Next-Generation Transportation Webinar Series

Join us for our ongoing series of webinars led by international experts on a range of next-generation transportation and urban planning topics.

Small Is Big: Jump-Starting Small-City Downtowns for the New Economy

Monday, November 20, 2017, 1 pm PST
Free webinar, but reservations required. Reserve on Eventbrite.

In this webinar, Michael von Hausen will examine some of the key ingredients necessary to revitalize the downtowns of small cities and towns for resilience and the new economy. Using his four building blocks and comprehensive downtown health assessment tool, Michael will provide strategies that move beyond “cosmetic” design fixes. Michael will first describe his approach and the results of his research. He will then use case studies and jump-start ideas to illustrate the potential advantages that small-city downtowns may have as proactive responders to emerging demographic demands and associated place-first priorities. The intent of the presentation is to provide a more multi-dimensional approach to future planning of downtowns, engage in an interactive dialogue, and provide insightful ideas for declining downtowns in small cities and towns across North America.

Michael von Hausen has recently published a new book on this topic, Small Is Big: The Rise of the Next Great Small to Mid-Sized Downtowns (2017). It provides a methodology and inspiration for realizing the untapped potential of small to mid-sized downtowns in the new economy.

This event is part of SFU Vancouver's Open Learning Week. Our moderator will be Terri Evans.

Past webinars

Free Roaming and Walkability — Enhancing urban design, cities and spaces for wellness and well-being

October 23, 2017, 10 am PDT
Free webinar, but reservations required. Reserve on Eventbrite.

Dr. William Bird is a renowned medical physician and urbanist who believes prevention and wellness should be practised at a city scale. Dr. Bird has always been fascinated with the connection between the health of humans and their environment. As a pioneer in leading innovative programs and practices, he has transformed millions of people’s lives around the globe through his work. He has been named among the top 100 who are making Great Britain a happier place and he is an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire), awarded by the Queen for his work connecting health and physical activity. 

Dr. Bird has been exploring the disconnect between physical activity and urban design and is addressing the alarming increase of sedentary children and adults who no longer “roam” nature and their neighbourhoods as their parents did. This disconnect has produced significant impacts on the mental and physical health of children and adults, and he has been championing the importance of supportive urban design to reclaim health, well-being and social cohesion through enhanced walkability. In this webinar he will outline what cities and spaces need to do to heal urban design and ourselves, and outline his innovative intervention that has engaged nearly 40 per cent of city populations in sustaining walking as a way to be active and sociable, contributing to happier, healthier lives, cities and spaces.

Speaker: Dr. William Bird
Moderated by Sandy James, director, Walk Metro Vancouver

Selling Smart Growth — How to communicate the benefits of accessible and multi-modal locations

September 5, 2017

Households often make trade-offs between housing and transportation costs: they can choose a cheaper house at the urban fringe where transportation is expensive, or pay more for a home in a more accessible and multi-modal, “smart growth” neighbourhood where transport is cheaper. Urban fringe homes generally offer more space per dollar, and so appear to be better investments, but there are other economic factors to consider. By shifting household spending from transport to real estate, smart growth tends to increase household wealth. It increases mobility options for non-drivers, which increases their economic opportunities and reduces drivers’ chauffeuring burdens. Smart growth also tends to reduce residents’ traffic risks, and improves their fitness and health. It also increases real estate industry profits, local economic development and property tax revenues. This webinar discusses various benefits to residents, businesses and local communities from more compact, multi-modal neighbourhood design, and how to communicate those benefits to decision-makers and the general public. Speaker: Todd Litman, Executive Director, Victoria Transport Policy Institute.

Brisbane — Making transport land use integration more than just high-sounding words

July 17, 2017

Shaping South East Queensland is a process to integrate transport and land use into a single conversation about shaping the future of Australia’s fastest-growing region. Brisbane and South East Queensland are facing spectacular growth pressures but have discovered that the promise of motordom, in the form of numerous road tunnels, has been a rabbit hole and a chimera, not a panacea. There is a renewed focus on rapid transit, be it busways, heavy rail or light rail, as the structuring elements in a city-region that is developing a unique subtropical architectural and urban form vernacular specific to its place and context. Find out more about these exciting developments with Greg Vann, project director, Shaping South East Queensland, and a guest moderator in SFU's Next-Generation Transportation Certificate. Moderated by Gordon Price, instructor for SFU's Next-Generation Transportation Certificate.

Recordings of past webinars

To view our video list, click the playlist icon in the top left corner of the video player below.

Next-Generation Transportation Certificate

SFU's online certificate program is designed to help mid-career professionals advance livable and sustainable cities for the future.
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