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Past Events


Thursday, July 5, marked the unveiling of the re:THINK HOUSING competition entries at the Exhibition Hall of the Roundhouse Community Centre. All 68 entries to the competition were on display and attendees were given ballots to vote on their favourites. Over 200 people came out to this solutions-focused event.

In addition to the entries, the evening included a short program hosted by CBC Radio One’s Shiral Tobin where local authors Tyee Bridge, Luke Brocki, and poet laureate Evelyn Lau provided unique reflections on housing in Vancouver. Local gypsy jazz group Van Django played music throughout the evening.

Evelyn Lau started off the evening program by reading four poems that explored themes familiar to Vancouver residents – Vancouver Specials, leaky condos, high rise living and watching neighbourhoods change with development.

Drawing on the analogy of breadfruit trees, Tyee Bridge’s essay “A Botanical Approach to Affordable Housing in Vancouver” encouraged the City to find new forms of housing delivery that have worked elsewhere and incubate those ideas in Vancouver.

In Luke Brocki’s “Vancouver Real Estate Manifesto” he also urged the City to apply solutions that have had success in other jurisdictions. In addition, he wanted to see a renewed focus on urban design that encourages community building.

This event was a partnership between the City of Vancouver, Spacing Magazine, the Vancouver Public Space Network and Gen Why Media.

Ideas Jam

Gen Why Media and the Vancouver Design Nerds, hosted the re:THINK HOUSING ideas jam at the HiVE Vancouver Friday, June 15, as a way to re-imagine civic engagement in Vancouver.

In an attempt to open up civic discussion to new people and fresh ideas, the main ingredients were: creativity, collaboration, food and fun. It was also an opportunity for participants to develop projects for the open re:THINK HOUSING ideas competition on housing affordability.

The HiVE was buzzing as enthusiastic Vancouverites crowded around tables equipped with colorful markers and blank chart paper to brainstorm solutions for Vancouver’s affordable housing crisis. Ideas around reevaluating land taxation, increasing renter rights, re-imagining co-op housing models, designing collaborative financial models, innovating communal living, turning shipping containers into homes and tankers into villages, and “kaling the grid”, emerged alongside camaraderie and critical debate . One idea pitch was to turn the housing market into an online game, where citizens could play with land distribution in order to find the most efficient and collective way to use our limited surface area.

Among the sold out crowd were designers, developers, architects, students, activists, journalists, bureaucrats, members of the Housing Affordability Task Force and Mayor Gregor Robertson. – written by Tara Mahoney, photo by Ben Z Cooper

There’s No Place Like Home

The City of Vancouver hosted a series of neighbourhood storytelling events where local residents shared personal stories that explored the theme of home and neighbourhood. These stories contribute to the fabric of Vancouver’s housing experiences and provide valuable context for the City’s housing staff and the Mayor’s Task Force on Housing Affordability. They provide an opportunity to hear directly from those for whom City staff and council are trying to find housing solutions for.

The stories were recorded and provided a celebratory launch for the community planning processes in: