Around Town: First Baptist public hearing, Urban Spaces, Judy Graves . . .

Plans for the redevelopment of First Baptist Church will be considered at a public hearing July 18.

Vancouver City Council will consider the redevelopment of the First Baptist Church property next Tuesday evening (July 18).

City staff recommended June 27 that the application by Bing Thom Architects Inc. on behalf of First Baptist Church and Westbank Project Corp. be referred to a public hearing.

The City of Vancouver website has a page devoted to the rezoning application. It says, in part:

The City of Vancouver has received an application to rezone 969 Burrard Street & 1019-1045 Nelson Street from CD-1 (445) (Comprehensive Development) to a new CD-1 District. The proposal includes:

    • restoration of First Baptist Church;
    • new church ancillary spaces, including a 37-space child daycare, a gymnasium, a counselling centre, offices and a cafe;
    • a new eight-storey [revised to seven-storey] building containing 66 [revised to 61] social housing units, owned by the church;
    • a new 56-storey [revised to 57-storey] tower containing 294 [revised to 331] market strata residential units, with a cafe at ground floor;

The page notes that the rezoning application is being considered under the Rezoning Policy for the West End and the West End Community Plan and that a community open house was held at First Baptist Church March 10, 2016. (I wrote about the West End Community Plan here.)

The West End Neighbours (WEN) website wrote about the proposal July 7. Noting that “People may see various pros and cons with this application, depending on perspective,” WEN seems to be taking a relatively neutral stance. Go here for their fairly detailed analysis.
I wrote about the First Baptist proposal when it first hit the news in the fall of 2015, here.

Postmodern Urban Spaces

Next Saturday (July 22), Dr. David Ley, professor of urban geography at UBC, will lead a bus tour “through Vancouver’s downtown and inner city districts and will emphasize the changing social values of postmodern culture as these are expressed and reproduced in the urban landscape. He will illustrate various views and challenges of the postmodern city.”

Having taken the tour, I can vouch for the value of the Postmodern Urban Spaces Tour – it’s an enjoyable morning out with a very experienced professional. The bus leaves Regent College’s parking lot at 9:30 and returns by 1:00.

Organizers at Regent asked Dr. Ley a few questions about the tour:

Dr. David Ley

1. What can a city’s urban landscape tell us about that city’s social values?

DL: A city’s landscape is like a book. It can be read and interpreted to understand the story (or stories) of important values and groups in the society of the time. The tour aims to teach people to read the landscape, which adds to our enjoyment of urban life.

2. Vancouver has been blamed for not doing the greatest job of preserving its heritage architecture. The result is a stunning postmodern cityscape, with few historical neighbourhoods. Do you think this is a problem?

DL: In light of weak heritage planning, it is surprising that so much heritage still remains in old neighbourhoods we will see on the tour like the Downtown Eastside (the poorest district) and Shaughnessy (the wealthiest).

3. One of your current projects is a comparative study of housing market bubbles in five global cities. Do you think we have a housing bubble in Vancouver?

DL: We have high and unstable housing prices in Vancouver – many would regard this as a bubble. The market depends on off-shore wealth to keep up its prices, and many local people have high mortgage debts that would be unsustainable with sudden changes in interest rates.

4. How can we justify the existence of a struggling neighbourhood like the Downtown Eastside in one of the richest cities in the world?

DL: Poverty in Vancouver is unusually concentrated in the DE. There is as much poverty in other cities but it is more dispersed. Having said this, gentrification is forcing poorer people out of the inner city, and we are seeing poverty areas developing in some suburbs — quite a change to the typical North American view of the suburbs as middle class.

5. Do you have a favourite neighbourhood in Vancouver?

DL: Favourite neighbourhood? Not really, as different neighbourhoods offer different points of interest. This tour emphasizes the diversity – and the desire by residents to maintain that difference—of Vancouver neighbourhoods.

Judy Graves running for Council

Judy Graves has announced she will run for Vancouver City Council this fall.

Judy Graves announced July 12 that she will be running for city council this fall. Here is part of an article following a CBC Radio interview:

Longtime homeless advocate Judy Graves has announced she’ll be seeking the nomination of the fledgling municipal party, OneCity. Graves hopes to run in the upcoming byelection which is to be held in the fall of 2017.

“I think it’s the only thing to do,” Graves told On the Coast guest host Gloria Macarenko.

“At this point, I can’t go anywhere in Vancouver where people are not talking about their fears of being pushed out of the city.”

The fall byelection will be held to fill the seat former Vision Vancouver councillor Geoff Meggs left vacant, when he resigned to work as premier-designate John Horgan’s chief of staff.

Graves had links with the current governing Vision party from 2010 to 2013 when she served as the city’s official advocate for the homeless.

However, she says her suggestions concerning Vancouver’s homeless fell on deaf ears while she was in the role.

“We would all have to give them a fail,” said Graves. “They came in saying they would end homelessness … The numbers of homeless people is skyrocketing.”

“If they had actually listened to me, things might have gone a little differently.”

For the rest of the article, and to listen to the interview, go here.

Graves is well known in the Christian community as well in the broader community. Each year, City in Focus recognizes individuals or organizations of faith with a significant financial award. The first person granted that award, in 2014, was Graves.

City in Focus said:

Throughout her 33-year career with the City of Vancouver, Judy Graves cultivated caring connections with people living on the streets and in shelters, and served as a tireless advocate on behalf of those marginalized by homelessness.

Graves approached her work in a deeply personal way, walking the streets of Vancouver in all kinds of weather and at all hours of the night, reaching out to people living on the streets and listening to their stories, while helping them navigate the delicate process of rebuilding their lives.

July 14, 2017

BC Christian Ashram Retreat – July 14, 2017 - July 16, 2017 at All Day
The Small Glories – July 14, 2017 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

July 17, 2017

Athletes in Action: Richmond Baptist Church Multi-Sport Camp – July 17, 2017 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
FLO Summer Soccer Camp 2017 – July 17, 2017 at 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin: The Bible in the Modern Artistic Imagination – July 17, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

July 18, 2017

Loren Wilkinson: Imago Mundi Poetry Reading – July 18, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

July 19, 2017

Prospera Valley Granfondo – July 19, 2017 at 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Malcolm Guite: The Truth's Superb Surprise – How Poetry Can Open Your Eyes and Deepen Your Thought – July 19, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

July 20, 2017

In the Garden: Beauty Bears Witness – July 20, 2017 - August 4, 2017 at All Day
Yaletown Art Seen – July 20, 2017 - September 4, 2017 at All Day
Prospera Valley Granfondo – July 20, 2017 at 10:00 am - 6:30 pm

July 21, 2017

Songs & Sonnets: An evening of music and poetry with Steve Bell & Malcolm Guite – July 21, 2017 at 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Film & Faith Evening: Luther – July 21, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Marjorie Suchocki: Does God Go to the Movies? – July 21, 2017 - July 22, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 4:00 pm

July 22, 2017

David Ley: Postmodern Urban Spaces - A City Tour – July 22, 2017 at 9:30 am - 1:00 pm
Christian Music Concert: The Day of the Lord – July 22, 2017 at 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

July 24, 2017

Lunchtime Concert: The Exquisitrio – July 24, 2017 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Mark Noll: Martin Luther and the Dilemmas of Sola Scriptura – July 24, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

July 26, 2017

Mark Noll & Paul Pearce: Assessing the State of the Church in Canada – July 26, 2017 at 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm
Scot McKnight & Dennis Venema: Adam and the Genome – Rethinking the 'Historical' Adam – July 26, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

July 27, 2017

Film Screening: Between a Shoe and the Roof – July 27, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

July 28, 2017

Pause for Perspective: Deepening Our Awareness of God – July 28, 2017 at 9:30 am - 1:00 pm
REED Summer Film Fest – July 28, 2017 at 6:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Regen: Nathan Betts – July 28, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Ezra Kwizera – July 28, 2017 at 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

July 29, 2017

Pacific Coast Gospel Music Festival 2017 – July 29, 2017 at 1:00 pm - 9:00 pm

July 30, 2017

Jazz Vespers: Armi Grano & Miles Black Trio – July 30, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Jazz Vespers: LJ Mounteney Quartet – July 30, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

July 31, 2017

Lunchtime Concert: Asher Graieg-Morrison – July 31, 2017 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Jeffrey Greenman: Lived Faith – the Challenge of Christian Ethics – July 31, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

August 1, 2017

Early Music Vancouver: Bach Festival – August 1, 2017 - August 10, 2017 at All Day
Vancouver Bach Festival: Overtures to Bach – August 1, 2017 at 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

August 2, 2017

Vancouver Bach Festival: Schumann Dichterliebe and Brahms Four Serious Songs – August 2, 2017 at 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Regen: Gordon Pennington – August 2, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
David Kim: The Tension of Glory and Exile – Biblical Expectations for Work – August 2, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Kendrick Lamar: The DAMN. Tour, with Travis Scott & D.r.a.m. – August 2, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Vancouver Bach Festival: Songs of Religious Upheaval - Byrd, Tallis, Tye: Music from Reformation England – August 2, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

August 3, 2017

Vancouver Bach Festival: A Lutheran Vespers - Music for Troubled Times – August 3, 2017 at 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Vancouver Bach Festival: Bach's Italian Concerto – August 3, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

August 4, 2017

Vancouver Bach Festival: Conversions - Mendelssohn, Moscheles and Bach – August 4, 2017 at 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Vancouver Bach Festival: Handel in Italy - Virtuosic Cantatas – August 4, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

August 5, 2017

Summer Community Day – August 5, 2017 at 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Jubilation – August 5, 2017 - August 11, 2017 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

August 6, 2017

Jazz Vespers: Fin de Fiesta – August 6, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

August 8, 2017

Vancouver Bach Festival: Playing with B-A-C-H - Sonatas for Violin by Telemann, Pisendel & J.S. Bach – August 8, 2017 at 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Vancouver Bach Festival: Before Bach - The Fountains of Israel by Johann Schein – August 8, 2017 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

August 9, 2017

Regen: Jason Ballard – August 9, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

August 11, 2017

Woman of the Cloth: Confessions of a Rogue Priest – August 11, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

August 13, 2017

Jazz Vespers: Shades of Blue – August 13, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

August 16, 2017

Regen: Derek Ross – August 16, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

August 21, 2017

Kickers Soccer Camp – August 21, 2017 - August 25, 2017 at 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

August 25, 2017

In Theatres: All Saints – August 25, 2017 at All Day
Canada on Track – August 25, 2017 - August 27, 2017 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

August 26, 2017

Cycling for Seafarers 2017 – August 26, 2017 at All Day

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