Neoliberal urbanism: artful alternatives? by Jamie Peck

Tuesday November 12, 7pm
Studio D, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts at SFU Woodward’s (149 West Hastings)

What does it mean to say that cities like Vancouver have taken a “neoliberal” turn, embracing market-oriented policies while paying little more than lip service to questions of social welfare, affordability, and environmental sustainability? Does the embrace of “creativity” really hold the promise of an alternative path, or does it threaten more of the same? Exploring these questions, Jamie Peck will chart the rise of the neoliberal city, calling attention to its mutations, its limits, and to its alternatives.

Jamie Peck is Canada Research Chair in Urban & Regional Political Economy and Professor of Geography at UBC. An economic geographer with interests in labour studies, urban theory, and the politics of globalization, his publications includeConstructions of Neoliberal Reason and the co-edited collection, Contesting Neoliberalism: Urban Frontiers.

Upcoming speakers include:  Urban Subjects (February 12), Stephen Collis (March 12), Kirsty Robertson (April)

Spaces of Contestation is a series of talks, performances, public actions, publications, and an exhibition that examines the collective walk/protest/public demonstration as both a performance and a social formation. The core of the project is in four collaborations between artists and community organizations, that initiate community engagement and democratic use of public space via the realization of site-specific participatory performances.

The project is co-presented with the SFU Vancity Office of Community Engagement and the SFU Institute for the Humanities, and is supported through the BC Arts Council’s Arts-Based Community Development Program.


For more information on the project:

Geography Colloquium Presents

Belonging on the Streets of Vancouver: An Urban Ethnography
Danya Fast, Professor, Australian Studies, Post-doctoral fellow, BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, St. Paul’s Hospital and Department of Geography, UBC Vancouver
Thursday, November 14th, 4 pm
in Room 201 of the Department of Geography


Based on my ongoing ethnographic work with young people who are entrenched in Greater Vancouver’s street-based drug scene, this presentation will explore youth’s understandings and experiences of their place in the city over time. Among youth, the “local” drug scene is produced in tension with a broader social spatial landscape of power and possibility, in which various remembered and imagined places are also implicated. In the context of this wider landscape-in-motion, involvement in the drug scene can be articulated as both a sense of belonging and dislocation, “being in the center of something” and “getting lost in the city.” These understandings, experiences and affects intersect in compelling ways with the regimes of living youth enact on the streets over time. The value of ethnographic methods in exploring questions of place, power and possibility will also be discussed.

Danya Fast is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Medicine at the University of British Columbia, with secondary affiliations at the Department of Geography, UBC, and the Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania. Her doctoral work was based on five years of ethnographic fieldwork with street-entrenched youth in Greater Vancouver. Danya received a New Investigators Award from the Canadian Association for HIV Research for her work exploring young people’s experiences with drug use and violence in the Vancouver setting. Her current project, which focuses on the gendered dimensions of place and “risk” among youth who sell sex in Vancouver, is supported by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.

If you are interested in displaying a poster of the event CLICK HERE

Geography Colloquium Presents

Class, place and cultures: Moving out of poverty in northern Geelong, Australia
Louise Johnson, Professor, Australian Studies, Deakin University
Thursday, November 7th, 4 pm
in Room 201 of the Department of Geography


The northern suburbs of Geelong, Victoria’s second largest city, have long been associated with poverty and disadvantage. This paper will report on the work of one broadly based community group – Northern Futures – which has had some remarkable successes in turning the lives around of long term multiply disadvantaged residents of this region. This “success”, however, raises a host of ethical and theoretical issues on the nature of the State, ‘disadvantage’, social change and community-based research that this paper will canvass.

Dr Louise Johnson is Professor in Australian Studies at Deakin University in Melbourne/Geelong in Victoria, Australia. A human geographer, she has researched and published on the gendered nature of suburban houses and shopping centre, changing manufacturing workplaces as well as the dynamics of Australian regional economies. Major publications include Suburban Dreaming (DUP 1994) and Placebound: Australian Feminist Geographies (OUP 2000). Her most recent work examined Geelong, Bilbao, Singapore and Glasgow as Cultural Capitals (Ashgate 2009). She is currently researching the nature of master planned suburban communities, regional restructuring and post-colonial planning.

If you are interested in displaying a poster of the event CLICK HERE

Environment and Society Talk: An Occasional series of 2013-2014

Intensive forestry as progress or decay?
50 years of environmental debate in Sweden
Wednesday, 23 October 2013 from 5:15-6:30pm
Henry Angus Building Room 350
Speaker: Anna Stens, Umea University and Future Forests, Sweden

Since the 1850s Sweden has served as a major producer and exporter of wood products. Today Swedish forestry is widely renowned for its silvicultural measures, carried out in order to maintain a high and consistent yield from a limited area. Conflicting ideas and opinions about the management of Swedish forests have frequently been expressed over the years. This especially holds for the environmental debates around forests and forestry after the 1950s. Many times, the arguments raised in this debate boils down to the classical ideas of progress vs decay. This talk aims to give an overview of how environmental conflicts surrounding modern forestry have evolved over the years, and to provide examples of attempts to overcome these conflicts.

Geography Colloquium Presents

I Did Not Know Remote Sensing Could Do That!
Nicholas Coops, Professor and Canada Research Chair, Integrated Remote Sensing Studio, Department of Forest Resources Management, UBC Vancouver
Thursday, October 24th, 4 pm
in Room 201 of the Department of Geography


In his talk Nicholas will cover the use of a variety of remote sensing technologies to monitor forests for production and biodiversity values. His research lab at UBC develops remote sensing applications such as the application of hand held devices, such as iphones, to digital cameras mounted in forest stands, airbourne and satellite imagery.

Professor Nicholas Coops is a Faculty member in UBC Forestry and Canada Research Chair in remote sensing. He has been at UBC for 9 years, after working in Australia at the CSIRO for a decade. His lab the Integrated Remote Sensing Studio (IRSS) has over 15 Postdoc, PhD and MSc students working on the application of remote sensing in forestry and urban applications.

If you are interested in displaying a poster of the event CLICK HERE

Rabbi Dr. Michael Lerner: The Politics of Land in Israel/Palestine

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
12:00pm – 1:30pm
Geography Bldg. Room 229


Michael Lerner is a Jewish Rabbi of liberal views who is best known for his sympathetic analysis of both Palestinian and Jewish commitments to their ancestral lands, and for his criticism of recent Israeli policies toward the West Bank. His views are anathema to many orthodox Jews; he has been called “the most controversial Jew in America.” Among his many books are Healing Israel/Palestine: A path to Peace and Reconciliation (2003), The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right (2006) and most recent being Embracing Israel-Palestine: A Strategy to Heal and Transform the Middle East (2012)

If you are interested in displaying a poster of the event CLICK HERE

Environment and Society Talk: An Occasional series of 2013-2014

The Saga of the Saca: What Debates Over Vicuña Culling Teach Us About Conservation in South America
Thursday, October 17, 2013 from 5:15pm-6:30pm
Henry ANGUS Building Room 234
Speaker: Emily Wakild, Department of History, Boise State University


ANIMAL conservation efforts in South America have successfully saved from extinction species like the vicuña, the llama’s wild cousin. But protection is hardly a straightforward affair.  Beginning in 1966, Peru’s vicuña experiment may have been the world’s first community-based conservation effort and it increased the animal’s population fortyfold in a decade. Proposals to then manage the population and sell vicuña wool devolved into a personal rivalry and international controversy that reveals the ways in which biology, socio-economic priorities, and politics tightly wrap non-human species in an interdependent matrix.  Examining these debates provides a more expansive history of resource management in the developing world.

Geography Colloquium Presents

Measuring and Modeling Urban Climates for the Improved Design and Management of Cities
Matthias Roth, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, National University of Singapore
Thursday, October 10th, 4 pm
in Room 201 of the Department of Geography


Cities and their growing populations are key drivers of global climatic change and in turn are vulnerable to extreme events and climatic variability. On the other hand it is clear that cities are not only the major source of present environmental problems but also a potent force for more sustainable development that should be harnessed. This presentation identifies capabilities to observe and predict urban atmospheric processes. This knowledge provides the scientific underpinning for actions, which allow cities to contribute to the mitigation of, and become more resilient by adapting to, local climate change caused by cities themselves and to the consequences of global climate change.

Matthias Roth is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the National University of Singapore. He holds MSc and PhD degrees from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver (Canada). His research examines how land-use changes affect local climates with a particular focus on the climate of cities and the role they play in climate change. As an experimental researcher he has conducted observations of the urban climate in cities located in North American, European and Asia. He has held past academic appointments in Canada and Japan and in 2006/07 was a Visiting Professor at ETH in Zürich (Switzerland) and Visiting Scholar at ASU in Tempe (USA). He is the immediate Past President of the International Association for Urban Climate (IAUC), Associate Editor of the International Journal of Climatology and a member of the editorial boards of Urban Climate and Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography. When not on sabbatical leave he also serves as Deputy Head of the Department of Geography and Deputy Director of the new NUS Bachelor of Environmental Studies program.

If you are interested in displaying a poster of the event CLICK HERE

UBC Teaching and Learning Fellow (postdoctoral position)


Teaching and Learning Fellow (postdoctoral position)
Department of Geography
University of British Columbia


The Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia is seeking two full time Teaching and Learning Fellows (TLF) to work on a two year Flexible Learning Project that will innovate and implement flexible learning approaches in the Department’s Environment and Sustainability undergraduate program.


As a part of a larger team, the Teaching and Learning Fellows will:

  • Provide overall coordination of the Flexible Learning Project. In order to realize the project objectives, the TLF will be working alongside, and will receive substantial support from, faculty and researchers in Geography, a small team of dedicated research assistants, staff from the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, and staff from the Faculty of Arts Instructional Support and Information Technology Unit;
  • Develop course learning objectives, content, assessments, and teaching resources;
  • Identify and develop (with technical support) appropriate instructional materials for key program courses including online and multi-media materials, interactive activities, and pretests;
  • Begin building a concept inventory for the Environment and Sustainability program;
  • Assist in the evaluation of student learning and overall project success.

Publication of research related to the impact of these interventions will be supported and encouraged.

Candidates should have: completed their Ph.D. in geography, environmental studies, or resource studies within the last five years; excellent organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills; and a strong personal commitment to improving education within the discipline. Experience in curriculum development, blended or online learning, developing educational resources and activities, and using SoTL to inform practice will be considered assets. The ideal candidate will be able to start on or before November 1, 2013.

Initial appointment is for 1 year, and may be renewable depending on funding and performance.

Applicants should provide a resume, a short statement of interest that details how your previous experience relates to this position and the names and complete contact information (including phone and e- mail) of three referees. Applications should be emailed to  by October 14th. Please submit the requested material as a single file in either word or pdf format.

UBC hires on the basis of merit and is strongly committed to equity and diversity within its community. We especially welcome applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, and others with the skills and knowledge to productively engage with diverse communities. We encourage all qualified persons to apply; however, Canadians and Permanent Residents of Canada will be given priority.


Soil Seminar

Friday, September 27 from 3:00p-4:00pm

Room 154, MacMillian Building

Speaker: Luitgard Schwendenmann, Visiting Professor of Geography

Topic: Soil carbon and soil water uptake in a tropical tree plantation varying in diversity