Vancouver is expecting continued growth in the next 40 years, but according to three former city planners the city is ill-prepared to deal with the changes.

It is expected that as many as seven million people may be living in Metro Vancouver in 2050. But, according to an article in The Vancouver Sun Larry Beasley, Ray Spaxman and Brent Toderian – all former city planning directors – argue that the city isn’t doing a good enough job planning for future growth.

The men spoke at an Urban Land Institute series. It was the first time the three former directors have shared a stage together.

Beasley said that “the plans have to stay about 10 years ahead of the market or else there’s going  to be ad-hockery and a sense of crisis management and doesn’t that sound like  Vancouver city council dealing with planning issues in the last few years? I  think it does. I think we are about 10 years behind”.

Toderian and Spaxman agreed. Spaxman said that “I feel as if I am on an Easter egg hunt. Council is rushing off after density,  they’re rushing after lane housing, they’re rushing after cycle paths. They’re  all rushing after the latest panacea that happens to offer some solution but  isn’t.”

Toderian stated that he is concerned that “we are replacing a city by design with a kind of  urbanism by checklist or urbanism by paint-by-numbers.”

While we don’t know what the future holds for Vancouver’s continued growth, we hope to see more thought-provoking discussions from some of Vancouver’s planning experts.

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