Design & Development
October 19, 2020

SFU Urban Design – Theory and Practice

For the first time, Urban Design Theory and Practice course will be delivered fully online. Developed and led by renowned Canadian urban designer Michael von Hausen, this course explores the fundamentals of the field over four weeks, covering:

  • Urban design history and trends
  • Rural and suburban design
  • Place-keeping and place-making

Urban Design Theory and Practice
Oct 26–Nov 16 | 4 weeks online
Instructor and facilitator: Michael von Hausen

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Planning for Non-Planners: What You Need to Know About Community Planning

What you’ll learn

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Describe key objectives of the Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy and other region-wide initiatives
  • Explain the basic process and structure of urban plans and policies in municipalities
  • Identify the tools planners can use to influence development of communities

3 Thursday evenings: March 2, 9, 16

6:30–9:30 p.m.

SFU Harbour Centre

Instructor: Eric Aderneck, VP Planning and Development, iFortune Homes Inc.; Industrial Land-Use Planning Consultant

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In cities across the world, housing systems are undergoing immense change. Homes are being transformed into liquid commodities, and as such, are increasingly unable to meet the social need for residential space. This has painful consequences for households and urban life, in the form of residential alienation, precarity and displacement. But in many places, resistance movements are growing.

Join us April 23 to hear sociologist David Madden explore the causes and consequences of the commodification of housing, drawing lessons from London and New York City

David Madden is associate professor in sociology and co-director of the Cities Programme at the London School of Economics. He works on urban studies, political sociology and social theory. His research interests include housing, urban restructuring, public space and critical urban theory. He has conducted qualitative, ethnographic and archival research in New York City and London. He is co-author, with Peter Marcuse, of In Defense of Housing: The politics of crisis. His writing has appeared in leading academic journals as well as the Guardian, the Washington Post and Jacobin.

David Madden’s talk will be followed by a panel of local respondents to give the themes of his talk a Canadian context on a local, provincial and national scale:

  • David Hulchanski, University of Toronto
  • Penny Gurstein, University of British Columbia
  • Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
  • Question period hosted by Jen St. Denis, Star Vancouver


Tuesday, April 23

7 PM to 9 PM (doors open at 6:30 PM)

Room 1200-1500, SFU Segal Building, 500 Granville Street, Vancouver

Admission: $5. Free for students with valid student ID.

Reserve your seat!


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From SFU Public Square:

  Creating a Diverse & Resilient Economy in Metro Vancouver This panel conversation event will focus on the future of employment in Metro Vancouver, and planning for the employment lands that support the regional economy. What are the trends and issues related to employment in various sectors in Metro Vancouver, and how does land use planning, regulation, and market demand affect the future of work regionally? How will we thrive in this changing regional economy? The speakers
  • Opening remarks: Heather McNell, Director of Regional Planning, Metro Vancouver & Gil Kelley, General Manager of Planning, Urban Design, and Sustainability, City of Vancouver
  • Moderator: Gordon Price, Former Director of SFU City Program and Former Vancouver City Councillor


  • Peter HallProfessor & Director of SFU Urban Studies Program
  • Shachi KurlExecutive Director, Angus Reid Institute
  • Andrew PetrozziPrincipal & Vice-Principal, Research, Avison Young
  • Bryan BuggeyDirector, Strategic Initiatives & Sector Development, Vancouver Economic Commission


March 5 8 – 10:30 am SFU Vancouver at Harbour Centre, Room 1420-1430, 515 West Hastings Free registration:  Read more »
SFU City Conversations: Rethinking and Repurposing Waste

In coordination with the launch of New Delhi-based artist Asim Waqif’s new installation at Offsite, SFU Public Square and the Vancouver Art Gallery are pleased to co-present SFU City Conversations: Rethinking and Repurposing Waste.
Joining Asim Waqif will be two other individuals who view waste as a valuable resource: Adam Corneil, Founder, Naturally Crafted, and Faisal Mirza, Senior Project Manager of Engineering Services with the City of Vancouver.
Hear about the circular economy and Vancouver’s “zero waste by 2040” goal, and then question, observe, and share your opinions on Vancouver’s system of waste management. It’s a conversation!

  Thursday, November 9 12:30 – 1:30 PM SFU Vancouver at Harbour Centre – Room 7000
515 West Hastings Cost: Free, no registration required


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SFU Market Day: Local Food, Food Security, and Saving Local Agriculture

On Thursday September 21, SFU City Conversations visits the Downtown Farmers Market at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza. This special edition of City Conversations takes place as part of SFU Market Day, an event to convene SFU students, staff, and the broader downtown community around a celebration of local food.
Locally grown and produced food is fresher, often better tasting, and sometimes even more nutritious than produce that has been shipped from around the world. But what does it take to get this fresh local produce, meat and seafood to your table? Want to grow your own food but aren’t sure how to begin? Wondering if our exceptional agricultural land is being used to its full potential? Interested in how Vancouver is protecting itself from international food disruption and increasing food prices?
Joining us for the conversation is Richmond City Councillor Harold Steves, co-founder of the Agricultural Land Reserve (Steveston is named for his family); and Lisa Giroday, co-founder of Victory Gardens. They will help us frame the issues, and then it’s time for you to ask your questions, express your opinions, make your observations. It’s a conversation!
Before and after the conversation, browse the Downtown Farmers Market and meet the 30+ farmers and producers who are there every Thursday until the end of the season. Come early for giant board games, and stay after for a dance performance from SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts. Plus, the first 50 people to show their SFU identification at the market info tent will receive $5 in market money. Enjoy the ambience, taste some really fresh food, and appreciate what our local farmers do for you and your health. You’ll find seasonal fruits & vegetables, ethically raised meat, poultry, eggs & dairy, sustainable seafood, artisanal food & crafts, food trucks, and local craft beer, wine & spirits.
This event is off-site at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza, located at the corner of Georgia and Hamilton Streets. This is a free event with no reservations, but please come early to enjoy all the market has to offer and guarantee yourself a seat.

RSVP on Facebook

City Conversations: 12:30–1:30pm
Vancouver Farmers Market: 11:00am–3:00pm
Giant Games: 11:00am–3:00pm
SFU SCA Dancers: 1:45pm & 2:30pm
Vancouver Farmers Market
Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza
695 Cambie Street

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For over a decade the city has worked on a revitalization strategy, with millions in grants to preserve historic clan and society buildings, with goals that are hard to object to. But many disagree with the results so far. Is there a way to revitalize Chinatown and keep its special charm?
To discuss the way forward, our presenters are Doris Chow, co-founder of the Youth Collaborative for Chinatown, and architect and urban designer Bruce Haden, who has twice chaired the City’s Urban Design Panel. Then it is your turn to question, observe, and offer your opinions. Please feel free to bring your lunch.

Thursday, 16 March
12:30 – 1:30 pm
SFU Vancouver, Harbour Centre Room 1600 – 515 West Hastings
Registration is not required but seating is limited. Please try to arrive early to ensure a seat.

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Metro Vancouver’s Global Impact From climate change to refugee settlement, cities around the world are tackling critical and complex global issues. Metro Vancouver’s municipalities are increasingly recognized for their efforts and their important role that goes beyond our region’s boundaries.
What are the opportunities for Canadian cities overall in the global arena? How are the leaders of Canadian cities having impact on the world stage and in addressing global issues? Where are they not yet, but should be?
Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, former Mayor of West Vancouver
Penny Gurstein, Professor and Director of the School of Community and Regional Planning and the Centre for Human Settlements, UBC
Kaye Krishna, Vancouver’s new General Manager of Development, Buildings and Licensing. Thursday, Mar 2  . 12:30–1:30 pm  . Room 7000 – 515 West Hastings . Registration is not required but seating is limited. Please try to arrive early to ensure a seat.

Note that we do broadcast these events on the City Conversations Facebook page.

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At his only public talk since arriving from San Francisco, Vancouver’s new Director of Planning voiced an ambitious agenda. He said that since our city’s glory days of the 1980’s and ’90’s, “planning has shrunk. We need to be leaders, not just regulators.” He reminded us that the purpose of planning is to answer, “Where do we want to go?” and listed strategies, relations with senior levels of government, architecture, streetscapes, housing, jobs, transportation, regulation, public engagement, and a host of key project areas to focus on.
Mr. Kelley will talk about these in greater detail, but he’s new to Vancouver, and to Canada. He wants to hear from you. What are your interests, priorities, hopes and dreams for the look and feel of our city?
Please join us for the first conversation with Vancouver’s new decision maker, key staffer and implementer. Feel free to bring your lunch.
Registration is not required but seating is limited. Please try to arrive early to ensure a seat.

Thursday, Nov 3 12:30 – 1:30 PM Room 1900 (Note room change) – SFU Vancouver at Harbour Centre   Read more »

The 2011 Stanley Cup riots have been described as one of the largest crime sprees in Vancouver. The riot stripped a sense of safety and security from many citizens. But the next morning, hundreds took to the streets to reclaim our city.
That summer, Prof. Steve Reicher was writing about similar riots in England. He’s a social psychologist at the University of St. Andrews, who studies crowd actions, political rhetoric, and national identity. Ms. Tania Arvanitidis is a PhD candidate in the SFU School of Criminology who has been studying the riots since 2011.
Five years after the Stanley Cup riots, what have we learned about crowd behaviour, and the impacts on those most affected? Will the high cost of prosecution be a deterrent?
Registration is not required. Please try to arrive early to ensure a seat.
Friday, October 28
12:30 – 1:30 PM |
Room 2270 (note room change)
SFU Vancouver – 515 West Hastings

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