Vancouver slumlord George Wolsey failed to show up for a legal hearing on Monday morning, but his lawyer insists he isn't trying to evade justice...
The key issue is whether the heart of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside should remain a low-income precinct with a high concentration of shelters, social housing, and community services -- essentially "walled off" from the rest of the city -- or should it become a more normalized community with a broader range of households and housing choices, including condominiums, restaurants and shops catering to the entire city population?
It's hard to have a conversation about gentrification, with all the baggage around the word. As long as many argue that any level of gentrification is to be absolutely avoided, positive and responsible change remains virtually impossible. Recently urbanist Richard Florida joined others in suggesting we need a new word to replace gentrification, asking "if all economic development and neighbourhood revitalization is gentrification, how do we grow and improve our urban areas?"
"Sing It Fwd is what we call it passion in practice. We had seen and experienced a growing gap in terms of the cultural and arts vision of the city and the province and one of the many issues that really concerned us was youth arts and opportunities for youth to engage in arts in music specifically. So we created our initiative vision — to create an example of the rippling benefits of the power of connecting drivers in the community to take action, mobilize instead of compartmentalize, and hopefully share the story forward to inspire other people to do the same."