Achieving Social Assets in Vancouver
The public benefits achieved through rezoning in Vancouver are numerous and diverse. They include affordable housing, recreational facilities, libraries, neighbourhood houses, community centres, adult day care, child care, public art, cultural facilities, greenways and bike paths.
The numbers are impressive. Between 2010 and 2014, Vancouver’s rezonings created an average public amenity contribution of $128 million per year. In December 2014, Vancouverites elected a new Council and voted in favour of a four-year capital plan with a total budget of $1.085 billion. The estimated public benefit contribution to that budget is $308 million or 28%.
Imagine the opportunities for improving the quality of life in Ottawa if 28% of its capital budget was financed through the development process supplementing revenues from development charges and the tax base.
In the second part of this post I’ll review the planning and policy tools and other resources Vancouver uses to achieve public benefits and provide some project examples.