February 14, 2019

SFU Bell Lecture: Vancouverism in a World of Cities

The Third Annual Bell Urban Forum


Vancouverism in a World of Cities


Nearly twenty years ago, ‘Vancouverism’ began to circulate as an internationally-recognized label for a distinctive set of practices of building, representing, and marketing the virtues of urban life. From planning, development, and architecture to cinema, transnational social movements, and increasingly cosmopolitan currents of migration, the Vancouver city-region has become a reference point for new configurations of density, diversity, and new relations between humans and the natural world.

At the same time, Vancouver has become the second or third most expensive housing market on the planet, and it’s all built on the unceded indigenous lands and communities that long predate British North America and Canada. Vancouver provides a unique vantage point from which to view the transformations of space and time — of past, present, and future — in an urban world.

Where have concepts of Vancouverism traveled? How have the images and narratives of Vancouverism evolved? How have these trends co-evolved with changes in the material lived realities of society and nature in the Vancouver region?

Presenters and Panelists:

Juliet Carpenter, Senior Research Fellow, Oxford Brookes University, and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellow at the School of Community and Regional Planning, University of British Columbia; co-author, “Vancouver: Critical Reflections on the Development Experience of a Peripheral Global City.”

Meg Holden, Professor of Urban Studies and Geography, Director of Urban Studies, Simon Fraser University; author, Pragmatic Justifications for the Sustainable City: Acting in the Common Place.

Tom Hutton, Professor, Centre for Human Settlements and School of Community and Regional Planning, University of British Columbia; author, Cities and the Cultural Economy.

Sherry McKay, Professor of Architecture (Emeritus), School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of British Columbia, co-author, “Building Human Agency: A Timely Manifesto.”

Katharyne Mitchell, Professor of Sociology, Dean of Social Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz; author, Crossing the Neoliberal Line: Pacific Rim Migration and the Metropolis.

Geraldine Pratt, Canada Research Chair in Transnationalism and Precarious Labour, University of British Columbia, coauthor, Film and Urban Space: Critical Possibilities.

John Punter, Professor of Urban Design, Cardiff University; author, The Vancouver Achievement: Urban Planning and Design.

Andy Yan, Director, City Program, Simon Fraser University; recipient of Planning Institute of British Columbia Award, Leadership in Advocacy and Innovation.

Elvin Wyly, Professor of Geography and Chair of Urban Studies Coordinating Committee, University of British Columbia.


Thursday, March 7

7-9 pm (doors open at 6:30)

SFU Harbour Centre, Room 1900

Registrations: $5 general admission. Students are admitted for free with valid student ID.

Reserve your spot on Eventbrite


Posted in


If you love this region and have a view to its future please subscribe, donate, or become a Patron.

Share on


  1. From the Urban Village / Urban City landscape of the Lower Mainland comes this Group and Mind think ….. and is very welcomed indeed . Reminding me of the Great Dialogue Series that Metro Vancouver did so well during Johnny Carline’s leadership over there . What fascinates me now is how SFU is stepping up on the INTELLIGENCE GATHERING AND POOLING EFFORT via this kind of CONTINUUM ….

    Definitely not one to miss !!!

Subscribe to Viewpoint Vancouver

Get breaking news and fresh views, direct to your inbox.

Join 7,291 other subscribers

Show your Support

Check our Patreon page for stylish coffee mugs, private city tours, and more – or, make a one-time or recurring donation. Thank you for helping shape this place we love.

Popular Articles

See All

All Articles