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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Kids in the City series

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My son Vallen playing with his new magnetic chalkboard wall (a perfect space-saving play area for an urban kid).

I was excited to launch a new series in June called “Kids in the City”, where I profiled families living in urban density over the next few months.

My goal is to showcase how families can be happy and healthy living in compact homes that don’t contribute to urban sprawl (such as condos, townhomes, laneway houses, duplexes, etc.).

My husband and I currently live with our son and cat in a 1250 sq ft back unit of a duplex with a backyard in a walkable neighbourhood, close to downtown and with access to public transit.

When I profile families like mine, I want to know: are they able to use space and consume goods more efficiently? Are they more connected to community? Do they feel safe there? What is missing? And, do they spend less time and money on commuting by car?

The issue of family-friendly cities and walkable communities is important because many families don’t think that city life in a smaller home is safe or practical, and they move to the suburbs. I grew up in a few large homes in the suburbs where I was totally reliant on a car and watched my parents spend entire weekends maintaining our home. I believe that suburban living has led to destruction of natural ecosystems, social isolation, health problems, excessive consumption, and car dependence.

I want to show how people raising children in compact walkable communities have found happiness and a healthy lifestyle with less stuff and more free time. I’ve got some interviews lined up with urban families, but I would love to hear from Spacing Vancouver readers. If you would like to share your story, contact me at –