Category: Transportation

[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 ( 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] 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] Dispatch from Rio: Brazil’s Urban Social Movement Demands Better Quality of Life

Protests in opposition to rising transit fares is part of a broader social movement demanding a better quality of urban life in Brazil. Photo courtesy Agencia Brasil, Wikimedia Commons.

Protests in opposition to rising transit fares is part of a broader social movement demanding a better quality of urban life in Brazil. Photo courtesy Agencia Brasil.

This movement has opened up a new field of possibilities and what people are fighting for is a real democratic system. This movement is forcing a dialogue.

–Professor Cecilia Mello, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

What began as protests against increases in public transit fares is part of a broader social movement challenging Brazil’s state policies, the deteriorating quality of urban life for the poor, and the highly uneven benefits derived from the country’s economic growth as the country prepares to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

On the program, we hear from Dr. Cecilia Mello, a professor of social and cultural anthropology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, about this rising urban social movement, the right to the city, and the conditions on the ground. We also discuss Brazilian cities in relation to the rural and peripheral areas of the country and indigenous land dispossession and resource extraction threatening traditional livelihoods.

[Podcast] Zoned Out? Towers, Upzoning, and the Future of Grandview-Woodland

Commercial Drive at E 1st Avenue in the Grandview-Woodland neighbourhood. Photo courtesy

Commercial Drive at East 1st Avenue in the Grandview-Woodland neighbourhood.

In June, City of Vancouver planning staff released the draft community plan for East Vancouver’s Grandview-Woodland neighbourhood. To the shock of many residents who were extensively involved in the consultation process, the City is proposing to upzone substantial parts of the neighbourhood including approximately ten 22-36 storey towers in the Broadway and Commercial area. These proposed changes raise important questions about the preservation of existing affordable housing stock and the implications of major condominium tower development on the social fabric of the neighbourhood. Has community trust in the planning process been eroded with these surprising land-use directions? Where did these directions originate from if not from community consultation?

On this special podcast, we discuss the draft community plan, concerns about the future of the neighbourhood, and broader issues of public engagement with community leaders, residents, Translink, an urban scholar, and a member of the Mayor of Vancouver’s Engaged City Task Force.

The City of Vancouver’s Corporate Communications department was given seven days advance notice for an interview. After more than four email and phone exchanges throughout the seven-day period, an interview was finally refused on June 24th. Corporate Communications indicated that a spokesperson could not be provided before the Tuesday, June 25th deadline.

Feedback on the draft plan can be submitted online until July 3rd. A new workshop to discuss the Broadway/Commercial sub-area and the proposed transit-oriented development has been organized for July 6th, which you must RSVP for as “space is extremely limited.” The Grandview-Woodland Area Council is hosting an open forum for residents to express their opinions about the draft plan on Monday, July 8th from 7-9pm at 1655 William Street.

[Podcast] Interventions for Feminist Urban Futures


The 2013 Engaging Women, Transforming Cities Conference hosted by the Women Transforming Cities organization brought together municipal electeds, urban designers and planners, and women and girls interested in transforming our cities into places where women are more involved in electoral processes, and municipal governments are responsive to the priorities of women and girls in Canada’s urban centres. The conference was held on May 30th, 2013 at Simon Fraser University’s downtown campus.

Over the course of the summer, The City will be providing highlights from this inaugural national conference. Dr. Tiffany Muller Myrdahl is the Junior Ruth Wynn Woodward Chair in Gender and Urban Studies at Simon Fraser University, and in this podcast she discusses large and small interventions to foster feminist urban futures.

Subscribe via iTunes to have the weekly podcast downloaded automatically. Contributor Michael Laxer on Rob Ford | Inaugural Engaging Women, Transforming Cities Conference Brings Equity Lens to Urban Issues

Has Rob Ford's time at Toronto City Hall come to an end?

Has Rob Ford’s time at Toronto City Hall come to an end?

The Rob Ford saga shows no signs of dissipating. Is this the end of Mayor Rob Ford’s bumpy tenure at Toronto City Hall? On the podcast, contributor Michael Laxer weighs in on the ongoing Rob Ford saga. He provides a critical and progressive analysis of the Rob Ford affair in a recent article.

And in the second half of the show, we hear about the Engaging Women, Transforming Cities Conference from Associate Professor Margot Young (UBC Law). The inaugural national conference is designed to facilitate discussion about transforming our cities into places where women are more involved in electoral processes, and municipal governments are responsive to the priorities of women and girls in Canada’s urban centres. The conference applies an equity lens to a variety of urban issues, ranging from housing justice to environmental sustainability.

MUSIC // Japandroids / Celebration Rock / Younger Us // Mother Mother / Sticks / Business Man

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The BC Election and What It Means for Cities


In British Columbia, cities are literally constructs of the provincial government, given power through provincial legislation. Cities have limited taxation abilities and they derive the large majority of their revenue from property taxes. And yet they are responsible for an ever-growing array of services and infrastructure as provincial and federal governments continue to download responsibility.

Charley Beresford is executive director of the Columbia Institute and oversees the Centre for Civic Governance, an initiative of the Columbia Institute. The institute works to foster leadership for inclusive and sustainable communities that value social justice, the environment, and the local economy.

On the program, we discuss the importance of progressive provincial policy for cities across British Columbia – and Canada. We’ll be discussing the environment, jobs, and the ‘big download’ facing cities as they deal with aging infrastructure and greater responsibilities.

Please note that this program was produced before the outcome of the May 14th BC Provincial Election.



[Podcast] Taking on the Premier: BC NDP’s David Eby on Transportation, Housing, and Provincial-Municipal Relations

David-EbyThe BC NDP’s David Eby is running against BC Liberal Premier Christy Clark in the Vancouver-Point Grey riding on Vancouver’s westside in the upcoming provincial election.

We discuss  regional planning, education, housing, poverty reduction, and the importance of progressive provincial-municipal policies. In the 2011 Vancouver-Point Grey by-election, Eby came within 600 votes of Christy Clark in the seat previously held by former Premier Gordon Campbell.

David Eby is a lawyer and the former executive director of the BC Civil Liberties Association. He has also worked for Pivot Legal Society and is adjunct professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of British Columbia.

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[Podcast] Getting From Here To There: Transportation Policy & Planning, Metro Vancouver’s Transit Future, and the UBC-Broadway Line

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mattiWhat do you think about the proposed $2.8 billion UBC-Broadway subway line (and the economic case for it)? Will this come at the expense of other regional rapid transit projects? How would it shape the city’s transit accessibility and urban development trajectory? What are the lessons to be learned from the Canada Line experience?

On the podcast, Matti Siemiatycki discusses transportation policy, planning metro Vancouver’s transit future, and the UBC-Broadway line. Matti Siemiatycki is assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s Department of Geography and Program in Planning. His research focuses on transportation policy and planning and how large infrastructure projects are financed and delivered. He has authored many articles on these topics and is involved in the Public-Private Partnership Research Project, which graphically shows trends in the delivery of transportation projects through public-private partnerships (P3s).

[Podcast] Vancouver Green Party Councillor Challenges Vision Vancouver Policies

An in-depth interview with Vancouver Green Party Councillor Adriane Carr covering everything from affordable housing and transportation to her run-in with the City Manager and Vision Vancouver


Adriane Carr  is the first-ever elected Green Party councillor in Vancouver. Councillor Carr has been in the news a lot these days, most recently for her run-in with the City Manager and Vision Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillor Geoff Meggs. She has been – and continues to be – a vocal critic of the Vision Vancouver-dominated City Council. In an in-depth interview, we discuss her concerns around the creation of city-subsidized market rental housing (STIR/Rental 100) and what she believes to be as Vision Vancouver’s attempt to redefine ‘affordable’ housing.

She has also been highly critical of the Vancouver Park Board and Vision-supported  proposed joint operating agreement which would centralize funding distribution, among other changes, for community centre associations. She attempted to put a motion before Council to ask staff to explore the potential financial ramifications of this plan. Her motion was denied by the City Manager and Vision Vancouver, which we  discuss.  In addition, we talk about the city’s development trajectory and issues around transportation, and specifically, along the Broadway corridor.

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