Comment 2379

By Vancouverite (anonymous) | Posted November 27, 2006 at 23:02:07

I wanted to add that Vancouver is the awknowledged leader in Canada and on the continent for dense, mixed-use urban development. The Vancouver Model is the term in current circulation for describing the form of development desired for this location in Hamilton.

The Vancouver Model calls for a built environment grounded in a very high quality public realm on the street. Its buildings begin at the ground floor with retail and or townhouses that engage the street edge. Above this is a four to five story podium, to create a continous street wall, with offices, amenity spaces, daycares, restuarants, and landscaped outdoor space on the roof. Set back from this podium is a slim residential, hotel, or commercial tower, slim so as to allow light to penetrate to the street and limit its imposition on the views of its neighbours, and spaced a sufficient distance back from other existing towers to afford privacy (80 feet in the Vancouver context). Residential variants of these towers typically offer balconies for outdoor living, and most feature an ornamental cap to hide the roof's mechanical spaces and help define the skyline of a city.

Further reading on this form of development is available. The August issue of Canadian Architect goes into great detail of the Vancouver Model and offers a rigorous, if harsh, critique of Vancouver urban planning that relies heavily on this built form. The Vancouver Achievement by John Punter is another excellent text.

I hope this development comes to fruition and fosters a new era in urban planning for Hamilton.

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