Vancouver’s City Council has approved an “EcoDensity” policy.
How is EcoDensity different from regular density, which already comes pre-equipped with environmental benefits?
Well, its just an environmental-sounding catch-prefix and comes with less bureaucracy for green developments.
Planetizen – EcoDensity Approved in Vancouver
Amongst the additional actions, Council has approved in principle the development of bylaws that could allow lane-oriented housing (coach houses and apartments above garages) potentially throughout the city (what we’ve called “hidden” density); new secondary suite options in every housing type (what we’ve called “invisible” density – Vancouver currently allows one secondary suite in single-detached housing, but not in other housing forms such as rowhouses and apartments); exploration of new mid-rise building typologies and associated zoning; a new “Green means Go” priority approval system for exemplary sustainable projects; the removal of numerous existing regulatory disincentives to green design approaches; EcoDensity demonstration projects on city-owned land; the development of new amenity and services funding tools to support quality density; and so on. One action in particular will represent the culmination of much of our thinking – the development over time of a new EcoCityPlan, respecting and building on the highly successful and influential CityPlan developed in the mid-90’s with incredible public engagement.
It’s interesting how they are able to make an environmental case to make the bureaucratic approval process not seem so bad. “Hey, if you make it green, we’ll actually try not to slow you down as much as we usually do.” Why can’t all projects be given a speedy approval process?
All-in-all, this seems like a good example of how market liberalization (while only incremental here) can be made to appeal to typically anti-market progressives. I guess all you have to is add the “Eco” prefix. How about “EcoProfits”, “EcoTrade”, “EcoPrivatization” or “EcoTaxCut”?