Using the storied San Francisco waterfront as a case study, Jasper Rubin (San Francisco State University) examines the reflexive relationship that gentrification creates between the waterfront and the city. Professor Rubin is author of A Negotiated Landscape: The Transformation of San Francisco’s Waterfront Since 1950.
This talk was recorded in November 2013 as part of the SFU Urban Studies Gentrification and the City Speaker Series.
What does it mean to say that cities like Vancouver have taken a “neoliberal” turn, embracing market-oriented policies while paying little more than lip service to questions of social welfare, affordability, and environmental sustainability? Does the embrace of “creativity” really hold the promise of an alternative path, or does it threaten more of the same? Exploring these questions, Jamie Peck charts the rise of the neoliberal city, calling attention to its mutations, its limits, and to its alternatives.
Jamie Peck is Canada Research Chair in Urban & Regional Political Economy and Professor of Geography at UBC. An economic geographer with interests in labour studies, urban theory, and the politics of globalization, his publications include Constructions of Neoliberal Reason and the co-edited collection, Contesting Neoliberalism: Urban Frontiers.
This talk is part of the Spaces of Contestation: Art, Activism and the City Speaker Series, part of the project Collective Walks – Spaces of Contestation, curated by Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte, and was recorded on November 12, 2013 in Vancouver.
Failed efforts at the international, national and sub-national levels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have prompted some city governments to set their own greenhouse gas targets and implement policies in pursuit of these. But how can we determine the effectiveness of these policies? Are urban climate strategies just hype or potentially a significant answer to these challenges? We hear from Simon Fraser University School of Resource and Environmental Management professor and Nobel Peace Prize (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) recipient Mark Jaccard on the podcast.
Jackie Wong discusses her recent series, Generation Rent: Two Cities, Two Directions, recently published by The Tyee. We discuss the differences and similarities between Vancouver and San Francisco – and we specifically explore how political attitudes towards renting and renters can shape cities in profound ways.
What are the differences between these two west coast cities? And what might we learn from our southern neighbour?
In the interview, Jackie Wong refers to an article by The New Yorker’s George Packer on Silicon Valley and San Francisco’s growing urban inequality. It is an illuminating piece and you can read it here.
Does the growth of service sector jobs in North American cities inevitably lead to greater urban inequality? What are the implications of deteriorating job quality in our cities? How can organizers, workers, and policymakers challenge the degradation of work?
On the podcast, Marc Doussard discusses his recent book, Degraded Work: The Struggle at the Bottom of the Labour Market, based on extensive field research in Chicago.
His 2013 book, published by the University of Minnesota Press, “details the deteriorating conditions of employment in local-serving industries immunized against international competition. The book builds on a long-term engagement with regional economic development, and challenges the assumption that low pay and poor working conditions are intrinsic characteristics of service-sector jobs.”
Marc Doussard is assistant professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Environmental historian and author Sean Kheraj traces how this tension between popular expectations of idealized nature and the volatility of complex ecosystems helped shape the landscape of one of the world’s most famous urban parks.
Kheraj’s book, Inventing Stanley Park, examines how human forces have shaped – and continue to shape – this urban environmental space. Kheraj asks us to question our understanding of the ‘nature’ of Stanley Park, and why it is important be aware of our complex relationship with the environment.
Sean Kheraj is an assistant professor in the Department of History at York University in Toronto.
On the program, we hear two documentaries on the legacies of the Canadian residential schools. In the first half, Janet Rogers’ documentary looks at the multi-generational effects of the residential schools, and in the second half, Matthew Norris’ documentary asks, “Why can’t the past be the past?” The documentaries are powerful documentaries that These documentaries were produced at CFUV Radio (Victoria) and CiTR Radio (Vancouver).
These documentaries were produced as part of the National Campus and Community Radio Association‘s (NCRA) Resonating Reconciliation project which funded fund 40 community radio stations across the country to each produce a 30-minute radio documentary on the legacy of Indian Residential Schools in Canada. The project was developed by Gunargie O’Sullivan, who served as the chair of the NCRA’s Native Caucus and member of the Board of Directors.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada funded the work as part of the Commission’s mandate to acknowledge residential school experiences, impacts and consequences and create a lasting historical record with a focus on the lived experiences of former students and their families.
In the first half of the program, Dr. Marjorie Griffin Cohen (Economist and Professor, SFU Department of Political Science and Women’s Studies) discusses current issues facing low-wage workers as well as the labour movement in British Columbia. On the podcast, we examine the intersections of economic insecurity for workers, high housing costs, and the inadequacy of current social programs and policies in the Lower Mainland.
She contextualizes current conditions facing many of the province’s low-wage and precariously employed workers by reflecting on the legacy of major labour market policy and employment standards changes following the election of the BC Liberal government in the early 2000s. Additionally, we discuss the prospects of Unifor, now Canada’s largest private sector union, and the possibilities of greater organizing potential within traditionally low-wage and non-unionized sectors.
Dr. Cohen has written extensively in the areas of political economy and public policy with special emphasis on issues concerning the Canadian economy, women, labour, electricity deregulation, energy and the environment, and international trade agreements. She was the principle investigator of a five-year SSHRC Community-University Research Alliance Grant (CURA). This project (called the Economic Security Project) focused on the study of the impact of government policies on vulnerable populations and how to construct policy to meet the needs of these people. Her most recent books are Public Policy for Women and Remapping Gender in the New Global Order.
On the second half of the program, we hear from Ben Isitt, a Victoria City Councillor, legal scholar and labour historian. He tells the often tumultuous history of British Columbia’s labour movement, and in doing so, provides a window into the movement’s past challenges and future opportunities. Ben Isitt is author of From Victoria to Vladivostokand Militant Minority.