Renovating Austin Heights

The City of Coquitlam, which has a current population of about 130,000, was a Angle parking in the key pedestrian block of Austin Avenue, Coquitlamsuperstar of sprawl in the 1970s and 80s.  The City government has  changed course in its more recent neighbourhood plans.  The Austin Heights plan, dated April 2011, would see 5,000 additional residents housed  between Blue Mountain and Linton streets.

“Coun. Doug Macdonell, who grew up in Austin Heights and attended Austin Heights elementary, said the area needs to be modernized. ‘It’s come to a time now where it’s pretty tired,’ he said, adding, ‘We need the density to rehabilitate this area and make it a thriving community again.’ (Tri-City News.) Continue reading

Tri-Cities towers: built on promises

Of all the Metro Vancouver suburbs, Port Moody has worked most diligently in the past 15 years to manufacture city-like environments, based on the expectation that rapid transit was coming soon.  Thousands of people are waiting for that first train.

NewPort Village, a pedestrian-oriented ring of retail shops and condos protected from through traffic (some might call it “Whistler-style development”) opened about 1997.  It’s been almost freakishly successful, attracting a cluster of residential towers.

More recently, development jumped to the west side of Ioco Road, where a kind of mini-Yaletown has sprouted up.  In 2009, however, Mayor Joe Trasolini imposed a moratorium on high-density development in Port Moody.  “The population in the last 15 years has doubled . . . we’re being criticized for growing too much without infrastructure in place.” Continue reading