Rethinking the Region V

June 17, 2017

When: Saturday, June 17th, 2017  |  8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. See schedule details below.

Where: Townhall Meeting Room, Vancouver City Hall, 453 West 12th Ave.

Cost: Free

Rethinking the Region is an annual day-long conference organized by SFU's Urban Studies Program. It provides an opportunity for dialogue, reflection and learning about the past, present and future of the Metro Vancouver region.

This year, the conference is co-hosted by the Vancouver City Planning Commission and the focus is the role of citizen advisory bodies in shaping urban policy in Metro Vancouver and the Seattle region. Together, we will reflect on big picture principles regarding how citizens can or should engage on policy issues with local governments. The day will also provide opportunities to learn about specific examples of how local citizen advisory bodies have influenced urban policy.


Keynote by Professor Tina Nabatchi - Public Participation for 21st Century Democracy: Rethinking Local Civic Infrastructures

Abstract: In 1961, Jane Jacobs insightfully argued that “Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” More than 50 years later, we still recognize the power of this statement, but where are we in making it a reality? To what extent does everybody have a role in creating our cities? What could city government and residents gain in terms of better public policy and more effective program and service delivery if we encouraged and harnessed the many voices of ordinary people? Filled with examples at the city-scale, this presentation explores the forms of public participation, and explains how giving good process, activating local leaders and networks, using the building blocks of participation, and providing systemic supports can help us rethink our civic infrastructures and advance urban governance for 21st century democracy.

Tina Nabatchi

Tina Nabatchi is an associate professor of public administration and international affairs at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, where she also co-directs the Collaborative Governance Initiative for the Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration (PARCC). Tina’s research focuses on public participation, collaborative governance, and conflict resolution. She has authored over 60 publications, including two recent books: Public Participation for 21st Century Democracy (with Matt Leighninger; Jossey-Bass, 2015) and Collaborative Governance Regimes (with Kirk Emerson; Georgetown University Press, 2015). Her award-winning research and teaching is internationally recognized. She has presented to, consulted for, and trained a wide variety of executive and professional groups from around the world, and has worked with numerous U.S. agencies and nongovernmental organizations. Tina has also has worked with the World Bank to design and implement a massive open online course (MOOC) about citizen participation, and with the Obama Administration on the development and evaluation of U.S. National Action Plans for Open Government.


Panellists and moderators

  • Kathy Nyland director, Seattle Department of Neighbourhoods
  • Tim Wolfe, director of the Community Investment Division, Seattle Department of Neighbourhoods
  • Members of the Seattle Planning Commission
  • Members of citizen advisory commitees from around Metro Vancouver
  • Nathan Pachal, councillor, City of Langley
  • Sav Dhaliwal, councillor, City of Burnaby
  • Adriane Carr, councillor, City of Vancouver
  • Linda Buchanan, councillor, City of North Vancouver
  • Gordon Price, fellow of the SFU Centre for Dialogue and former Vancouver city councillor
  • Frances Bula, urban affairs reporter for The Globe and Mail
  • Daniella Fergusson, principal and engagement specialist at Modus Planning, Design & Engagement
  • Ken Cameron, adjunct professor of planning for SFU Urban Studies and UBC's School of Regional and Community Planning, former manager of policy and planning for Metro Vancouver


Time Activity
8:30 - 9:00 a.m.  Registration
9:00 - 9:30 a.m. Welcome and intro
9:30 - 10:30 a.m.

Keynote by Professor Tina Nabatchi


10:30 - 11:00 a.m. Break
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Panel: Examples of influence

Members of citizen advisory bodies in Metro Vancouver discuss how they've affected local government policies.


12:30 - 1:15 p.m. Lunch
1:15 - 2:45 p.m.

Panel: Seattle's experience with citizen advisory bodies


2:45 - 3:00 p.m. Break


3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Panel: City councillors reflect on working with citizen advisory bodies


4:00 - 4:30 p.m. Reflections and wrap-up

Note: In consideration of participants with chemical sensitivities, please refrain from wearing perfumes or scented personal care products at this event.


As always, we are grateful to the Real Estate Foundation of BC and the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board for their financial support of Rethinking the Region via the Initiative in Sustainable Urban Development.