Dr. Wendy Sarkissian’s “Densification Wars” lecture is now available as an online video. David Vaisbord recorded the lecture and conversation with Dr. Wendy Sarkissian on January 19, 2014; the video is featured on The Little Mountain Project website.
Dr. Sarkissian is well-versed in topics about planning, density and consultation. She has authored a number of books on community engagement and planning.
Dr. Sarkissian is a former Vancouverite who has resided in New South Wales for over 40 years. In her comments she was very critical of the direction that City planning has taken in Vancouver in recent years. She noted the original CityPlan model “used to be really good.” However, it has been steadily whittled down over the years. Regrettably there is very little institutional memory at the City of Vancouver.
Vancouver is in a ‘firestorm’ with the Grandview Woodland Plan. Sarkissian noted the weaknesses of Citizens’ Assemblies, and said “the major thing is they never lead to influence.” Dr. Sarkissian suggested alternatives to the “Open Houses” that are used in Vancouver and she shared her wisdom on a number of contentious planning processes underway in the city.