Densification divergence

The Vancouver Sun (Saturday, August 9, 2014) carried a front page story, with several related articles in the front section of the paper.

Main article, front page:
Urban future: Metro Vancouver grows up
Desire for densification clashes with land-use challenges in a region defined by geography

Related article:
Densification divergence in Port Moody, Coquitlam

“The cities of Port Moody and Coquitlam are set to fundamentally change their identities from suburban neighbourhoods to urban communities over the next two decades.”

Many people may not realize Port Moody has a long history as a thriving waterfront municipality with well-paying jobs and residential areas, and was not historically a bedroom community for Vancouver. The Port Moody Heritage Society‘s recently published historical book, Tracks in Time, is well worth a read with stories and pictures.

Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart is quoted in the Vancouver Sun as saying, “I think, in reality, a majority of people in Port Moody embrace it [densification]. They embrace the same kind of livable community that we want in Coquitlam. I recognize that some want it to be a small town and do not accept any of the new population, but I don’t think that’s a sustainable position.”

Ironically (despite the first quote in italics above), the current proposed OCP suggests Port Moody will become more of a bedroom community, with loss of industrial lands and much more residential densification in its place. Not with gentle infill; but with numerous highrises near the waterfront necessary to attain the population increases suggested as reasonable by the city. And without plans for increased parks and other infrastructure necessary for true urban sustainability.

Once again, to be clear, the Moody Centre Community Association is not “anti-development” (any/all development). Rather, we favour modest in-fill on a human scale in conjunction with necessary improvements to infrastructure, including park space. We don’t feel our geography and environment can support the levels of densification currently proposed for our neighbourhood.

Is there some “greenwashing” at play here?
“What Is Greenwashing?
It’s Whitewashing, But with a Green Brush.

Everyone’s heard the expression “whitewashing” — it’s defined as “a coordinated attempt to hide unpleasant facts, especially in a political context.”

“Greenwashing” is the same premise, but in an environmental context.

It’s greenwashing when a company or organization spends more time and money claiming to be “green” through advertising and marketing than actually implementing business practices that minimize environmental impact. It’s whitewashing, but with a green brush.”


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One Response to Densification divergence

  1. Gaetan Royer says:

    Actually, we don’t know what Port Moody will become because our new Official Community Plan (OCP) is just words with few specifics. As a consultant, I work with clear and specific OCPs throughout the region and BC.

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