The SFU City Program, thanks to support from TransLink, is able to offer a first-class line-up of speakers on the highly relevant theme of transportation.


Easing Congestion in Metro Vancouver: Prices Without Subsidies

February 25, 7 pm

Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (at SFU Woodwards), 149 West Hastings,

Vancouver  Admission is free, but reservations are required. Reserve here.


Andrew Coyne, a national columnist for Postmedia/National Post,  will talk about a unified approach to pricing cars and transit.

Transit advocates commonly suppose that subsidizing transit more heavily will induce more people to give up their cars, thus alleviating congestion. The evidence for this is scant, while a better solution is at hand: pricing roads.

Pricing road use is the only effective way to induce people to drive less: indeed, as road use is at present rationed by time rather than money, other proposed methods (wider roads, carpooling, synchronized lights, etc) end up inducing people to drive more, since they reduce the time-price of using the roads.

Put the revenues from road tolls toward subsidizing transit? No: subsidized transit suffers from much the same defects as subsidized roads — both mask the real price of resource use, and both encourage sprawl. Moreover, to the extent subsidies make transit less dependent on riders for revenues, they lessen incentives to innovate and improve service.


Lecture Series Details.

Live webcast will be available here.

February 12, 2014 at 2:23 pm Leave a comment

Rethinking Transportation: Anne Golden from Toronto


Rethinking Transportation: New Voices, New Ideas 

Brought to you by TransLink in collaboration with the SFU City Program 


Breaking the Political Gridlock to Address the Transportation Challenge: Lessons Learned from the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area

January 28, 7 pm

Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (at SFU Woodwards), 149 West Hastings

Admission is free, but reservations are required. Reserve.

Metro Vancouver is not the only region in North America facing difficult choices about how best to meet the future transportation needs of a growing population – and how to pay for it. Like Metro Vancouver, which will add one million new residents over the next 30 years, the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area is projected to see its population increase by 40 per cent in the next 20 years.

To preserve and enhance their economic vitality and quality of life, both Metro Vancouver and the Toronto city-region cannot postpone significant investment in their transportation networks.

In Toronto, where political gridlock has led to inaction, Dr. Anne Golden led a panel in fall 2013 to find a viable transit investment strategy for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. She will describe the political and financial context that was blocking progress in Toronto, and set out the plan that she and her 12 panel members hope will break the political and transportation gridlock.


Lecture Series Details

January 14, 2014 at 11:23 am Leave a comment

Panel: Suburban Sprawl – Innovative approaches to managing suburban sprawl in Canada.

The Canadian Urban Institute and Sustainable Prosperity in collaboration with Simon Fraser University City Program and the Urban Development Institute invite you to attend:


SUBURBAN SPRAWL: Innovative approaches to managing suburban sprawl in Canada.

Date: Monday, January 20, 2014

CUI/UDI Members: $95 / Non‐Members: $130

Time: 8 – 11 am

Location: Segal Building, SFU, 500 Granville Street


A new report issued by Sustainable Prosperity identifies the immediate and long‐term hidden costs of sprawl. The report represents a strong call to action for municipalities, asking them to adopt new policies and legislation to encourage efficient, healthy and resilient high‐density neighbourhood growth.

This panel event will use the findings of this report to address:
1.How is sprawl subsidized by Canadian cities?
2.How do we finance new expectations for development?
3.Can the Vancouver model of urban planning be expanded to include suburbs?
4.What policies will ensure that cities are not left with the tab after development charges are spent?
5.What incentives successfully motivate developers to build in central areas?
6.How can we make density attractive?


Moderator & Panelists

Gord Price, Director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University

David Thompson, Policy Director, Sustainable Communities, Sustainable Prosperity

Gordon Harris, FCIP, President & CEO, UniverCity, SFU Community Trust

Anne McMullin, President & CEO, Urban Development Institute

Larry Beasley, FCIP, Founding Principal, Beasley Associates



January 9, 2014 at 2:50 pm Leave a comment

Lecture: Australian planners compare Vancouver and Brisbane – Nov 21


Thursday, November 21, 7 pm Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (at SFU Woodwards) 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver Details

Admission is free, but we require reservations. Reserve

Two of our favourite Australian planners and urbanists are back in town, with new insights and updates. Greg Vann is one of Brisbane’s best known and respected planners, a co-author of the Next Generation Planning Handbook, and former chair of the State’s Transit Oriented Development Taskforce. Warren Rowe recently stepped down after 18 years as Director of Planning, Environment and Transport at the Gold Coast, Queensland’s second biggest city, where he was instrumental in many award-winning projects, most notably the City’s first light rail line. He comes to Vancouver fresh from presenting and running a master class at a TOD conference in Malaysia.

Both come from the Brisbane region in Queensland — an area roughly the population, age and growth rate of Metro Vancouver. So how are they dealing with pressures of growth and the realities of climate change? What new urban forms are working, or not? In particular, what have been the lessons learned from the massive investments in highway infrastructure? Their tolled tunnels have failed to come anywhere close to their predicted traffic. On the other hand, Gold Coast City is currently constructing a light-rail line prior to the Commonwealth Games that promises to transform this car-centric community. You’ll get the latest news.

Our Commonwealth cousins have more to compare and contrast with us, no doubt contributing a few observations about the Vancouver they know well from many previous visits. Learn about our place and their place, with a few lessons from other places along the way.

Organized by SFU Continuing Studies (City Program). Supported by Metro Vancouver.

November 12, 2013 at 9:51 am 1 comment

Warren Gill Lecture: Jennifer Keesmaat, Toronto planner – Dec 6




Jennifer Keesmaat, Chief Planner of the City of Toronto


Own Your City

Friday, December 6, 2013, 7 pm

Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, SFU at Woodwards, 149 West Hastings, Vancouver

Admission is free, but seating is limited, so we require reservations. Register here.


Political engagement in cities is at an all-time low, but the passionate public discourse about visions for the places we live is louder than ever. What disconnect is hindering these conversations from translating ideas into reality? Jennifer Keesmaat, chief planner for the City of Toronto, will speak about her experiences shifting public discourse through capacity building, and the underlying factors that lead to the tipping point required to achieve a lasting impact.

Belief, understanding, and engagement must come together to empower communities to drive forward positive change. The City of Toronto’s Planning Division is embarking on a new trajectory aimed at fostering these underlying factors by connecting with its residents at a deeper, more substantive level.

Jennifer challenges each of us to Own Your City, taking personal action to increase the quality of life within the communities we call home.

See also: Lecture details / Jennifer Keesmaat bio


About the Warren Gill Lecture

Dr. Warren Gill was passionately engaged in the cities and neighbourhoods in which he lived and worked. As a member of the senior administration at SFU, he was instrumental in the development of its downtown campus; as an urban geography professor, he inspired many students. Never satisfied with the status quo, Warren worked constantly to make life in the city more interesting and more inclusive. The intent of this lecture series in his honour is to continue his questioning, raise new ideas and invoke new ways of thinking about life in the urban context.


Sponsored by: UniverCity, mccarthy tetrault, Polygon, AECOM, SFU Vancouver

November 10, 2013 at 11:31 am Leave a comment

Minnesota Series: Charles Marohn – Oct 24


Thursday, October 24, 7 pm
Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema
Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (at SFU Woodwards)
149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC

Admission is free, but we require reservations. Reserve

Over the next few months, the SFU City Program will be hosting speakers from a state that shares more than a border with Canada. We’ve been big fans of some of the urban thinkers there — in particular Charles Marohn, co-founder and president of ‘Strong Towns.’ Charles is a professional engineer who is passionate about planning and small towns, but also brings a civil-engineering perspective that results in original ideas. Like ‘Stroads’ — a street/road hybrid that manages to be both expensive and unproductive. He’s also a fiscal conservative who makes his case effectively to a small-government audience as much as to urban planners and engineers. You can see more on youtube. Or his TED Talk. Better yet, come hear Charles Marohn live on October 24.

We gratefully acknowledge our sponsors:
City of Surrey
SFU Urban Studies

October 10, 2013 at 2:31 pm Leave a comment

FALL UPDATE: Programs, Courses and News


Taught by renowned practitioners and industry leaders, the Urban Design Certificate equips mid-career professionals with the right tools to create positive changes in their communities. Our hands-on programs feature eight two- and three-day intensive courses. There’s still time to apply. Application deadline for the Fall 2013 cohort has been extended to September 25, 2013.

Certificate Information:
Urban Design Certificate


Urban Design Theory and Practice
October 16-17, 2013

Urban Design: Visual Communication
October 18-19, 2013

Register now.


Theory and Practice

Sept 27-28, 2013



SFU Harbour Centre

Instructors: Scot Hein, City of Vancouver, Michael von Hausen, MVH Urban Planning and Design, Michael Gordon, City of Vancouver, Frank Ducote, Frank Ducote Urban Design.


Visual Communication
Oct 25-26, 2013
SFU Harbour Centre

Economic Fundamentals
Nov 15-16, 2013
SFU Harbour Centre

Implementation Methods
Nov 15-16, 2013
SFU Harbour Centre


Sustainable Economics for the Real World
Nov 1-2, 2013
SFU Harbour Centre
Instructors: Alexis Morgan, Global Water Roundtable, WWF; and others

Urban Transportation: Planning and Designing for Sustainability
Nov 29-30, 2013
SFU Surrey
Instructors: Tamim Raad, TransLink, and others

Making Change Happen
Jan 17-18, 2014
SFU Vancouver
Instructors: Vanessa Timmer, Resourceful Solutions Consulting; Dagmar Timmer, One Earth Initiative Society


How Photography Can Enhance the Professional Practice of Architecture, Urban Planning, and Design
Nov 6, 2013
SFU Vancouver
Instructor: Richard Hulbert

Real Estate Development from the Inside Out
Feb 17-Mar 24 (each Monday evening), 2014
SFU Vancouver
Instructor: Herb Auerbach



Nov 4, 2013
$330 + GST
Coast Bastion Inn, Nanaimo
Instructors: Jay Wollenberg, Coriolis Consulting Corporation; Bill Buholzer, Young Anderson

This course is co-sponsored by the PIBC’s Vancouver Island North Chapter.


Certificate in Next-Generation Transportation
SFU’s new certificate is designed to help mid-career professionals use next-generation transportation strategies to advance livable and sustainable cities of the future. This program is comprised of four online courses. Details


The Charrette Institute is looking for one student (specializing in Urban Planning, Architecture, Landscape Architecture) or recent alumni volunteer to assist with basic tasks for a week long training in downtown Vancouver October 7-11, 8:30-5pm, except Friday the training ends at noon held by the National Charrette Institute. n exchange for volunteering during this week you will also be a student of the course, earning your NCI Charrette System™ Certificate and NCI Charrette Management and Facilitation™ Certificate, typically costing $1,420. We ask that you be available the whole week, participate in the course and assist the Executive Director and the Program Coordinator before, during, and after the course. For training description and further details about NCI please see our website here, For further questions regarding volunteering please contact: Heidi Haberbush Tingey, Program Coordinator,


The BC Land Summit Society is pleased to announce the “Call for Expressions of Interest to Present” for the 2014 BC Land Summit. The 2014 BC Land Summit will be held May 14 – 16, 2014 at Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre. Register your interest to present at the Summit by October 11, 2013. The Program Committee will utilize the expression of interest responses to help them develop the program. If your submission is selected the Summit Program Committee will contact you directly. The four streams include: Food & Agriculture, Law & the Land, The Natural & Built Environment, and Water & the Land.

The Summit is one of the preeminent interdisciplinary conferences in BC that’s organized by five professional organizations, all of which share ties to land use in British Columbia. The 2014 BC Land Summit has confirmed speakers including: Wade Davis, Anthropologist, Author, Explorer; Chris Hadfield, Astronaut, Former Commander of the International Space Station; Louise Mandell, Queen’s Counsel, Doctor of Laws (hon.); and Catherine Murray, Co-Host and Anchor for BNN, Former VP at Deutsche Ban. Contact Tara Culham, BC Land Summit Society Chair with any questions at or visit .

September 17, 2013 at 11:27 am Leave a comment

Older Posts

Recent Posts


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.