* You are viewing Posts Tagged ‘Housing’

School Troubles in a Booming Metropolis: Part 4 – Changing Expectations

This is the final installment in a four-part series about the demographic, housing and land use contexts of troubled public schools. Here are links to parts one, two and three.

North Americans are culturally attached to the single-family house, especially for families with children. Thanks to Barrie Sutcliffe for this great photos of houses on the outskirts of Edmonton, Alberta.

In many core cities, insufficient affordable and suitable housing for families provides a push for young families to leave urban neighbourhoods for the suburbs.

The pull of suburban environments is the other side of the coin. 55% of Canadians live in a house, and many believe that young children have the best outcomes in a single-family house with a private yard. Cultural attachment to … Continue Reading

School Troubles in a Booming Metropolis: Part 3 of 4 – Intergenerational Neighbourhoods and Housing Diversity

105-year-old Sir William MacDonald Elementary School was one of 11 Vancouver schools threatened with closure in 2010. Thanks to Sqeaky Marmot on Flickr for this great Creative Commons photo.

Wrestling with the conundrum of why growing cities like Vancouver face declining public school enrolments, the first two posts in this series suggest links between municipal and regional populations of school-aged children and the affordability and suitability of family housing. Today’s post explores the value of intergenerational communities in both urban and suburban contexts, and considers how housing diversity may influence demographics at the neighbourhood scale.

Urban Context
Researching the dispersal of children across local neighbourhoods, the Curious Dad newspaper column found that Vancouver’s east-side communities house the most young children, while … Continue Reading

School Troubles in a Booming Metropolis: Part 2 – Family Housing

This is the second post in a series exploring demographic, housing and land use contexts of troubled public schools in the City of Vancouver and its suburbs.

Last week’s post showed that, though the proportion of Metro Vancouver’s population made up of school-aged children is declining, that decline is occurring more rapidly in the central City of Vancouver. More suburban in character, the City of Surrey (pop 400,000)  is home to the only public school district in British Columbia where enrolment is actually increasing.

Canada-wide statistics show that these trends are not unique to Metro Vancouver. One analysis of 2006 Canadian census data showed that “27% of first-time parents made the move out the city and very few moved in.” A Statistics Canada report suggests that “one of the explanations for … Continue Reading

Online Storytelling Part II – RentersSpeakUp

The region of Metro Vancouver, Canada (pop. 2 million) is experiencing a housing crisis, with a shortage of affordable rental housing.

In Metro Vancouver, purpose-built rental stock is aging, and not being replaced fast enough. Thanks to Gak for this Creative Commons shot of walk-up apartments in Vancouver.

From the perspective of regional housing planners, providers and advocates such as the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association and the Co-op Housing Federation of BC, the situation urgently requires both direct federal funding and ongoing support in the form of a national housing strategy.

Approximately 80,000 rental households in Metro Vancouver lack affordable housing, spending more than 30% of their incomes on rent. 30,000 households spend more than half of their incomes on rent. These … Continue Reading

Greening Small Home Renovations – The City of Vancouver may require Green Improvements to the Renovation of One and Two Family Homes

A small but important part of the ‘Greenest City Action Plan’, The City of Vancouver hopes to tackle the resource efficiency of existing buildings through a proposed amendment to our building by-law (VBBL) that would require green improvements along with the renovation of one and two family homes. Arguably, it might seem like this will have a small impact on the massive GHG goals taken on by the Province and City, however it is an essential step in any Green Building plan. Read more…

Weekly News Pool: Peak Oil, Planning for Growth, and Reflections on Earth Days Past

A few of this week’s stories from the NewsPool are highlighted below, featuring some different takes on accommodating growth from around the world, as well as a reflection at the closing of the annual American Planning Association (APA) conference. Click on the links for some end-of-week reading!

Earth Day is coming up next week (April 22). This unofficial Earth Day flag is in the public domain.

Perhaps the most surprising piece of planning-related news this week was the US military acknowledgement (finally!) that oil shortages may be on the near horizon. This is sure to lend a greater sense of urgency to planning for a post-peak world.

US military warns oil output may dip causing massive shortages by 2015
Surplus oil production capacity could disappear within a … Continue Reading

Quantifying the value of walking

CEOs for Cities just released a study showing that homes located close to shops, schools, churches, offices, libraries, parks, and restaurants are worth more than similar homes in less-walkable neighborhoods.

The report, “Walking the Walk: How Walkability Raises Housing Values in U.S. Cities” by Joseph Cortright, analyzed data from 94,000 real estate transactions in 15 major markets. Cortright found that in 13 of the 15 markets, higher levels of walkability, as measured by Walk Score, correlated to higher home values.

This image from Walk Score shows the difference between how far you can walk in a compact neighborhood versus a sprawling one

Continue Reading

Home, is where I want to be…

…lift me up and turn me round. So sang David Byrne in the Talking Heads. Here’s a fantastic little film created by Jason Owen for a housing policy class at SCARP on “the meaning of home”.

Home…is where I want to be from Planning Pool on Vimeo.

Shot using a fancy Digital SLR rig and carefully put together in editing, this stop-motion film fits so well with Naive Melody that one could easily be forgiven for thinking that the Talking Heads had Vancouver’s West End in mind when writing this little ditty.

Kudos to Jason for doing such a killer job on this. Watching it makes me warm, fuzzy and well…homey!

Retro Book Review: Redesigning the American Dream (1984)

Redesigning the American DreamWhile groundbreaking new works are constantly being added to the body of planning literature, older texts still have plenty to teach. “The classics” have inspired and informed more recent work, and even their outdated aspects can provide a valuable glimpse into the zeitgeist of past eras.

Following its publication in 1984, “Redesigning the American Dream: The Future of Housing, Work and Family Life” by Dolores Hayden received awards in planning, design and feminist scholarship. It is a measure of its influence that Arlie Russell Hochschild cited it several times in “The Second Shift,” her ground-breaking 1990 book about the gender dynamics within dual-career American families.

From the point of view of a present-day reader, the greatest achievement of “Redesigning the American Dream” lies in illustrating … Continue Reading