Resilience Through Adaptability
The Vancouver Change Charter was the culmination of two years of work for the Commission, 2007-2008. Its Principles for an Adaptable City embody a long-term view, encompassing current topics and also anticipating strategies to adapt to future pressures in our private and public realms.
The VCPC Vancouver Change Charter. Click to zoom.
Throughout this Commission’s term the one constant element that entered into every discussion was change. Whether on a neighbourhood scale, a political scale, or an international scale, there appeared to be no status quo.
From a planning perspective this meant that the City was forced into new policy directions such as EcoDensity, and new social housing.
The Commission participated in these worthwhile efforts, but also saw that in the longer term many policies and, indeed, the built environment itself, could benefit from a rethinking of the traditional methods of delivery.
Vancouver’s built environment was seen as not being adaptive to change. Many worldwide cities have learned how to make public spaces into 24-hour venues. They have built structures that can change their uses hourly, daily and over hundreds of years. Perhaps because of Vancouver’s young age, these ideas have not formed part of an otherwise very progressive culture of planning and architecture. A City Built for Change emerged out of these discussions as a direction for exploration.
The Vancouver Change Charter is derived from this work, and intended to be a baseline from which deliberate and reasoned strategies around adaptability could be developed and applied to the City fabric.
Ultimately, Vancouver’s ability to adapt to change through time will be the decisive factor in the City’s continued success as one of the most livable places on earth.