Monday, June 25, 2012

Velo-City 2012 and more!

Whoa - I've been a busy bee lately. FT work, 8 hours of school/week and I have some other fun stuff coming up.

Tomorrow at Velo-City, I'll be presenting on the topic of Youth Engagement in Transportation Planning. My presentation partner and I hope to raise some interesting points and suggest some tactics to egaging an important and diverse demographic. Session starts at 3:00PM:

Here's the title slide (because I think it's sexy):
If you're at the Conference on Tuesday send me a tweet and we'll meet up (@pre_planner). I work FT so I may not be able to attend much of the rest conference (gotta pay the bills+tuition, yo!)

My next speaking engagement will be for Metro Vancouver and the Vancouver Foundation on July 4th in Richmond: Building Community - Social Connections Matter. You have to register to attend.

As the only 'youth' speaker, it should be an interesting and worthwhile series.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Liquor: Cultural Lubricant?

I'm currently in a class in my program that's discussing the topic of art and culture in the city and I'm working on a bit of a small research paper. Personally, I’ve always been interested in Vancouver’s live music and live performance (improv, theatre, etc.) scene and the lack of space or venues. I feel like pressures in the City are working against such artistic ventures – in particular outdated or unnecessarily burdensome regulations. Recently silly alcohol regulations have come into the spotlight with the Rio Theatre and the EXP bar.
Now gone Richards on Richards, Photo from Vancouver Is Awsome
For venues, liquor sales are an important revenue stream. For bands or performers renting a space or throwing a show, liquor sales can be equally important. I want to argue then that over-regulation and liquor licensing restrictions restrict Vancouver's creative scene. Is liquor a cultural lubricant?

The Tyee did an excellent piece titled Vancouver's Creative Space Crunch:
"Because it's so difficult to get things like liquor licenses, Vancouver is missing out on the opportunity to re-purpose spaces that are not being used," says Fazio, the Waldorf brand and design manager. "You would see that happening right away if things loosened up. You would see people going into new space so quickly."
How difficult is it to get a liquor licence? I'm not sure but someone is selling a liquor primary on craigslist for $150,000:
Yep. You can really sell everything on Craigslist
According to other online sources, they can go as high as $2000/seat. 

What I'd like to do is to hear from people who run a venue or musicians/artists to hear their perspective. I've created a form with some questions, which is by no means scientific. Please pass this around: 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Vancouver's First Public Bike Repair Station...Almost...

Here's an update on the #space98 project.

I've applied for a neighbourhood grant in the range of $1000 and I've been in discussion with Urban Racks - they supply some of Vancouver's bike infrastructure. Word is still out on the grant but Urban Racks has generously agreed to help me and they will also supply bike racks and some of the cost for what could be Vancouver's first public bike repair station! Amazing, right?

Example of a station by Bike Fixtation
I sent this proposal to the City of Vancouver, Translink, and some community partners a few weeks ago (I followed up a week ago, as well) but I've yet to hear a word from the City or Translink. I think this is a HUGE opportunity for Vancouver and great publicity since Velo-City will be here soon. I have high hopes the City will move quickly on this. I'm also looking for a community partner to take charge of the station's upkeep (perhaps in exchange for publicity/advertising a logo, etc.). If you know of a bike shop or organization, tweet me @pre_planner or comment here.

If one of these was installed on Granville Street between Broadway and 10th Avenue, would you use it? Is this something Vancouver should have?

I've got some of the pieces, I just need permission and some community support. What say you?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Manifs Casseroles: Vancouver

Tonight I banged my pot with hundreds of other people and marched through the streets of Vancouver. Our sound - a sound that started in Quebec and that now echoes across the globe - resonated across the city. We wanted to be heard and we were. 

We marched because we wanted stand in solidarity with Quebec students. I marched because I believe our generation needs to speak up NOW.

Just from what media coverage these protest are getting, it seems this is predominately (though, not exclusively) a youth movement. It's about more than tuition now - Quebec crossed that line long ago. What we're learning right now is that when a Quebecers oppose the Quebec government, they're no longer Quebecers; when a Canadians opposed the Canadian government, they're no longer Canadians. We must and should speak truth to power. We are utilizing our democratic rights and expressing our anger, frustration and even hope. 

Why does this matter to me? It matters to me because decisions are being made at all levels of Government that concern our future, that defy the facts that climate change is real and that economic growth as we know it is forever possible. My generation is perched perilously on the edge of a precipice - put there with very little of our own doing. 

But of course, our concern is just our entitlement bleeding to the surface, right? 
Image taken by Mike Soron
Countries, Provinces, and Cities are not businesses and we should hope more from them. The current political system is set up to fail the future. We must do what we can and I'm not even sure what that entails. Putting my thoughts down here is part of it: expressing ourselves and telling our parents and grandparents what keeps us up at night will help them understand what we're going through. 

I believe Gord Price was right when he forecasted the collision of worlds
...why would those in their twenties put up with financing the Boomers end-life at the cost of their own beginnings? Why would they remain passive if they felt Boomers were taking them down even as they stood in the way of change.
Put that combination together – inequity in the present, disregard for the future and refusal to change – and you have the conditions that disrupted North American society in the late 60s and North Africa practically yesterday: young people with resentments, not much to lose and a lot of new ways to communicate.

I am scared but I am hopeful. 

I hope you'll join me. 

No attribution to photo. Article can be found here.