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Archive for ◊ Citizen Engagement and Transparency ◊

The City’s searchable database of rental buildings has improved the condition of rental housing available in Vancouver, helping renters make more informed decisions about their housing. In the two years since work on the database began, there has been a 75 per cent drop in rental building violations, from 7,210 violations in 2012 to 1,575 in 2014.

Since it was launched in 2013, the accessible Rental Standards Database has empowered renters and motivated property owners and landlords to provide safer and better housing by keeping properties in good order.

“The City of Vancouver is making big strides in improving safety and ensuring the quality of Vancouver’s rental housing,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “These results are incredibly positive and show a dramatic 75 per cent drop in property violations in licensed rental buildings. It’s our intention that those numbers will continue to drop so that safe and compliant housing is available for all residents.”

In 2013, there were seven rental buildings with over 100 violations. In 2014, there are zero.

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Mayor Gregor Robertson and City Council voted today to move forward with a comprehensive array of recommendations from the final report of the Mayor’s Engaged City Task Force, building on 11 months of community input and feedback.

Council referred the recommendations to staff for review and a report back on implementation, with proposed steps outlining ways that Vancouver City Hall can improve voter turnout, enhance consultation, and better engage with newcomers and new immigrants across the city. The report also included a variety of suggestions on how local residents and community groups can help make Vancouver a more engaged and interconnected city.

“The recommendations of the Engaged City Task Force offer a strong vision and plan for how we can enhance civic involvement in Vancouver and build stronger engagement in communities throughout our city,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “I want to thank the Task Force again for their thorough work to include such a strong depth of ideas about how to achieve that goal. Making progress on important challenges like housing affordability and becoming the world’s greenest city requires active participation from a broad cross section of our community, and I look forward to continuing our work to improve how City Hall engages with Vancouver residents.”

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The Mayor’s Engaged City Task Force released its final report today, outlining ways that Vancouver City Hall can improve voter turnout, enhance consultation, and better engage with newcomers and new immigrants across the city. It also includes suggestions for what Vancouver residents can do to make Vancouver a more engaged city.

“The final report from the Engaged City Task Force provides a roadmap for enhancing civic involvement in Vancouver, covering everything from voter turnout to reaching out to new immigrants,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Being a truly engaged city is a worthy goal, and I want to thank the Task Force for their efforts to research and recommend ways that Vancouver can achieve that goal.

“As Mayor, I’ve heard the concerns people have raised over how City Hall engages with residents. There’s no question we can do better. That’s why we’re pursuing new initiatives, like a Citizens’ Assembly in Grandview Woodland, to empower neighbourhoods in the planning process. It’s just one example of how we can build a stronger, more engaged city.”

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Better protection for renters, new community facilities, more parks and revitalized shopping areas: the Mayor and City Council voted today to approve a new Community Plan for Vancouver’s West End.

The new West End Community Plan, developed over a consultation period of more than 20 months that included 107 engagement events, outlines how growth in the West End will be managed over the next 30 years. Key elements of the plan include:

  • Protection of existing rental housing, in a neighbourhood where over 80% of households rent;
  • Investing roughly $600 million in new and upgraded community amenities over the next 30 years, including more parks, affordable housing, child care, and a new community centre and library;
  • A focus on revitalizing commercial areas on Robson, Denman and in Davie Village by including more patios and public spaces, wider sidewalks, and strengthening Davie Village as a hub for the LGBTQ community

“The West End is one of Vancouver’s most unique and celebrated neighbourhoods,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “This plan first and foremost protects what makes the West End great, and lays out a vision for building on its strengths. Affordable housing, vibrant shopping areas, walkable neighbourhoods that work for people young and old – the new West End plan focuses on the priorities we heard from local residents, and will guide change in a responsible way in the coming years.”

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Vancouver City Council today approved changes to the community plan process, providing more time, consultation, and new forms of engagement for neighbourhoods in the midst of new community plans.

“The reason we’re undertaking these community plans is to ensure our neighbourhoods deliver more housing affordability in the years ahead,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “It’s not an easy process, as people have different opinions about how their neighbourhood should evolve over time. The adjustments we’ve made to the community plans clearly respond to the calls we’ve heard from members of the public who want more time and more opportunities for engagement.”

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The City of Vancouver is launching a new, innovative way for people to provide feedback and share their opinions and ideas with City Hall at TalkVancouver.com.

Talk Vancouver is an online community, open to anyone over the age of 15 who lives, works or attends school in Vancouver. Participants will be asked to provide opinions and feedback on important city issues by participating in online surveys and discussions via their smart phones, computers, and tablets.

“The launch of Talk Vancouver is one more way we are following through on recommendations from our Engaged City Task Force, and it will be a great new tool for people to have their say on the issues that matter to them,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “In a city like Vancouver, not everyone can make it out to a public hearing or come speak to council. People are busy with their kids, their jobs and their family lives. By partnering with Vision Critical on Talk Vancouver, we’re embracing new technology to support civic engagement, and providing people with a way to become part of an online community that’s plugged in to what’s taking place at City Hall and around Vancouver.”

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