EVENTS: Embracing ComplexCity: the 2014 SCARP Student Symposium

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How can we work toward building resilient and inclusive cities in the face of deeply complex environmental, social, and economic challenges? The Planning Students Association of the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning invites you to join us for

Embracing ComplexCity: the 6th Annual SCARP Student Symposium
Date: Friday February 7, 2014
Time: 9:00am-5:30pm, followed by wine and cheese reception
Location: Graduate Student Society (GSS) Building – 6371 Crescent Road, University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

Professional – $100 (plus 5% GST)
Student – $45 (plus 5% GST)
SCARP PSA Volunteer – $35 (plus 5% GST)
Please register online by February 1st, 2014.

Poster Competition
The SCARP Planning Students Association invites graduate students at UBC to submit posters. Prizes of $200 will be awarded to the top poster ranked by a team of faculty and professional judges, and to the most popular poster selected by popular vote on the day of the Symposium. The deadline for electronic submission deadline is January 20, 2014.  Submissions should be emailed to Read the submission criteria here.

This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of Horst Rittel and Melvin’s Webber’s seminal publication that framed the challenges confronting planners as “wicked problems.” These problems are inherently hard to define and therefore difficult to address. They are constantly evolving and encompass many interacting systems. Improving the resilience of our towns, cities, and regions to wicked problems like climate change, demographic change, and structural shifts in our economy is a critical issue for the next generation of planners.

Understanding the space around us as a complex web of interdependent pieces and challenges has tremendous implications for planning, but it is unclear how this framing can be translated into practice. Together we will explore tools and strategies we can use in our practice to embrace the complexity of our towns, regions, and cities.

This year we’ve again partnered with the Planning Institute of British Columbia and Yukon (PIBC) to offer 7.5 Organized/Structured CPD Learning Units to PIBC members.

Keynote Speakers

  • Dr. Andrew Weaver, former Canada Research Chair in Climate Modelling and Analysis, Green Party of BC MLA.
  • Ann Maje Raider, the first democratically elected Chief of the Liard First Nation, Residential School Health Support Worker/Executive Director of Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society.
  • Dr. John Friedmann, Honorary Professor in SCARP since 2001 and Professor Emeritus in the School of Public Affairs at UCLA, recipient of the first UN-Habitat Lecture Award for lifetime achievement in the service of human settlements (2006).


  • Creating a Movement: Leadership in Planning
  • Towards a New Economy
  • Resilience in a Global Context: The Urban Turn and Demographic Transition in International Globalized Contexts
  • Urban and Indigenous
  • Public Land in Developer’s Hand: Partnerships to Realize Social Purpose Development Projects
  • What Will it Take to Get to One Planet Living?
  • Living Heritage
  • Flooding in Paradise: Will Metro Vancouver Sink or Swim?
  • UBC Campus Walking Tour


About the SCARP Planning Students Association

The SCARP Planning Students Association is dedicated to serving the planning students of UBC. We advocate on behalf of student issues and initiate projects, learning opportunities, and represent SCARP students in professional planning organizations and student loans under the Obama administration. For more info on obama loan forgiveness, just click the link.

Symposium Website