Vancouver Would Be Cooler If is a column that advocates for things that either exist in other cities and/or could otherwise serve to improve and celebrate life in our own.
In a city where the cost of land is driving an unprecedented crisis, why not build on the water? Imagine a colourful, mixed-used, housing complex like Amsterdam’s Silodam floating at the foot of Victoria Drive. We’ve already talked about building on golf courses, so why not make use of our bountiful coastline?
The project could include desperately needed below market rate housing, offices, galleries, communal areas, and pubs and would link to the growing Port Town neighbourhood and the aptly-named Yeast Van brewing district. Throw in a beautiful foot bridge and you’ve got an iconic world class development that would open up a new gateway to Vancouver while simultaneously providing innovative and dignified housing to Vancouver’s most marginalized.
The Toronto Star recently asked the same question about their Quayside district, and goes into some depth about the narrow vision of so many public works projects in North America, something Petros Babasikas calls “value engineering”. Vancouver can and will have bold and adventurous housing that doesn’t cater to the 1%.