You're invited to Smart City Talks: The Single-Family Zone is dead. What... (17 Apr 2019)

In most cities across North America, the single-family zone encompasses the majority of the urban land base. This zoning reserves the right to access in these urban areas to those who can afford or have inherited real estate wealth – the majority of the land base does not currently accommodate the majority of our residents. Nowhere is this more true than in Vancouver and across this region. Single-family zoning also originates in exclusionary past planning practices meant to wall off entire areas of cities from the ‘other’ (whether that ‘other’ be new immigrants, renters, higher-density dwellings, etc.).

There is a need to move past and beyond the single-family house and the single-family zone, in order to accommodate more people in our limited residential land bases. So, if the single-family zone is past its expiration date…what now? How do we evolve into the next generation of homes and families in our traditional lowest-density areas? If this change is to occur, at what pace and in which neighbourhoods and using what tools and with which conversations and prioritizing whose voices?

Join us for this moderated panel discussion to explore these questions, jointly organized by Urbanarium and Small Housing BC.

Moderator:Jane Koh, Vice President of Development (Bold Properties)


  • Jake Fry, Principal (Smallworks) & Board Member (Small Housing BC)
  • Michael Mortensen, Director (Liveable City Planning) & Board Member (Urbanarium, Small Housing BC)
  • Lynn Roxburgh, Senior Planner (City of New Westminster)
  • Richard Stewart, Mayor (City of Coquitlam)



Jane Koh Jane Koh is Vice President of Development at Bold Properties, a local multi-family and mixed use developer with projects throughout the Lower Mainland. She previously worked as a planning and development consultant. Jane holds a Masters of Community and Regional Planning from UBC, and is a Registered Professional Planner.


Jake started Smallworks in late 2005 and became a strong advocate for the introduction of laneway housing. He established Smallworks Studios and Laneway Housing Inc. and worked with the City of Vancouver and other municipalities to help develop zoning by-laws based on his experience and interaction with literally hundreds of potential small home clients. In 2012, Jake was one of two founding directors of SmallHousing BC, a non profit society. In 2014 Jake was named Ernst & Young’s (EY) Entrepreneur of the Year in Manufacturing. Today, Jake focuses on finding new ways to broaden the range of housing types in Vancouver to create affordable options for single-family home ownership.


Lynn Roxburgh has worked for the City of New Westminster for 13 years. She led the review of the Official Community Plan, which was adopted in 2017. Lynn also led the creation of the infill housing program which resulted laneway houses and infill townhouses being permitted in the city. Her focus is now on increasing the opportunity to build duplexes and triplexes on properties currently used for single detached houses.



Michael Mortensen brings 20+ years of development and urban planning experience to his consulting work at Liveable City Planning, leading teams and managing all aspects of the development of transformative mixed-use projects. A developer and a Member of the Canadian Institute of Planners, Michael understands development from both the private and public perspective. His experience includes projects at scale in Greater Vancouver, Toronto, L.A., London UK, and Edinburgh.





Wednesday, April 17, 2019