Past Talk Synopses


Top10 Tours & Talks

Chinatown – Historic Urban Landscape
Top10 Tour & Talk 2017

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In this Tour + Talk we examined some of the background of the planning in Chinatown including the Chinatown Vision, the need for a new perspective for Chinatown planning, what is a Historic Urban Landscape and how it relates to a new perspective.


Powell Street, North Strathcona: Past Present and Future
Top10 Tour & Talk 2015

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This tour and talk discussed the diversity of North Strathcona as “Vancouver’s first neighbourhood”, the pre-1942 vitality of Powell Street, the post internment community and the current issues shaping the future of this historic area.



Shaping Vancouver series


2019 series –
What’s the Use of Heritage?


Reshaping Local Communities
Conversation 1 – Shaping Vancouver 2019

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In our first session of Shaping Vancouver for 2019, we look at how heritage can be used to reshape particular places in the city. In particular, we examine how culture-led plans can fulfill economic, social and cultural objectives set for areas such as Chinatown and Punjabi Market.


What Do We Do About Neighbourhoods?
Conversation 2 – Shaping Vancouver 2019

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As a key component of the health, vitality, and character of the city, we look at how neighbourhoods and neighbourhood character are part of the heritage discussion in Vancouver and how they function in the context of the City-Wide Plan.


Is Heritage Relevant?
Conversation 3 – Shaping Vancouver 2019

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In this session, we examine the disruption taking place in heritage and the challenges it faces in remaining relevant, especially in the context of improving our city.


What’s Happening to Heritage?
Conversation 4 – Shaping Vancouver 2019

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In our final session of Shaping Vancouver for 2019, we look at the wider role of heritage as a storytelling tool, with a special focus on the City of Vancouver’s Arts and Culture Plan and the city’s social aims.

2018 series –
The Complexity of Places

The Heather Street Lands
Conversation 1 – Shaping Vancouver 2018

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The Burra Charter advocates for a values-centered approach to heritage – the Heather Street Lands is a site of many different values. It is crucial that we work out how these values can be conveyed on the site because in addition to historical value, there are also cultural, social, architectural, natural and economic values.

Change in Living Communities –
False Creek South

Conversation 2 – Shaping Vancouver 2018

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The “humanistic” approach exemplified by the planning experience of False Creek South sheds light on how ideas, associations of meanings, and people’s connections to places are all important aspects to heritage. In this session, the panelists discussed successes and failures of this vision, and the value that False Creek South’s particular heritage brings to Vancouver’s future.


Values and Change in Living Communities – Mount Pleasant and
the Skytrain

Conversation 3 – Shaping Vancouver 2018

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In this session of Shaping Vancouver, we focus on social priorities and the unique cultural heritage of Mount Pleasant, in relation to the recently-announced SkyTrain extension that will pass directly through the neighbourhood.


2017 series –
The Future of Heritage in Vancouver


What the Thematic Framework Means for our City
Conversation 1 – Shaping Vancouver 2017

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The new thematic framework being used to update the Vancouver Heritage Register under the Heritage Action Plan of 2015.

ReShaping Conversations on Heritage
Conversation 2 – Shaping Vancouver 2017

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Subcultural Heritage – Emergence of Social Diversity and the Creation of Heritage
Conversation 3 – Shaping Vancouver 2017

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By definition, subcultures are oppositional in nature and exist outside of the mainstream. As they fight for changes and recognition, these marginal cultural practices may assimilate and change society as a whole in the long term. Various subcultures have emerged and taken root in Vancouver such as punk rock, the LGBTQ community, hippies, the Georgia Straight, and Greenpeace and environmentalism.


2016 series –
Our neighbourhoods


What Is A Neighbourhood?
Conversation 1 – Shaping Vancouver 2016

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This panel discussion focused on what features are necessary to have vibrant neighbourhoods and communities as well discussed what should be kept in mind as we manage change in Vancouver’s neighbourhoods.


What’s So Special About ‘The Drive’?
Conversation 2 – Shaping Vancouver 2016

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Discussion around the mounting pressure for development on Commercial Drive and its surrounding neighbourhood. This area is renowned for its diversity and vibrant street culture, and the aim of this conversation was to discuss how future development could impact this identity.


What Do I Want From My Street? – Change Is Coming To Cambie, Main, Fraser
Conversation 3 – Shaping Vancouver 2016

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Discussion around the impact of Transit Oriented Development along some of Vancouver’s prominent North South arterial streets, Cambie, Main, Fraser. These neighbourhood’s character and street level retail have been impacted by the development of high-density mixed-use areas close to public transport.


What Is The Vision For Chinatown?
Conversation 4 – Shaping Vancouver 2016

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There is alarming concern in the community over the impacts of development, as Chinatown’s Neighbourhood has approved high density developments in order to increase housing. The introduction of new typologies to accommodate density and how that has disrupted the existing fabric of the area have fueled fears over the loss of Chinatown character. 


2015 series –
Conversations on the Heritage Action Plan

Are Heritage Conservation Areas Right for Vancouver?
Conversation 1 – Shaping Vancouver 2015

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The first panel discussion of the Shaping Vancouver 2015 series focused on heritage conservation areas, and whether they are a viable method to protect the historical character found in Vancouver neighbourhoods.

What is Vancouver’s Heritage?
Conversation 2 – Shaping Vancouver 2015

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This event focused on what defines Vancouver’s heritage and what heritage values ought to be recognized.

What is Neighbourhood Character?
Conversation 3 – Shaping Vancouver 2015

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This discussion focused primarily on the Heritage Action Plan’s goal of taking immediate action on priority character buildings which will draw information from the upcoming Character Home Zoning Review. Panelists discussed how heritage and character links to community identity and if these unique identifiers are worth preserving.

Our Main Streets
Conversation 4 – Shaping Vancouver 2015

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Our main streets are at the heart of our communities, and have often played a key role in the history and evolution of Vancouver’s neighbourhoods. The defining character of these neighbourhoods are threatened by developmental pressure to demolish and rebuild.