As Parke’s post mentioned, the Seattle P-I had another interesting article on the lessons Vancouver has to offer on urban development—making the city both an exciting and a family-friendly place to live. Tips include requiring developers to:
- create multi-bedroom apartments designed for families
- provide community centers, playgrounds, neighborhood schools, landscaping, and other public amenities
- design buildings that create a pedestrian-friendly and visually appealing streetscape—not just a barren street canyon. (Buildings on some streets are kept short to make them feel more homey.)
Seattle’s mayor is in the midst of unveiling plans to create vibrant, dense urban centers by raising building heights, charging developers one fee of $1-2 per square foot to pay for parks and open space and another fee of $10 primarily to build low-income housing.
Because of differences in the nature of public planning and the current landscape of the two cities, Seattle probably won’t ever become Vancouver, nor should it attempt to. But it has plenty to learn from its neighbor to the north.