These pittances extracted from developers cannot even maintain the standard of living that the Norquay community already enjoys.
Meanwhile, the real agenda plays out: sell, sell, sell. Promote Vancouver as the most livable city … until it is no longer. Along the way, strip mine and clear cut present livability for fast and easy money, capital whose only homing instinct is percentage of profit.
Thus does the deliberate acceleration of development in Norquay herald the future of a down-ranked Vancouver! Anything goes, as long as property values manage to trend upward.