Former senior City Planner and current UBC professor, Scot Hein, has written a plea for a more compassionate and productive civic governance. He begins by noting that:
“most of the parties vying for our vote on election day this Saturday … have been around awhile (The NPA, Vision and The Greens), and [they and] the newbies (ABC, Forward Together, One City and Progress Vancouver), are cut (more or less) from the same cloth … Make no mistake, all of these parties and related coalitions will continue to drive up rents and purchase prices notwithstanding any downturn in the market. If this is what you want, this is what you will get with any combination of those noted above.“
“Further, those parties noted above do not understand how Vancouver’s creative approach to development regulation actually works, or should work, to best serve the needs of the people. This has been exacerbated by the exodus of hard-fought experience across all departments, the disconnect of best practices at the wishes of the market, and a culture of “yes” that fails to properly evaluate proposals for their impacts, both experientially, economically and socially. Vancouver’s evolving relationship with the market, previously known for inventing win-win (industry-community) best practices that responds to the needs of the day, has been cast aside and replaced with a regressive “approval machine” that has turned its back on current and future Vancouverites.”
“As I think about casting my vote this Saturday, I am most interested in shifting towards a more responsive, productive and compassionate governance that puts people first. A governance that 1) more deeply understands how to best utilize the regulatory levers and tools currently available towards truly greater housing affordability while strengthening our neighbourhoods, and 2) better supports those with addictions and mental health challenges. I am therefore excited at the prospect of a TEAM/COPE Mayor and Council. I believe that this unique coalition would best address these acute challenges.”
“I am excited for Vancouver’s future with [Colleen Hardwick and Jean Swanson] and their respective slates of candidates, being given an opportunity to work together these next four years. I strongly believe that their proactive association will restore Vancouver as a thoughtful, compassionate “leading light” while also demonstrating how cities must immediately evolve to solve our grand challenges including those noted above.”
The full piece can be found at: CityHallWatch and it is well worth the read.