“Rethink the DTES” on March 28th!

Graphic via Urbanarium

Urbanarium is a cool Vancouver society (and charity) made up of architects, planners, designers and place-makers. Together, they are working to make sure Metro Vancouver has an engaged platform encouraging dialogue around ideas and issues relating to planning and design of public spaces and neighbourhoods, as well as “how our urban systems and the forces acting on them work, what urban futures might happen and what we can do to affect those outcomes.”

They do this by creating competitions, hosting debates, and arranging talks and tours aimed at getting Vancouverites learning about and connecting with our city (and each other). Case in point: on Tuesday, March 28th, Urbanarium is hosting a debate about the DTES. From event organizers: “The Downtown Eastside Plan (2014) was created to protect low-income residents and other community members by restricting new development and uses not specifically targeting the poor. Many believe the DTES is Vancouver’s last authentic and compassionate neighbourhood; others see a neighbourhood in decline. Is it time to rethink the DTES Plan for a greater mix of self-supporting uses, residents and businesses? Or, does the DTES Plan effectively protect a vulnerable population and preserve/provide the best possibility for a cohesive neighbourhood?”

These are important issues to think and talk about. Whether you love, live and/or work in, visit or avoid the DTES, consider attending and giving this neighbourhood a deep think.

From Urbanarium:


Jon Stovell
Jon Stovell is the President and CEO of Reliance Properties Ltd. He has been in the real estate investment and development industry for over 30 years working in all areas including acquisitions, finance, civic approvals, construction and marketing, policy development, and industry advocacy. Jon is Board Chair of UDI (Urban Development Institute).

Suzanne Anton, KC
Suzanne served as the Attorney General and Minister of Justice of BC and MLA for Vancouver Fraserview from 2013 – 2017. She was elected to Vancouver City Council from 2005-2011, and began her political career on the Vancouver Park Board from 2002-2005. Suzanne is a lawyer, and a former Crown Prosecutor and math teacher.


Nathan Edelson
Nathan Edelson is a Partner with 42nd Street Consulting – focusing on planning for inclusive communities – including the “RePlanning” of False Creek South. He was the Senior City Planner for the Downtown Eastside where he worked on many policies related to housing, heritage, community economic development, social services and harm reduction.

Tanya Fader
Tanya Fader has worked in the field of supportive housing, harm reduction, mental health and addictions for twenty-three years in the DTES and beyond, beginning on the frontline, and is now the director of housing for PHS Community Services Society’s housing and sheltering operations in Vancouver.


Frances Bula
Frances Bula is an award winning journalist specializing in urban issues and city politics in the Vancouver region, which she has covered since 1994. She writes for the Globe and Mail’s B.C. section and Report on Business. She has written for the Vancouver Sun, BCBusiness, Canadian Architect, Canadian Business, Georgia Straight, and countless more.

The evening kicks off with a reception from 6-7pm, followed by a debate from 7-8:30pm. Tickets are by donation (with a $5 suggestion). Find out more.


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