… as Partial Answer to “Why Norquay?”
A never-answered question for Norquay residents:
How and why did planners select this particular half of a square mile to become
Vancouver’s second mass-rezoned “neighbourhood centre” under CityPlan?
In the earlier days, probably in 2007, then Director of Planning Brent Toderian blustered something like this as a response: “Why, neighborhoods are lining up for this opportunity!” Subtext: You should consider yourselves fortunate. Fact content: Zero. Reality: Norquay clearly and consistently did the exact opposite of line up.
At the RM-9A open house on 23 September 2015, this same question was overheard being put to a planner by a very unhappy Norquay resident. “Why us?” Still no good answer.
Back in mid-2011, Joseph Jones attempted a Freedom of Information request for
The City of Vancouver offered to accept $540 “to conduct this search” (estimate only!). What sucker would pay that amount for the likelihood of hearing back some combination of (a) the little already found without assistance, or (b) nothing, or (c) shreds of documents redacted into meaningless unreadability? This is one specific example of how City of Vancouver walls off from public scrutiny what it does in the back rooms.
On 17 November 2015, Jens von Bergmann provided a mapping of 2011 Canadian census data that “shows the percentage of the population that are immigrants” — excluding non-permanent residents. The overlay of a Norquay outline onto a screen grab of Vancouver mapping quickly conveys a lot about our area’s immigrant component and our Vancouver context.
If a bomber pilot were assigned the task of trying to take out as much of immigrant Vancouver as possible with one hit, that pilot could hardly do better than to unload on Norquay and hope for wide radius effect.
An immigrant population offers up to the hierarchy of politicians and developers and planners an especially vulnerable target: inexperience with new culture, uncertainty with foreign language, desire to avoid interaction with government, immersion in attempting to establish a new economic life, etc.
A graphic personal story has already been told at Eye on Norquay as Unheard Voices.
Consider this November 2005 justification for selecting Norquay:
It also ranks first in terms of need for public realm and pedestrian safety improvements,
based on a review of data from Neighbourhood Centres across all Vision areas. (p. 2)
Planning for Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre
Ten years onward, the City of Vancouver itself has done almost nothing to enhance the Norquay area. Meanwhile, rapid redevelopment slaps us in the face every day with the value extraction (construction nuisance, profits, fees, sequestered levies, increased property taxes) that mass rezoning has triggered.