Changes to The City

After more than two years of weekly critical urban discussions, The City will see some changes to the programming. New content will be released on a more infrequent basis on the website, and the the full archive of podcasts will remain available here. In the near future, I hope to have the program return to its weekly format live on community radio as well as podcast.

Thanks for listening and supporting independent media!

Andy Longhurst, Host and Producer


[Podcast] Local Filmmaker Aims to Document Little Mountain Social Housing Struggle

The importance of the Little Mountain story and one filmmaker’s campaign to capture the struggle through a documentary film

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David Vaisbord discusses the importance of the Little Mountain story and his campaign to create a documentary film to showcase the community and residents’ struggle against the BC government.The Little Mountain story centres around Little Mountain residents – many of them seniors – fighting to remain in their apartments in Vancouver’s first social (public) housing development and demanding demolished social housing units be replaced on the site.

Ultimately, the community and remaining tenants scored a victory – the remaining tenants were not evicted and construction of some of the replacement social housing units is underway.

Find out more about David’s campaign to produce a full-length documentary – and how you can help.

[Podcast] From Emergency Services to Permanent Solutions: Addressing Youth Homelessness

Stephen Gaetz discusses the problem of youth homelessness and how we can develop permanent solutions

Screen shot 2014-06-11 at 7.47.30 AMListen to the program. Subscribe to the weekly podcast.

One in five shelter users are youth. 25 to 40% of youth experiencing homelessness self-identified as LGBTQ, and 40 to 70% of homeless youth have mental health issues compared to 10 to 20% of housed youth.

On the program, we discuss the crisis of youth homelessness in Canada and how we might better respond to the problem, as well as the broader context of Canadian homelessness and the structural dimensions fuelling the situation.

Dr. Stephen Gaetz is associate professor in the faculty of education at York University in Toronto and he is the director of the Canadian Homelessness Research Network. He is the author of a new report – Coming of Age: Reimaging the Response to Youth Homelessness in Canada.


[Podcast] Realizing the Right to Adequate Housing

Miloon_kothariMiloon Kothari discusses his work as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing and how this right can be realized in practice

Listen to the program. Subscribe to the weekly podcast here.

Miloon Kothari is the former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, and he spoke at Simon Fraser University–Woodward’s on July 9, 2012.

Mr. Kothari’s talk is titled The Right to Adequate Housing: From Practice to Policy to Practice. He discusses his work as Special Rapporteur, the similar and distinct challenges facing a variety of countries and cities, specifically Vancouver, and how the right to adequate housing can be realized.

Thank you to SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement for permission to broadcast this talk.

[Podcast] ‘A Government Systematically Undermining Public Confidence in Public Education’


Longtime public education advocate Jane Bouey on the teachers’ strike, the state of public schools in Vancouver and BC, and the Public Education Project

Listen to the program. Subscribe to the weekly podcast here.

What is the state of public education in Vancouver and BC schools? Why do class size and composition matter? What is the context of the current teachers’ strike and the lockout initiated by the BC government?

In an in-depth conversation, former Vancouver School Board Trustee Jane Bouey discusses the state of public education in BC and Vancouver, provides the context to the current strike and lockout, and gives an update on the Vancouver School Board’s work on updating their sexual orientation and gender identity policies. A recent Georgia Straight article details the VSB’s work on updating these policies and the organized backlash that Jane Bouey describes.

Jane Bouey also explains the importance of local public education activism – and the yet-to-be-launched Public Education Project which aims to bring  public education issues to the fore in Vancouver municipal politics.

The Public Education Project has yet to launch their website, but if you are interested in finding out more you can contact Jane Bouey by email or Twitter.

[Podcast] ‘Red Zones’ and Vancouver’s Criminal Justice System

Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Photo Credit: Anonymous, via Wikimedia Commons.

Will Damon explains the rise of administration of justice offences – specifically area restrictions – and the impact on marginalized groups 

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On the podcast, Will Damon, a recent graduate of Simon Fraser University’s MA program in human geography, discusses the rise of administration of justice offences – typically breaches of bail and probation – in Canada and BC, and use of particular spatial practices in Vancouver’s criminal justice system.

Are particular criminal justice practices setting marginalized groups up to fail in the criminal justice system? And how do these practices affect how people negotiate urban neighbourhoods?

[Podcast] The Best and Worst Place to be a Woman in Canada

Listen to find out why Quebec City came out on the top of the list. Photo by 1979stl [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

A recent study examines gender equality across Canada’s largest metro areas

Subscribe to the weekly podcast of The City here.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released a new report – The Best and Worst Place to be a Woman in Canada: An Index of Gender Equality in Canada’s Twenty Largest Metropolitan Areas. Which cities have greater gender equality?

On the podcast, we discuss the findings with the author of this recent study. Kate McInturff is a senior researcher at the CCPA and director of Making Women Count – an initiative on gender equality and public policy.

Documentary on Grandview-Woodland Planning Process

Simon Fraser University student John Nguyen recently produced this timely documentary – Grand View – on the east Vancouver Grandview-Woodland neighbourhood planning process. The film provides a variety of perspectives on the process and opposition. The City‘s host and producer Andy Longhurst is featured in the documentary. You can find The City‘s special radio documentary on the topic here.

[Podcast] Existing Affordable Housing at Risk: Housing Co-op Sector Faces Looming Crisis as Federal Agreements Expire


Between now and 2017, one quarter of housing co-operatives in BC will lose rent-geared-to income subsidies for low-income members as federal housing agreements end. Over 1500 households will face a crisis as their homes become unaffordable.

On the podcast, Co-operative Housing Federation of BC’s Thom Armstrong discusses this situation and how this affects the affordable housing landscape in Vancouver, across BC and Canada – and how the expiry of these agreements threatens to make low-income co-op residents homeless. UBC legal scholar Dr. Margot Young encourages us to rethink the language we use to talk about housing  – and discusses the right to housing and, more broadly, the right to the city.

Don’t let another bookstore close! Vancouver losing critical cultural and intellectual infrastructure


The People’s Co-op Bookstore is under threat of closing. They sent out this email on April 9th:


Dear Friend of People´s Co-op Bookstore

I am writing on behalf of People´s Co-op Bookstore to urge you to help save the Co-op – the oldest independent bookstore in Vancouver.

The Bookstore will close unless we raise a minimum of 15,000 dollars before the end of June. And another 15,000 before December. It’s essential that we eliminate existing debt and increase our new stock .

The good news is an anonymous donor will donate $1 for every $2 you donate up to a total of $5,000.

Your donation will help this important bookstore survive. Our goal is to build a strong progressive children´s book section and increase our traditional book stock. Another goal is to make the bookstore a friendly and comfortable hub for a range of progressive, literary and other activities in our City and neighborhood.

I hope you agree that People´s Co-op bookstore has an invaluable role to play in Vancouver, and our neighbourhood. It is a critical place to support labour, left, progressive causes, co-operatives, and local poets and writers.

You may have seen us selling books at community events. We recently sold books at the Arundhati Roy event. We plan to do more. And we will hold more book launches. We have already begun a children´s story time on Saturday morning.

Please help save an independent bookstore that provides critical material not easily found in other book stores., Progressive people need to support writers, and ideas. To have a place where people can gather. To challenge the Stephen Harper’s and Christy Clark’s of the world.

I’ve attached a dynamic roadmap for the the bookstores future (I hope you’ll take a moment to read it and I hope you’ll make a donation today.

Ways you can help:

— Please make the biggest donation you can. Large or small, your donation helps.

— Become a Co-op member ($25) if you are not already one.

— Upgrade your Co-op membership to a one year $25.00 membership and receive a 10% discount. Your donation of $250 entitles you to a 10% lifetime discount.

— Donate books to the bookstore.

— Volunteer on a committee, work in the bookstore or assist in off-site sales.

— Distribute this appeal to your email lists and Facebook friends.

I hope, like me, you believe that this bookstore is important to the people of Vancouver. And I hope you will help save it. Please send your donation to the People´s Co-op Bookstore at 1391 Commercial Dr., Vancouver, V6L 3X5 or phone the bookstore (604-253-6442) to make a credit card donation. (Online donations are not yet available.)

In solidarity and with much thanks for your support,

Brian Campbell Chair, Fundraising Committee

PS. Don’t let another bookstore close. And please don’t let a thinkers and activists progressive bookstore close. You and other people in our community working together can save it, and more importantly, help it to grow and bring progressive ideas too many more people. As the forces of conservatism grow stronger, it’s important to fight back with books, ideas, and a community space. The People’s co-op bookstore, is critical to this fight.