Over 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.
Part III (featuring Ellen Woodsworth)
Vancouver Park Board
August 29, 2013
Statement from the Chair on next steps related to
litigation launched by 6 Community Centre Associations against Park Board
The Vancouver Park Board’s primary interest lies with providing quality services to our residents and protecting the interests of taxpayers in our communities who have invested millions of dollars and volunteer hours to build our outstanding network of community centres throughout our city.
OneCard, a no-cost single access card for all Park Board facilities is one way the Park Board is putting public needs first. Over 40,000 people have now acquired OneCard, which is designed to enable access for all Vancouver residents to the entire Park Board network of rinks, pools, fitness centres and community centres, just as a library card provides access for everyone to all public libraries across the city.
In 2010, the Park Board approved four guiding principles for a new Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) with the Community Centre Associations (CCAs):
1. Access for all citizens
2. Access to a network of community centres
3. Equity among community centres
4. Operational sustainability and accountability
Over the past two years, Park Board staff have worked with all the CCAs towards a renewed JOA which reflects these principles as well as our diverse, changing communities. In February 2013 a negotiating table was established with designated representatives of the community centre Association Presidents Group and senior Park Board staff. Continue reading
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.
What 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).
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.
On the program, we hear from a number of commentators on the possible loss of the Waldorf Hotel, an East Vancouver music hub, to condo development and the City’s response, as well as the impending eviction of the W2 Community Media Arts Society. We discuss more broadly the growing cultural deficit in the city and loss of arts and cultural venues and organizations. We also address the lack of all-ages venues and how this should be remedied.
- Ryan McCormick has been involved in the Vancouver music community for over ten years. He is one of the founding members of the Safe Amplification Site Society and serves as the organization’s Secretary. Formerly of the bands They Shoot Horses Don’t They?, Greenbelt Collective and The Role Mach Electric Band, Ryan currently focuses his musical and artistic practice on Collapsing Opposites.
- Tristan Markle is a founder and editor at The Mainlander and recently co-authored an article which situates the Waldorf Hotel within a broader context of condo development, speculation, and gentrification.
- Ellen Woodsworth is a community activist, former COPE City Councillor, and a founding member of Women Transforming Cities.
- Ned Jacobs is a community activist and development critic.
Check out the past podcast featuring the City of Vancouver’s Managing Director of Cultural Services, Richard Newirth, discussing the challenges facing the city, and especially the lack of affordable arts spaces.
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 October 25th, 2012, the Province of BC and the City of Vancouver announced that the four remaining tenant-households at the Little Mountain social housing development would not be evicted, and that up to 50 social housing units would be fast-tracked and built on a portion of the site. Previously, the existing tenants (in the remaining townhouse who refused to be displaced) were served eviction notices, despite the fact that site redevelopment had not even reached the rezoning stage (and construction completion was still years away).
On the podcast, The City evaluates the recent social housing victory at Vancouver’s Little Mountain and we reflect on the history of the struggle. We begin with an excerpt from UBC Geography graduate student Tommy Thompson, who conducted extensive research on Little Mountain and found that “through an analysis of the distribution of benefits and losses of redevelopment to various relevant groups, Little Mountain tenants are being squeezed out of the benefits of redevelopment while bearing significant losses.”
We then hear from David Vaisbond, a documentary filmmaker, who has thoroughly and intimately documented the history of the Little Mountain housing struggle. We ask him to reflect on some of the most profound moments of documenting this struggle. Finally, former MLA and Little Mountain advocate David Chudnovsky reflects on this victory and provides a history of the proposed Little Mountain privatization and redevelopment.
How is a billionaire mining magnate involved in Vancouver’s new rent bank?
The City critically unpacks the recently launched Vancouver rent bank with the editors of The Mainlander. Editors Tristan Markle, Andrew Witt, and Nathan Crompton recently published an in-depth, and highly critical analysis of the rent bank. We discuss a seemingly progressive institution – the rent bank – and look at the history of who is financially involved in the program, why it matters, and if the rent bank is actually as innocent as it may seem. We look at the issue of charity versus justice in our neoliberal times, and we turn to renowned political philosopher Slavoj Zizek for some assistance in understanding the role of charity in society today.