TLDR: I attempt to articulate a Human Rights YIMBYism, rooted in supporting (and sometimes balancing) a set of key human rights and freedoms (housing, movement, association, property) within the city. While both push back against NIMBYism, broad Human Rights YIMBYism offers a different, and I argue more successful and ethical guide to action and coalition building than narrower Property YIMBYism.
(Joint with Jens von Bergmann and cross-posted at MountainMath)
The “real estate has swallowed Vancouver’s economy” zombie is back, with wild claims by a City Councillor that
“If you look at the long-form census data going back to 1986 every 5 years, […] we went from selling logs to selling real estate […], major shift from resource extraction to real estate property development and construction as the primary driver in the local economy.”
Here we want to try and put the zombie out of our misery (again!), but also use this moment to ask some interesting questions about Vancouver history and what we can get from the long-form census. Mostly what we get from the census, of course, is what people list as their jobs. We can use this to ask a series of questions, including:
Just how many people work in the real estate industry in Vancouver? Is it growing?
What about finance? Are we turning into a “Global City”?
Have these activities truly replaced selling logs (or other extractive industries) as the basis for Vancouver’s economy in terms of jobs?
How about manufacturing? Didn’t we used to make things?
What about retail? Or health care and social services? Are we mostly relegated to being a regional commerce and service centre for BC?
What about the “creative class”? Is it growing? And what even is that?
(joint with Jens von Bergmann and cross-posted on mountainmath)
How did early planners envision Vancouver’s future growth? Fortunately for us, they left a prediction in dot-density map form! Here we compare their prediction to a dot-density map from today. Let’s check out how our dot destiny unfolded!