B.C. architect building toward a solution for everyone

Globe and Mail

Vancouver architect Gregory Henriquez talks about his innovative mixed-income, mixed use development that will see wealthy and poor residents sharing the same facility.

Gregory Henriquez is a Vancouver architect and author of Towards an Ethical Architecture. He designed the Woodward’s building, a mixed-income development in the Downtown Eastside. The project is a bold experiment: When it opens later this year, the development will see wealthy condo dwellers living cheek by jowl with the poor, who occupy 200 subsidized units.

Gregory Henriquez says, “The first step is to end homelessness and provide all citizens with a safe, affordable home. The next step is to ensure the appropriate support structures are in place to help people who cannot help themselves. In concert, we need creative mixed-use developments, which bring real body heat back to the street.

Gentrification without housing for everyone must be avoided. Inclusive communities are meaningful only when the most disadvantaged are taken care of first.

All neighbourhoods in Vancouver should include a broad section of socio-economic groups housed in beautiful buildings that suit their needs. The Woodward’s redevelopment is a step toward this dream. It includes market housing, family non-market, single room occupancy replacement non-market housing, and 10 units of Vancouver Resource Society housing for people with physical disabilities. This vision is of a truly inclusive city.’”

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