Commercial Drive is perhaps the most vibrant, textured, and diverse street in Vancouver—outstanding for its unique sense of place and experience.As the city continues to grow eastward, the pressure to develop this area is mounting and becoming a reality. The changes on the table will introduce new typologies, such as towers, that will radically change the fabric of the street. Heritage Vancouver Society would like to explore how to address the need for additional density and transit within a framework that respects the character of the Drive and its remaining heritage assets.As a way to engage the Drive, this discussion will:- Review the history of the street.- Explore what we can consider its heritage assets.- Ponder the intangible heritage of the area that should be considered when development is being proposed.- Challenge the notion of prescriptive zoning as a means to preserve a heritage area.Alongside the question of preservation comes the question of character. Should we be satisfied with saving a few important Heritage assets while the character of an area is abandoned to the forces of development? The panel will discuss how much of the character of an area we can or should surrender to development, what character can be considered important and worth preserving, and whether that character is tied to traditional heritage forms.Change is coming to “The Drive” and tonight’s panelists will be addressing how and what can be done to avoid destroying what is important about the street. A general discussion with the audience follows.
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