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Smart City Talks: Is Small Beautiful? Breaking Rules For Compact Affordability


Wednesday, 29 May 2019 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM (PDT)

Smart City Talks: Is Small Beautiful? Breaking Rules...

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Event Details

Density and Design are key levers for creating more affordable housing. As the price of land and construction escalates, we have to be far more creative and judicious about how we design new homes. Taking a page out of Edward Schumacher’s famous 1973 book, this Smart City Talk, a partnership between Urbanarium & Small Housing BC, asks “Is Small Beautiful?”

A panel of creative designers and developers are challenging our design conventions and bending our dated planning rules to deliver homes that better meet environmental, demographic and economic needs.

What rules should we break? Which ones should we keep? Come and find out!


  • Michael Mortensen (Director, Liveable City Planning LTD)


  • Helen Lui (Development Manager, Catalyst Community Developments Society)
  • Marianne Amodio (Principal, MA+HG Architects)
  • Anastasia Koutalianos (Project Manager, Small Housing BC)
  • Jon Stovell (President & CEO, Reliance Properties)


Marianne Amodio holds a Masters Degree of Architecture (honours), is a registered Architect and a LEED Accredited Professional. She began her eponymous firm, Marianne Amodio Architecture Studio in 2009. The pracrice was awarded the Arthur Erickson Award from Emerging Architect, followed by the AIBC Award for Emerging Firm. In 2016, the firm welcomed Harley Grusko AIBC and was renamed MA+HG Architects. Marianne is currently a member of the City of Vancouver Regulatory Review Advisory Committee and she sits on the Board of The Eastside Culture Crawl. She is a former Board Member of the Chinatown Heritage Area Planning Committee and the Council of the Architectural Institute of British Columbia. Marianne’s service also includes the past Chair of the City of Vancouver's Creative Advisory Panel for Housing Innovation and as a member of the City of Vancouver Mayor's Advisory Committee for Housing and the Mayors' Advisory Committee for Permitting and Process. 



Jon Stovell is the President of Reliance Properties Ltd. and has been in the real estate investment and development industry for over 25 years working in all areas including acquisitions, finance, civic approvals, construction and marketing.


Anastasia Koutalianos is a communications strategist, project manager and writer-editor. Since 2017, she has collaborated with Small Housing BC, a non-profit in support of smaller housing in the province, and developed Canada's first Small Housing Summit. Anastasia loves design, partnership development and finding new ways to connect the dots. She co-founded the BC Tiny House Collective and is currently co-producing a report on tiny homes for BC Housing. 


Michael Mortensen brings 20+ years of development and urban planning experience to his consulting work at Liveable City Planning, leading teams and managing all aspects of the development of transformative mixed-use projects. A developer and a Member of the Canadian Institute of Planners, Michael understands development from both the private and public perspective. His experience includes projects at scale in Greater Vancouver, Toronto, L.A., London UK, and Edinburgh.


Helen Lui is a Development Manager at Catalyst Community Developments Society, a not-for-profit real estate developer. In her role at Catalyst, she partners with community organizations, non-profits and municipal governments to create projects that deliver on Catalyst's mission – to unlock the value of community assets to create vibrant, affordable, and inspiring place for people to live and work in. She has worked in a variety of roles, from environmental governance, to waste management, to modular development. Prior to joining Catalyst, she worked as a sustainability consultant on a variety of mixed-use development projects across the Lower Mainland.

Have questions about Smart City Talks: Is Small Beautiful? Breaking Rules For Compact Affordability? Contact Urbanarium

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When & Where

UBC Robson Square
800 Robson St
Vancouver, BC

Wednesday, 29 May 2019 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM (PDT)

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The world is becoming more and more urban, and cities more and more complex. Political, economic and environmental systems are undergoing radical shifts creating added uncertainty in planning for the future.

Urbanarium has been founded by a group of the most prominent urbanites in Vancouver, including architects, planners and other leading citizens who are passionate about city making.

Urbanarium believes in informing, educating and engaging the citizens of Metro Vancouver to help guide decision making to protect our future well being. Urbanarium is starting to reach out to the community to provide it with stimulating and easy to understand information about how our urban system works, what forces are acting on it, what alternative futures might happen and what we can do to affect those outcomes.

Our intention is to become respected as a platform for advanced urban conversation in Metro Vancouver and a place where people can get reliable information without political or ideological bias.

The Vancouver Urbanarium Society is a registered non profit society.

For smart cities.

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