A City of Forking Paths
Picturing Vancouver in 2050
Vancouver is a city at a crossroads. So say 17 planning students from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in the book A Convenience Truth: A 2050 Plan for a Sustainable Vancouver, which is the basis of a new six-week series in the Tyee. The next three to four decades will be crucial in determining whether it becomes a dense, affordable haven that leads the world in sustainable living, or a divided city that caters only to the very wealthy and the very old.
In part one of the series, “Making Vancouver Work for Everyone,” UBC professor Patrick Condon says that in mapping out a framework for Vancouver’s growth and development over the forty years, the students saw two very different visions for the city. On the one hand is “a city where the gradual shift away from cars allowed a quarter of our streets to become green streets, places for community gardens, street hockey games, bikeways, and bird songs.” On the other hand is a very different, much bleaker picture. “By 2050 if current trends continue, Vancouver will be a city of the old. A general aging of our population combines with the exodus of young people and young families out of the city. If we can’t adapt to this change, and slow the exodus, Vancouver will be a city without workers, without childish laughter, without a future.”
Picturing the kind of city we want to live in is easy. Figuring out how to make it a reality is the hard part, but the comprehensive A Convenience Truth: A 2050 Plan for a Sustainable Vancouver provides a good place to start.
[Top Image: Flickr user Justin Balong]