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Kingsway and Knight Neighbourhood Centre Housing Area Plan

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Attempts to densify single-family neighbourhoods are often resisted by local property owners and seen to be politically challenging. Most land use policies intended to bring about intensification of existing single-family areas in Vancouver have either met with widespread resistance from neighbourhoods, or not been implemented at all. On the east side of Vancouver, the Kingsway and Knight Neighbourhood Centre Housing Area Plan (“the K&K Plan”) resulted in new zoning to introduce new forms of ground-oriented housing intended to expand housing diversity, allowing people to stay within their community as their housing needs change over time. These changes were brought in with little community resistance and even a degree of neighbourhood support. This research project investigates the K&K Plan using development permit and census data to determine if the Plan has achieved its goals of producing a diversity of housing types that are suitable for families with children and seniors. Examination of development permit data reveals that, although the pace of development within the neighbourhood centre is only slightly greater than an adjacent single-family area, the resultant new developments provide a greater variety of housing types and increased density in an area close to transit and shopping. Further, the new housing types are generally well integrated into the existing neighbourhood in terms of their scale and design that is compatible with existing single-family housing; allowing the area to intensify and redevelop in dispersed and more organic way over time. Census data analysis suggests that there are more small children and younger adults in the study area compared to an adjacent single-family comparison area. Although this variation could suggest that the new housing types have resulted in more families with younger children, the research is not conclusive and this demographic change could be the result of other factors. The number of seniors living in the area was not greater compared to the adjacent single-family area. This analysis could be repeated in the future to examine this and other demographic data to evaluate potential effects of additional development over time within the neighbourhood.
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