Credit: DA Architects & Planners

It turns out, people like being around each other—and they want housing options that support that

Many fear the word "density," imagining East Berlin-style conformist cement boxes where character and vitality do not live. But density, or EcoDensity as the City is branding it, is about more than just cramming more people into ever-smaller spaces.

It's about creating workable solutions to the region's growing housing scarcity, lack of affordable housing and transportation needs. It's about creating more livable neighbourhoods, with efficient means for heating and cooling, getting around and more.

It's about bringing people closer to work, closer to retail and entertainment, and, most importantly, closer together. Because as it turns out, contrary to decades of suburban development that separate and isolate us, people like being around each other. Not only do we crave it but it makes us safer, and more productive.

In this EcoDensity Special, we offer an insider's look into the workings of so-called Smart Growth, including interviews with Vancouver housing and density experts, a slideshow of EcoDensity in action, a tour of SFU's UniverCity development and more.

And check back with this page regularly as we are always updating it with more content.


This series received a National Magazine Award honourable mention in 2009 for best Web-Only Content.

The E Word Slideshow GVO-Eds-StephenRees_post1-1.jpg


The E word

By Adam Gaumont

Vancouver takes a kinder, gentler approach to EcoDensity. Meet the local experts and weigh in on the discussion.

SLIDESHOW: What does EcoDensity look like?

By Adam Gaumont

The urban planning concept in action; see how EcoDensity has been applied to various communities around Vancouver.


10 acres and a car?

By Stephen Rees, blogging for Granville Online

Housing and transportation are but two sides of the same coin, says transportation expert Stephen Rees.


UniverCity Ecodensity Coming soon

I have seen the future, and it is UniverCity

By Adam Gaumont

SFU's hilltop residential development is a model of smart, livable design.

The greenest city In the West

By Jonathan Narvey

Ecodensity is happening. And Vancouver is at the front line.

EcoDensity: Coming soon

By Lance Berelowitz

Vancouver's 'liveable city' rating depends on who does the rating.


Living smart Gregor RobertsonCourtesy Gregor Robertson Laneway housing

Life in B.C.'s Green Communities

By Christopher Pollon

Rethinking livable space: British Columbia cities lead the way.

Gregor Robertson Goes green

By Jonathan Narvey

Gregor Robertson: organic farmer turned mayor of this wannabe sustainable city.

Laneway Housing approved for Vancouver

By Leah Nielsen

Vancouver takes a kinder, gentler approach to EcoDensity. Meet the local experts and weigh in on the discussion.


Cohousing Vancouver Vancouver in 2050

Cohousing, the future of homeownership?

By Leah Nielsen

The new "old fashioned neighbourhood" encourages both social interaction and individual space.

Vancouver in 2050

By Jonathon Narvey

Looking at long-term solutions to food supply, transportation, energy and livability.