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Projects and Research

New approaches to democracy where Evoke fellows have played either a lead or supporting role.

This page includes research projects and initiatives aimed at implementing new decision-making approaches.

This paper focuses on a key dimension related to Community Amenity Contributions (CACs); although they are derived from value created within a neighbourhood or community, there is a disconnect from that value generated, the benefits that a community will receive, and how that is decided. Evoke BC believes that a more participatory budgeting process, as a form of participatory democracy, is vital towards making a more equitable democracy, and could be applied in the case of CACs.

Findings and recommendations from a Governance forum held on May 4th, 2018. Our Place is a place-based collective impact collaboration of residents, community-based organizations, and service providers anchored through the Ray-Cam Community Association. Principles and strategies of this approach include people-centred, participatory service delivery that engages the community, and builds the capacity within communities to collectively identify, analyze, and implement community programs and services.

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Who gets to decide when it comes to Community Amenity Contributions?

This week we're approaching candidates in the upcoming Vancouver municipal election to get their feedback on the city's approach to Community Amenity Contributions (CACs). The Evoke team undertook a case study and research project in this area, and believes these could be better approached. Candidate responses will be posted on this site, meanwhile, here's some background on our perspective. 
The City of Vancouver has a Community Amenity Contribution (CAC) policy, officially established in 2004 with their Financing Growth strategy, where all new development and rezoning applications contribute, financially or in-kind, to community amenities. The CACs are extracted from new development and spent upon Council approval in a number of valuable areas such as: affordable housing, child care, amenities, green spaces, community infrastructure and other public goods.
Our research focuses on a key dimension related to CACs; although they are derived from value created within a neighb…

Where do the candidates stand on CAC's?

After the release of our research paper Who's Counting the Dollars?concerning Community Amenity Contributions, we have asked candidates in this year's municipal election for their thoughts on our recommendations.
We will post responses here as they are received.

OneCity Vancouver, Christine Boyle
One of the big ideas that OneCity Vancouver is bringing to this election is our Windfall Power Land Value Capture proposal (sometimes called a land value tax, or land lift tax). You can read more about it in this Vancouver Sun Op-Ed, and more will be released with our platform soon. 

A land value capture wouldn't entirely replace the CAC system, but it would dramatically scale it back by creating a more transparent system for measuring the impact that upzoning or nearby public infrastructure investments have on land value, and then capturing a portion of that 'lift' in value to spend on community priorities (like affordable housing and more robust public transit). In addition…

Do the Ends justify the Means?

The City of Vancouver, in British Columbia Canada, recently sought council approval for the Making Room Housing Programin June 2018, with a Public Hearing set for September the same year. The program is intended as a new city wide approach to housing and zoning which will purportedly allow for a wider range of housing choices in Vancouver’s neighbourhoods.

Citing a need for more housing choice, the staff report clarifies that the Making Room Housing program will include consultation through 2018/19 to determine the type of housing that will make sense for different neighbourhoods, but also requests an immediate ‘quick start’ action to allow duplexes in all areas currently zoned for single families.

Which begs the question: does a good policy justify a ‘quick start’ approach to implementation? Do the ends justify the means?

Vancouver is in a time of a housing crisis with citizens and stakeholders from different backgrounds having expressed a desire for bold actions. Many would argue that …