Urban
Development
Institute

pacific region

Inclusive, diverse, vibrant

October 24, 2016

How community plans build livable neighbourhoods

urban development
By ANNE McMULLIN

On July 28, 2016, the City of Vancouver approved the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan.  The plan adds thousands of units of social and market rental and ownership housing options to Grandview-Woodland within the next 30 years. The plan will help to diversify the area’s housing supply, provide important neighbourhood amenities, enhance the vibrancy of the area and add additional ridership to the regional transit network.

Buying or renting a new home is an exciting time in a person’s life. There is a growing trend for new home renters and owners to live in more urban locations near transit. This is why the industry is excited about the opportunities coming to the Grandview-Woodland neighbourhood.

The community plan will provide a wonderful opportunity for the roughly 10,000 new residents entering the neighbourhood. They will get to enjoy the diversity, walkability and culture of living near the Drive. They will “liven” the Drive and contribute to the neighbourhood’s vitality.

Building new multi-family homes in Grandview-Woodland will create more affordable housing choices than single-family homes provide. And there are many other benefits. Today, Grandview-Woodland has a great mix of people, jobs, restaurants, amenities and retail. It’s a neighbourhood that celebrates diversity. And its diversity will further flourish with a greater mix of old, new, tall, short, skinny and fat housing for low-, middle- and high-income renters and owners.

With four community plans being approved in Vancouver since 2014 (West End, Marpole, Downtown Eastside and now Grandview-Woodland), the groundwork is set for some exciting housing projects to begin development in the coming years. Other municipalities in the region, such as Abbotsford, are updating their community plans as well. Abbotsforward, Abbotsford’s newest community plan, plans for a city of 200,000 people with vibrant new neighbourhoods, shops and amenities.

In addition to providing important housing supply, the projects resulting from these newly created community plans generate approximately three full-time equivalent jobs for every new housing unit constructed (depending on the scale of the project). In sum, there are approximately 50,000 jobs in the region due to new housing construction. The employees of companies building these homes are mostly from the region, and have a strong interest in improving our neighbourhoods and cities.

The Urban Development Institute recognizes the need to build equitably and responsibly and we work with all levels of government and community and non-profit groups to do this. We thank the community members and city staff who go to great efforts to develop these dynamic and inclusive new community plans.

Anne McMullin is president and CEO of the Urban Development Institute. As a partner in community building, the Urban Development Institute is committed to working with communities and governments to create and achieve the vision of balanced, well-planned and sustainable communities.

Read Article in Westcoast Homes & Design Magazine

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