Change in Living Communities
False Creek South is a 55-hectare stretch of waterfront land between the Burrard and Cambie bridges, characterized by extensive green spaces and a diverse mix of housing types. The design of this community has its roots in the values-based social planning that was revolutionary when it was introduced in the 1970s and 80s. By giving priority to values associated with quality of life and a livable city, this area was created with an equal portion of non-market rental housing, co-ops, and condominiums in a “Garden City” setting geared to a pedestrian culture.
The lease agreements, with strata leasehold owners, co-ops and non-market housing operators that made this diverse mix of housing possible, will begin to expire in 2025. As we near this date, the City, which owns approximately 80% of False Creek South, has begun to explore the future of this neighbourhood and its residents. The issues are many and include the leases, the diversity of people that is supported by the housing mix so central to this community, retention and redevelopment of existing urban fabric, development along the edges of the community, such as the lot directly adjacent to Olympic Village Skytrain Station, but also how this example of a values based planned community can integrate with the ever-evolving urban fabric of the City.
Heritage Vancouver Society respects the importance of the built environment, the communities which make up that environment and the underlying social structures which support them as pillars of heritage. We also recognize that heritage can have a strong positive role in the management of change as living communities continue to evolve.
Through this public discussion it is our goal to contribute to the discussion around the inevitable change to False Creek South – a change through which the City intends to achieve broad civic priorities such as the pursuit of development opportunities to provide more housing, and strategic asset management which includes “achieving a reasonable rate of return”.
In this session, we seek to provide a space for attendees to discuss:
- What physical and non-physical aspects of False Creek South are significant and definitive and what degree of change is acceptable before those qualities are compromised?
- As a piece of city owned land that is seen as a means to contributing to civic priorities, in particular housing issues, how much responsibility should be placed on it as a solution to housing needs?
- False Creek South is seen as a city real estate asset both for the potential density that can be added and the rate of financial return that can be achieved. Does this view trump the other ways in which False Creek South is of value to the City?
- What are the implications of the fact that the land is City owned? Does the City have any responsibility to these areas which have become cultural and social assets to the City?
- Effective management of living communities often requires a broad range of stakeholders to come together and find resolution through true commitment to a collaborative process. What can be expected on this based on the formulation and approval by Council of adoption of the False Creek South Provisional Vision Statement and Guiding Planning Principles?
This event is worth 2.0 Organized/Structured CPL PIBC units.