Tagged: development

[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? Racial and Economic Equality in New York City

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Bill de Blasio with his family. Source: Bill de Blasio Flickr (Wiki Commons).

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On the program, Valery Jean of Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE) reflects on the Michael Bloomberg era in New York City and what the mayoral election of Bill de Blasio might mean for (in)equality, public and affordable housing, and urban development policies. De Blasio, a former New York City Public Advocate, won the mayoral election by a landslide, receiving over 73% of the vote. He is the first Democratic mayor elected since 1993.He is the first Democratic mayor elected since 1993. Jean also discusses the organization’s important work empowering public housing residents to organize to preserve and protect the city’s public housing.

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Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE) is a Brooklyn-based multi-racial organization made up almost exclusively of women of colour.  They organize low-income families to build power to change the system so that all people’s work is valued and all have the right and economic means to decide and live out our own destinies. FUREE has organized around the City of New York’s redevelopment plans for downtown Brooklyn, which was the focus of the film My Brooklyn. Allison Lirish Dean (My Brooklyn filmmaker) was interviewed on a past podcast.

[Podcast] Tearing Down the Viaducts: Green for All or Green for Some?

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Vancouver City Council, under the direction of the ruling Vision Vancouver party, wants to remove two remnants of the never fully realized inner city highway system in the downtown core. But, in the process, two long-standing community gardens are threatened with demolition. In this documentary, Green for All or Green for Some, Peter Driftmier explores the debate around the removal of the viaduct through the twin lenses of gentrification and environmental sustainability.

City staff have yet to come back to council with final recommendations on the removal of the viaducts. In recent months, the Strathcona Residents Association has expressed serious concerns about the possibility of increased traffic volume on Prior Street, and community groups in the Downtown Eastside have also expressed similar concerns regarding increased traffic along Hastings Street. The Vancouver Courier reported in an April 11th article that the staff report on the viaducts future is expected in June 2013.

This documentary was originally produced for Redeye on Vancouver’s Coop Radio 100.5 FM and aired in Fall 2012. Peter Driftmier is a producer with the Redeye Collective, and we are pleased to bring you this documentary. Thank you to Peter Driftmier and Redeye for permission to rebroadcast.

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[Podcast] Chinatown: The Next Yaletown? // Vancouver Loses Independently-Owned Festival Cinemas

Screenshot of the Keefer Block condo development (www.keeferblock.com).

“Condo for sale minutes from downtown.” Screenshot taken from keeferblock.com.

Social mix is a euphemism for destroying low-income communities. This is a community that fought for – and won – the only safe injection site in North America. This is a community that had to occupy a Police Board meeting in order to get the Police Board to put out the same reward for the missing women that it put out for garage robberies on the Westside. This is a community that had to fight for seven years to get a community centre like other people have. This is a community that had to camp out on a beach for a whole summer in order to get a waterfront park like other communities have. This community has a history of fighting for human rights, and the City destroys that by condo-fying the whole [neighbourhood] and displacing low income people – that will be destroying one of the most valuable assets it has.

–Jean Swanson, Carnegie Community Action Project

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Vancouver’s Chinatown is undergoing increasingly rapid gentrification. The Carnegie Community Action Project’s Jean Swanson (author, Poorbashing: The Politics of Exclusion) discusses why a significant influx of condominiums and high-end retail  are threatening to displace the neighbourhood’s low-income residents – and why the city is approving these major developments before the completion of the Downtown Eastside local area plan. You can check out a past podcast, From Poor to Yuppie: Artists, Boutiques, and Neighbourhood Change, if you are interested in hearing more about gentrification and social dislocation in the Downtown Eastside.

On the second half of the program, we hear why the independently-owned Festival Cinemas has been sold to Cineplex. We talk with co-owner Leonard Schein about why he is calling it quits, the challenge to operate cinemas independently, and what he believes the City and province should do to help arts and culture thrive/survive in Vancouver.