Normal was not good enough before the pandemic — especially when talking about housing affordability, access and sustainability. Our Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy is currently under review, toward a revised Metro 2050 plan. How should we think about key aspects of this and other local and regional plans, in light of the pandemic? For example, strategy 4.2 of our regional plan seeks to “develop healthy and complete communities with access to a range of services and amenities.” For those struggling, now as before the pandemic, to find housing that is suitable for their household, affordable and in good repair, and located in a neighbourhood where they can access what they need, changes are needed in the direction we are heading, away from what was sadly considered “normal” pre-pandemic.
Laura Colini is a Senior Policy Advisor on social and urban policies for the EU COM (URBACT, UIA, EU Urban Agenda). Her work covers topics related to EU urban policies, urban inequalities, inclusion of migrants and refugees, housing and financialisation.
Niamh Moore Cherry is an Associate Professor in Urban Governance and Development at the School of Geography, University College Dublin. Her current work focuses on metropolitanisation in Ireland and its implications for spatial planning and quality of life.
Erin Rennie is a Senior Planner with Metro Vancouver Regional District. Her current projects include leading the update to Metro 2040, the regional growth strategy, as well as a study of how social equity can be better integrated into regional growth management planning.
Rebecca Schiff, Ph.D., is Chair of the Department of Health Sciences at Lakehead University. For more than a decade she has been an active researcher and advocate on housing and homelessness issues and currently leads research nodes for the Community Housing Canada and At Home in the North Partnerships.
Sierra Tasi Baker is the Lead Indigenous Urban Design Consultant at Sky Spirit Studio. She focuses on furthering Indigenous design and research methodologies through combining oral history, primary archival research, Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and Coast Salish design.
Yushu Zhu is an Assistant Professor in Urban Studies and Public Policy at SFU. Her research focuses on housing and community issues against the backdrop of urbanization and globalization. She pays special attention to communities of immigrants, low-income populations, and ethnic minorities.
ACCESSIBILITY, TECHNOLOGY AND PRIVACY
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