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The Future of Vancouver's Economy - continued

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Innovation, tourism and our proximity to Asia: A look into the factors that will shape our city's long-term prosperity

The biggest risk to the city’s economic future is that the region, the province, and the federal government will make a series of small, apparently disconnected decisions—about emphasis, money, and, that sticking point, land—that will favour one economy over the others. “There are certain choices that will foreclose other options,” says Thomas Hutton, a UBC planning prof who has analyzed this city’s unique, post-industrial transformation. “If we’ve decided we’re only an international gateway and a place for residential investment, it’s going to have a squeeze effect on the land market and the labour market.”

Other close observers of Vancouver’s economy echo the concern about the unintended consequences of choices. Commercial real-estate consultant Richard Wozny, who’s studied Metro Vancouver’s industrial land closely, worries that the port will be starved of necessary land because people cling to the idea of an Agricultural Land Reserve, even for land no longer used for farming.

Michael Goldberg, professor emeritus at ubc’s Sauder School of Business, is a staunch defender of the alr (“They’re not making any more of it”) but thinks, as Wozny does, that cities should stop fighting to preserve industrial land for old-style uses. Instead, it should be used more intensively. And he doesn’t understand why the city is resisting the resort economy, banning condo development downtown. “It’s spectacular that people want to come here. Every international city has some of that.”

Recent Comments


The Future of Vancouver’s Economy October 01.

“Once upon a time, Vancouver was a shipper of the endless resources produced in the province’s hinterland—logs, coal, minerals, oil.” Still is!

Very interesting article Frances: thanqxz . . . 

“The mantra, as found in dozens of speeches and documents: our port is a day closer to Asia than L.A. In an industry where time and fuel are money, that’s a huge advantage. (A bonus selling point: we export so much that any ship offloading here is almost guaranteed a load back across the Pacific.)”

Huge advantage. Oh really!
 We’re still shipping raw logs (I watch ‘em from my dining room window every day) coal and tar sand sludge: sorry, no jobs, no wealth for BC in that . . . 

As for hi tech, remember the 1999-2000 dot-com bubble!

“Robin Silvester, with his Lancashire accent, believes he knows where Vancouver’s future lies.” May I, with my Yorkshire accent adjust his comment to better read. “Robin Silvester . . . knows . . . Vancouver lies.”

So let’s do the mantra.

Great circle route:

Los Angeles – Singapore 7,621 nm.

Vancouver – Singapore 6,920 nm.

Marine V-S great circle route saves 690 nm by container vessel. Marine, Ridley Island-S even shorter.

However route point LA to route point S is still the same distance: something has to make up the short fall. I5 trucks can do that with one Vancouver, or RI, very costly transfer, unnecessary on the thru route.
Marine container thru costs v’s I5 trucks+transfer+marine costs, no brainer . . . 

“. . . tall, lanky 43-year-old engineer with a strong-featured face and the look of a nuclear-particle researcher,” That’s good to know, “strong featured face”, gives me no end of confidence and “ Silvester arrived from Sydney two-and-a-half years ago to take charge of Port Metro Vancouver, an entity some city-dwellers don’t even know exists.”

I hope he doesn’t do Sydney to Vancouver: “In Sydney, pressure from residential development eventually pushed operations down the coast. That’s not really a danger here . . .” Oh yes it is. Look at Richmond’s waterfront.

As for a “strong featured face”: At eighty-two I wish. I dunno though, my sailor days were over sixty years ago but I thinq we are blowing smoke again . . . 

“. . . it’s still a young, green shoot.” Now where have I heard that before?

Hang on to your jock straps. Sylvester or no Sylvester, we’re in for interesting times . . .

by Urbanismo on Oct 19 2011 at 7:22 AM

Global warming and the consequent wet cool sumers will kill Vancouvers tourism industry Our 4 to 6 weeks of nice weather per year cannot sustain this industry. People who come here once for a cold wet summer vacation will not come back no matter how many Starbucks and sushi restaurants we have. And when rich Chinese investors stop buying our real estate, watch out. I for one as someone who grew up in Vancouver will welcome the return to a slower pace and less "world class city" pretensions.

by rainmaker66 on Sep 25 2011 at 9:13 AM