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OUR VIEW: For Whom the Road Tolls?

It’s a simple fact of life – freeways are not free. They cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

With municipalities in BC facing a $10 billion infrastructure deficit, there are serious questions about how to pay for the network of major roads and bridges in Metro Vancouver.

NEWS: Seeking Solutions for Municipalities

By Think City Staff

It’s been ten years since the last leadership change in Victoria, yet BC’s municipalities face many of the same problems that were around a decade ago. In some cases, these problems have only gotten worse.

Homelessness has risen. The infrastructure deficit has grown. Residential property taxes and related fees are rising at an unsustainable rate. Public participation in civic life has declined.

NEWS: Residents Tell City to Share the Road

By Think City Staff

Can citizens come up with practical solutions for pedestrians, cyclists, transit users and private vehicles to better share the road?

OP-ED: Robson Square Makeover Needed

By Dave Crossley

Where’s the square? That was the question posed by the Vancouver Public Space Network in 2009 when it held a design ideas competition to highlight Vancouver’s lack of a purposeful central gathering place – a true town square.

OP-ED: Fairer Taxes and Modest Cuts

Neil MoncktonLast week, a parade of special interest groups, community leaders, big business representatives and union presidents told Mayor Gregor Robertson's council to sharpen their pencils and revise the City of Vancouver's 2011 budget.

Council heard that taxes are either too high or too low. Service cuts are too deep or not deep enough.

But lost in the shuffle were the priorities of citizens.

NEWS: Village Triple-Bottom Line Woes

Vancouver’s desire to make the Olympic Village a triple-bottom line success story has taken more beatings in the past few weeks.

Environmentally, the Olympic Village is a jewel in the crown of green development. However, economically, the project is all but bankrupt, while socially, the affordable housing outcomes fall far short of their goals.

NEWS: Draft Budget Cuts Services Again

Do citizens support the draft budget that Vancouver city council is considering for 2011? From two recent studies – one conducted by city hall consultant Market Dimensions and the other by Think City – the answer appears to be both yes and no.

OUR VIEW: Citizen-Driven Budgets

What would Vancouver look like if citizens were able to make real spending decisions with public dollars?

It’s called participatory budgeting and it has been used around the world to engage citizens in Uruguay’s capital city of Montevideo to Montreal’s Plateau Mont-Royal borough, from the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis to Toronto’s public housing authority.

OP-ED: Municipal Finances Need Overhaul

Catalyst Paper Crofton MillBy James Fletcher and Doug McArthur

Our cities and towns are in trouble.

The present model of local government financing simply doesn’t work, and indeed, it can’t work.