Archive for November, 2012

Surrey Transportation Lecture Program 2012 Graduates

Congratulations to the 2012 graduates – the third cohort – of the Surrey Transportation Lecture Program.


You can find out more about the program here – and think about signing up for next year’s cohort.

The SFU City Program sincerely thanks Vince, Jaime, Luci and all the staff and lecturers who gave of their time.  You – and the graduates – made this work.

Or, as we say here, you “Think Build.”


November 29, 2012 at 1:02 pm Leave a comment

A Seminar on Regenerative Neighbourhoods – Nov 29

The Consulate General of the Netherlands and Light House Sustainable Building Centre would like to invite you to a seminar on Regenerative Neighbourhoods, comparing experiences from the Netherlands and West Canada.

Chair: Tracy Casavant, Executive Director at Light House


Sustainable building: New developments and options for sustainable renovation and revitalization – examples of building retrofits and revitalized neighbourhoods

Jan Westra – Business Developer at Priva, the Netherlands – will give a presentation on different Priva projects, varying from state-of-the-art inner-city Greenhouse development combining office, leisure and local food production, to cost effective sustainable urban renovation using simple and low cost software and hardware solutions. Jan Westra will finish with a discussion on the Priva head office, as a landmark in sustainability.

Priva is world leader in the field of greenhouse process control and water treatment technology, and is market leader in building automation and office climate control in the Netherlands. Priva has been active in the greenhouse industry in Canada since 1970 and since 2009 in building automation control as well, and has completed many projects in the field of building automation.


Regenerating Neighbourhoods in the Netherlands and Canada – Practical experiences from Rotterdam and Vancouver

Gerben van Straaten – CEO of the Walas International Group – will share his practical work of regenerative urban areas and communities by showing examples of revitalizations in different cities in the Netherlands. He will talk about the starting conditions, governance and grass root activation, politics and policies, the challenge to work with and against the traditional forces of real estate development, and the special Walas-toolbox that was built through experience. He will compare Rotterdam and Vancouver to emphasize the difference of practice in the Netherlands and Canada.

The Walas International Group has main offices in Rotterdam and Vancouver area.


The Dutch-Canadian Sustainable Planning & Building Network

Johannes Vervloed – Consul General of the Netherlands in Vancouver – will introduce this new network.


Date: Thursday November 29, 2012 from 16:00 – 18:00

Location: BCIT Downtown Campus, Atrium Room (825), 8th floor

555 Seymour Street, Vancouver

Please confirm your attendance to before November 23, 2012

This seminar will be followed by a reception at the Residence of the Consul General of the Netherlands at 1180 Wolfe Avenue, Vancouver, BC

November 23, 2012 at 9:28 am Leave a comment

Profile: Frank Ducote

Artists Among Us – a series that profiles municipal staffers and community members and the talent or artistic passion that they pursue outside of their day jobs – features our Urban Design Certificate instructor, Frank Ducote.

Frank Ducote’s mission as a Senior Urban Designer is to make the world a better place by being more sustainable, equitable, affordable, and even – dare we say – beautiful!  As a multi-faceted artist working in a variety of mediums, Frank brings a sense of curiosity and willingness to try new things to his work within the municipal framework. “Like art, if a city, building or plaza is considered beautiful it will be remembered and cherished. If cherished, it will last.”

When he’s not at his day job with the City and District of North Vancouver, Frank works from a home-based gallery on South Pender Island that he shares with his life partner and fellow artist Susan Taylor. Most recently, he is exploring reverse painting oil on glass but continues to work on canvas and paper as well. His other main passion is folk art, a medium that allows him to indulge a lifelong connection with shaping wood, and to apply new ideas learned from a metal sculpture course that he recently took at Emily Carr University.

In addition, Frank has embraced the creative potential of the iPad, whose touch-screen tactility encourages play with line, form and colour in a very childlike way. “I think the potential for this art form, trail blazed by artist David Hockney, is immeasurable, particularly in the area of teaching and learning to draw and paint in a fairly unthreatening way.”

You can see more of Frank’s work at

Bend in the Road by Frank Ducote, acrylic on canvas

November 19, 2012 at 5:02 pm 1 comment

It’s Time for a New Approach to Urban Design Education

From thisbigcity:

… sustainable urbanism doesn’t just happen, it needs to be encouraged through the design of our cities. And though formal education isn’t a critical component of being a good urban designer, it is the path that many people follow before entering the profession. So as our cities and planet experience unprecedented change, how are universities responding with their urban design education options? Are we seeing an influx of new courses that proactively address the transformation of our cities? Are existing courses radically altering their teaching to prepare students for the difficult task of creating sustainable cities? Er, no.

In fact, whilst more of the same is the last thing our cities are promising us, more of the same is exactly what we’re getting in universities. Into decorating? That’s Interior Design. Want to design buildings? That’s Architecture. Cities? That’s Urban Planning. Green space? That’s Landscape Architecture. Though the reality of each of these professions involves frequent cross-disciplinary work, collaboration between built environment courses is not the norm. …

Sustainability can no longer simply be more of the same with ‘green’ materials, it must begin to truly question the unsustainable systems our buildings and cities exist within. It’s time colleges and universities started thinking a bit differently about how they approach education and the built environment.

Full article here.

November 2, 2012 at 9:39 am 2 comments