Featured Event – Reimagining City Streets & Public Realm: Towards a Green and Connected City
“Vancouver benefits from an amazing natural backdrop, with the North Shore mountains, forests, and connection to water around the city. However, through its past colonial actions, the City of Vancouver has removed almost all of the pre-existing natural environment, along with the narratives of these lands’ Indigenous stewards, and we now rely on human-built systems to sustain ourselves.
Much of the city’s public life, and how we collectively experience our own communities, occurs on streets, parks and plazas. This connection with public spaces has been recently and vividly highlighted by the pandemic, with inclusive access to these spaces becoming more important than ever before. Streets are a critical component of these public spaces, but the amount of space given to public life, sustainable transportation and rainwater management is limited, and our transportation networks remain centred around cars.
- With over 30% of the city dedicated to streets and 11% of parks, how can we reimagine these lands to better serve our collective needs?
- How can we rebalance our relationship to nature and retroactively re-shape the city based on ecological principles and acknowledging local First Nations values and traditional knowledge?
- How can we transform “publicly controlled spaces and places” so they are centred on equity and in direct partnership with local Indigenous communities?
- How do we restore the city’s natural systems, water cycle and biodiversity?
- How do we create more opportunities for recreation and strengthening community cohesion?
- How do we manage the effects of climate change, including more frequent and intense storms, sea level rise in low lying areas, drought and heat island effect, and threatened drinking water supply?
Join us at the fifth event of The Future We Want: The Change We Need series as we discuss the stewardship of Vancouver’s public realm, a major contributor to our identity. A panel of local and international thinkers will offer their insights on the future of the streets, places and spaces that shape Vancouverites’ everyday experience of their city. Please bring your ideas to contribute as well, as we continue on with Planning Vancouver Together.
More speakers to be confirmed. Watch this space!
Zahra Ebrahim is a public interest designer, civic entrepreneur, and leader. She is the co-founder and CEO of Monumental, a partnership with Kofi Hope focused on creating fair and just cities and institutions, in support of an equitable recovery from COVID-19.
Gil Penalosa is the founder and chair of the board of the successful Canadian non-profit organization 8 80 Cities. He is also chair of the board of World Urban Parks, the international representative body for the city parks, open space and recreation sector.
Alyssa Schwann is an associate professor in the Environmental Design Program at the University of Manitoba. Her professional experience includes practice as a landscape architect and urban designer in Canada, the UK, and the Netherlands with projects in North America, Europe, and North and South Africa. Her current studio, Atelier Anonymous, is a collective of internationally established designers, educators, and researchers. Some current work includes site planning and landscape restoration for the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, BC; a public art work for the City of Richmond, BC; and a landscape masterplan for a school in Doddabalapur, Bangalore, India.
T’uy’t’tanat-Cease Wyss‘ diverse heritage includes Skwxwu7mesh, Sto:lo, Irish-Métis, Hawaiian and Swiss. An artist, she has extensive experience producing various formats of media art for almost 30 years, and works as an ethnobotanist with traditional training by Indigenous elders.”