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Articles on Vancouver

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Artist Steven Shearer’s untitled billboard images of reclining and sleeping people were displayed as part of Capture Photography Festival in Vancouver but were soon removed due to complaints. (Dennis Ha)

Vancouver billboards by artist Steven Shearer evoked intimacy where people least expected it

Examining parallels between Steven Shearer’s billboard images and religious figures of 17th century baroque art allow a consideration of how context is everything when it comes to reading images.
The Northern Bruce Peninsula in Ontario has been a popular domestic tourism destination during COVID-19. Luke Smith/Unsplash

The COVID-19 pandemic has created regional tourism hotspots as big cities suffer

Large Canadian cities, usually major tourist destinations, have have experienced drastic declines in tourists and tourism spending while some regional hotspots have been overwhelmed with visitors.
After an extensive renovation, an old house in a laneway in Toronto became a new two-bedroom home. (LGA Architectural Partners, Ben Rahn/A Frame)

How cities can unlock the potential of laneway housing

Laneway suites could increase rental stock in established neighbourhoods without affecting their character. Toronto has lagged behind other cities in Canada and North America.
A homeless woman sits outside a fenced-off camp in Vancouver after a 12 p.m. deadline for the park to be vacated in Vancouver on May 9, 2020. The province relocated hundreds of people from tent encampments in Vancouver and Victoria to hotel and community centre accommodations. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Cities must end homeless camp evictions during the coronavirus pandemic

Without sufficient safe shelter space and universal testing, cities are forcing homeless people into encampments, limiting their ability to stay safe and violating international human rights laws.
Rather than blank boarded-up storefronts, artists in Vancouver have created murals to offer inspiration, public health messaging and beauty during the coronavirus pandemic. This one is by Will Phillips. (Eugene McCann)

COVID-19 murals express hope and help envision urban futures

During COVID-19, boarded-up storefronts host various new types of inspirational, informational and decorative murals that should be read critically as representing political agendas for the future.
Vancouver has become a money-laundering haven. Can a public inquiry find solutions? Mike Benna/Unsplash

Why money laundering thrives on Canada’s West Coast

A public inquiry into money laundering underway in British Columbia holds out hope for reform, but the problems run deep.
The evidence shows permanent housing, like the Fitzroy housing estate, is the best and most cost-effective way to reduce homelessness. Kate Shaw

Shh! Don’t mention the public housing shortage. But no serious action on homelessness can ignore it

It’s time to tackle the shortage of public housing head-on, rather than skirt around the problem. Public housing is the single most cost-effective way to turn around the rise in homelessness.
A new mural depicts Indigenous paddlers taking food to passengers on the legendary ship Komagata Maru that was denied entry to Vancouver in 1914. Federal official Harry Stevens, with white hat, led the campaign to keep the ship from docking. (Library and Archives Canada)

Did Indigenous paddlers smuggle food to the Komagata Maru?

In 1914, a ship carrying more than 300 immigrants from India wasn’t allowed to dock in Vancouver. A new mural tells an unverified story about Indigenous paddlers bringing food to the stranded ship.
With the luxury of time and good light, summer is perfect for a good solid beach read. Dan Dumitriu /Unsplash

Summer reads: Beach books that grip and enlighten

A literary scholar from British Columbia offers some of her favourite “left coast” summer reads.
Many places overseas require developers to build a certain proportion of affordable housing, but Victoria has opted for a voluntary negotiated approach. Lichtwolke/Shutterstock

If it’s voluntary for developers to make affordable housing deals with councils, what can you expect?

People on the minimum wage can afford only 2% of private rentals and only 1% if on the pension. Affordable housing requirements are often mandatory overseas, but Victoria is relying on negotiation.
Homeless camps like this one in downtown Nanaimo, B.C., photographed in 2018 can be seen all over North America. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward

The aging face of homelessness in North American cities

The number of seniors experiencing homelessness in Vancouver has increased in recent years, according to the city’s Homeless Count.
Honey can carry clues about where pollutants come from. (Shutterstock)

How clean is your city? Just ask the bees

Urban pollutants are a health concern in growing cities. Scientists are turning to honey bees to help monitor contaminants in soil, water, air and plants.
Architects see buildings as a possible solution to the climate crisis. NNECAPA Photo Library/flickr

Green buildings must do more to fix our climate emergency

Buildings are responsible for 40 per cent of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. Efforts to reduce emissions should no longer be voluntary.
Traffic crosses over the Lions Gate Bridge from North Vancouver into Vancouver, B.C., in July 2015. Canada is increasingly becoming a suburban nation, with more people living in car-dependent suburbs.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Canadians increasingly live in the auto-dependent suburbs

It’s easy to over-estimate crowding and traffic in highly visible downtown cores and underestimate the vast growth happening in the suburban edges of our metropolitan regions.
Vancouver has scaled up delivery of affordable social housing to about 15 times as much as Melbourne over the past three years. Shutterstock

Ten lessons from cities that have risen to the affordable housing challenge

Cities overseas that have been able to overcome the affordable housing challenges facing cities like Melbourne have adopted a coordinated and systemic approach to scaling up solutions that work.

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