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SFU Workshops In Urban Planning & Design

November 25, 2015

From SFU Vancouver Continuing Studies

Dear friends,

Now is an excellent time to consider upgrading your skills. Take your career to the next level with our one and two-day workshops in urban planning and urban design. We also invite you to join us for our Bike Cafe on November 26.

Urban Planning

Financing Urban Growth: The Use of Development Cost Charges and Community Amenity Contributions
February 26, 2016, 9 am – 4:30 pm, SFU Vancouver
Instructors: Jay Wollenberg, Bill Buholzer

Giving Council a Piece of Your Mind: Writing Reports That Work
March 8, 2016, 9 am – 5 pm, SFU Vancouver
Instructor: Dr. Ann McAfee

How Photography Can Enhance the Professional Practice of Architecture, Urban Planning, and Design
March 12, 2016, 8:30 am – 5:30 pm, SFU Vancouver
Instructor: Rick Hulbert

Tweet Of the Day

November 25, 2015

Steve Burgess is consistently funny, and never less than sharp and entertaining.  This one works for me.


Hyatt, Fairmont and Molson’s

November 25, 2015

Molson’s Brewery In 1966


Peter Mitham writes in Business In Vancouver, a story in which foreign investors, cheap money and sparkling properties all meet.

“Yes, money is cheap, but it’s a very classic supply-and-demand situation where there’s a lot of capital chasing very few assets,” observed Maury Dubuque, managing director of Colliers International. “There are some challenges, but it doesn’t seem to be holding up a lot of the larger deals that are happening downtown.”

Frances Bula has written similar views on this market, earlier in the Globe and Mail.

Thanks to Colin Brander for the tip.


Jericho Lands Update

November 25, 2015

Public consultations on this project have been pushed back from Fall 2015 to Spring 2016.  This is according to Deana Grinnel, who was introduced April 29, 2015 as the project manager for this massive redevelopment of the former military lands at Jericho Garrison.


This 52-acre site will be redeveloped by Canada Lands Corporation on behalf of its new owners:  the CLC, Musqueam First Nation, Squamish FN and Tsleil-Waututh FN.


When News Is In the News . . .

November 25, 2015

. . . . and the news is bad.

I’ve written before about media concentration and the problems that ensue. When so many people rely on “the news” for guidance as to what’s important, and how to make sense of it all, it is troubling when the messages are narrow and controlled as they are here in Canada.

We are lucky to live in an age when a vast diversity of opinion and information is out there. Still, what’s in the news matters, because not everyone has access, time and resources to do the necessary searching, or to wade through source documents. This is one role of quality journalism — but it seems we are losing that focus from lots of our newspaper outlets, which include the Sun and Province here in Vancouver.

And we’re all poorer for it.


“I think ownership matters and that through a series of rather bizarre events… we’ve ended up in the situation where the control of this chain is in the hands of people who not only don’t know much about newspapers and don’t have any evident expertise or concern for the future of newspapers, but are also strangers to Canada and uninterested, as far as I can tell, in public discourse up here,” observes Ken Whyte, the National Post’s founding editor.

“And I think it’s an unfortunate situation when such a large share of the newsgathering capacity in Canada is subject to that kind of ownership regime.”

Items From Ian

November 24, 2015
Good article in the Guardian – part of the series ‘things which aren’t about Vancouver but could be’.


There is a relationship to Vancouver in this, and it is hinted at in the Vancouver Sun  this morning.

It has been said over and over (here’s one) that there is an appearance that Vancouver only provides for the public good when there is CAC money, and the city will permit anything which provides sufficient CAC money. There is a risk with this that increasingly, Public Space is ‘brought to you by’ Private Means, instead of being truly open and free. The city seems to become reliant on a particular kind of large development to finance needed civic infrastructure, which does not guarantee conflicts but does make them seem more likely. Little Mountain is a case in point when a reliance on a private firm to build public goods has so far produced neither, at the expense of the hundreds of households who live there. At least now for the sake of the displaced residents, there does seem to again be progress: HERE.

When the city will not build public space itself, and relies on others, it cedes at least some of its ability to dictate time, place, schedule, needs, and content of this Private-Public ‘Pri-blic(?)’ development, and the city’s lack of an overall plan would seem to make it more difficult to anticipate what content will be needed in the first place. The public good becomes the starting point in a negotiation, and some public needs are too vital to be compromised.”


A recent morning newspaper headline was “Brains versus the benefactors” with the subtitle “Cash-strapped universities are turning to donations from corporations or individuals to fund research initiatives. Their influence — real or implied – sometimes can make things awkward…” Vancouver is a city whose functions which have historically been funded through taxes are increasingly being funded through what are effectively donations, with the same potential for influence in tow.

Changes In Alberta

November 24, 2015

Reaction to the Alberta Gov’t climate change announcements. In the Globe and Mail. A nice mix of pro, con and humour.



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