News / Vancouver

Don’t use Broadway subway as an excuse for density: Urban Land Institute

A subway is Vancouver’s best bet for transit along the Broadway corridor from Commercial to UBC, but that doesn’t mean it needs to come with high-rises.

So recommends an international panel of experts from the Urban Land Institute in their final report on the future of the $3-billion rapid transit project the city is lobbying for.

A subway should not drive massive rezonings in the western neighbourhoods in order to preserve their charm, the report states. Instead, the city should build out the remaining 40 per cent of the central core between Cambie and Arbutus where zoning already exists for commercial and residential properties.

Although the market may dictate future development decisions, the panel warned that the local neighbourhoods fear towers.

It recommended building four-storey multi-family buildings with an “urban, brownstone look” such as the Arbutus Walk buildings at Arbutus and 12th Avenue.

Density should be higher closer to transit stops so people can easily access transportation, but the panel warned the city to involve the community in the planning so transit stops don't look like bull’s eyes for rezoning.

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