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SALA Spring Event Series 2024


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The UBC SALA James Taylor Chair in Landscape and Liveable Environments is hosting a series of events to explore the challenges and opportunities for local democracy both here in our region and beyond. Our intentions and process are as follows. 

LOCAL DEMOCRACY ROUNDTABLES – 2024 – James Taylor Chair in Landscape and Liveable Environments


To unpack the relationship between local democracy and four crucial issues:

  1. What is the role of local democracy in the age of the Internet? 
  2. To what extent does local democracy have a role in guiding global capital flows?
  3. To what extent is it within both the capability and the responsibility of local democracy to insure a secure and affordable life for its citizens/residents? 
  4. To what extent does local democracy have a role in the sustainable growth of local economies?



There will be four public sessions, held at UBC Robson, and four charrette sessions with a stakeholder panel, location TBA.

For each of the four public sessions there will be:

  1. A white paper written by project staff.
  2. Recorded panel session with invited members qualified to speak on the issue – responding to the white paper mentioned above.
  3. Final report including all the above plus recommendations written by staff.
  4. Each session provides choreography and a partial script for inclusion in a future video series.



Intentions: Approving event choreography, reviewing and revising outcomes – all achieved through use of a modified Charrette methodology.

For each of the stakeholder charrette sessions there will be:

  1. A review of the whitepaper and amendments to the same.
  2. A facilitated conversation about the impact of the previous public session.
  3. Key amendments on the issue and potential instructions for a new text entirely.



SESSION 1 – February 12 – Robson Square – 7 pm

Title: Local Democracy and Housing Equity, Can They be Reconciled?

Traditionally local decision-makers have controlled the nuts and bolts of housing production, mostly because the local level is, by and large, responsible for the public infrastructure that ties all of this housing together (in the elaborate network we call “the city”). Recently much conflict has arisen – globally – over how these responsibilities are to be exercised. Policy has shifted dramatically in recent years, with many arguing passionately that people cannot afford housing because of the inequitable way that cities exercise these powers. If this is so how should these powers be redistributed? To the interests of capital? To higher levels of government that might be more demonstrably equipped to prevent this social dysfunction?


For more information visit the website.