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Background to Alternative Futures: Housing

The Vancouver City Planning Commission (VCPC) hosted a unique and challenging public forum on housing in April 2003. “The Future of Housing in Vancouver” attracted about 250 audience members and strong media coverage. The forum included a presentation by demographer David Baxter and a panel discussion by experts including developer Michael Geller, tenants rights advocate Vanessa Geary, neighbourhood activist Helen Spiegelman, and UBC professor of landscape architecture Patrick Condon. Audience participation was vigorous and positive. A majority of city councillors was in attendance as well. Many attendees submitted comments praising the event and asking that more work be done to engage the public around the critical issue of housing affordability and choice.

Towards the end of the evening a question arose from the floor: “How can we make these housing ideas available to citizens? Does it end here? Tonight?”

VCPC Commissioners have taken up this challenge: a diverse group of talented individuals spontaneously emerged to shepherd the project. All have volunteered their time well beyond our previous intentions. But we are delighted with the outcome, and we hope this website provides a useful tool to encourage the debate about housing.