Aryze is a design-driven development team bringing creative infill housing and mixed-use projects to Victoria’s established neighbourhoods. As a company, we believe that every neighbourhood should be inclusive and representative of Canadian diversity. In recent years, we have seen unprecedented increases in the cost of housing. Different causality theories exist; however it is well supported that restrictive zoning policies are making it harder for most people to find homes. In Victoria, multifamily housing is essentially banned from 68% of our residential land base, meaning our growing population must be largely housed on the remaining 32% land base.
A recent UN Emissions Gap Report highlights limits to construction of new multifamily housing due to zoning and land use restrictions in cities across North America as a key impediment to hitting the emissions reduction targets to below the 2 degrees Celsius level. This is critical because the way we build our cities (construction) and the way we move around them (transportation) are the two largest emitters of harmful emissions globally. Consequently, many scientist and think-tanks are turning their minds to urban densification as a key tool in fighting climate change. According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we have 30 years to bring our carbon emissions down to zero to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. This means cutting current emissions by 50% by 2030 while simultaneously doubling our existing building stock over the next 40 years to keep pace with population growth. This is the equivalent to building an entire New York City, every month, for 40 years. It is for this reason the ship has sailed on the conversation about whether or not we should densify; the conversation for today is how. How do we collectively come together during this climate and housing crisis to make room in our communities for the next iteration of sustainable neighbourhoods?
The challenge before us is maintaining the excellent quality of life our city offers many of its residents, while raising the quality of life for the marginalized and newcomers through equitable access to housing in vibrant, livable neighbourhoods across the city. Are we willing to consider a vision for Victoria neighbourhoods that is inclusive of future generations, 10, 20, 50 years from now? Or are we only willing to consider the immediate impact to our personal vision for our own property and neighbourhood today? Instead of fighting for what currently exists, why don’t we fight for what could be? Compact, walkable, dense communities have better transit, social connections, health outcomes, socio-economic, and demographic diversity than the current status quo and would be more representative of the diversity in our city. This is the carbon friendly, equitable city we need to fight for.
TL;DR – We believe that every neighbourhood should have diverse housing types and tenures for all incomes and demographics. A densified, compact, walkable lifestyle is critical to solving our climate and housing crisis all while creating more livable and healthier communities.
Housing choice is key to affordability, neighbourhood diversity, and vibrancy. Townhouses and apartments allow new households to form, young families to grow, and folks looking to downsize and stay in their community. Everybody wins.
We are planners, builders, urban designers, and entrepreneurs. We are a close, cohesive team that is aiming to make a big impact to our urban form. Fundamentally, we believe that diverse, creative architecture is a value-add to the urban fabric that makes our city more interesting, creative, and fun.
We believe that community discussions are a value-add rather than a hurdle in the process. Members of the community are an excellent repository of the aspirations, secrets, and challenges of the neighbourhoods we are working in. Tapping into this braintrust is critical to our projects successful integration for the benefit of the current and future residents.
Building something for the sake of building isn’t good enough. We use a series of aggregated data sets to inform our development process to ensure that we identify appropriate housing needs. Every Aryze home is created for its neighbourhood; to serve the community rather than detract from it.