Cambie corridor plan endorsed in report by affordable housing expert

Densification will create affordable housing, lower health care spending and lessen the affordability gap that characterized the housing market in Vancouver in recent years, it says.

The Urban Development Institute (Pacific Region) Thursday submitted a white paper on the Cambie Corridor Plan to Vancouver City Council during a public hearing. Written by internationally reknowned McGill architect, Professor Avi Friedman, the review discusses key issues and trends in urban planning and concludes that the Cambie Corridor represents a significant step in Vancouver’s evolution toward a liveable, affordable, and sustainable city.

Professor Friedman founded the Affordable Homes Program at the McGill School of Architecture. He has been recognized nationally and internationally for his innovations in affordable housing, and has written ten books and a syndicated column.  In the year 2000, he was selected by Wallpaper magazine as 1 of 10 people from around the world most likely to change the way we live.

“In a rapidly changing world, handling urbanization has become a principal challenge in many cities,” wrote Professor Friedman in his report. “With continued migration of people to large urban centers, and the need to care for citizens’ well being through provision of employment, health care, housing education; transportation has emerged as a central planning issue. A well-planned transit system that is suitably coordinated with land use planning is vital to the development and prosperity of urban centers.”

“From an economic standpoint, the Cambie Corridor Plan is bound to increase productivity, create affordable housing, and lower health care spending. The Cambie Corridor stands to lessen the affordability gap that characterized the housing market in Vancouver in recent years. Transit Oriented Developments such as those envisioned for the Cambie Corridor, where people can reside affordably, walk to amenities, and use public transit, are worthwhile planning initiatives.”

“One of the Urban Development Institute’s primary missions has been to advocate for the wise and efficient use of our scarce land resources,” said Maureen Enser, Executive Director of the Urban Development Institute. “UDI has strongly supported the City in its efforts to plan the Cambie Corridor because this is a real opportunity to take advantage of a strategic asset – the Canada Line – to create livable, sustainable, and affordable communities that will help Vancouver achieve its goal to be the Greenest City in the World.”


The Urban Development Institute (UDI) is an association of the development industry and its related professions in British Columbia. Its more than 500 corporate members include the leading development, architectural, planning, legal, financial, and construction firms in BC, as well as the government bodies. The development industry is critical to the success of the Province, annually generating $25 billion in economic activity and 250,000 jobs for British Columbians.

Avi Friedman received his Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Town Planning from the Israel Institute of Technology, his Master’s Degree from McGill University, and his Doctorate from the University of Montréal.  In 1988, he founded the Affordable Homes Program at the McGill School of Architecture where he teaches. 

He is known nationally and internationally for his housing innovation and in particular for the Grow Home and Next Home designs.  He is the author of ten books and was a syndicated columnist for the CanWest Chain of daily newspapers.  He is a practicing architect and the recipient of numerous awards including the Manning Innovation Award and the United Nations World Habitat Award.  In the year 2000 he was selected by Wallpaper magazine as one of 10 people from around the world “most likely to change the way we live.”

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