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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.
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.
On the podcast, we hear from Arthur Manuel (Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade and Defenders of the Land Network), Dr. Glen Coulthard (Assistant Professor in UBC’s First Nations Studies and Department of Political Science), and Khelsilem Rivers (Idle No More organizer and language revitalization activist) on the Idle No More movement. These speakers were part of a recently convened public forum in Vancouver. Speakers provide a background to the movement and situate it within the colonial-capitalist past and present. They also challenge a number of misconceptions about the indigenous rights movement perpetuated by the mainstream media and conservative commentators.
The title track of Vancouver aboriginal hip hop artist JB the First Lady’s Get Ready Get Steady is featured at the beginning of the program. The podcast concludes with a spoken word piece from her.
Thank you to the organizers of the Idle? Know more! panel. You can find videos of the many speakers here.
Below Professor Coulthard provides a concise and useful historical context through which to situate Idle No More.
I headed over to the City of Vancouver website this morning to find some information and was welcomed with this image and caption. I couldn’t help myself – I had to capture it. Does the City realize the irony and contradictions with the image and caption? Is the cruise ship industry part of a local, sustainable economy? I’m not so sure about that – and I’m not so sure this type of messaging is particularly helpful. If you, too, are somewhat puzzled by the sustainability rhetoric in this city, you might be interested in an article published at The Mainlander.
The City talks with Vision Vancouver Councillor Andrea Reimer as we mark one year since 2011 municipal election.
Andrea Reimer was first elected in 2002 as a School Board member with the Green Party, she joined Vision Vancouver and was elected to City Council in 2008. Councillor Reimer was appointed in 2008 as the Chair of the City’s Planning and Environment Committee and Council lead on the Greenest City Action Plan, overseeing Vancouver’s efforts to become the greenest city in the world by 2020. Along with six other Vision councillors and Mayor Gregor Robertson, Andrea Reimer was elected in the 2011 election to council. She is currently Chair of the Standing Committee on Planning, Transportation, and Environment and council liaison for the Greenest City Action Team. She is also a director at Metro Vancouver, and is appointed to the city’s Family Court / Youth Justice Committee, Urban Aboriginal Peoples Advisory Committee, and Women’s Advisory Committee.
The City’s Andy Longhurst sat down with Councillor Reimer in July 2012 to talk at length about a number of issues, including neighbourhood engagement, which has come under fire in recent weeks. We also discuss the controversial Rize condo tower in Mount Pleasant, rental housing, affordability, and questions of how the city should continue to develop.
WEB-ONLY CONTENT | Hear more from Councillor Reimer (from the July 2012 interview) on whether green initiatives sideline social justice issues, and whether the City should be doing more to protect the many older single-family homes which are often demolished in Vancouver’s pricey real estate market.
On green initiatives vs. social justice concerns and the viaducts:
On renovictions, the loss of affordable rental stock, and the demolition of single-family homes:
On the May 15th podcast, I talk at length with UBC Geography’s Noah Quastel about his current and past research on the intersections of ‘sustainability’, political ecology, urban development, and class conflict, within the context of Vancouver.
In 2009, Noah authored an article published in the journal Urban Geography titled “Political Ecologies of Gentrification.” The article “explores the possibilities for a political ecology of gentrification. Gentrification research, while firmly rooted in materialist social science, has not yet broadened its interests to consider ecological aspects of, or the role in gentrification of, discourses, social movements, and state policies of the environment. Understanding the political ecologies of gentrification involves recognizing the ways in which material relations and uneven resource consumption, concepts of nature, and the politics of urban environmental management affect gentrification processes. New developments in Vancouver increasingly contribute to gentrification using languages of sustainability and green consumption in a process of ecological gentrification.”