Category: Environment

[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] 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] 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] Making Stanley Park: From Colonial Legal Practices to Aboriginal Erasure

mawaniSociologist Renisa Mawani on colonial practices and the making of Stanley Park

UBC Sociology Professor Renisa Mawani traces the ways in which colonial and imperial power have historically been inscribed in the land now known as Stanley Park.

This podcast is part two of the three-part Making Stanley Park series, which critically reflects on Stanley Park’s 125th Anniversary.

It was originally broadcast on CiTR 101.9 FM on October 8, 2013. Listen to Part I and Part III of the series.

[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] Global Climate Change and Urban Policies: Do Local Strategies Matter?

jaccardMark Jaccard provides a critical look at urban climate policies and actions

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Failed efforts at the international, national and sub-national levels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have prompted some city governments to set their own greenhouse gas targets and implement policies in pursuit of these. But how can we determine the effectiveness of these policies? Are urban climate strategies just hype or potentially a significant answer to these challenges? We hear from Simon Fraser University School of Resource and Environmental Management professor and Nobel Peace Prize (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) recipient Mark Jaccard on the podcast.

[Podcast] Making Stanley Park: Idealized Nature and Human-Environmental Relations

inventingstanleyparkcoverListen and subscribe to the podcast here.

Environmental historian and author Sean Kheraj traces how this tension between popular expectations of idealized nature and the volatility of complex ecosystems helped shape the landscape of one of the world’s most famous urban parks.

Kheraj’s book, Inventing Stanley Park, examines how human forces have shaped – and continue to shape – this urban environmental space. Kheraj asks us to question our understanding of the ‘nature’ of Stanley Park, and why it is important be aware of our complex relationship with the environment.

Sean Kheraj is an assistant professor in the Department of History at York University in Toronto.

[Podcast] Making Stanley Park: The Forgotten Families of Whoi Whoi, Kanaka Ranch, and Brockton Point

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In the first episode of a three-part series, historian and author Jean Barman reflects on Stanley Park’s 125th Anniversary and processes of dispossession

Historian and author Jean Barman reflects on Stanley Park’s 125th Anniversary and processes of dispossession which were part of the making of Stanley Park.

Her book Stanley Park’s Secret won the 2006 City of Vancouver Book Prize.

She also situates Stanley Park within the country’s broader colonial geographies and the ongoing work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on residential schools.