Photo by Bayne Stanley, The New York Times

Could you live in a neighborhood like this?

In Vancouver, there are hundreds thousands of condominiums in high-rises such as these.

The difference between Vancouver and United States’ cities such as New York and Boston?

… In the United States, many of the new urban residents are young professionals or older, wealthier people whose children are grown. In fact, enrollment in Portland, Ore., and Seattle public schools has dropped by thousands of students because of declining numbers of urban families with children.

In Vancouver, the number of children living downtown has doubled since 1990; there are now 5,000 children living in the central core. Last year, the city opened the first new elementary school in an inner-city neighborhood in more than 30 years.

What would happen if we, in Boston, opened up an area to housing similar in size and density, say, down in the Seaport district?  Suppose we made that area all housing, and not a mixture of condos and office space?  Would it work?  Would it be a dismal failure?  How would subsized housing work?  Should there be any, or should housing be built for whatever the market can bear, with a cut of the proceeds going to the city and/or state?

Would it solve any of our problems?

Complete article: Spurring Urban Growth in Vancouver, One Family at a Time – by Linda Baker, The New York Times

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