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Whole Health at Pearson Dogwood

From stormwater to social space, finance to fitness, this plan for one of Vancouver’s largest redevelopment sites is set to change the landscape of health districts.

Vancouver, British Columbia

A new financial model for health authorities

Pearson Dogwood is designed to yield a financial endowment for health & wellness both on the site and across the region. New sources of revenue are realized by unlocking the real estate value of the site. Through redevelopment, Vancouver Coastal Health can generate the means to rejuvenate its stock of residential care housing, including the replacement of Dogwood Lodge and new, more independent housing for current residents of the George Pearson Centre.

Life along the Cambie corridor

Within the overarching vision of “living well” and “whole health”, the project will redevelop this site into a new mixed-use community of 6,000 residents. Situated on the Cambie Corridor – home of Vancouver’s rapid transit line – the master plan includes health services, a YMCA, retail, and housing for diverse demographic groups with complex health care needs ranging from seniors to young adults. This includes current residents who are presently housed in an aging institution that dates back as far as 1950. The neighbourhood concept envisions a new rapid transit station, district energy, an integrated food system, integrated storm water management, an active transportation network, LEED Gold buildings, and a beautiful, accessible public realm.

Whole health practices

What does a holistically healthy community look like? How do we design urban environments that nourish bodies, minds, hearts, spirits, and broader ecologies? These questions were explored in this policy planning process. At its heart, the master plan's "whole health" vision is about whole people, whole communities, and whole ecologies. This includes a design focus on the wholistic health of the individual, including physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. Whole communities focus on fostering a sense of community, sense of place, and sense of belonging, while whole ecologies focus on emphasizing educational and experiential connections with ecological systems and processes.

Water use and the ecology of energy management

In the Pearson Dogwood Neighbourhood, water management will play both a functional and place-making role. An integrated stormwater management system will use natural processes to capture, store, and infiltrate rainwater, both saving resources and creating beautiful spaces that offer recreational therapy. Green buildings along waterways will share energy, and different forms of urban agriculture will create productive spaces for a diverse community.

Services and amenities

The site features a variety of housing, including market housing, social housing, and a range of housing options for people with disabilities who require support. Anticipated health services include infant and child services, mental health and addition counseling, a YMCA, and fitness and therapeutic pools, and more.

Project facts

Size: 25.4 acres/ 3 million sq. ft. of proposed development
Collaborators: City of Vancouver, and sub-consultants: Hapa Collaborative (landscape), Bunt and Associates (transportation), and KWL (civil engineering)
Completion date: Unanimously adopted by City of Vancouver Council, February 2014
Client: Vancouver Coastal Health

Achievements & Awards

Award of Excellence in Policy Planning - Planning Institute of British Columbia