By Tan Mei Xi
In the largest response to an open-ended survey ever fielded by the City of Vancouver, 57% of respondents say that life in Vancouver was getting worse for them.
The survey was part of Phase 1 of the engagement process for developing the Vancouver Plan. Karis Hiebert, the manager of the Vancouver Plan project team, told The PULSE that the Vancouver Plan is a "city-wide strategic plan that is currently under development... that [will] define key policy priorities and a city-wide spatial plan that identifies areas of growth and change for the next 30 to 50 years."
According to the report released by the City, Phase 1 of the engagement process also found that Vancouverites see six core challenges in Vancouver: rising unaffordability; housing insecurity; visible public struggle; moving around Vancouver efficiently; widening social and economic inequality; and deteriorating trust and confidence in local government.
Tom Wanklin, senior planner for the Downtown Eastside, said that outreach efforts in the neighbourhood during Phase 1 included reaching out to community groups, non-profits, and "community stewards" through EMBERS Eastside Works. According to Wanklin, the community stewards assisted in outreach efforts to residents experiencing homelessness.
According to Hiebert, the City will continue to engage with residents in the Downtown Eastside for Phases 2 and 3 of the development of the Vancouver Plan.