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PICS Lecture – Climate Change and Health Impacts

The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions hosts free monthly lectures from many academic disciplines that focus on climate change. This lecture by Michael Bower from UBC and Tim Takaro from SFU focuses on the intersection of climate change and health impacts.

The World Health Organization estimates that climate change causes 150,000 deaths a year (2000). The health impacts of climate change are direct and indirect. Direct impacts include temperatures, and indirect ones include asthma, infectious diseases, malnutrition, mental health, etc.

Climate change impacts in Canada include extreme weather, air quality, the spread of infectious diseases, and increased population from migration, drought, and sea level rise. Canada will also see an uneven distribution of impacts, with some areas being less able to adapt, like rural areas ability to adapt. Luckily we have good infrastructure and public health systems so we will see … Continue Reading

Liveblogging: Jarrett Walker’s Lecture “A Field Guide to Transit Quarrels”

Jarrett Walker cites Personal Rapid Transit as an example of a specific technology that is often championed without consideration for practicality. Thanks to Antonio Edward on Flickr for the evocative Creative Commons photo!

Planning nerds everywhere will doubtlessly share my enthusiasm for a transit planning blogger lecture tour. One of my favourite transportation bloggers, Australia-based Jarrett Walker, delivered a free talk last evening in Vancouver, hosted by the generous SFU City Program.

Describing Mr. Walker as a transit blogger seems too limited. He draws on his background in literary theory to tease out the semantics of transit debates. He actually refrains from picking sides on heated issues such as which technology should be used for Vancouver’s proposed Broadway Corridor line. Instead, let’s … Continue Reading

Connecting Far-Flung Campuses to the City: A Gondola for SFU?

Back in the prehistoric days of my undergrad, I recall a particular Canadian Literature class when my professor got off on a tangent about the siting of universities in British Columbia. “What’s wrong with us?” he ranted.  “Eastern Canadian universities are located in the heart of the city, close to civilization. We sequestered UBC at the end of a peninsula, SFU on top of a mountain, and UNBC in the forest out of town!”

Whatever the reason for our current predicament, the relative isolation of these universities has important transportation implications for students and everyone else who uses a campus. Current trends to develop market housing for non-students on university lands have been controversial, especially when nearby affordable housing for students is in short supply. On the bright side, though, these developments may indirectly benefit students in another … Continue Reading