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Bell Urban Forum: Thinking Cities? Evidence in Policy, Knowledge in Action

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SFU Segal Building

Room 1200

500 Granville Street

Vancouver, BC V6C 1W6

Canada

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The Fourth Annual Bell Urban Forum

Thinking Cities? Evidence in Policy, Knowledge in Action

Thursday, March 5, 2020, 7-9 pm (doors open at 6:30), SFU Segal Building, Room 1200
Admission: $5

Event Description

The legendary urbanist John Friedmann famously defined planning as the translation of knowledge into action. This dictum, however, leaves open what counts as knowledge. In this era of, on the one hand, smart city technologies, and on the other, of fake news, planners seeking to develop evidence-based approaches are both overwhelmed with information produced by surveys and sensors and bombarded with opinions supported by data drawn from consultants’ projections, professorial wisdom, and community discussions.

All too often, evidence serves to rationalize past decisions rather than guide deliberation on choices for the future, and data can be used in questionable ways to justify projects. How then should evidence guide redevelopment policy making? When and why might governmental action be necessary and what should this entail? Should private sector actors be involved, and if so who will they be? What consequences will result from the project and within what time frame will benefits and costs be experienced? How should outcomes be evaluated? Who should participate in decision-making and how will costs and benefits be allocated among places and people?

Join us in this year’s Fourth Annual Bell Urban Forum, as a panel of prominent theorists and practitioners explore the urgency and challenge of translating urban knowledge into action.

Presenters:

Susan Fainstein, Senior Research Fellow and formerly Professor of Urban Planning in the Harvard Design School. She previously taught at Columbia and Rutgers Universities and the National University of Singapore. She received the Distinguished Educator Award for lifetime career achievement from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) and the ACSP Davidoff Book Award for The Just City (Cornell University Press, 2010). Her writings focus on planning theory, urban theory, and urban redevelopment.

Norman Fainstein, President Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Urban Studies at Connecticut College. He has also held teaching and administrative positions at Columbia University, the New School, the City University of New York, Vassar College, the National University of Singapore, and most recently at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He has published widely in urban planning, public policy and sociology. He received an S.B. from MIT in social and natural science and a PhD in political science.

Discussants:

Gil Kelley is an internationally recognized urban strategist and visionary, having served as Chief Planner for several West Coast cities and as an independent advisor to cities and governments across the globe. He currently serves as the General Manager of Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability for the City of Vancouver, British Columbia. In the past, he has served as the Director of Citywide Planning for the City of San Francisco, the Director of Planning for the City of Portland, OR and Director of Planning and Development for the City of Berkeley, CA. He has also maintained an independent planning consultancy and continues to advise cities and governments on a range of urban development strategies. Mr. Kelley did his graduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was awarded the Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. He makes his home in Vancouver.

Heather Campbell is Professor and Director of the School of Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia. Until 2018 she was Professor of Town and Regional Planning at the University of Sheffield. She is Senior Editor of the journal Planning Theory and Practice. She was elected a elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2010. Her research interests focus on how public policy interventions concerned with cities and regions can produce more socially just outcomes, and how research can better support transformational change.

Andy Yan is the director of The City Program at Simon Fraser University. Born and raised in Vancouver, Andy Yan has extensively worked in the non-profit and private urban planning sectors with projects in the metropolitan regions of Vancouver, San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. Andy is a registered professional planner with the Canadian Institute of Planners and a Certified Geographic Information Systems Professional. He is also an adjunct professor in Urban Studies at SFU as well as an adjunct professor in the School of Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia.

Moderated by:

Jen St. Denis. Jen is a journalist whose work has appeared in the Tyee, the Toronto Star, the South China Morning Post and CTV online. Much of her work has focused Vancouver's extremely unaffordable housing market, where multi-million penthouses co-exist with homeless tent cities just blocks away. She has also written about business, economics and politics.



Sponsor

The Larry Bell Urban Forum is made possible by a generous donation by Larry Bell to the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia. A graduate of the Department of Geography and the Urban Studies Program at UBC, Larry Bell has made extraordinary contributions to Vancouver and British Columbia through a long and distinguished career. He has served as chair and CEO of BC Hydro, deputy minister of the Government of British Columbia, chair of the UBC Board of Governors, and as board member or chair for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Vancouver Board of Trade, the Conference Board of Canada, the Vancouver Hospital Foundation, and the B.C. Transplant Society Board of Trustees. He received the Order of British Columbia in 2007.

Partners

The City Program, SFU Continuing Studies

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Date and Time

Location

SFU Segal Building

Room 1200

500 Granville Street

Vancouver, BC V6C 1W6

Canada

View Map

Refund Policy

No Refunds

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