Volume 27 - Summer 2018

Forward Thinking: The Future of Livability

At its heart, development is about building cities and communities, as well as the homes within them. The process involves extensive “big picture” thinking before we get anywhere near the construction stage. At Townline, we spend years leading up to each project wrestling with the overarching questions: what are we trying to achieve, what does our customer want and how do they live, and how can we improve on what we already know? We strive to be thought leaders in the development industry by creating new and enhanced ways to make daily life more convenient and enjoyable for residents and communities, with the ultimate goal of improving whole cities. Let’s take a closer look at some of our current thinking around the future of livability.

New Ways to Work

WeWork is now the second-largest office space holder in New York City. That tells us the shift we’re seeing in workspace flexibility in Metro Vancouver will only gain momentum. The working population can be connected from anywhere – and increasingly is, thanks to technology and changing attitudes. At the same time, the freelance workforce is taking over. A 2017 study by Freelancing in America found that nearly 50 percent of millennial workers are freelancing, and freelancers will become the majority of the US workforce within a decade.

This transition has inspired us. Townline wants to ensure our residents are set up to embrace changing workplace standards and make room for their careers, so we provide dedicated shared creative workspaces within our buildings, with power and communications, meeting and presentation spaces, printers and scanners – everything they need for success. More than just “vanilla workspaces”, these are inviting spaces that inspire creativity; places you want to go to. This is the future of how we engage professionally, and something that greatly impacts our residents’ lives today.

The Future of Commerce

The numbers are incredible: global ecommerce will reach an estimated $4.5 trillion USD in 2021, triple what it was in 2014. Now consider the impact of the Amazon Prime Air drone delivery program, which may seem like science fiction but is soon to become reality. But easy-access, fast-delivery commerce isn’t always seamless. Increasingly, Amazon and other deliverers refuse to leave parcels in unsecured locations, as theft can be a concern.

The Townline solution: we create dedicated electronic parcel delivery rooms, with secure lock-boxes from which residents can retrieve their packages any time of day, seven days a week.

Connected to Innovation 

Rapid transit is a fundamental urban innovation that changes the possibilities of how and where we live in Metro Vancouver. The SkyTrain has the effect of telescoping the city. It connects us to urban centres while allowing us to live outside of them – perhaps in greener spaces, near family, or in more affordable parts of the city. At the same, it creates new corridors of vibrant commerce and community, and allows us to reimagine different areas of our cities.

Townline strives to align our projects with the forward momentum of rapid transit. We select carefully considered sites in areas that we see as poised for innovation and growth, with transit and connectivity as key components. Then we integrate our buildings into these areas to create a seamless connection for residents to their community and city.

Street to Sky Community

As cities build skyward, we must rethink how we understand, initiate, and foster community. At Townline, we are dedicated to finding innovative ways to form community in urban settings – and we’ve created some very successful solutions.

An important component of community is connection at street level. From the city streets to our courtyard spaces; from building entrances to our grand lobbies, we carefully connect each space to the next to draw residents inward to our vertical communities, and out again to the surrounding urban spaces.

Creating community within our buildings is a fundamental focus of each Townline project. Shared spaces must be practical and convenient, beautiful yet comfortable, and completely welcoming. They must flow seamlessly from one amenity to the next, inviting residents to mingle and relax. We must also create spaces that appeal to everyone, like indoor and outdoor dining areas, seated areas with fire pits, social lounges, hobby rooms, children’s play areas, fitness facilities, pet care spaces, business centres, guest suites, and more – even a two-lane bowling lounge. Our goal is to create improved livability for every person in each of our buildings, every day. Through this, a rich, multifaceted gathering of individuals forms to create true community.

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