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UW UDP Professionals Council Lecture
Tuesday, November 02, 2021, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM PDT
Category: External Event

New Urban Disruptors – Beyond Vancouverism 

A University of Washington College of the Built Environments Urban Design and Planning, Professional Council Planning Lecture Series Event 

Larry Beasley, C.M., FCIP
in conversation with Arun Jain, FAICP

Event attendees are eligible for 1.5 CM credits through the American Planning Association


The Conversation

During its pervasive inner-city transformation at the turn of the century, Vancouver was at the cutting edge of urbanist invention and innovation. As Chief Planner, Larry Beasley had a pivotal role in this transformation. The outcomes of his efforts were profound, popular, and a marked shift towards progressive sustainability.

Larry’s approaches were instrumental in bringing liveability, affordability, and socially minded infrastructure to urban families across income brackets in Vancouver’s city core. Today, you will find the rare sight of children populating urban parks, public spaces, and places in that city’s downtown. Larry’s book “Vancouverism”, documents the essential elements necessary for such success.

Although his basic concepts still hold, the pandemic continues to challenge our confidence in city centers. In most instances, our global scourge has amplified the pre-Covid problems of urban equity, affordable living, and climate change. This new normal has created both new insights and confusion.

Even in normal times, cities adapt to reflect the pressures and offerings of their day, but so much of this change remains accidental. In this unique moment, how could we deliberately build much needed resilience into the DNA of our cities? Alternatively, should we reconcile to working with conditions that are more powerful than human will?

This conversation with Larry explores how cities can embrace both these positive and negative disrupters. He will share his take on both lessons and cautions. Larry will also explore how we might integrate new possibilities and mitigate distortions.

The Speaker

Larry Beasley is a senior Canadian city planner, urban designer, teacher, and author. 

Larry is the ‘Distinguished Practice’ Professor of Planning at the University of British Columbia and founding principal of Beasley and Associates. For many years, he was the Chief Planner for the City of Vancouver.

Among many appointments, Larry sits on the Boards of TransLink in Metro Vancouver, the National Capital Commission in Ottawa, the Green Line Transit Project in Calgary, and the International Economic Advisory Board in Rotterdam.

Larry has authored two popular books – “Vancouverism”, and “Ecodesign for Cities and Suburbs”. He teaches extensively and his on-line course has had a world-wide reach.

Larry is a Member of the Order of Canada, and Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Planners.

Vancouverism, By Larry Beasley 

Until the 1980s, Vancouver was a typical mid-sized North American city. But after the city hosted Expo 86, this otherwise unremarkable

This book recounts the urban development phenomenon called “Vancouverism” and the philosophy and practice behind it. Writing from his insider’s perspective as a former chief planner of Vancouver, Larry Beasley traces the principles that inspired Vancouverism, the policy framework developed to implement it, the development finesse that brought it to life, and the wide range of public and private sector innovations that are now being exported around the world. urban center was transformed into an inspiring world-class city celebrated for its livability, sustainability, and competitiveness.

The text is beautifully illustrated by the author with 200 color photographs depicting not only the city’s vibrancy but also the propositions of Vancouverism in action.

Vancouverism (Planitizen’s Top Planning Books of 2019) may be purchased at a 20% discount using the code “Beasley20” from either of these venues.

University of Chicago Press
UBC Press On Point Press