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The changing suburbs: the migration of podium-tower high density housing to Coquitlam

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Originating in Vancouver, the podium-tower building typology has become a popular development model that has spread around the world. The popularity of the podium-tower arose from the successful revitalization of Vancouver’s post-industrial waterfronts and became a symbol at the root of the term “Vancouverism”. The typology’s ability to achieve high density residential neighbourhoods while also maintaining and promoting vibrant and active streetscapes has made it popular with urban planners, while the high-rise residential towers have proven popular with developers for the marketable views. This research focuses on the Vancouver style of podium-tower development and its migration to the suburban community of Coquitlam. Coquitlam’s experience with the podium-tower typology illustrates the challenges of implementing podium-tower polices, and attracting development in both new and old neighbourhoods. The research explores the relationship between planning policies and the market for commercial office/retail and residential housing in a mixed-use building typology.
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