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VanPlay Smart City Talk - Space + Equity

Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation
Date of Event: 
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 6:30pm to 8:45pm

This series, a collaboration between the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, the Urbanarium Society and UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, will bring together some of the world’s leading thinkers on public space and urban issues to explore the way we connect, play and explore in cities.


Our second lecture of this series delves into spatial distribution, access and equity dimensions of parks and public spaces with two speakers and a moderated Q&A:


Opening Speaker: Aaron Licker – Principal of Licker Geospatial Consulting, on using GIS to investigate cities

Keynote Speaker: Kurt Culbertson – Chairman and CEO of Design Workshop*.


The rapid growth and remarkable diversity of Vancouver place challenges upon the delivery of urban services and facilities. As the Park Board of Vancouver assesses the future of the Vancouver parks and open space system, the particular focus will be given to issues of spatial equity. 


Generally accepted definitions of equity, however, can prove elusive. A variety of models have been tested throughout North America and may be applicable to Vancouver. One concept suggests that park resources be distributed equally to all citizens regardless of need. Another suggests that resources be directed toward those who are disadvantaged in some way. A third considers a citizen’s ability to pay for facilities and services. How do the quality of facilities and services and the distribution of both capital and operating funds factor into this analysis?


In this lecture, Kurt Culbertson will explore these alternative models and current efforts to address social equity as part of VanPlay, the ongoing effort to update the Vancouver park and open space master plan.  Mr. Culbertson will review efforts in other North American cities such as Toronto, New York, and San Francisco, and discuss the applicability of these principles to Vancouver. Come enjoy a stimulating evening and offer your thoughts on this very important topic.


Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

UBC Robson Square

6:30 pm til 8 pm

Tickets by donation

Tickets and more information



*Kurt Culbertson is Chairman and CEO of Design Workshop, an urban design, land planning, and landscape architecture firm with offices in Aspen, Colorado, and nine other cities.  Mr. Culbertson is a former Fulbright scholar, and a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the American Institute of Certified Planners, the Urban Design Forum, and Dumbarton Oaks. He has received 35 national and state awards for his work. Culbertson’s most recent work focuses upon the application of historical ecology to the challenges of shrinking cities and in the application of theories of patch dynamics in establishing an ecology of cities.  He is also currently working to raise awareness of environmental justice issues within the profession.

Katherine Howard
2099 Beach Ave
Vancouver, BC V6G 1Z4
BCSLA Event: 
Project: Telus Atrium Garden
Landscape Architect / Firm: Sharp & Diamond Landscape Architecture Inc in collaboration with Cornelia Hahn Oberlander
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Photo Credit: Brett Hitchins