Category: Labour

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

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

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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] When Commodities Stop Flowing: The Significance of the Truckers’ Strike and Vancouver’s Port

Vancouver’s container port on Burrard Inlet. Source: Ze Moufette (http://www.flickr.com/people/78154062@N02). Wikimedia Commons.

A regularized employment model for port trucking would entail slightly higher costs for shippers and carriers that might be passed on to consumers. But for the residents of this region, that is a price worth paying. When truckers bear the risks of supply-chain uncertainty, we pay the costs.                    Dr. Peter V. Hall (Simon Fraser University) in the Vancouver Sun

What are the conditions that have led to the current labour situation at Canada’s largest port? And what is the significance of Vancouver’s port within wider global supply chains? How are we to understand the complexities of Vancouver’s port and logistics?

On the program, Dr. Peter V. Hall discusses the current labour situation involving port truckers and the complexities of global commodity chains, ports, and port cities like Vancouver.

Peter V. Hall is associate professor of urban studies at Simon Fraser University, and his research examines port cities, seaports, and logistics. He is intersted in the connections between shipping and logistics networks, the port institutions that govern and regulate them, and the resulting patterns of employment and development in port cities.

[Podcast] Celebration Capitalism and the Olympic Games

Capitalism_OlympicsJules Boykoff on celebration capitalism, dissent, and the Olympic Games in Vancouver, London, and Sochi

Jules Boykoff discusses the Olympics Games – prominent urban mega-event spectacles – as a form of ‘celebration capitalism’ (the complement to Naomi Klein’s disaster capitalism). He talks about celebration capitalism and political dissent in the context of the Vancouver, London, and Sochi Olympic Games.

Jules Boykoff is author of Celebration Capitalism and the Olympic Games (2013) and Activism and the Olympics: Dissent at the Games in Vancouver and London (forthcoming), “Fun at the Games: The Anti-Olympics” (New Left Review, 2011) among many other publications in both academic and popular publications. He is associate professor of politics and government at Pacific University in Oregon.

[Podcast] Vancouver: Consumption City Forever?

Photo by Andy Longhurst

Photo by Andy Longhurst

Part two of the conversation with urban economic geographer Elliot Siemiatycki about Vancouver’s future economic trajectory

On the program, the second part of the conversation with urban economic geographer Elliot Siemiatycki about Vancouver’s transformation from a productive city into a city of consumption, dominated increasingly by real estate and tourism. We discuss what the future might hold for Vancouver as a city of consumption – and whether it might be advantageous for the city to chart an alternative economic path forward.

Dr. Elliot Siemiatycki is a postdoctoral fellow at York University in Toronto, and he completed his PhD from the University of British Columbia in 2013. His PhD research examined Vancouver’s urban economic transformation over the last three decades in his dissertation – Consumption City: Precarious Labour and Capital in Vancouver, British Columbia. 

[Podcast] Vancouver: Consumption City

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Trump Tower Vancouver construction. Photo by Andy Longhurst.

Economic geographer Elliot Siemiatycki discusses Vancouver’s transformation from a productive city into a city of consumption

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Above all, the many paradoxes of Vancouver’s contemporary economic development trajectory are exposed in the words of local workers, firms, commentators and industry experts: Vancouver is simultaneously the most livable and unaffordable city in the world; Vancouver is a leading creative city in which creative firms and workers alike struggle under conditions of precariousness; Vancouver is mythologized as a healthy, sustainable, lifestyle city while these very qualities often must be sacrificed by working Vancouver residents. Tracing the underlying story and challenges of Vancouver’s emergence as a global consumption city provides important insights into 21st century urban development.                           –Elliot Siemiatycki, PhD

On the podcast, urban economic geographer Elliot Siemiatycki discusses Vancouver’s transformation from a productive city into a city of consumption, dominated increasingly by real estate and tourism. We examine how the city’s structure, feel, and image of itself have shifted over the last three decades – and how the rise of precarious employment is implicated in this transformation.

Dr. Elliot Siemiatycki is a postdoctoral fellow at York University in Toronto, and he completed his PhD from the University of British Columbia in 2013. His PhD research examined Vancouver’s urban economic transformation over the last three decades in his dissertation – Consumption City: Precarious Labour and Capital in Vancouver, British Columbia. 

[Podcast] A New Era? Bill de Blasio and the Shifting Political Landscape in New York City

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On the podcast, John Mollenkopf, Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York, reflects on Michael Bloomberg’s three terms as mayor of New York City and what the election of  Bill de Blasio means for the city. Bill de Blasio is the first Democratic mayor elected since 1993 and won the mayoral election by a landslide, receiving over 73% of the vote. We discuss issues of inequality, affordable housing, immigration, and urban development – as well as the shifting landscape of electoral politics in America’s largest city.

Dr. Mollenkopf is a Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the City University of New York Graduate Center and is director of the Center for Urban Research. He is a renowned urban scholar on New York City’s politics and has authored or edited fifteen books on urban politics, urban policy, immigration, and New York City. Prior to joining the Graduate Center in 1981, he directed the Economic Development Division of the New York City Department of City Planning. 

 

[Podcast] 2013 Year in Review

the city twitter icon - finalOver three podcasts, we revisit the year’s critical urban discussions on topics and ideas ranging from transportation along Vancouver’s Broadway corridor, the degradation of work in postindustrial urban economies, gentrification in Vancouver’s Chinatown, feminist urban futures and social movements, the making of Stanley Park, arts and cultural spaces, and much more.

In Part III of the 2013 Year in Review, former city councillor and Women Transforming Cities founder Ellen Woodsworth discusses the major issues from the past year.

Part I

Part II

Part III (featuring Ellen Woodsworth)

[Podcast] Gentrification and the Waterfront

rubinWhat is the relationship between a city’s waterfront and gentrification?

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Using the storied San Francisco waterfront as a case study, Jasper Rubin (San Francisco State University) examines the reflexive relationship that gentrification creates between the waterfront and the city. Professor Rubin is author of A Negotiated Landscape: The Transformation of San Francisco’s Waterfront Since 1950.

This talk was recorded in November 2013 as part of the SFU Urban Studies Gentrification and the City Speaker Series.

[Podcast] Neoliberal urbanism: Artful alternatives?

Jamie Peck discusses neoliberal urbanism and the creative city paradigm

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What does it mean to say that cities like Vancouver have taken a “neoliberal” turn, embracing market-oriented policies while paying little more than lip service to questions of social welfare, affordability, and environmental sustainability? Does the embrace of “creativity” really hold the promise of an alternative path, or does it threaten more of the same? Exploring these questions, Jamie Peck charts the rise of the neoliberal city, calling attention to its mutations, its limits, and to its alternatives.

Jamie Peck is Canada Research Chair in Urban & Regional Political Economy and Professor of Geography at UBC. An economic geographer with interests in labour studies, urban theory, and the politics of globalization, his publications include Constructions of Neoliberal Reason and the co-edited collection, Contesting Neoliberalism: Urban Frontiers.

This talk is part of the Spaces of Contestation: Art, Activism and the City Speaker Series, part of the project Collective Walks – Spaces of Contestation, curated by Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte, and was recorded on November 12, 2013 in Vancouver.

[Podcast] Lessons from San Francisco? The Culture of Renting and the Politics of Rental Housing

San Francisco is one of the most desirable and expensive cities to live. Photo by Andy Longhurst.

San Francisco is one of the most desirable and expensive cities. How have renters organized to protect affordable housing? Photo by Andy Longhurst.

The Tyee’s Jackie Wong discusses her recent series ‘Generation Rent’

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Jackie Wong discusses her recent series, Generation Rent: Two Cities, Two Directions, recently published by The Tyee. We discuss the differences and similarities between Vancouver and San Francisco – and we specifically explore how political attitudes towards renting and renters can shape cities in profound ways.

What are the differences between these two west coast cities? And what might we learn from our southern neighbour?

In the interview, Jackie Wong refers to an article by The New Yorker’s George Packer on Silicon Valley and San Francisco’s growing urban inequality. It is an illuminating piece and you can read it here.