Inclusive Cities and Why They Matter

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“Vancouver prides itself on being an inclusive city, and in many ways it is. But like most cities around the world, we face new challenges that pose a real threat to this inclusiveness. 
Is our city welcoming to refugees? Does it give space for people on the margins of society and affected by the affordability crisis? What can we learn from the recent Habitat III forum and its New Urban Agenda? What is it going take to make Vancouver an inclusive city? If you are passionate about building a better urban community, join us for a discussion on these topics with other Vancouverites and international guests.”
Wilco van Bemmel General Manager of Walas Concepts Canada
Vancouver is in the midst of an extreme housing crisis, which is forcing many citizens to move out of their communities in order to afford the cost of living, or worse. This alienation of citizens can be so dramatic that it can contribute to public backlash and mistrust of the government, as illustrated by recent events.
On Wednesday December 14th, the Dutch Urban Design and Development Centre (or DUDOC) will host a panel of luminary speakers to discuss how to make Vancouver a more inclusive city for all of its citizens. The panel is open to the public and tickets are available here.

From the press release:

Over 30,000 people committed to the healthy future on our cities gathered in Quito Ecuador this October as part of the United Nation’s third Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development. On December 14, we have the opportunity to hear from people who participated as well as other local urbanists who will explore the event’s potential impact on our communities.

Dudoc and the Netherlands Consulate in Vancouver will co-host a diverse panel of speakers to identify international and local possibilities to advance the New Urban Agenda which was agreed to in Quito. The evening will explore its ambitious goals and possible impact with emphasis on inclusivity and housing. Our speakers offer their Canadian, Dutch and international perspectives on the topic. The evening is also an opportunity to meet with other Vancouverites passionate about building better urban communities.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Bert Smolders, Manager, Shelter Program, UN-Habitat Arcadis CSR partnership, Netherlands
  • May So, Associate, Henriquez Partners Architects, Vancouver, Co-author of ‘Towards an Ethical Architecture’
  • Ellen Woodsworth, Chairperson Women Transforming Cities International Society, Former Vancouver City Councillor
  • Habitat III delegation member, UBC Masters Program School of Community and Regional Planning
  • Moderator: Frances Bula, journalist specializing in urban issues and city politics
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James is an architect and writer from Vancouver, British Columbia with a passion for affordable housing, public space, design, and the Pacific Northwest. James has worked on architecture projects across the lower mainland and has written for Canadian Architect, Objekt International, and Price Tags. He holds a Masters in Architecture from the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design and a Bachelors of Applied Science in Civil-Structural Engineering from the University of Waterloo. James has been an AIBC architectural awards jury member, has served on UBC SALA Thesis Committee, and was awarded a special mention in the Urbanarium's Missing Middle competition. He lives in Gastown with his wife Errin, a cool optometrist responsible for his maple glasses.