Tag Archives | vancouver

Vancouver Shames London With Homeless Shelter-Benches

raincity_benches 01In the wake of those nasty London “Anti-Homeless Spikes” we’ve all been seeing, RainCity Housing in Vancouver has installed shelter-benches that can be transformed immediately into a shelter by unfolding the back.  “Now, how do we get our bums over to Vancouver..?” London thinks to itself.

Boris Johnson condemned the practice of putting metal spikes in doorways to deter rough-sleepers as “ugly, self defeating and stupid” – so maybe the London mayor could take a lead from the city of Vancouver when it comes to tackling homelessness.

Designed by Vancouver company Spring Advertising, these benches fold out to create an instant emergency shelter for rough sleepers.

A handful of the benches were constructed in Vancouver last year to raise awareness of homelessness in the city. When the top is flipped up, the phone number and address for local housing organisation RainCity is displayed – to encourage rough sleepers to seek help and find shelter.

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Heads-up Canada, B.C. Government Has Given Industry Access to Our Parks: A Drift Card I Found on the Beach

BC_card_thumbvia chycho

On 26 March 2014, to my disappointment and dismay, I found out that the Government of British Columbia had passed a bill that would drastically alter the management of B.C. parks (2, 3, 4).

Bill 4, the ‘Park Amendment Act’ of 2014 was introduced into the B.C. legislature on February 13 and became law on March 24:

“Bill 4 allows for industry (and others) to carry out ‘research’ in provincial parks related to pipelines, transmission lines, roads and other industrial activities that might require park land. It also reduces legal protection for smaller parks and enables film production in BC parks….

“Bill 4 seems to be premised on the idea park protection unreasonably constrains government and industry. That’s not consistent with the BC government’s claim that parks are a public trust, to be managed for the protection of BC’s natural environment, and the inspiration, use and enjoyment of [the public].

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An Urban Surveillance Map Of Vancouver

The Vancouver Public Space Network mapped CCTV locations in the metropolitan core, revealing the geography of surveillance:

The preliminary map that we created indicates the places where surveillance cameras could be found prior to the installation of extra cameras for the Olympics.  We are particularly concerned about the surveillance legacy that the Olympics may leave behind, and will be monitoring the city government to make sure that this network is removed once the party is over. In all, the map represents the locations of 1500 of the 2000 cameras we found.

Public spaces are inherently places in which we can be observed by other people, and where we can observe others. However, the VPSN is concerned about the way that intense video surveillance, particularly networked, centrally monitored systems, might negatively affect the way that people enjoy public spaces. In the United Kingdom, which has intensive public video surveillance, security cameras have been used by security officers to harass people and to profile individuals based on race and socio-economic status.

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