Listen. Learn. Vote.

Urbanrium-SALA CityDebates are back after a two-year hiatus for a season of monthly Oxford-style debates on timely issues facing Metro Vancouver. Each night two teams face off to argue for and against controversial positions. The pair that successfully changes the most minds wins! Presented by the Vancouver Urbanarium Society and the University of British Columbia School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

City Debate #12: Remove Colonial Markers

Friday, February 18, 2022 @ 7:00pm

Around the world, people are calling for the renaming of places and the removal of monuments honAround the world, people are calling for the renaming of places and the removal of monuments honouring racist colonial figures. Does erasing the historical markers inadvertently diminish the opportunities for current and future generations to remember and meaningfully confront our history? Or does removing the offensive markers enable a more productive dialogue? In that case, who decides which markers to remove, what happens to them, and what, if anything, replaces them?

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City Debate #13: Rethink the DTES Plan

Friday, March 11, 2022 @ 7:00pm

The Downtown Eastside Plan (2014) was created to protect low-income residents and others in need by restricting new development and uses not specifically targeting the poor. Many believe the DTES is Vancouver’s last authentic and compassionate neighbourhood; others see a neighbourhood in decline. Is it time to rethink the DTES Plan to allow for a greater mix of self-supporting uses, residents and businesses? Or, does the DTES Plan effectively protect a vulnerable population and preserve a cohesive neighbourhood?

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City Debate #14: Commercialize the Seawall

Friday, April 1, 2022 @ 7:00pm

First established as a loop around Stanley Park in 1980, the extended Seawall now stretches 28 kilometers. Despite its heavy usage, it is served by few commercial activities. Is the Seawall a beloved public realm success story or boring strip of pavement for single-use recreation? Should the Seawall continue to resist any further “revitalization”, or should more commercial activities be encouraged to foster a greater variety of activities?

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City Debate #15: Elect Regional Representatives

Thursday, May 19, 2022 @ 7:00pm

Metro Vancouver, a federation of 21 municipalities, one Electoral Area and one Treaty First Nation relies on consensus decision-making by nominated councillors to direct its planning and activities. Given the urgent issues of our times—climate change, Land Rights, housing, transportation/transit—require decisive regional action, is the current structure adequate? Or would an empowered regional government, directly elected by the region, be more effective and accountable?

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Vancouver Urbanarium Society

Urbanarium was founded by a group of urbanites in Metro Vancouver, including architects, planners and other leading residents who are passionate about city making. Urbanarium believes in informing, educating and engaging the people in our region to help guide decision making to protect our future well being. Urbanarium is starting to reach out to the community in different ways to provide stimulating and easy to understand information about how our urban system works, what forces are acting on it, what alternative futures might happen and what we can do to affect those outcomes. Our intention is to become respected as a platform for advanced urban conversation in Metro Vancouver and a place where people can get reliable information without political or ideological bias.

The Vancouver Urbanarium Society is a registered non profit society.


SALA is the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of British Columbia, located in Vancouver, situated on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Musqueam people. Deeply committed to the quality of the built and natural environment, we are a close-knit community of scholars, designers, and makers brought together by a shared collaborative spirit.