I will start this off by saying that I am a flaming preservationist. I worked for a year in a small downtown in Oregon leading a Main Street program with a focus on business development but from a preservationist approach. It’s easy to do that there, in a small town setting that thrives on its history. In a place like Vancouver, or any other large city with inflated housing and development markets, the preservation approach is much more difficult to use as a reason for keeping buildings, and it is clear that usually new, higher use buildings get the go ahead from developers and city council, replacing the few existing historical gems we have left.
Yes, cities like Vancouver must plan for the future. Yes, there is a housing crisis, and the demand and dire need for more housing is absolutely a priority for municipal policy. Yes, Vancouver is pretty much built out, and higher densities are needed as more and more people choose Vancouver as their home. But where do we draw the line?
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