ABC’s decision to close Larwill Place will further exacerbate mass homelessness in the name of developer profits. It also signals the end of the Temporary Modular Housing experiment, dreamed up by planners more than a decade ago.
The uniqueness of this new drinkers’ parklet stems from its significance to the people who use it, its permanence, and its relationship to decades of drinker displacement. For over 50 years, public infrastructure in the Downtown Eastside has been targeted for removal at the expense of community residents, especially drinkers. Now, the community considers the Drinkers Lounge parklet to be an act of resistance to policies that have worked for so long to displace many of its most marginalized members.
The legalization of public drinking was top-of-mind for many in Vancouver in the wake of COVID-19 – but don’t be fooled. These “progressive” policies won’t be made available to everyone, especially not people who need an end to alcohol criminalization the most.
Gentrification is alive and well in Vancouver Chinatown. This article gives an update on the current situation in Chinatown, how city planners are pursuing an ethnic tourism gentrification strategy, and what we can learn from the recent tenant organizing victory at Solheim Place.