Archive for January, 2009

Wendy Sarkissian comes to town

Wendy’s back! 

Wendy Sarkissian, a consultant and academic in Australia, was an adjunct prof at the School of Community and Regional Planning at UBC last year.  And she’s an author.  She’ll be at SFU Harbour Centre on Feb 5 for a free public lecture to talk about her latest book, and of course her latest ideas and insights. 

Kitchen Table Sustainability: Transform
Your Community Engagement with Sustainability

Why are community engagement processes failing to engage local people with sustainability issues? And what can we do about it? Wendy Sarkissian takes a hard look at current community engagement processes in Canada, Australia and elsewhere. She finds them failing to meet the challenges posed by sustainability in our cities and towns.

Wendy inspires us to use more targeted and tested methods based on leading practice principles that build community confidence and capacity and open the door to true community engagement: methods that help local people understand the dimensions and pitfalls of sustainability and build hope and confidence for the future.

Speaker: Canadian-born Wendy Sarkissian, PhD, is an award-winning planner and author of Kitchen Table Sustainability (Earthscan, 2008).

Date: Thursday, February 5, 7 pm
Venue: SFU at Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings, Vancouver, Room 1900
Reservations: Admission is free; reservations are required.
Email or call 778.782.5100.

Co-sponsored by the City of Coquitlam, District of North Vancouver, and the SFU City Program.

January 26, 2009 at 11:50 am Leave a comment

New Ideas for Old Ways?

From the Washington Post:

History hints that this downturn could change our tastes. Homes built in the 1940s and ’50s, for example, were usually smaller and simpler than large, frilly Victorians that had been in style before the Great Depression and World War II. …

Virginia McAlester: “We are going to have far more small houses and attached houses,” she predicted. The cost of building the roads, sewers and utility lines to serve compact neighborhoods is lower. And soundproofing will become more important to buyers when they’re living closer to their neighbors — and possibly closer to retail and commercial properties. …”

If owners find them unsustainable, some large suburban houses might get turned into multi-family homes, just as many of the large homes of the late 1880s and early 1900s were converted into duplexes once lifestyles grew more spare.

Good-bye to all this?

Good-bye to all this?

We at the SFU City Program are wondering what kind of courses and lectures are needed today when we want to transform the McMansion and the dead-worm suburb.  In other words: what do we do with what we’ve already got?

January 6, 2009 at 8:15 pm Leave a comment