What Makes a Beautiful City?

By Elizabeth Pagliacolo, Azure Magazine
April 21, 2011

In the lead-up to Canada’s federal election, the future of cities should be on the minds of the 80 per cent of us that live in urban areas. What goes into a beautiful city was the topic of a discussion hosted at Toronto’s MaRS centre by the Martin Prosperity Institute, Salon Camden and the Design Industry Advisory Committee. Moderator Azmi Haq, of Salon Camden, got things going at the event, which took place two weeks ago, by quoting a student in Pakistan who said that justice and democracy are beautiful. He then turned it over to William Thorsell, the former CEO of the ROM, who instead discussed the plight of the physical city. More …

Simon Fraser University City Program – Events in Your Neighbourhood: Visions for Sustainability + Possibilities in Design

Join representatives of Canada’s leading environmental foundations, non-profits and businesses. Hosted by the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network, it will feature a special presentation from two of Canada’s most celebrated architects: Bing Thom CM MAIBC FRAIC AIA; and Peter Busby CM MAIBCD FRAIC AIA, MAAA, MOAA, BCID, LEED AP, DSc (Hon.).  IT happens Monday, May 9, 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. at the Fei and Milton Wong Theatre, SFU School of Contemporary Arts at Woodwards, 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver. The cost is $15. Register at http://thomandbusbymay9.eventbrite.com/.

Simon Fraser University City Program – Events in Your Neighbourhood: Heritage 101

This one-day hands-on course is designed to help both professionals and homeowners begin to understand old buildings and provide resources for making decisions about them. This course is grounded in the theory and practice outlined in the Standards and Guidelines. Marco D’Agostini, Presented by Senior Heritage Planner Don Luxton and Judy Oberlander, Principal –  Judy Oberlander and Associates. The date is Saturday May 7, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Flying Angel Club, 401 E Waterfront Road, Vancouver. The cost is $125 +HST. Visit http://www.vancouverheritagefoundation.org/oldschool.html to register.

Simon Fraser University City Program – Free Public Lectures: “On Broadway” Design Lecture

Extending across almost the entire city, Broadway is not only an important street for walking, living, shopping and work but is also one of Vancouver’s busiest transit corridors. How can we make it better? Allan Jacobs, former Director of City Planning for San Franciscoand author of Great Streets, and Elizabeth Macdonald, Professor of Urban Design at theUniversity ofCalifornia,Berkeley, will speak to best practices in street design and provide advice on the design of Broadway. Scheduled for Monday, May 30, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at SFU Harbour Centre,515 West Hastings Street,Vancouver.

Simon Fraser University City Program – Free Public Lectures: Michael Geller – Forty Years On

May 2010 marks the 40th Anniversary of MAIBC Michael Geller’s graduation from the University of Toronto School of Architecture,  and the beginning of an active career in architecture, planning, real estate development, and community life. Since then, Geller has had a coast-to-coast career in both public and private sectors, involving ground-breaking projects from False Creek South to UniverCity. Join him for a four-decade retrospective of his work in Room 1900, SFU Harbour Centre Campus, 515 West Hastings Street. Thursday June 9, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. For further information, please visit http://www.sfu.ca/city/fpl.htm.

Simon Fraser University City Program – Free Public Lectures: The Crowdsourced City

Progressive cities are harnessing the power of mass collaboration and innovation. New technologies including cloud computing and mobile devices are allowing us to co-create our neighborhoods and improve community design. This forum will explore how these new technologies and social media can improve the transparency of policymaking, planning and projects. Lukas Biewald, Darin Dinsmore and Colleen Hardwick, leading innovators in the use of crowdsourcing, will demonstrate some of the available new techniques and platforms. It happens Tuesday, May 10, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street. Vancouver. Seating is limited; reserve your seat at www.sfu.ca/reserve.

Simon Fraser University City Program – Transit Network Design Course

Take part in a two-day, hands-on interactive course in real-world transit network design, led by Jarrett Walker, the author of Human Transit. Transit planning, like sculpting or carpentry, involves learning to use of a set of tools and materials. This interactive course includes a series of in-class exercises where students work together to design transit networks for a fictional city, based on its geography and a set of cost limitations. Issues covered include network design, frequency, right-of-way, basic costing, interactions with urban form and basic technology selection. This course is well suited for professionals, students, community leaders and local government workers. It takes place Thursday-Friday, June 9-10, 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at SFU Surrey, 13450 – 102 Avenue. Register at http://www.sfu.ca/city/register.htm.

Simon Fraser University City Program – 2011 Cohort: Urban Design Certificate and Sustainable Community Development Certificate

SFU City Program is now accepting applications for its Fall 2011 cohort in the Urban Design and Sustainable Community Development certificate programs. Participants work through the program courses with a group of peers, sharing experiences, knowledge and ideas in a multidisciplinary context. These part-time programs are designed for mid-career professionals and include eight two- and three-day courses over 10-18 months. The award-winning Urban Design Certificate Program is an interdisciplinary professional development program designed for working professionals from diverse backgrounds. Courses are taught by leading urban design professionals and focus on current western Canadian urban design issues (go to http://www.sfu.ca/city/udc.htm for details). SFU’s Centre for Sustainable Community Development offers a certificate designed to provide practical information from the most experienced consultants and instructors available (details at http://www.sfu.ca/city/scd-sustain.htm). The application deadline for these programs is July 15, 2011. To apply, visit http://www.sfu.ca/city/.

Sustainable Region Initiative – Sustainable Community Breakfast

The Future of the Region Sustainability Dialogues and Sustainability Community Breakfasts are outreach components of Metro Vancouver’s Sustainable Region Initiative (SRI). They involve a series of high-profile debates and discussions intended to help decision makers shape the future of the region by presenting a range of views and stimulating fresh thought on regional issues such as housing, industry, labour and immigration, drugs and crime, regional economy, transportation, energy and agriculture. In 2011, Metro Vancouver will convene 16 dialogues throughout the region please check the website often to find out about future dialogues in your community.

Sustainable Community Breakfast

Topic: World Class Drinking Water – The Story of Seymour-Capilano Filtration Plant

The Seymour-Capilano Filtration Plant is a leading-edge treatment facility that provides high quality drinking water to Metro Vancouver residents. The plant features state-of-the-art technologies and practices that reflect Metro Vancouver’s ongoing commitment to a sustainable future for the region. Now, after one year of operation, learn about the challenges and successes of designing, constructing and operating this facility – while embracing social, environmental and economic sustainability principles. Speakers include: Mark Ferguson, Division Manager, Water and Wastewater Treatment Engineering, Engineering and Construction – Metro Vancouver; Sharon Peters, Superintendant, Seymour-Capilano Filtration Plant, Operations and Maintenance – Metro Vancouver; and Peter Thompson, Member – Community Monitoring and Advisory Committee.

  • Tuesday, May 3
  • 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
  • British Columbia Institute of Technology – DowntownVancouverCampus, 555 Seymour Street
  • To register, click here

Women in Architecture Vancouver

Women in Architecture Vancouver is looking for volunteers to carry out the group’s various service positions. There are immediate openings for a programming, student liaison / communications person, as well as a treasurer (managing WIA’s fees and light bank account). This is a great opportunity to become integrally and meaningfully connected. If interested, please email Laura at l.arpiainen@hcma.ca.