Robert Liberty Lecture

The Politics and Principles of Urban Sustainability: Portland and Vancouver

Robert LibertyPortland Oregon’s Metro Councilor Robert Liberty‘s  lecture on the politics of change in cities launched the Commission’s A City Built for Change program on November 20, 2007. The engaging 45 minute presentation followed by Q&A describes Portland’s own struggles with the issues of density, including many that mirror Vancouver’s own experience today. [Media Release  ]

Councilor Liberty has strongly promoted walkable districts through the redevelopment of neighbourhood centres and along main streets, as well as increasing local transportation and housing choices, as key components to healthy communities.  According to VCPC chair, Alan Bonifacre:

Councilor Liberty’s bold view about public process is one of the reasons we wanted him to come to Vancouver. Vancouver is not the only city facing challenges by becoming more sustainable. We can benefit by learning about Portland’s battles against urban sprawl.

What can Vancouver learn about implementing smarter growth?

Growth in Metro Vancouver is at a crossroads. We welcome newcomers and are planning for a predicted increase in population. But citizens and developers are skeptical about the planning process and are debating the outcomes. What does it mean to implement smart growth? And what kind of leadership is needed to make it happen?

Like Vancouver, Portland has weighed into the debate over urban sprawl and Councillor Liberty has been at the heart of the debate. He has strongly promoted walkable districts through the redevelopment of neighbourhood centres and along main streets, as well as increasing local transportation and housing choices, as key components to healthy communities. He also advocates giving citizens a stronger role in the regional planning decisions affecting their future. Councillor Liberty will speak about the political challenges and triumphs of smarter growth in cities and regions.