What do you get when you put city official, developers, and creative types in the same room to talk about Vancouver’s housing issues?

If last Friday’s “idea jam” is any indication, a combination of serious discussion and wacky ideas.

According to The Vancouver Courier, the “idea jam” event involved nine groups getting together to address affordable housing in Vancouver. The event was intended to help launch the city’s “re: THINK HOUSING” contest, which offers cash prizes for new housing strategies.

The ideas at the jam were varied.

Many proposals were relatively mundane, including a suggestion to tweak property taxes. But, some people offered out-of-the-box solutions.

One group proposed a plan to transform a cargo ship into a green-roofed utopia. They suggested that residents could commute to and from the shore by kayak and drink filtered seawater.

So, what did attendees think of the suggestions? According to the article, Mayor Gregor Robertson said that “there’s some really thought-provoking work here that’d be useful for city  hall. A couple of groups that had [ideas about] ‘float houses’ and ‘ship living’ which [are] kind of way outside the box—offshore affordable  housing?…There may be an opportunity for more [housing] in the water.”

However, not everyone was won over by the idea jam. Aspiring urban planner Andrew Martin noted that “as much as it’s exciting, and a publicity stunt, I think there are a lot of  people here who are not professionals, who don’t have a real finger on the pulse  as far as what’s really needed.”

Still, it’s always cool to see people getting together to talk about housing! Plus, we kind of like the idea of commuting via kayak.

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