NEWS: Citizens Set Priorities for City Hall

City HallBy Think City Staff

What do citizens want from Mayor Gregor Robertson and Vancouver city council? According to a newly released Think City survey of 2,249 residents, Vancouverites want increased electoral powers for neighbourhoods, more bicycle and transit lanes on city streets and more options for affordable housing development.

The survey is the latest initiative in Think City's ongoing Dream Vancouver project that has brought together thousands of Vancouver residents through social media and public events to discuss public policy ideas for the city.

During last fall's election, Mayor Gregor Robertson gave Think City a written commitment that he would support all 15 Dream Vancouver-developed solutions to enhance affordable housing, transportation and citizen engagement in the city. In response to the mayor`s commitment to these solutions, Think City asked Vancouver residents to choose their top priority from a list of five options in each of the three policy areas.

From Feb. 12 to Aug. 24 of this year, Think City mounted a social media campaign using tools such as Facebook, Twitter, email and its web site to reach out to the residents. Out of the 15 possible policy options, Vancouverites said their top three priorities were reforming the electoral system to give more power to neighbourhoods, helping to ensure cars share the road with other forms of transportation and establishing a civic housing authority to develop more options for low- and middle-income people in the housing market.

Although the new city council has taken some initial steps towards these goals, they must keep focused and remember their commitments to Think City and Vancouver residents. During their first ten months in office, the mayor and councillors have made some progress on re-allocating road space to alternate modes of transportation.

City council has designated one lane of road space for cyclists as part of the Burrard Street Bridge trial. But aside from temporary street closures of a few blocks for the Sunday "Summer Spaces" events in four east side neigbourhoods, no significant road re-allocations have been announced. As for the other two policy solutions, the city has yet to outline how it will honour the mayor`s commitments to establish a housing authority or reform the at-large system.

This fall and winter, Think City will be holding three action forums on each of the policy priorities. Our goal is to develop a plan to push for implementation of these solutions between sping 2010 and November 2011. If you would like to take part in these forums, please check our web site for more details starting in October on dates and times.

Top Three Policy Priorities for Vancouver

  1. Affordable Housing - The city should create a city housing authority (similar to the model in Whistler) that is responsible for developing affordable housing (this includes rental units, co-ops or units for home ownership).
  2. Citizen Engagement - The city should replace the at-large system with another electoral system (e.g., wards, proportional representation).
  3. Transportation - The city should reallocate road space currently dedicated to private automobiles to other methods of transportation (e.g., bikes, pedestrians, public transit, taxis).

For the complete Dream 15 Priorities survey results, click here.

Affordable Housing Policy Priority Should Include Social Housing

I just read a news release on the three top policy priorities that came out of the recent Think City survey. I am hoping that the policy priority "Affordable Housing" will encompass creating more social housing to help house our fellow citizens who sleep on the streets, as well as the other mentioned affordable housing items (rental units, co-ops, ownership etc.). Thanks.

Freeway traffic to flood Vancouver bike routes?

Great to see Think City's focus on re-allocating road space to low-carbon low-pollution modes. But Gregor has not yet said if he is going to facilitate a flood of cars into the city by widening Grandview as Gordon Campell demands, or if he will take a stand and stick with city policy against widening roadways for cars. This is where the rubber hits the road (and where the carbon pollution enters the atmosphere).

Survey Results.

Thanks, to all you Thinkcity Folks. I enjoyed the process and am excited to see the top three results. There is however, a touch of the mopes. The numbers are quite discouraging. 2,249 respondents out of approx. 578,000 Vancouver City folks. And assuming, all the respondents who took the survey were from Vancouver. Otherwise, the numbers are stupefying. I am hopeful the Mayor and Councillors will do all they can to bring Vancouver forward. One eye on being the greenest city and the other on, increasing affordable housing for the majority of Van's citizens. Again, Thanks for all your efforts, Thinkcity folks. Citizen77

Survey results

Your's is a valiant effort in letting the public speak for themselves in order to help assign priorities to this 15 Dream Vancouver plan. Congratulations.

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