Policy & Planning
October 18, 2018

Reality Bites Trump Named Buildings

As reported in the Seattle Times New York City owners in a 377 condo unit tower at 200 Riverside Boulevard on the Upper West Side went to court to have the name “Trump Place” removed off the 46 story building. The judge ruled that the residents “were not obliged by contract” to keep the name, and this week the big brass letters are being stripped from the building.

Close to 70 per cent of condo owners had voted to have the Trump name banished, citing security and resale concerns associated with it. This is the fourth building in New York City to have the Trump name banished, joining hotels in Toronto, Manhattan and Panama City in ditching the association.

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This is the first post from our newest contributor, #SaveChinatownYVR community and cultural advocate Melody Ma. Follow her on Twitter @MelodyMa.

The Save Our Skyline YVR advocacy group aiming to protect Vancouver’s public views and view cones issued a survey to Vancouver mayoral and council candidates to understand their positions on public views.

The future of Vancouver view cones and public views were a contentious issue during the PavCo Tower rezoning council vote this past July, and the Northeast False Creek (NEFC) Plan council vote earlier in February. The next Mayor and Council will be voting on upcoming NEFC rezonings for a Concord Pacific development, which includes buildings planned to protrude through the view cones. They can also decide to review and adjust the existing view cone policies, which was a frequently discussed topic during the debate on this topic throughout the year, as the last review was almost a decade ago.

All mayoral and council candidates were asked to participate in the survey. They were provided with all the resources and policy documents needed to answer the questions proposed. If candidates did not provide an answer, their positions based on their past voting records (if incumbent), or known public statements online or at public hearings, were included when applicable.

Any late candidate answers will be added to the website as it is received up until this Saturday’s close of polls at 8pm.

To view the candidates’ full answers to the questionnaire, click here.


The survey questions aimed to learn about candidates familiarity with and positions on tower development in light of the existing policies on public views.

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On April 22, 2018, Vancouver City Council convened a Special Council meeting in Chinatown where Mayor Gregor Robertson delivered a formal apology for past discrimination against people of Chinese descent. The core recommendation was to develop an inclusive process towards a UNESCO World Heritage designation for Chinatown.

Join Melody Ma and Wendy Au and current Chinese Canadian Historical Society of BC (CCHSBC) President Sarah Ling for a provocative discussion on what has happened in Chinatown since the Apology, and how we can transform our city. The panelists for the evening will be joined by Hayne Wai (Moderator, CCHSBC Past-President) and Baldwin Wong (Senior Social Planner, City of Vancouver).


Thursday, October 4

7 – 9 pm

Alice McKay Room, Central Library (VPL), 350 West Georgia Street

For More Information

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Vancouver started green roofs in the 90s.  Developers and landscape architects figured out how to do heavily-planted decks and roofs until it became standard practice, and then compulsory: the expression of sustainability.

It takes a decade at least for this landscape to emerge, and it’s happening now on the foliating cliffs and ledges of Yaletown and Downtown South.

Like this, as seen from the new roof garden of the public library:

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From Heritage Vancouver:

Conversation #2: Change in Living Communities – False Creek South

False Creek South between the Burrard and Cambie bridges is characterized by extensive green spaces and a diverse mix of housing types. The design of this community has its roots in the values-based social planning that was revolutionary when introduced in the 1970s and 80s.

The lease agreements begin to expire in 2025. The City, which owns approximately 80% of False Creek South, has begun to explore the future of this neighbourhood and its residents.

In this session, we seek to provide a space for attendees to discuss what physical and non-physical aspects of False Creek South are significant and definitive, and what degree of change is acceptable before these qualities are compromised? As a piece of city-owned land that can contribute to civic priorities – in particular housing issues – how much responsibility should be placed on False Creek South as a solution to housing needs?  And more.

John Atkin – Civic historian, author, and heritage consultant

Nathan Edelson – Project Manager at False Creek South *RePlan and retired Senior Planner for the Downtown Eastside, City of Vancouver

Tom Davidoff – Director, Centre for Urban Economics and Real Estate Associate Professor, Strategy and Business Economics BC Sauder School of Business

Jennifer Maiko Bradshaw – Renter and a pro-housing activist with Abundant Housing Vancouver.


Thursday, October 11

7 to 9 pm

SFU Woodwards, 149 W Hastings Street, Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts

Register here


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From the SFU City Program:

We’re very pleased to announce a new offering of Community Data Science: Theory and Practice – the first immersive professional development program of its kind in Canada.

Making data-driven land-use, infrastructure, and policy decisions requires that planners, engineers, local policy-makers and managers understand various options, design choices, and trade-offs between them.

Our foundational, part-time Theory and Practice course leaps headfirst into public datasets, with exploring the most critical analytical tools, visualization approaches, and best practices in disseminating insights.

This course takes place over four days at the SFU Harbour Centre Campus:

• Fri Nov 9, 9am to 5pm
• Sat Nov 10, 9am to 5pm
• Fri Nov 23, 9am to 5pm
• Sat Nov 24, 9am to 5pm

Instructors: Craig Jones, PhD candidate, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia; Andy Yan, Director, SFU City Program

Learn more.

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Back to the City of Richmond where the majority of City Councillors have been absolutely complicit in the dismantling of the protected Agricultural Land Reserve farmlands which in this municipality are the best farmlands in Canada. Surprisingly there is not a bigger public outcry on how this City Council has failed future food security and the right of farmers to be able to own and access farmland close to market. Meanwhile Richmond City staff are processing 61 applications carving up farmland as approved by this Council for quick developer profit, despite staff’s recommendation to Council that this was a very bad idea.

There is some weirdness in the majority of Council supporting supernormal land lift profits and a series of loopholes for offshore buyers in numbered companies. These “developers” are turning  protected farmland into gated offshore owned estates. This is happening despite the fact that this farmland is designated as part of the Provincial Agricultural Land Reserve set up in the 1970’s.

Price Tags has been documenting the unbelievable usurping of these prime farmlands for gated estates, with mansions of almost 11,000 square feet, while 5,382 square feet is the permitted maximum under the provincial regulation. We’ve also documented that besides approving these monster houses on supposedly protected farmlands, Richmond City Council also rubber stamped an additional house of 3,200 square feet on larger properties for the “help”.

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The Urbanarium event on September 20 – Planning West Coast Cities – may be remembered more for the complexion of its panel than the significance of the announcement made by Vancouver Planning Director Gil Kelley, subtly integrated into his presentation.  Too subtly, apparently.  While it didn’t get the attention it deserved, it may well mark the beginning of a new era in city planning.

Vancouver, in his opinion, should have a city-wide plan, and the work should start soon after the election of a new council.  It could take two to three years to achieve, but given it’s ambition, so is the timeframe.

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From SFU Urban Studies:

Ken Cameron will introduce his new book, Showing the Way: Peter Oberlander and the Imperative of Global Citizenship.

Through the previously unpublished story of Oberlander’s progression from persecution and internment to becoming a pioneer in Canadian urbanism, Cameron’s book elucidates the remarkable evolution of the concept of citizenship over the past 100 years.

Cameron’s lecture will focus on the meaning of citizenship today as a set of rights and responsibilities we must exercise at the local, national and international levels if humanity is to survive the forces of nativism, intolerance and protectionism now sweeping our world.


September 24

7 pm

Room 7000, SFU Vancouver (515 West Hastings)


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