The final plan for Vancouver’s northeast False Creek neighbourhood is set to go before city council on Wednesday.
The plan includes removing the main arteries for drivers travelling in and out of the downtown core — the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts — and building a new 11-acre waterfront park in the area.
Coverage of Vancouver’s viaducts on Globalnews.ca:
But the proposal has drawn a mixed response.
Dani Pretto, chair of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA), said it will create more growth and opportunity for the city.
“We think that the downtown edge has become more permeable, become easier to connect our central business district with our surrounding neighbourhood and generally increases the livability of the area and downtown as a result,” Pretto said.
Patsy McMillan, chair of the False Creek Residents Association, Patsy McMillan, said her group looks forward to seeing more community space, but also has some concerns.
“There’s not going to be enough park, usable park space, to support the amount of density and the number of people that they say are going to be coming here. They say 10,000 to 12,000 people and 6,000 to 8,000 workers in the commercial areas of the project,” McMillan said.
She also voiced concern that the promised park is being diminished.
“There has been no empirical survey to say exactly how much acreage there is there. The report says that it’s 11 acres, but what they’re doing is including into the whole amount of already existing park space.”
Carnegie Community Action Project (C-CAP) organizer Lama Mugabo said the group is happy that the viaducts are going to be removed — those structures drove the black community away from Hogan’s Alley, he said.
“The black community has been working with the City of Vancouver for the past year to redesign the block, and we [are] very positive about this interaction, but we are concerned about the affordability of units and we’ve explained this to the city, and the city says they’ll will be working with us,” Mugabo said.
Mugabo said 30 per cent social housing is being offered under this proposal, with 70 per cent of that considered “affordable.” He wants to see those numbers switched around.
Strathcona community advocate Pete Fry echoed C-CAP’s views.
“This sort of recognition and reconciliation of the Hogan’s Alley, the black community that was displaced through the process of adding that viaduct, there’s some strong language to support real community grown in that department,” he said.
But Fry said elements of the plan are a bit of a letdown.
“Back in 2012, we had a commitment from the mayor that the viaducts removal would bring about… a lot of opportunity for things like traffic calming, as well as affordable housing, and I think one of the biggest disappointments in this plan as it’s presented right now is that there is not a lot of affordable housing being offered and I think we can do a lot better,” Fry said.
The city said it will continue to work with residents and community leaders on the details if the plan is approved,
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