Category: Land Use

[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] 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

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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.

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] 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] Approved Downtown Eastside Plan Raises Gentrification and Social Housing Concerns

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Vancouver’s recently approved Downtown Eastside neighbourhood plan has raised concerns over the definition of social housing and the plan’s ability to stop – or even slow – gentrification. Low-income advocates and others expressed frustration that the significant 30-year plan was rushed through City Council.

On the podcast, we hear from low-income advocate Tamara Herman (Carnegie Community Action Project), Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson (courtesy of City Hall Watch), Green Party Councillor Adriane Carr, and urban planning/geography PhD  student and researcher Melissa Fong.

[Podcast] No Place to Go: Gentrifying Downtown Eastside Residential Hotels Increasingly Unaffordable for Low-Income Residents

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Seven hundred and thirty-one homeless people live in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) according to the City of Vancouver. Approximately 5,000 more live on the edge of homelessness in tiny Single Room Occupancy (SRO) hotel rooms, with no private kitchen or bathroom, and often poor management, mice, rats, cockroaches and bedbugs. Most of these people rely on welfare and basic pension and desperately need new self contained social housing.     –Carnegie Community Action Project

The Carnegie Community Action Project’s (CCAP) 2014 hotel and housing report finds that SROs in the DTES are more expensive than ever and that fewer still are available to low-income individuals looking for rooms.

On the podcast, I speak with Rory Sutherland, who is co-author of the report, No Place to Go: Losing Affordable Housing and Community. In the conversation, Rory outlines the major findings of the report, how they know SROs are gentrifying, and the implications for homelessness if this ‘last stop’ housing stock no longer houses the low-income people that depend on it.

[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.