Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Langley City’s role in implementing the 2020 Declaration for Resilience in Canadian Cities

The 2020 Declaration for Resilience in Canadian Cities is a 20-point action plan that is being championed by Jennifer Keesmaat who is a prominent Canadian urban planner. Before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians were grappling with the effects of long-term inequality and structural barriers to building sustainability communities. COVID-19 has exacerbated these challenges.

The Metro Vancouver Regional district looked at Keesmaat’s 20-point action plan, and found five actions which would have the most positive transformational impacts to improve sustainability, livability, and prosperity for people who live in our region.

Because our region is a federation of many municipalities, much of the responsibility for implementing the actions as proposed in the declaration is with individual municipalities. The following lists the five critical actions as seen by the regional district, and highlights what progress if any has occurred in Langley City.

Allow appropriately scaled multi-tenanted housing, co-housing, laneway housing, and other forms of “gentle density” in all transit-adjacent locations
The proposed new Langley City land-use plan includes introducing multi-tenant housing along all transit corridors and in-fill “gentle density” near transit corridors.

Enact congestion pricing policies and dedicate 100% of revenues to reinvestment in the transportation system, being mindful of equity considerations
This action will require the support of the provincial government. Municipalities, TransLink, and the regional district have been supportive of congestion pricing, but so far the province has expressed little interest in moving forward with congestion pricing.

Enact a funded, detailed plan to achieve a 40% urban tree canopy cover
Langley City council’s strategic initiatives are to update our tree inventory, develop a tree asset management plan, and develop an urban forest management strategy.

Require all new large buildings to be carbon neutral, resilient to local climate change impacts, and located in Urban Centres or along the Frequent Transit Network
I’m not aware of a Langley City initiative to require large buildings to be carbon neutral. This may require an update to the BC Building Code. All large buildings must be located in our urban centre or along frequent transit corridors. We also have a strict bylaw to ensure that all new buildings are resilience to flooding.

Provide a minimum of 15% affordable housing in developments proximate to rapid transit to increase the supply of affordable housing in transit-oriented locations.
Affordable housing policies are currently being developed as part of the Official Community Plan update for Langley City. No affordability target is currently set.

While it is positive that we are already making some progress on these action items, there is much work to be done if we are going to truly become a resilient Langley City, supporting a resilient Metro Vancouver.

1 comment:

Nathan Davidowicz said...

The Langleys are not progressive enough to support the 20-point action plan