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UBC Launches World Urban Forum Program with Living the Global City Series

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October 11, 2005

Source: University of British Columbia:

UBC Launches World Urban Forum Program with Living the Global City Series

UBC is launching the Living the Global City -- an eight-month series combining lectures, panel discussions and community events that will explore the rapid urbanization of our globe in preparation for the coming United Nationsí World Urban Forum in June 2006.

"The 2006 World Urban Forum in Vancouver represents an exciting and important opportunity for the region and the world to make substantial gains in sustainability and urban settlement," said Dennis Pavlich, UBC Vice-President of External and Legal Affairs.

"UBC is aware of the important role it and other academic institutions can play in finding sustainable solutions," said Pavlich. "As a university community we will engage in a range of activities leading up to and during the forum that result in tangible, and positive outcomes both for the people of the Greater Vancouver Regional District and those living in cities around the world."

In addition to Living the Global City, UBC will showcase its sustainability achievements with a rich program including planning forums, sustainability tours, design workshops, and communications initiatives that will unfold through June 2006.

The Living the Global City series kicks off at UBC Robson Square on October 21 and will demonstrate how ideas, critical thinking, and creativity can directly improve policy and strengthen community, locally and globally.

Leading figures in the series include:

  • William McDonough , World-renowned architect, winner of three US presidential awards andco-author of Cradle to Cradle.

  • Richard Cavell, Professor of English and Director of the International Canadian Studies Centre at UBC.

  • William Gibson , Novelist and author of Necromancer, the first novel to win the holy trinity of science fiction: the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award and the Philip K. Dick Award.

  • Mike Davis , Professor, History, University of California, Irvine; author of City of Quartz and Ecology of Fear

  • David Theo Goldberg , Director, University of California Humanities Research Institute; Professor, African-American Studies and Criminology, Law, and Society, University of California.

  • Josef Konvitz , Head, Regulatory Management and Reform Division, Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate, Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.

    All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. Most events will take place in venues in downtown Vancouver. For information visit
    About the World Urban Forum

    On the historic 30 th anniversary of the first-ever UN-HABITAT conference on human settlements -- held in Vancouver in 1976 -- Canada will welcome the international community back to Vancouver for the World Urban Forum from June 19-23, 2006.

    Created by UN-HABITAT and held once every two years, the World Urban Forum brings together opinion leaders and experts from around the world for an exchange of information and best practices that will lead to meaningful progress on one of the main challenges of the new Millennium: the transition of our planet to an urban -- and sustainable -- world.

    For more information on UBCís program visit:

    For more information on the World Urban Forum visit:
    Living the Global Series Calendar of Events -- October 2005

    For more information visit:
    Arts in Action : Global Responses and the Downtown Eastside Forum

    Date: Thursday & Friday, October 20 & 21, 1 - 5pm
    Location: 29 West Hastings Street

    Sponsored by the Community Arts Initiative

    This two-day forum focusing on community cultural development looking at ways local artists and arts organizations, using successful projects in other cities as models, can ameliorate the pressures of gentrification for the marginalized population of the Downtown Eastside.
    The Sustainable City

    Panel discussion with: Hon. Michael Harcourt, H. Peter Oberlander, William Rees, Stan Williams and Nola-Kate Seymoar, President & CEO, International Centre for Sustainable Cities; introduced by Dennis Pavlich, UBC Vice-President, External and Legal Affairs.

    Date: Friday, October 21, 6 - 8:30 pm
    Location: UBC Robson Square Theatre, 800 Robson Street

    This inaugural event will present Vancouverism: New Deal for Cities and Communities and World Urban Forum opportunities for Vancouver. H. Peter Oberlander will present a historical perspective on the partnership of Canada and the United Nations in mitigating urbanization globally. A panel discussion will follow, focusing on Vancouverís future as a sustainable, liveable and resilient city, and the possibilities and challenges in creating sustainable cities around the globe. A photo exhibition by the Environmental Youth Alliance frames youth perspectives on cities generally.
    Focusing ouR Existing View

    With: SFU Regional Vancouver Urban Observatory (RVu)
    Date: Monday, October 24, 9 am - 4:30 pm
    Location: SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, 580 West Hastings Street

    Focusing ouR View offers a unique opportunity to explore and develop new ways for tracking change in our region. This workshop and dialogue, led by the Regional Vancouver Urban Observatory, will bring together 100 to 150 individuals who will develop a set of urban indicators for regional Vancouver.

    Pre-registration for this workshop is required; for more information, see
    Heart of the City Festival

    Date: Thursday October 27 - Sunday November 6
    Location: Carnegie Community Centre, 20 West Hastings Street

    Presented by the Carnegie Community Centre and the Vancouver Moving Theatre in conjunction with the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians.

    The Downtown Eastside unveils its second annual Heart of the City Festival, a community open house with DTES-involved musicians, actors, poets, painters, panellists and filmmakers. The Festival provides a glimpse of the many faces, sounds and experiences of this remarkable community in the heart of Vancouver, and offers a platform for the voice of the people of the DTES to celebrate its vibrancy, history, activism, cultures and art forms.
    From Cosmic City to Global Village: McLuhan, Media and the Metropolis

    With: Richard Cavell
    Date: Monday, October 31, 7:30 pm
    Location: Vancouver Public Library, Alice Mackay Room, 350 West Georgia Street

    In conjunction with the Vancouver Public Library

    Richard Cavell is Professor of English and Director of the International Canadian Studies Centre at UBC. Cavell will speak on McLuhan's notion of bio-technological embodiment as it envisioned the globe itself as human prosthesis wired together by electronic media.


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