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Metro Vancouver regional plan
Pushing down on a balloon
The Metro Vancouver Regional District approved its 2050 growth plan in February. As Jimmy Scrambles points out, and as Danny Oleksiuk argued in August 2021, it doesn’t make much sense for the city of Vancouver to grow more slowly than the suburbs - but that’s the plan. Twitter thread.
In a geographically central location (like the city of Vancouver), where there's easy access to jobs, you're going to have more people wanting to live there. Not allowing enough housing there is like pushing down on a balloon - the people who would have lived there don't vanish.
The diagrams above show what this looks like, with the effects of restriction shown by the blue lines. It’s not to scale - for Metro Vancouver, you should imagine that the gap between the unrestricted and restricted lines is much, much larger.
From a political perspective, opposition to tall buildings is much stronger in the city of Vancouver than elsewhere. (And within the city, it’s much stronger in Kitsilano than in other neighbourhoods.) Burnaby is building 80-storey buildings at Lougheed, while Vancouver struggles to approve a 40-storey rental building at Broadway and Granville (on top of a new SkyTrain station).