Dr Wendy Sarkissian, an experienced Canadian-born Australian social planner, explains to a Vancouver audience the similarities between community engagement and housing density issues in Australia and Vancouver. After summarizing the current state of the "densification wars" in new South Wales, her home state, she reflects on the opinions of Vancouver-based activists about the failure of community engagement in the City of Vancouver. Explaining that "density done well" requires "community engagement done well" , she explains how to make a meringue. A hundred small, seemingly insignificant aspects of meringue making are required to achieve a competent -- and delicious -- outcome. What has happened in Vancouver, Wendy suggests, is that the Council disrespects and downgrades the importance of community engagement and uses inappropriate engagement methods in clumsy and unsophisticated ways. Community engagement can assist in achieving "density done well" but it will need to be done much better than it is currently being done by the City of Vancouver.
David Vaisbord, the videographer, is a dynamic, creative transmedia producer, with finely honed digital media skills, years of award-winning documentary film work and academic teaching experience. He is a collaborative, detail oriented professional, who is expert at building strong relationships with my peers, clients, community, stakeholders and team members. In all of his projects, he participates in the design, development and implementation of digital media. He can envision the entire life cycle of a project, whether it’s several weeks or several years. His passions lie with the arts, environment, urban planning and social justice.
David’s most important work to date is The Little Mountain Project, a multi-year, multi-format hyperlocal documentary. Now in its 6th year of production, the story focuses on a small group of tenants who fought and won the right to stay in their homes, while most of their neighborhood was needlessly leveled in the name of urban redevelopment. Utilizing hybrid digital media practices, David’s work at littlemountainproject.com encourages citizens to meet and participate in the democratic processes and offers a critique of government actions and policies around social and affordable housing. A feature-length documentary film about the tenants and the battle for their rights will be completed in 2015.
David Vaisbord – BA, FA, MAA
Director, Educator, Producer, Writer
The Little Mountain Project: littlemountainproject.com