Archive for October, 2012
The annual Warren Gill Memorial Lecture is the highlight of the Simon Fraser University’s City Program.
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.
IS PUBLIC SPACE A PUBLIC GOOD?
Public space is routinely seen as the cure to every imaginable urban ill, from air quality to obesity. But how much of what we call public space is really public? In this lecture, Mark Kingwell will consider this problem, together with its implications for the notion of urban play and the so-called ‘right to the city’. He will conclude with some reflections on the relationship between the city and the university.
Author and critic MARK KINGWELL is an award-winning professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto and the author or co-author of seventeen books of political, cultural and aesthetic theory, including the national bestsellers Better Living (1998), The World We Want (2000), Concrete Reveries (2008), and Glenn Gould (2009).
THURSDAY NOVEMBER 8, 2012
Lecture, Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema @ Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (at Woodward’s)
149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
ADMISSION IS FREE, reservations are required.
Reserve seats at www.sfu.ca/reserve.
Jonathan Cote by the Fraser River in New Westminster. Photo by Fabrice Grover Photo.
SFU Lifelong Learning’s Sustainable Community Development Certificate, which the City Program offers, is helping a city councillor in New Westminster make his community more environmentally and socially sustainable.
Jonathan Cote was elected to council seven years ago, at only 26 years old. He’d always been passionate about cities—how people work and live, and how they deal with urban issues.
He saw the potential of New Westminster, and wanted to revitalize the downtown area and restore it to its “former glory.”
“There was a real desire for someone to come forward and talk about cities differently,” Cote says.
Sustainability has always been part of Cote’s platform—but a few years ago, he felt compelled to dig deeper into the issues he was facing around the council table.
“When I found out about the City Program, and looked at the different courses that were offered, every single one of them was highly applicable to the work I was doing as a city councillor,” Cote says.
“Sustainability is a word that is often overused, but rarely truly understood. The program helps you dig down to what it really means and allows you to genuinely apply the principles of sustainability to urban issues.”
Sustainability studies deliver results in New Westminster
Cote’s work in the program has helped him achieve results. He used to chair New Westminster’s community and social issues committee, and he currently chairs the parks and recreation committee as well as the bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee.
In the last seven years, he’s watched his city transform. Thanks to a project called “Housing First,” homelessness has decreased by 45 percent in New Westminster. “You can’t deal with the complex issues that surround homelessness, like addiction, until you provide people with a home,” Cote says.
Pointing to a beautiful building in New Westminster’s downtown core, Cote notes that low-income people aren’t segregated from the rest of the city—most people likely don’t even know that the building houses low-income units.
Crime has also decreased, the city has become more walkable, a beautiful waterfront park and a new outdoor pool have opened, a civic centre is in progress, and plans are underway to change a parkade that will open up the waterfront view and breathe new life into small businesses along the water.
Over seven thousand new people have moved to New Westminster in the last seven years—even Cote has moved downtown with his wife and two young daughters.
“Seven years ago, I wouldn’t have felt comfortable moving into this neighbourhood…now, it’s much more family-friendly.”
Cote, who found the Sustainable Community Development Certificate so rewarding that he decided to enrol in SFU’s MA in Urban Studies, highly recommends the certificate program to other people engaged in municipal politics and community development.
“In my mind, Metro Vancouver would be a better region if more municipal city councillors took the lectures in the City Program.”
We’ll explore how to effectively use graphics for different audiences in the urban design process. If you’re a novice, this course will increase your confidence by leaps and bounds as you learn the basics of line and form drawing, colour, and perspective techniques. If you’re more experienced, this course will be a good refresher that will also address more advanced drawing and presentation techniques.
On the first day, we’ll introduce the tools and techniques of land economics analysis. On the second day, we’ll focus on applying these tools through a variety of current case studies that are relevant to urban design and planning practice.
In this course, we’ll answer this question by exploring planning and urban design issues for transit, cars, cycling, walkability, and parking. We’ll also learn about the relationship between transportation and built form, neighbourhood traffic calming, and the features of transit-oriented developments.
We’ll use case studies to help analyze the competing demands for road space, including access, linkages, and urban design and public realm issues.
The Now House — Retrofitting for Zero Energy
October 24, 7 pm
SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street
Vancouver Admission is free, but reservations are required. Reserve here.
A lot of focus has been placed on how to build homes that are increasingly more energy efficient and sustainable. But what about the existing stock of older homes across the country? In 50 years, two-thirds of our housing stock will still be here and housing is responsible for 15% of greenhouse gas emissions.
Join Lorraine Gauthier as she explores the approach behind the Now House® — the retrofit of a 60-year-old post-war house in an established neighbourhood in Toronto and its transformation into a net zero energy home.
Just like a typical city house, the Now House® is connected to, and uses energy from, the local utility. However, unlike typical homes, the Now House® produces energy to send to the utility company. On an annual basis, the home produces as much energy as it consumes, resulting in a net zero energy bill.
Based on this success, the The Now House™ project team teamed up with Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation to bring sustainable thinking and design to five similar wartime houses in Windsor. Come and discover how the Now House® offers a vision and a practical, affordable approach that can be applied to homes across the country.
Sponsored by CMHC and SFU Continuing Studies (City Program).