Urban Studies

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The Restructuring of Home and Sense of Home: Examining the Socio-Spatial Outcomes of Urban Redevelopment in Urban China Since 2000

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-06-15
Abstract: 

Against the backdrop of intensified urban redevelopment with massive displacement across urban China in the early 2000s and a recent policy orientation toward micro-renewal without displacement, this proposed project aims to examine the socio-spatial outcomes of China’s urban redevelopment since 2000, as well as the impact of urban renewal on community experiences. We first employ 2000 and 2010 census data to examine the patterns of gentrification in urban neighborhoods. Then, we conduct survey and ethnographic research in eight neighborhoods to further explore how urban renewal affects local residents’ lived experiences, in particular their place attachment and social relations.

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

Toward a Better Understanding of Housing Vulnerability

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-05-13
Abstract: 

Housing vulnerability is a complex and elusive concept. In this report, we draw upon a scoping review and partner consultation to provide a systematic review of vulnerability associated with housing in the Canadian context. We identify five conceptual approaches to housing vulnerability. They can be differentiated based on different treatments of:

 

• entities considered to be vulnerable;

• risk factors of vulnerability;

• ability to respond to vulnerability;

• outcomes of vulnerability.

 

Most studies of housing vulnerability in our review take an outcome-based approach, examining substandard housing outcomes, such as homelessness and severe housing deprivation. These studies expose both the systemic failures and individual deficiencies that drive vulnerability. The second category of approach is a risk-based approach to vulnerability. Research in this category treats poor housing conditions as indicators of the inability of households or communities to manage explicitly identified vulnerability risk factors or events that may affect them negatively in the future, such as natural hazards, food insecurity, or health risk factors. Thirdly, the household financial vulnerability model takes a similar risk-based approach, but its empirical focus is on the risks to households from their financial situation related to housing. Neither risk-based nor financial vulnerability-based approaches do an effective job of treating the outcomes that may result from these risk factors. Fourth, the capabilities approach incorporates housing vulnerability as a component of social vulnerability writ large, where social vulnerability of any kind is understood as a deficit in the freedoms and opportunities to pursue desired well-being outcomes. This approach emphasizes a composite measure of social vulnerability that takes vulnerability from housing situations into account. While appealing in offering a specific conceptualization of the human cost of housing vulnerability, negative capabilities outcomes are often poorly measured. Another strand of literature in economics distinguishes itself from other approaches by looking at the vulnerability of the housing market to economic shocks or risks. This strand is only treated in a summary way in this review.

 

In consultation with our CHC partners on how they view their own understandings of housing vulnerability within this framework, there was recognition of each of the identified approaches. The most common affinity was with the outcome-based approach. However, our partners also pointed out that existing concepts and measures of "housing" and "vulnerability" should take the multi-faceted manifestations of vulnerability into account. The consultation highlighted the importance of re-conceptualizing housing in order to address housing vulnerability in both research and practice. Specifically, consulted partners agree that residential autonomy (i.e., choice or control over residential space), accessibility, social capital, social connectedness, cultural appropriateness, and intersectionality should be taken into account when defining housing vulnerability or the right to housing. There is also a strong consensus that housing vulnerability, despite its various definitions, stems from systemic failures rather than any individual deficiency. Beyond housing precarity, housing vulnerability brings with it a wide range of financial, social, and environmental costs along with the trauma inflicted on households living in this state.

 

Based on our reviews and consultations, we offer a starting point for a policy research position to guide Community Housing Canada’s common work. Namely, alongside housing policy analysis, research that identifies specific negative outcomes and associated risk factors of housing vulnerability is needed for effective rights-based housing policy in Canada.

Document type: 
Report
File(s): 

Indigenous City - Decolonizing and Indigenizing Urban Studies Education

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-03-23
Abstract: 

This research project sought to raise and engage with big questions about how Indigenous people around the world are working to transform the municipal systems that have been imposed on their lands, while looking closely at the local context of Vancouver. This means not taking the city at face value, or as a given. It’s a radical questioning of this system as a legitimate form of government imposed on Indigenous people’s lands. The approach is to ask who has authority to make and shape places? By what means did they assume that authority? The courses created here are designed to ask: What are other narratives of Vancouver? What are the consequences of erasure and displacement, and how can we transform that?

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 

Employer Transit Subsidy Study: Executive Summary

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-07-28
Abstract: 

This study found that the larger the transit subsidy offered, the more employees were induced to become transit riders and the more transit-only commuting increased. The increase in transit-only commuting came from a reduction in auto-only and auto-and-transit commuting. Transit subsidy acceptance and effectiveness can be dampened by factors such as the availability of cheap parking, or greater distance between the workplace and rapid transit, leading to some variability in outcomes. Transit ridership and subsidy acceptance were associated with various positive self-reported improvements to workers’ quality of life, including their health, stress levels and commute predictability. These positive quality of life outcomes were achieved without the transit subsidy having any observed effects on work schedules, turnover and performance.

Document type: 
Report
File(s): 

Employer Transit Subsidy Study: Main Report

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-07-28
Abstract: 

This study found that the larger the transit subsidy offered, the more employees were induced to become transit riders and the more transit-only commuting increased. The increase in transit-only commuting came from a reduction in auto-only and auto-and-transit commuting. Transit subsidy acceptance and effectiveness can be dampened by factors such as the availability of cheap parking, or greater distance between the workplace and rapid transit, leading to some variability in outcomes. Transit ridership and subsidy acceptance were associated with various positive self-reported improvements to workers’ quality of life, including their health, stress levels and commute predictability. These positive quality of life outcomes were achieved without the transit subsidy having any observed effects on work schedules, turnover and performance.

Document type: 
Report
File(s): 

Cooperation, Proximity, and Social Innovation: Three Ingredients for Industrial Medium-Sized Towns’ Renewal?

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020-04-04
Abstract: 

Over several decades, medium-sized industrial towns have suffered from a combination of economic and political processes: Deindustrialization, metropolization, and withdrawal of public services. After two decades in which they have been somewhat neglected (in favor of metropolises), there have recently been State and European public policies aimed at them. Medium-sized cities are not homogeneous and present several trajectories. Based on quantitative approach in France, we highlight the very diverse socio-economic dynamics of French medium-sized industrial towns. Thus, far from widespread decline or shrinking dynamics, some of these cities are experiencing an economic rebound. This is the case of Romans-sur-Isère, a medium-sized town located in the south-east of France. Focusing our qualitative analyze on this city, we try to understand this type of process. In this medium-sized town, former capital of the shoe industry, local stakeholders, private, and public try to support a productive renewal. The results of our case study highlight the role that cooperation, spatial and organizational proximity, and social innovation could play in the renewal of productive economy in medium-sized industrial towns. Even if the economic situation remains difficult for many medium-sized cities in France as in Europe, we argue that they could have a productive future making and ultimately take advantages of their “medium-sized” attributes.

Over several decades, medium-sized industrial towns have suffered from a combination of economic and political processes: Deindustrialization, metropolization, and withdrawal of public services. After two decades in which they have been somewhat neglected (in favor of metropolises), there have recently been State and European public policies aimed at them. Medium-sized cities are not homogeneous and present several trajectories. Based on quantitative approach in France, we highlight the very diverse socio-economic dynamics of French medium-sized industrial towns. Thus, far from widespread decline or shrinking dynamics, some of these cities are experiencing an economic rebound. This is the case of Romans-sur-Isère, a medium-sized town located in the south-east of France. Focusing our qualitative analyze on this city, we try to understand this type of process. In this medium-sized town, former capital of the shoe industry, local stakeholders, private, and public try to support a productive renewal. The results of our case study highlight the role that cooperation, spatial and organizational proximity, and social innovation could play in the renewal of productive economy in medium-sized industrial towns. Even if the economic situation remains difficult for many medium-sized cities in France as in Europe, we argue that they could have a productive future making and ultimately take advantages of their “medium-sized” attributes.

 

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

Citizenship and Cities: The Torch of a Sustainable Future

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018-09-24
Abstract: 

In this presentation given at SFU on September 24, 2018, adjunct professor Ken Cameron introduces his new book, Showing the Way: Peter Oberlander and the Imperative of Global Citizenship. Through the previously unpublished story of Oberlander's progression from persecution and internment to becoming a pioneer in Canadian urbanism, Cameron's book elucidates the remarkable evolution of the concept of citizenship over the past 100 years. Cameron's lecture focuses on the meaning of citizenship today as a set of rights and responsibilities we must exercise at the local, national and international levels if humanity is to survive the forces of nativism, intolerance and protectionism now sweeping our world.

Document type: 
Video

Cities in a Sea of Uncertainty: Growing the Conversation on Regional Planning and Governance in Metro Vancouver

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-03
Abstract: 

Metro Vancouver is growing rapidly and urban development patterns may no longer align with the regional vision that has helped shape the area’s land use over the last 50 years. This study explores some recent land use and transportation decisions in Metro Vancouver, as well as the political dynamics and decision-making processes that have influenced the region through a series of case studies. Specifically, this report aims to summarize the current state of the region in the context of land use and transportation planning decisions and the intergovernmental collaboration and processes underpinning these decisions. This report also examines the success and legacy of the “Cities in a Sea of Green Vision” LMRPB vision and pathways forward.

Document type: 
Report

Urban Challenges Forum 5 (January 17, 2017)—Riverfront Remake: What Vision is the City Crafting, and for Whom?

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-11-15
Abstract: 

New Westminster’s most significant cultural, economic and natural asset, the riverfront, is slated for major change. How is the city going to balance history, housing, business and tourism, while creating a vibrant and welcoming space for all? Watch the videos below to see how this discussion took shape at the Urban Challenges Forum on January 17, 2018.

 

Document type: 
Video

Urban Challenges Forum 4 (November 15, 2017)—Truth and Reconciliation: Cities and Citizens

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-11-15
Abstract: 

Truth and Reconciliation is spoken about a lot, but what does it actually mean for cities and individual citizens? Learn some uncomfortable truths of New Westminster history, how the city is responding to Truth and Reconciliation, and why it’s the responsibility of all citizens to effect change.

 

Document type: 
Video