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From Councillor and Urbanist Patrick Johnstone, on the City of New Westminster’s Metro Conversation at Innovation Week:
The theme for the 2018 Innovation Week in New Westminster is Innovation in Transportation, and one of the events is a Metro Conversation that will challenge some of the assumptions made about the emerging and disruptive technologies that promise to change everything about how we move around our cities.
You may remember the brief Twitter dispute late last year between Transportation Tech Utopian Elon Musk and an actual Urban Transportation Expert. Jarrett Walker, among others, suggested that the transportation solutions the brightest engineering minds are working on (underground tunnels, hyperloops, automated vehicles, drone taco delivery) are some combination of not feasible or simply not addressing the actual problems facing transportation in urban areas.
Metro Conversations are a series of talk in Urbanist issues, but taken out of Downtown Vancouver into the surrounding communities, where the pressures of sustainable urban planning are perhaps felt more acutely.
This 5th Metro Conversation will be asking about Utopian visions for the future of urban transportation, and how they fit in our dream of more sustainable, more livable and safer communities. How realistic is the public discussion of the future of Automated Vehicles? What challenges do these disruptive technologies present to local governments? Are these technologies promising a vision we want?
The Panel will feature the Mayor of New Westminster, Jonathan Cote, District of North Vancouver Planner, Shazeen Tejani, and Adrian Bell of Activate Planning. As with all Metro Conversations, there will be questions from the Moderators, all City Councillors from around the Lower Mainland (Nathan Pachal from Langley City, Kiersten Duncan from Maple Ridge, Mathew Bond from the District of North Vancouver, and Patrick Johnstone from New Westminster), and lots of opportunity for the audience to ask questions and get involved in the conversation.
If four City Councillors can figure out the tech, it may be on Facebook Live (check out the Metro Conversation facebook page). But you are better off planning to be there in person! You can register here.
Metro Conversations are brought to you through a partnership with the SFU City Program and generous support from the SFU Public Square.
Metro Conversation (part of Innovation Week)
February 27, 6:30pm
Anvil Centre, room 417 (across the street from the New Westminster SkyTrain Station)
Open to the public, limited seating, please register to assure a seat.

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