Current Lectures

Spring 2019

Sustainable Cities

 

January 31: A Place-Based Learning Model for Building Equitable, Inclusive, Prosperous, and Resilient Cities

 

Sarah Iannarone, Director of City Learning, First Stop Portland

Sarah is the Director of City Learning at First Stop Portland, an executive-level best practices exchange housed at Portland State University. She works with elected officials, civic leaders, and urban influencers from across sectors and around the world who visit Portland seeking strategies for making their places more equitable, inclusive, prosperous, and resilient. She has developed a place-based learning model to help cities and regions exchange ideas and practical wisdom more effectively and efficiently. No need to re-invent the wheel—let's share what's working and do more of it!

A community leader and connector, Sarah is active in urban planning and politics, organizing around issues of social justice and equity, placemaking, transportation, climate action, and housing and urban development. She is owner and founder of a beloved neighborhood restaurant, the Arleta Library Cafe, promoting fair labor practices and urban agriculture. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Halprin Landscape Conservancy; the City of Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee and Bureau of Transportation Budget Advisory Committee; and is co-founder of grassroots Arleta Triangle Project. Most recently, she has advised updates to the City of Portland Comprehensive Plan and the Portland Development Commission (now Prosper Portland) Strategic Plan. In addition to her work in Portland, Sarah travels internationally to share ideas and engage in conversations around sustainable urban planning and development efforts.

Abstract

Sustainable urban development, if not the defining issue of our day, remains a dominant discourse in politics and policymaking worldwide. Despite academic challenges to the usefulness of the concept of sustainability, practical struggles to realize its ideals continue. To this end, civic leaders are visiting “model cities” and “shopping” for “quick fix” sustainable urban development policies and best practices to help them realize thriving, livable cities in the face of economic and environmental crises. There is a voluminous body of literature on policy diffusion and transfer (in political science), and an emergent discourse on policy mobility (in critical human geography), both of which touch on the role of study visits as a means by which knowledge about policies and practices are gathered, disseminated, and exchanged. However, there has been little research into the study visits themselves—their rationale, effectiveness, or implications. Through her work with First Stop Portland—a study tour program with the mission of “Connecting Global Leaders with Portland’s Experts in Sustainability”—Sarah has spent a decade leading and documenting study tours for thousands of civic leaders from hundreds of international delegations, examining how First Stop Portland’s study tours function and interrogating Portland’s role as a model city in the global flows of sustainable urban development policy and best practices. In this City Talk lecture, Sarah will describe the origins and operations of the First Stop Portland study tour program, including its financing and pedagogy. Then, through a deeper dive into a few examples from her roster of visitors from the EU and elsewhere, she will discuss the program’s impacts and implications and offer recommendations for practice and policy for higher education, policymakers, and their partners across sectors.

Thursday, January 31, 2019, 7:30pm

Legacy Art Gallery ~ 630 Yates Street, Victoria

Free Public Event

This City Talk is co-sponsored by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union through the Jean Monnet EU Centre of Excellence at the University of Victoria.

 

Sarah Iannarone City Talk: Sustainable Cities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 21: What if Victoria's Dockside Green Were a Parisien Ecoquartier?

Meg Holden, Director of Urban Studies and Professor of Geography, Simon Fraser University

Meg Holden is Professor of Urban Studies and Geography at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. Meg teaches courses in urban sustainable development, urban ethics, urban planning and policy, and urban theory. She received her Ph.D. in public and urban policy from the New School for Social Research and a M.Sc. and B.Sc. (Hons) in geography. Meg's research and professional work examines how cities and urbanites change in relation to demands, plans, actions, and new concepts related to sustainable development and community wellbeing. Meg is a research associate of the Canadian Index of Wellbeing and the Korean Community Wellbeing Institute. She also serves on the editorial board of Applied Research in Quality of Life and the Springer book series on community wellbeing and quality of life.

Abstract

Beginning in 2004, Victoria stepped onto the world stage for sustainability and climate action commitments by announcing the vision for the industrial site now known as Dockside Green to be planned and developed as a global model sustainable neighbourhood. Based on the LEED system popularly used in North America, Dockside Green won the highest level of certification for its sustainability performance in 2005, 2008, and 2011, and is poised for full build-out by 2027. Half-way around the world, in Paris, at the same time as Dockside Green was taking shape, a vision and process were launched for what would become another model sustainable neighbourhood, in the French mode. This neighbourhood, Fréquel Fontarabie, shares many starting points and motivations with Dockside Green, and has received numerous French accolades for its outcomes and performance, notably as an early recipient of the national Ecoquartier label. Some of what has transpired in Paris is considered impossible in the Canadian context: an écoquartier consisting entirely of social housing; led, managed, and championed by the state; with a daycare and elementary school as a matter of course. Some of what has transpired may ring a bell for Canadians who have considered the ironies of Dockside Green: a sense of loss of wildness, the meaninglessness of “models” to people’s real lives; the difficulty of social and environmental behavior change. This presentation will contextualize the case of envisioning, designing, and building a model sustainable neighbourhood at Fréquel Fontarabie, present what it does and does not share with Dockside Green, and raise questions about the kind of neighbourhood that Victoria, too, could envision differently in its pursuit of more sustainable neighbourhoods.

Thursday, February 21, 2019, 7:30pm

Legacy Art Gallery ~ 630 Yates Street, Victoria

Free Public Event

Meg Holden City Talk: Sustainable Cities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This City Talk is co-sponsored by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union through the Jean Monnet EU Centre of Excellence at the University of Victoria.

March 28: The Limits of Sustainable Education: Reflections on 10 Years of International Urban Sustainability Field Schools

Cameron Owens, Associate Teaching Professor, Department of Geography, University of Victoria

Cameron Owens is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Victoria on Coast Salish Territories. His teaching and research interests concern the political context of environmental governance and sustainable cities. He has been involved with local and international field schools since 2001 and currently leads a travel study program exploring sustainable community development in cities of the Pacific Northwest (of North America) and Western Europe. He is co-editor of the book, Out There Learning: Critical Reflections on Off-Campus Learning

Abstract

Teaching and learning to inspire urban sustainability—promoting communities that are resilient, inclusive, equitable, and prosperous—represents one of the key challenges of our time. In this talk, I draw on ten years of experience running sustainability-focused travel study programs to reflect on the prospect of sustainability education. I have organized my reflections around two senses of “limits”. First, imagining limits in terms of “the utmost extent,” I articulate the exciting promise of off-campus, action-based, experiential learning sharing highlights from our encounters with inspiring people and projects in places like Portland, Amsterdam, and Copenhagen. But, I temper this more celebratory commentary in the second half of the talk, sharing insecurities and apprehensions about sustainability education, thinking here of limits in terms of “bounds, constraints, or confines.” In the end, I ask in the context of alarming indicators of unsustainability: are our efforts to teach and learn sufficient and, if not, what is to be done? 

Thursday, March 28, 2019, 7:30pm

Legacy Art Gallery ~ 630 Yates Street, Victoria

Free Public Event

Cam Owens' City Talk: Sustainable Cities

This City Talk is co-sponsored by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union through the Jean Monnet EU Centre of Excellence at the University of Victoria.