Join us for the third event of The Future We Want: The Change We Need series, hosted by the City of Vancouver in partnership with Simon Fraser University.

Date: Wednesday February 17, 2021
Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

To register please click this link.

About this Event
Many of Vancouver’s early-20th-century neighbourhoods include a mix of housing types, shops, schools, parks and more, allowing many residents’ needs to be met close to home. However, the legacy of planning for most neighbourhoods in Vancouver is one of exclusion and displacement based on income, race, ability and other elements of our identities. Today, many would argue that their neighbourhoods are not “complete.” As we look forward, the first question that the City must reconcile in completing its neighbourhoods is the fact that they are situated on unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) land. Layered on this are other questions such as:

What do neighbourhoods mean to Vancouverites?
When is a neighbourhood “complete,” and does a more complete neighbourhood actually benefit residents?
Can we prevent displacement as we accommodate change?
What is our best thinking about how to meet diverse needs in our neighbourhoods?
What has Vancouver missed or erased in the way we have planned and constructed our neighbourhoods in the past century, and what lessons from history can be employed to ensure more liveable neighbourhoods in the future?

Does strengthening individual neighbourhoods strengthen the city overall?
Join us to discuss these questions and more at the third event of The Future We Want: The Change We Need series. This thought-provoking evening will feature a panel of knowledgeable presenters who think about neighbourhoods from different perspectives. Each will bring us their top ideas and insights on what is needed to make Vancouver’s communities complete. We’ll also be collecting your thoughts for Planning Vancouver Together on how we can feel closer to home in all of Vancouver’s neighbourhoods.

Javier Campos – President, Heritage Vancouver Society

Javier Campos earned his Architecture Degree from the University of British Columbia after having completed an undergraduate degree in Art History. Previously he was at Acton Ostry Architects where, as lead designer, his projects were widely published and garnered numerous awards — including Canadian Architect and Lieutenant Governor Medals in Architecture. 

Shirley Chan – Member, Order of British Columbia

Shirley Chan has been an activist in Vancouver for more than 60 years. In the 60s and 70s, Shirley spearheaded the organizing of the Strathcona Property Owners and Tenants Association (SPOTA) to stop demolition of Strathcona & Chinatown; and to stop the building of freeways in Vancouver.

Uytae Lee – Video Columnist, CBC

Uytae Lee produces videos that inform and engage the public on the complex issues surrounding our cities. His videos on his YouTube channel ‘About Here’ have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times, helping raise awareness on topics such as underground streams, SkyTrains, street-food, and much more. In addition to his YouTube channel, Uytae produces a column with CBC Vancouver under the same name where he challenges audiences to ‘rethink’ their city.

Debra Sparrow – Master Weaver, Public Artist, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm

Acclaimed Musqueam weaver, artist and knowledge keeper Debra Sparrow is a leading figure in the revival of Musqueam Coast Salish weaving. She once said she wouldn’t stop until she saw the city of Vancouver swathed in Coast Salish patterns and she’s well on her way to achieving that goal.

Amy Robinson – Founder and Executive Director, LOCO BC

Amy has over 20 years’ experience working with businesses to embed sustainability into operations. She has worked with organizations ranging from small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to big industry, regional governments and the UN. However, she has a passion for small businesses, with their unique challenges and opportunities. 

Zahra Esmail – Executive Director, South Vancouver Neighbourhood House & Marpole Neighbourhood House

Zahra Esmail has been the Executive Director of the vibrant South Vancouver Neighbourhood House since 2016, and is the first Executive Director of the Marpole Neighbourhood House, which opened under her leadership in 2019. Zahra works with her diverse teams to build community connections and strengthen the neighbourhoods of Killarney, Victoria-Fraserview, Sunset and Marpole in Vancouver. She is deeply committed to equity, social justice, and anti-racism, and engages in change-making at grassroots and systems levels.

Harvey Low – Retired Former Manager, Community Services Social Research Unit, City of Toronto (1984 – 2020)

With a degree in Urban & Regional Planning, Harvey Low recently retired after 36 years of service with the City of Toronto. His expertise focused on neighbourhood planning with a lens on social policy. Harvey worked on many place-based initiatives, notably the Strong Neighbourhood Strategy, and the recently completed Regent Park Revitalization Plan. He has also worked directly with community-based non-profit agencies and citizen groups on a host of equity and service planning projects from transportation studies, to safe communities. Final responsibilities prior to retirement included direct operational support to the Toronto Emergency Office in support of local pandemic planning efforts.

Meg Holden – Professor and Director, SFU Urban Studies

Meg Holden is professor and director of the urban studies program and professor in the department of geography at SFU. Meg is an urban environmental pragmatist. Her engaged research program examines urban policy, planning and social aspects of sustainable development intentions and transitions in cities and communities, with foci in value-based measurement and indicators, community well-being and livability, neighbourhood housing, planning and experience, and local democracy and justice.

Andy Yan – Director, The City Program at Simon Fraser University

Andy Yan is the director of The City Program at Simon Fraser University. Born and raised in Vancouver, Andy Yan has extensively worked in the non-profit and private urban planning sectors with projects in the metropolitan regions of Vancouver, San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles and New Orleans. Andy is a registered professional planner with the Canadian Institute of Planners. He is also an adjunct professor in Urban Studies at SFU as well as an adjunct professor in the School of Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia.

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