All things environmental

Musings about the environment and all it touches, from education to city planning

Vancouver specials: so much garbage?

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Vancouverites know them well: utilitarian, well built duplexes, usually unloved, and considered by most ugly as sin.

Vancouver specials, chain link fences...ugly!

The problem is, any demolition of these houses creates a large amount of waste.  Already the so-called “DLC” stream (demolition and land-clearing) makes up about one third of the total amount of solid waste in the Metro Vancouver area.

Isn’t there a better solution than taring down a perfectly functional (albeit ugly) building?  In my wandering bike rides I have encountered several examples of spruced up Specials.  If this reduces demolition waste, I’m all for it.  And I think the new facades are pretty cool!

spruced up Special, Drive area

another one near the Drive

another in Mount Pleasant...no, I don't know the designer, I swear!

There is now a trend in renovation that focuses directly on the Specials; for instance one reno in the Dunbar area, beautifully done by Iconstrux, is all over the net.  But nice as these renovations are (well, to me, at least), they can be expensive.  Just a nice coat of paint may be enough.  After all, this style is unique to this area – and what looks ugly now is likely to be missed if they all those Specials disappear.  What would Vancouver be without Vancouver Specials, after all?

A new coat of paint, a neat Special! Mount Pleasant area.

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Written by enviropaul

October 30, 2011 at 6:08 pm

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