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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

Snapshot: Closed Schools

Snapshot_Abandoned Schools_091101
Over the course of a few decades, a neighbourhood’s demand for school infrastructure can change dramatically. Changes in population size or composition fuel the need for new schools or erode the viability of existing ones. The effects of these demographic changes are highly localized, since the residential catchment area of an urban elementary school is generally less than a one kilometer radius around the school site.

Cranberry School in Powell River, BC, shown above, was closed in 1983. Its playing fields are still maintained and used by local sports teams, but children from the Cranberry neighbourhood now attend school in other parts of Powell River. To the dismay of local heritage preservationists, the Cranberry School building, built in 1930, sits empty … Continue Reading