Douglas Todd: Housing’s ‘missing middle’ fights for future in Vancouver
There is a kind of cartoon war in Western cities between people who want to build a lot more housing and those said to fear change.
Residents who hope to protect the integrity of their neighbourhoods are labelled NIMBYs (not in my backyard) and those who champion constructing more density portray themselves as pure-hearted YIMBYs (yes in my backyard.)
But this black-white, good-evil binary mostly ensures everyone just gets riled up against perceived enemies. The worst thing such divisiveness does is cloud minds to the complexities of the housing affordability crisis in Toronto, Vancouver and many other cities.
There appears to be a “missing middle” buried in this conflict, however. And it’s a place where people on most sides of the affordability debate may be able to come to a negotiated consensus.
“Missing middle” is the term given to a type of housing that can serve as a creative compromise between detached houses on oversized lots with too much lawn and sterile glass highrises soaring 30 to 60 storeys.
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