Values and Change in Living Communities―Mount Pleasant and the SkyTrain
Earlier this year, Vancouver City Council unanimously approved the Millennium Line Broadway Extension, which will add six new SkyTrain stops along the Broadway Corridor, including one in the middle of Mount Pleasant. Such an addition necessarily entails change to existing character of the neighbourhood, leading many to ask about the role heritage in transit planning, and how rapid transit in Vancouver can be expanded to contribute to the future of the neighbourhood.
This SkyTrain extension will cut directly through the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, which stretches from Cambie Street to Clark Drive along the Broadway Corridor. The junction where Main Street and Kingsway converge is the historic and cultural heart of this area, lined with pedestrian-friendly streets, independent stores and cafes, and a village atmosphere courtesy of affordable rental apartments, historic architecture, and independent businesses.
This extension of the Millennium Skytrain includes a new station in the core of Mount Pleasant. This has provoked some fears that rising property taxes and increasing rent & maintenance costs will squeeze out “the hip, little village”, as well as drive dramatic new developments. With such a major infrastructure project on the horizon in Mount Pleasant—similar to previous transformations of the Cambie Corridor—the City will have to determine how the qualities definitive of Mount Pleasant can be protected and/or adapted due to this comprehensive land use change.
Planners, developers, and policymakers in Vancouver have spent decades debating the improvement of the rapid transit network along the Broadway Corridor. As the City puts together its policy plan, it has an opportunity to address a number of different social priorities, including housing affordability, neighbourhood integration, the strength of the Corridor’s job market, and the unique cultural fabric of Mount Pleasant.
In this session, we seek to provide a space for attendees to discuss:
- How can we best assess the impact of the SkyTrain on the neighbourhoods that it passes through?
- What features are essential to Mount Pleasant and how might they be compromised with the new development?
- How can this development be conscious of the unique landscape that it will run through and incorporate the qualities that are valued in the neighbourhood so that the expansion enhances Mount Pleasant?
- How can we balance the retention/protection of neighbourhood character with urban stresses that demand reorganization of space?
In this session, are excited to welcome four panelists to share their insights about the future of Mount Pleasant:
Alyssa Myshok – Mount Pleasant resident, participant in Mount Pleasant Community Plan, life long transit user
Tamim Raad – Principal of Access Planning Consultants, former Director of Strategic Planning and Policy at TransLink
Sarah Savoy – Owner, Much & Little
Michael Wiebe – Owner eight 1/2 restaurant, past President Mount Pleasant BIA, Vancouver City Councillor as of Nov. 5