Melissa Fong: Revisiting Chinatown Revitalization: Oct 8 at 8pm at Centre A

October 8 Program will start at 8pm Centre A, 229 East Georgia Street. FREE Event.  RSVP here. Chinatown—the community, its buildings, its urban plan—is one of the most significant cultural […]

Melissa Fong: What are we going to do about Vancouver’s Chinatown?

What are we going to do about Vancouver’s Chinatown?  Remembering Chinatown’s soul I spent many days and weekends in Vancouver’s Chinatown helping my dad at his office.  He worked in […]

Melissa Fong: DTES Local Area Plan- Speaker #5, on Amendments

We need to respect the experiential knowledge of DTES residents that understand how the plan violates their security. Not fundamentally opposed to Vision- but you have to realize reality. If you insist on the ideology of “social mix” you also have to set up the circumstances for dignity of all people- not just a veil. ...

Melissa Fong: Downtown Eastside Local Area Plan- Summary

Like last time, I did some LiveTweeting of the evening- My strategy is to summarize the main point of all the voices; add in my OWN commentary (I can be […]

Melissa Fong: #25KLunch WINNERS Announced! Who said there’s no free lunch?

Other than the fact that I should win the best prize for dragging out a meme that would have otherwise had the life-span of a fruit fly… I’ve got some […]

Melissa Fong: Top 25 of #25KLunch Meme Finalists Announced!

  Okay, folks! The moment has come to see your Top 25 Finalists for the #25KLunch meme competition!  I can’t even tell you how many messages I’ve received telling me […]

Melissa Fong: Financial reform: Taking responsibility as public servants and otherwise…

Facts: I don’t hate Vision Vancouver.  I’m indifferent to the overall career of Gregor Robertson.  I actually like Andrea Reimer, from what I know of her.  (Confession: I really like […]

Melissa Fong: Admitting to not knowing until it was too late: The DTES Local Area Plan implications

…I admit that I didn’t know how REAL it was until the 3 days came to an end and even after it passed…. After that the reality sunk in, I got more and more angry as I realized the implications of the plan. The fact is that poor people LIVE this. This is their reality. ...

Melissa Fong: #25kLunch Meme Competition Update #1

The #25KLunch meme has received more press than I would have ever imagined! Amazing what a group of really dedicated “mockticians” can do to bring the issues out there. #25KLunch […]

Melissa Fong: #25kLunch Meme Competition to shame Mayor Gregor Robertson’s partnership with Developers & Condo King Bob Rennie

So I’ve started a #25kLunch tag – the good people on twitter who have engaged throughout this whole process have kept spirits high and helped suggest a meme competition. 1) Create your own meme 2) Upload your meme to twitter images (make sure you save image & upload to Twitter direct b/c it’s a ...

Melissa Fong: DTES LAP Amendments that Cllr Carr shuts down: Watch the speech & Read the full document by Reimer

I already posted snippets of the full documents (4 separate PDFs here).  This post is specifically the first pdf Amendment doc from Reimer and the speaking points Cllr Carr was […]

Melissa Fong: Sneak Peak!: AMENDMENTS to DTES LAP- DRAFT sent to my by Andrea Reimer

Councillor Andrea Reimer was kind enough to send me the DRAFT of Downtown Eastside Local Area Plan Amendments. *OFFICIAL copy posted on website by staff tomorrow. This is a sneak […]

Melissa Fong: DTES LAP Part 3- Residents’ Losses & small victories

…Councillor Adriane Carr was the only one who wanted to refer the plan back to staff to ensure an acceptable definition of Social Housing (due date for end of May). The rest of City Council seemed fairly confident that that could be defined as we went along and the plan should just be passed, although ...

Melissa Fong: Vancouver DTES Local Area Plan City Council Debates- PART 2: CHINATOWN BUSINESS INTERESTS

Chinatown Businesses interests came into the room hesitant. I don’t think any of the mainstream news media (Vancouver Courier or the Straight) did justice to the hesitance … I am personally sympathetic towards Chinatown business interests because I know the exact memories and nostalgia upon which they recall and the commercial area they want to ...

Melissa Fong: Vancouver DTES Local Area Plan City Council Debates- Part One: Developers

…One topic that dominated the DTES LAP discussions last night was the 60/40 (Social/ market rate housing split) and the definition of affordable housing … All the usual suspects always caution against social housing. Developers are constantly talking about how it is not possible to build social housing without other levels of government. They halt ...

Melissa Fong: Anti-Gentrification Pidgin Protesting: Bad Urban Planning but Potential for Good Social Movement Building

This is a fifth instalment to the gentrification series- discussing the Protests and pickets in Vancouver’s DTES Thus far I haven’t been too clear about where my commitments lie.  I understand both sides. Team Anti-gentrification/ CCAP/ Homeless Dave/ Poor people’s movement/ DTES advocate: They are locally organizing against some larger scale problems, including Vancouver’s unaffordability; bourgeois monopoly over ...

Melissa Fong: Will new businesses help the DTES?: A much needed lesson on the definition of gentrification

Apparently it looks like this has become a series on Gentrification in the DTES: 1) Are the Anti-Gentrification Front protesters wrong to “vandalize” Save-on-Meats? 2) Anarchy, the Anti-Gentrification Front and Violence I am still quite shocked that there seems to be a general lack of understanding that DISPLACEMENT of poor people is a central part of the DEFINITION of ...

Things Are Good: Better Block is Bettering Cities

The Better Block initiative was started in Dallas, Texas as a rapid urban revitalization project of an underused, nearly abandoned block of  old buildings along an old streetcar line.  They project takes the “pop-up” business model to completely revitalise old city blocks with storefronts, community events, and cafés, and sustainable transportation (like bikes and streetcars)! ...

Hellberta: #YEGArena Tales: Santa Katz and the gift of debt

The mystery surrounding Stephen Mandel’s trip to New York is over and the word is in; Daryl Katz and Stephen Mandel have a new deal for the city. For those who haven’t been following Edmonton’s newest attempt to catch the dangling carrot of becoming a “big city”, prior to this meeting two main sticking points ...

Hellberta: My solution to the Edmonton arena debate | #yegarena

Ugh, this arena debate just isn’t going away. Now it appears the city wants to preemptively buy the land for 25million (on top of the arena’s tag price, and infrastructure costs). Some of the ignorant comments in the live chat such as “Like Nike, Just Do It!” shows the severely irrational mentality behind justifying this ...