“There are many hopeful environmental stories in the city of Vancouver. In the past 15 years, residents’ use of cars and carbon emissions have both gone down dramatically, by roughly one per cent every year – even while the population has expanded to 570,000 people and the economy continues to grow. This is a very unusual trend in the world’s cities now. A city that is committed, and that sets aside the perceived inevitability of calamity, can be a stronger community. We can change our ways of getting around and looking after each other. I think there’s a lot of hope in that for generations to come.
The converse is that Vancouver becomes a very desirable city. People come here from all over the world for the beauty and for the sense of community… That creates challenges for my kids and the next generation to live here. It’s not affordable to live here now. People come here with money and they want to be part of this. And that makes it difficult. So it’s creating other challenges for us.”
– mayor Gregor Robertson, Vancouver Sun, 23 Aug 2011, from a conversation with David Suzuki, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Jim Hoggan
The mayor is deducing that Vancouver RE prices are high because his “green” policies are perceived as successful. We believe that he is sincere in his logic, but also that he is simply wrong. Housing prices have ballooned to “unaffordable” levels in Vancouver because we are in a very large debt-driven speculative mania, not because we have any particular desirability as an environmentally friendly city.
Many of the apparent problems of unaffordable housing will be ‘solved’ by a simple market crash. Of course there will be all sorts of bad effects for the community from such a crash, but that is now unavoidable. You may say that such an outlook is an example of a “perceived inevitability of calamity”, but this outlook is not pessimistic, it is simply realistic. Ask any student of speculative manias. It’s already woven into the fabric of the market; it’s a completely natural consequence of the speculative mania. – vreaa