Community Land Trusts: Exploring civil society’s role in reconciliation and the housing crisis

This research project aims to explore how civil society organizations in Metro Vancouver might devise Community Land Trusts that allow their property interests to intersect with their social mission. Metro Vancouver Alliance, a broad-based community organizing alliance of faith, labour, community, and education sectors, previously conducted listening campaigns identifying reconciliation and affordable housing as common priorities. Some MVA faith institutions have expressed interest in redeveloping their property through CLTs to serve this shared social mission.

Better Benchmarks, Better Urban Design

This project will assess the value in measuring sustainability outcomes according to place-specific baselines rather than universal thresholds set by rating systems and frameworks. It seeks a stronger foundation for sustainable design that can acknowledge place-specific factors. Ultimately, this work will lead to the establishment of a decision-making protocol about sustainable design options and outcomes that can be applied in a range of contexts, for better choices, made more justifiably, better understanding of impact, and a better sense of progress across projects.

Analysis and Integration of Real-Time Mobility Data for the Cascadia Corridor

In order to design and operate more efficient urban transport infrastructure networks along the Cascadia Corridor, improved spatial and temporal data is required to understand travel activity patterns.

Toolkit: Alternative Models for Affordable Housing

Metro Vancouver is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis. While responses to the crisis have tended to focus on our most at-risk populations, the reality is that even with a stable income, the high cost of housing is one of the primary reasons people and families of all ages are leaving the region. This research project will explore non-profit development of affordable ‘workforce’ rental housing for household’s earning between $20,000-$100,000 per year.

Eastside Works: Information System Support and Evaluation

EMBERS Eastside Works (EW) is a new low barrier employment centre in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. EW helps people in the Downtown Eastside make connections to the world of work, earn income, and improve their livelihoods. The proposed research will work with EW to develop a database and information system that fits their needs, while informing a larger UBC research study on individual’s economic activity and how it affects their health and well-being in the downtown eastside.

Hey Neighbour! Evaluation and Understanding Social Connections and Engagement

The Hey Neighbour! pilot program evaluation intends to draw conclusions about the potential of social policy interventions into urban neighbourhoods. First, we will review the multidisciplinary research trends and approaches related to the question of improving social quality in urban neighbourhoods and communities. This will include review of the terminology, definitions of related terminology, overlapping usages across disciplines, co-citations, and different methodological approaches in the past generation, in the scholarly literature.

Activating Empty Storefronts Through Social Innovation

Vacant storefronts reflect the disinvestment and loss of retail activity that has accompanied suburbanization, while also creating impediments to revitalization. It is therefore important to consider alternative approaches, such as activating empty storefronts through social innovation. Social innovation focuses on public interest and social cohesion, rather than commercial success. In this research, we seek to develop a process for activating empty storefronts in Edmonton, in particular with arts-based activities.

Inclusionary Zoning as a Municipal Tool to Support Affordable Housing in Winnipeg

In 2011, 21% of Winnipeg residents (or 61,790 households) were living in unaffordable housing, as defined by Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) is a tool available to municipalities to respond to this issue by ensuring all new residential development includes a certain percentage affordable housing. Inclusionary Zoning is used successfully across the United States, Europe, and Australia to create affordable housing, but implemented differently by each city to respond to local need.

Long-Term Transportation Alternatives for Metrotown Redevelopment

Private car dependence represents a significant problem and a major obstacle towards a more sustainable future. A good combination of different modes of transportation can create an opportunity to overcome this issue. In this sense, integrating car sharing into Transit Oriented Development can be an ideal combination to promote a smart and sustainable development. This research will examine specific aspects of the relationship existing between car sharing and the public transit infrastructure.

Connections and Engagement Survey Analysis and Dissemination Project

The Connections and Engagement Survey Breakdown Project will provide a deeper understanding of relevant community health issues in the Metro Vancouver area by studying various elements associated with civic engagement and citizen participation. Using data collected by the Vancouver Foundation, this project will produce several reports on key issues of neighbourhood and community well-being and engagement and several reports pertaining to the engagement profiles of various cities in the region.

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