Yaletown: Vancouver’s Urban Regeneration Megaproject

Yaletown: Vancouver’s Urban Regeneration Megaproject. Repurposed railway platform and brick warehouses in Yaletown.
Repurposed railway platform and brick warehouses in Yaletown.
Yaletown, one of Vancouver’s trendiest neighbourhoods, was once a centre for industrial production. The waterfront portion of the neighbourhood was originally owned by Marathon, the real estate development division of the Canadian Pacific Railway. In the late 1970s, as land in the area became more underutilized and ill-maintained, the provincial government of British Columbia purchased the property from Marathon with plans for redevelopment.

In 1988, after hosting the 1986 World Exposition, the provincial government sold 205 acres this waterfront property to Concord Pacific, a Hong Kong-based development company owned by Li Ka-Shing. This marked the beginning of one of the largest urban regeneration megaproject in North America, which completely reinvented the skyline of this industrial wasteland.

Today’s Yaletown is a true manifestation of Vancouverism – a style of urban planning unique to Vancouver and is characterized by modern residential high rises supported and separated by mixed-use low rise. Because residential towers are built with glass and enough separation between them, light and air are better able to penetrate. The mixed-use zoning provisions, too, promote social interactivity and growth.

Overall, Vancouverism is Vancouver’s answer to urban high-density living. It emphasizes sustainability and integration with its nature and cultural heritage. Not surprisingly, such approach can also be found in Vancouver’s Coal Harbour neighbourhood, where the water of Burrard Inlet and mountains of North Shore region weave a magnificent landscape that blends harmoniously with its Neomodern condominiums and infrastructure.

Yaletown: Vancouver’s Urban Regeneration Megaproject. Yaletown's urban redevelopment consists of a high-rise driven neighbourhood anchored by a clean waterfront, marinas, and urban parks. Yaletown: Vancouver’s Urban Regeneration Megaproject. Yaletown and its waterfront residential area during sunset. Yaletown: Vancouver’s Urban Regeneration Megaproject. Yaletown's waterfront and promenade design reflects superbly the essence of Vancouverism. Yaletown: Vancouver’s Urban Regeneration Megaproject. Today’s Yaletown is a true manifestation of Vancouverism - a style of urban planning unique to Vancouver. Yaletown: Vancouver’s Urban Regeneration Megaproject. A plaza in Yaletown designed with a terraced garden.

Vancouverism transformed Yaletown into a community anchored by a clean waterfront, urban parks, and historic buildings. As Charles Colton would say: “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” the Dubai Marina is almost an exact replica of Yaletown’s Marinaside Crescent.

Vancouverism transformed Yaletown into a community anchored by a clean waterfront, urban parks, and historic buildings. Lofts are concentrated with well-educated urban professionals. Boutiques and lounges provide for a chic urban lifestyle unmatched by other.

This is truly a neighbourhood that oozes energy and confidence not seen in other parts of Vancouver, showing off a generation that works hard and plays even harder.

Yaletown is Vancouver’s success story, studied by urban designers around the world looking to transform their cities. As Charles Colton would say: “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” the Dubai Marina is almost an exact replica of Yaletown’s Marinaside Crescent.

From the glass high rises to the waterfront promenade guarded by curvy metal handrails, these mirror images attest to Yaletown’s influence as a world-class neighbourhood.

Yaletown: Vancouver’s Urban Regeneration Megaproject. A typical street in Yaletown, featuring converted brick apartments and newly constructed imitations. Yaletown: Vancouver’s Urban Regeneration Megaproject. Autumn foliage decorating a street in Yaletown. Yaletown: Vancouver’s Urban Regeneration Megaproject. Clockwise from top left: 1) Trendy dining establishments scatter across the once underutilized industrial wasteland, 2) In Yaletown, loft style apartments and offices host a high concentration of well-educated young urban professionals and families, 3) Those Victorian homes are protected heritage buildings date from when Vancouver was less than a decade old, 4) Designed by Moshe Safdie, the central branch of Vancouver Public Library is modelled after the Flavian Amphitheatre in Rome. Yaletown: Vancouver’s Urban Regeneration Megaproject. A street in Yaletown with BC Place, Vancouver's multipurpose stadium, in the background.

 

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