By Alex Dembinski
With Vancouver’s heated real estate market being a main topic of discussion in Canada and around the world, there is a lot of speculation on how the market will react. The issue of unaffordability is proving difficult for low and middle class families while in addition, a lack of available land has forced developers to conjure up innovative ways to reshape the city. These issues have created a large need for mixed-use developments, in an effort to create ‘Living Cities’.
Now what exactly is a mixed-use development? Mixed-use development is a type of urban development that blends residential, commercial, cultural, institutional, and/or industrial uses. The intent of these developments is to establish a ‘Living City’ that encompasses 7 attributes which are climate resilient, connectivity, economically sound, exceptional governance, healthy environments, strong community and sustainable resources.
Benefits of mixed-use development include:
- Greater housing variety and density, more affordable housing (smaller units);
- Reduced distances between housing, workplaces, retail businesses, and other amenities;
- More compact development, land-use synergy (e.g. residents provide customers for retail which provide amenities for residents);
- Stronger neighborhood character, sense of community;
- Walk-able, bike-able neighborhoods, increased accessibility via transit, both resulting in reduced transportation costs.
With the City of Vancouver approving a large amount of mixed-use development projects in the last five years, it is evident that these new communities will start to reshape the real estate market. There are two projects in particular that are setting the standard for mixed-use development; Marine Gateway by PCI Group and Ambleside by Grosvenor. Both projects are architectural masterpieces that contain the 7 attributes of a ‘Living City’.
Ambleside by Grosvenor
Marine Gateway by PCI Group