What Will It Take to Save Our Main Streets?

Panellists took part in an in-depth conversation about the ongoing challenges facing Canada’s urban main streets, and the abundant opportunities for regeneration.

5 Key
Takeaways

A roundup of the most compelling ideas, themes and quotes from this candid conversation

1. Main Streets are the spine of urban life  

As small businesses across Canada are attempting to recover from the toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, the problems they face are an indication of the broader challenges of fostering belonging and negating exclusion in urban life. Nathalie Carrier, Executive Director of the ZAC Vanier BIA, began the discussion by noting that many small businesses have functionally taken on a “first-responder” role in managing homelessness and public health issues.  

2. There is a need for democratised data  

Nader Shureih of Environics Analytics, a leading data services organization, stated that all three levels of government have a significant interest in forecasting population trends using data analytics.  

With this significant volume in demand, there remain ongoing challenges in ensuring that such data is accurate, accessible, and can provide a clearer view on various vulnerable populations. For example, he noted that we need more data on who is socially vulnerable versus who is economically vulnerable, and the nuances of such populations, in order for both policymakers and businesses to make well-informed decisions moving forward.  

3. Evidence-based solutions to public health crises are key  

When asked about the intersection of data and policy regarding the socio-economic challenges faced by main streets today, Dr. Julian Somers, a clinical psychologist and specialist in addiction, emphasised the need to create evidence-based policy frameworks.   

He noted that in addition to resourcing challenges, governments at all levels struggle with political will and “compassion fatigue” in instituting solutions which are demonstrated to help unhoused persons recover from mental illness and drug addictions, find permanent shelter, and foster a sense of competency and belonging.  

He stated the importance of an even distribution of social services and consistent support for these populations.  

4. How should governments balance rigourous and flexible policy approaches?  

Tim Tompkins, Principal of the New York-based SharedCitySharedSpace, noted that governments must find ways not just to help local businesses, but also contribute to the vibrancy of communities.  

 As such, there is opportunity to learn from failures of policy on Main Streets – such those in land use and housing, as evidenced by the homelessness crises and unaffordability of housing. While there is a need for some underlying philosophies and operational rules in urban spaces, there must also be room for quickly adapting to new challenges.  

5. It’s time to scale down 

There is often discussion on how to “scale up” policy or economic solutions, to have greater impact on a greater number of people. With the challenges faced by businesses, municipalities, and marginalised populations today, the time has come to think about how to structurally “scale down.” 

In order to save our main streets, the policy interventions regarding supportive housing, mental health, public health, addictions, business revitalisation and community management must all be seen as inter-connected, and must be tailored down to the realities and nuances of each locale.  

Full Panel
Transcript

Note to readers: This video session was transcribed using auto-transcribing software. Manual editing was undertaken in an effort to improve readability and clarity. Questions or concerns with the transcription can be directed to events@canurb.org with “transcription” in the subject line.

Mary Rowe: It’s been very interesting here to hear our German colleagues, and there are delegates here from all G 7 countries, talking about the challenges that we’re facing on Main Street.

So we sadly, are not alone folks, and, in fact, here in Germany they are talking about, and some of you may be familiar with this, they have adopted something called the curated management first for retail, So the German Government is absolutely intentional. Now about what they’re going to have to do and I don’t again, as they we would say as we’ve been saying in Canada, you know this is covid exacerbated things that precluded and preceded covid and they’re saying the same thing here that that in fact, we were watching really really patterns starting to evolve before Covid. And now they feel here that they’ve got a 3 or 4 year recovery experiment about what’s gonna happen with main streets.

And the reason we wanted to put this set session together to check in with each of you is that you really do bring different perspectives in terms of the commercial activity that’s going on on streets.Why, it’s so important to the sense of belonging and I can talk a little bit more later about how the Germans are looking at that.

But also some of the challenges that we’re experiencing because there haven’t been people going into main streets as much, or going particularly into downtowns, and now we’re seeing all sorts of other needs surfacing that perhaps we’re always there but now we really see them in terms of mental health supports and housing challenges and all that.

So i’m very appreciative that you would take the time to be with us, and the way we normally do this is we go around the room, and I ask you some questions just generally to give us a kind of grounding about what you are seeing and we always focus on what’s working what’s not, and what’s next? and I know that there are some folks that would think Oh, well, in main streets you know done done fixed doesn’t appear to be the case, so I might go to you first, Natalie, if I could. And just tell people where you’re tuning in from, and and just give people a sense of what you’re seeing in.

Nathalie Vanier: Nice to see you nice to see you again, Mary, too, as you know i’m a bit of a disciple of Mary Rowe’s so it’s an honor to be on this panel, and i’m so happy that you’re the one representing us in Germany.

I am speaking to you from the unseated land of M. Ancestors, the Algonquins, and I am very happy to do that from the city of Ottawa and I, I represent a very small community within Ottawa called Vanier which is has this really unique dichotomy one, you know. these are the stats that we use. Often we have the highest and the lowest salaries in the city. We have the highest population of inuit outside. node we have the highest population of indigenous people, and the highest population of artists that live within our community.

And recently We’ve added to that the highest selling market in Ottawa.So we’re in this huge flux, Vanier was traditionally a unilingual francophone city in the middle of Ottawa, so that in and up itself carries with it all these crazy you know political structures. So but I also sit on the board of a kobe, which is the conglomerate of all the bis. And so that’s sort of the perspectives that I’m going to try and bring to you today, you know, we see 3 main things going on. One is this redevelopment of the downtown core, the rethinking of the downtown core.

And what that means and for BIASs like ours it hasn’t actually been terrible that people aren’t going down town anymore, because it’s actually helped our main streets, and I know people that are in the suburbs are also being held so. But there is this rethinking of you know if we’re going to have 15 min neighborhoods, Then what does that look like? And how does that feel, And what happens then? Down town, which is now vacant, where there was a 100,000 people, especially in Ottawa.

When you think of the government, and the city itself that’s a 100,000 employees a day going down town and leaving, who no longer are going downtown. So there’s that the the second biggest issue for us is that economically the recovery is not short-term for the business people.

A lot of business people have exhausted every savings that they had spent the last 2030 years accumulating, and those are gone.

There’s no debt relief in sight and as far as a lot of agencies. but I think what we’re gonna see is the collapse of a lot of small and medium-sized businesses in the next coming years when they realize that they’re making enough money to survive but not to pay back the debts that they have accumulated, and therefore what’s the point?

And then the last thing is just the influx of socioeconomic issues that are on the main streets now, and how bis and businesses specifically have become the frontline workers of the housing crisis the opioid crisis you know and all the other social issues. And certainly we see a lot of mental health issues within our businesses as well.

The business owners who have essentially been at war for 3 years, and if you, if you can consider how hard it must have been across the country, consider that just as everybody was recovering, Ottawa was then locked down in a five-week occupation, and so the the toll that that’s taken here in Ottawa has been gigantic. So that’s my nit shell for today.

Mary Rowe:
Yeah, you know It’s just not easy is it I mean It is not a straightforward thing. You just suggested, and I. You know we we first sort of hooked up, bring back Main Street, that phrase and that notion.

It was early, I mean it was like March or April 2020, and because we were, I guess, instinctively wondering how where were people going to look for support, thinking I don’t know if people remember this, but you remember the beginning we thought, oh, will be shut down for 60 days it’ll be 2, or 3 months, and yeah, and so we just thought, well, you know, where are people going to go?

So we we we initially thought Well, we’ll just focus on the main street as the sort of gravitational point. But but I think what We’ve come to realize over the 2 years, and having conversations with so many people who were engaged in different ways, just like you are Natalie on the BIA side, But all of the different perspectives.

That people bring to this what’s almost like the spine of urban life, or the it It was. It reflects everything that we value in urbanics, in our urban experience, and it always there, on the main Street right and so everything that’s great everything that’s a challenge, the good, the bad, and the Ugly is all on your main.

Street now. so i’m i’m interested in or I want to go to you next, just to talk a little bit about what you’re saying.

I mean you are working with approach people across the country and communities across the country, and as as now, we just said, you know, people that work for business and proven areas are now first responders, just like we were working with librarians across the country and we know that librarians and people, working libraries, have become first responders, too.

So off on Main streets So tell us a little bit if you can, about what you’ve been seeing, and some trends you might be doing.

00:43:48.001 –> 00:43:54.788
And then i’m gonna come to julian and Tim after you. So go ahead Nader.

Nader Shureih: So a lot of stuff that Natalie mentioned is actually these are things that have come up in conversations with prospects clients and so on, and for a bit of context, i’m I ideal in data and analytics with a focus on the public sector.

So I help governments across all 3 levels. figure out how to better serve their jurisdictions, how to better make you know how to make better policies, using data and and helping them with analytic services.

Now. the economic development housing development planning and a clear view on what populations look like now, and will look like.

So there’s a there’s a component there’s a very interesting sort of I guess almost predictive component to the questions that i’m being asked there’s a almost like a crystal ball that we’re asked to sort of pull out for for what when it comes to us helping answer a lot of municipal questions.

And you know, Natalie. we we’ve been seeing a a huge spike in interest and and conversations with Bias is across the country. just as you’ve mentioned both. you and Mary we have seen that bias have become sort of the front line workers and they’ve been. They’ve become the first wine of of assessment of the impact of these of these main streets, whether they’re you know it’s one of multiple main streets in a larger event center, or, you know, the core of a mid a medium or so small sized municipality.

And you know rural Ontario, or or Alberta, whatever. But the BIAs and the organizations that are responsible for helping to advocate on behalf of these businesses on the ground.

These are the guys that we are hearing a lot more from? and the questions that they are asking really come down to what’s it gonna look like in a year? What’s it gonna look like in 5 years what kinds of changes?

Do we need to make now, in order to mitigate the risks associated with all the things that you mentioned things associated with with You know the the fact that we’re not seeing the same kinds of numbers in terms of people going back to the office. So the daytime businesses that used to thrive on lunchtime crowds and lunchtime, shopping and and impulse buying, and all of that stuff that’s not there to the same extent anymore.

In many, many cases. Right? So but we still we have that brick and mortar infrastructure that is meant to support that kind of that that way of life.

So what do we do? How do we change the way that we think about these spaces so that they can accomplish the evolving needs of the local populations?

Right. What are the changes in the behaviors of the local populations? If they are not doing what they used to be doing, what are they doing? These are the types of questions that we’re getting asked and The result of that is there’s been this increased need for a higher frequency rate of data sort of data acquisition.

I guess. So not only are smaller. What? traditionally, I guess historically smaller organizations that that would rely more on anecdotal evidence to make decisions. And so on. they’re actually having to rely more and more on empirical data points that that that come at a higher frequency of update and and reporting to help them make these decisions because things are changing at a rate that is faster than they were prep them so so there’s a volume issue.

There’s a frequency issue and then there’s like the larger, bigger question of well, we we’re still stuck with this actual infrastructure. One what do we do with it now and that’s that’s that’s what that’s what we’re grappling with.

These are the questions that we’re dealing with and then we’re, you know, we’re trying to help answer them with with all sorts of different, you know, different products and and things like that Mary you I feel like you had something to say.

Mary Rowe: Well, just I just wanna respond to what you’re suggesting about different forms of infrastructure. I mean, I think this is an interesting thing, and actually just threading back into what Natalie said. You know the main street downtown conversations become the same conversation which has been interesting for us when we first started, Main Street, people said, Are you giving up on downtown?

We said, Well, no, actually, because downtown’s actually have main streets. but it’s it does feel like we’re in this shift about what you what your expectation is of the neighborhood in which you live versus what is your expectation of the neighborhood in which you work and are they going to become the same neighborhood? or are you going to have 2 neighborhoods, and you’re going to have different kinds of attached and I might go to Tim Next, because I think the same thing that we’re talking about this. what we’re struggling with, and as you suggested. an Nader, I would do. We now need to start talking about funding main streets the way We fund bridges, roads, and infrastructure. And is it going to get become part of our day to day living, living and working? And this is gonna all kind of blur up so i’m gonna go to you next Tim.

If I could give us a perspective of what you’re seeing out your back door in New York City, and also I know you’ve been in Toronto, and a number of times over the last couple of months because I’ve seen you I’ve seen you here, and and I know you travel around so what are what are you observing, and what’s your reflection about what Natalie and Nader are just sort of flagging for us

Tim Tompkins: Yes, and i’ll say you know I know a number of Canadian cities Well, but in General I don’t I’m not as close to what’s going on in the ground so what my speaking here is from what i’m seeing in New York what I’ve seen as the former co-chair of the Bid Slash Bia Association in New York and the former chair of the International Downtown Association, seeing things across the States, and also as the former head of the Time Square Alliance.

I think a few, so i’ll in terms of some broader framing, you know. I think there’s you know in all these cases especially in time crisis. There’s a immediate and short term. and then there’s a longer term in the immediate are sort of the basic Maslow’s hierarchy needs Do people feel safe, and that is both people that are you know does everybody feel safe. the trouble people on the street, but also the people that are walking by and walking through areas where many of our policing and enforcement mechanisms have shown sort of their fault lines and problems in you know, in a time of crisis at least in the us. But fundamentally, if if you know we know this from timescar, we know this from cities all over, and we’re we witnessing it.

If people do not feel safe in public spaces and in subways and in trams, then then you’re dead. But the second is And then i’m moving up from safety is like, Do you have the basic resources to live so money, and especially for small businesses access to capital in times of crisis, has always been a huge issue at least in the us, and I and There’s always lots of talk about helping small businesses. but both government and banks are extremely risk reverse. And so you know what what is what are some longer term mechanisms for providing that kind of bridge capital for existing businesses that are going through crisis, but also for being willing to have a higher talent for risk people talk about curating a main street. you can only do that if you’re willing to set, you know, risk failure in certain kinds of ways.

Second one of us think about symbolism and substance. Someone shooting up a needle in their arm in the street. A vacant storefront, an empty times square. Those are symbols of the the failure. Public spaces are also always the places where what is working or not working in society, and our economy and our and every in every way is made manifest.

So just as you have to pay attention to what those symbols are in the media, that people are saying this is how it’s all falling apart. We, as sort of curators of the public realm and thinking about these particular places, need to think strategically from a communications point of view about what are the symbolic ways in which we’re going to show progress and that often has to do with what we’re doing in the public spaces, through programming, through other things.

And often in a time of crisis, there is also that moment of opportunity, and that freedom to act. And i’ll give a specific example which is the the outdoor dining, and the that we’re patio dining is. It’s also known where It Finally, all these regulatory constraints were freed on in small business over literally overnight, and over the course of the week there was a norris on investment in creativity some would good some of bad as people use a common asset, which was a public space to help an individual sort of business in a key strategic way.

And you saw that energy the same time we’re Now, a place where there’s been a bunch of bad guys and we’re thinking what are the systems that we are using to actually regulate think about what are our philosophical and policy approaches. With respect to how we use this scarce resources, streets and sidewalks and payments and public spaces to help.

You know, individual businesses, but also the economic and and vibrant life of a larger city. Have we thought through things like pricing placement? Who the co-managers are, and that comes back to fundamentally the longer term issue is, how how do we really think about our structures and systems for place management?

Which ultimately is about public spaces, but also thinking about localities and the to close out. I’ll quote someone who lived in New York and then figured out that Canada was a better place to be none other than Jane Jacobs, who said, who talked about often.

00:53:38.781 –> 00:53:46.186
It takes enormous effort, they usually are put forth to bring together and trying to interest the appropriate experts of several different services that are necessarily involved in handling a single problem or need of a single place.

00:53:46.186 –> 00:53:54.002
The principal coordination needed comes down to coordination among different services within localized places.

00:53:54.002 –> 00:54:08.579
Via is our example of kind of a very locally focused way of solving problems by bringing people together.

00:54:08.579 –> 00:54:16.209
It’s a lot of soft power but what are our more formal mechanisms, for whether it’s bis or other new structures yet to be invented to support fund and manage neighborhood and local revitalization in a

00:54:16.209 –> 00:54:21.767
main street in a way that is empowering to those entities, but also, and government is very bad at this, at least in the Us.

00:54:21.767 –> 00:54:25.842
Is not one size fits all that acknowledges the authenticity and difference of different places.

00:54:25.842 –> 00:54:29.965
Thanks, Jim. You know interesting. This notion of you.

00:54:29.965 –> 00:54:33.703
Just use this phrase, which I Don’t think We use in Canada, but maybe not legal Tommy.

00:54:33.703 –> 00:54:44.184
We do this notion of placement? Do you have talked about place management, Natalie?

00:54:44.184 –> 00:54:49.298
No, I mean it’s you know this next week yeah.

00:54:49.298 –> 00:54:55.441
The problem with place making is that it’s implies there was nothing there before, you know.

00:54:55.441 –> 00:54:57.324
So well, great, you know, and that offends all sorts of sensibilities that you sort of waltz in in the true colonial way, and say, Well, i’m gonna make a place of this.

00:54:57.324 –> 00:55:08.648
But in fact, it could have been a place for hundreds of years.

00:55:08.648 –> 00:55:16.048
But but It’s interesting. 2 things on this one is the international downtown Association, which Tim just referenced that he was the president of in a former life is having its international conference next week in Vancouver

00:55:16.048 –> 00:55:22.635
and the number of us. will be There and I See? Paula Kenneth is on the chat Hypoth. I know he’ll be there, and I know there’s a number of Main Streeters.

00:55:22.635 –> 00:55:34.550
Are you going to be there, too, natalie see so we’re? that’s gonna be more of an in-house crowd, though, to talk about how how we do this?

00:55:34.550 –> 00:55:47.713
Whereas the City talk audience is a broader run. and I appreciate that we have other voices here on this session today, because I think this shift from busy. You know, if you think the iis are 50 years old right guys pretty much

00:55:47.713 –> 00:55:51.656
is their fiftieth anniversary of it, and when I was young a few years ago, it was the business improvement area, and it it conveyed a kind of down in the Heel.

00:55:51.656 –> 00:55:53.669
Gee, this area needs remediation poor things and what are we gonna do.

00:55:53.669 –> 00:55:59.206
We’re gonna put some planters in or we’re going to get people.

00:55:59.206 –> 00:56:04.559
It was a kind of it wasn’t a robust kind of empowered celebration of neighborhoods.

00:56:04.559 –> 00:56:10.925
It was all the businesses the business needs to be improved, or the neighborhood needs to be improved.

00:56:10.925 –> 00:56:22.845
Now we’re talking about, and you have over time the is have evolved over time to be more place.

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Managers place stewards place developers all the aspects of this that we can take advantage of, and not, or you were sort of flagging this that you’re being asked now for different kinds of data sets different kinds of observational

00:56:28.208 –> 00:56:44.847
tools for us to pay attention and we’re all in this moment together.

00:56:44.847 –> 00:57:00.298
Folks where our work and and living lives are going, to be irrevocably changed by this 2 year, jolt that pulled our patterns in certain kinds of ways. And how do we seize this in a way that’s constructive

00:57:00.298 –> 00:57:04.169
and positive and respectful, and, as you say, 10 safe, and also recognizing that the life blood of of our economies, whether it’s in Canada or in the United States, is small businesses, and many many many many small businesses and particularly immigrant

00:57:04.169 –> 00:57:10.985
businesses locate on main streets that’s where people come so it’s.

00:57:10.985 –> 00:57:13.437
This is not a puny conversation just saying this is a really important conversation, Julian, we’re so happy to have you join us.

00:57:13.437 –> 00:57:19.581
I don’t think that you had a chance to be in city talk. so.

00:57:19.581 –> 00:57:32.974
Thanks for coming and it’s this is a nice crowd as you can see.

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But they but the audience will be ready for whatever challenge you can pose to them in terms of part of what we’ve been witnessing is whether it’s greater in quantity or quality or both we’re hoping you’ll

00:57:43.271 –> 00:57:46.307
tell us the the manifestation of mental health challenges and it’s very true in your city. it’s visually visible in your city, where you’ve got several 100 people in the Downtown East side on hastings

00:57:46.307 –> 00:57:48.779
now on the streets in the mornings right, and this is happening.

00:57:48.779 –> 00:58:01.119
It’s certainly happening in natalie city it’s happening in New York.

00:58:01.119 –> 00:58:03.795
It’s happening in other parts, of the country I see it here where the presence of people who need other kinds of supports on main streets is is visceral, and it’s having an impact on only on them.

00:58:03.795 –> 00:58:10.607
But all the other users so we’re interested to get a perspective from you.

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Is this a wake up call? Can we move to a moment of really caring and providing services in different kinds of ways?

00:58:16.557 –> 00:58:21.513
Can you get a broader stakeholder base? Now, to understand, Okay, this has to be prioritized over to you.

00:58:21.513 –> 00:58:25.813
Really welcome to city talk. Okay, thank thanks. marianne i’ll

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Thanks also for the invitation to join you on here.

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You can see, perhaps through some some of the reflections the the glorious co-stage unseated co salish lands where my family lives, and where i’m joining you from today.

00:58:48.826 –> 00:58:55.053
I I don’t know wake up call I I you know, but I I I pause because I thought I thought it would would have been a wake up call when we de institutionalized and we immediate Aftermath I was working

00:58:55.053 –> 00:59:09.625
at Rearview Hospital, which is our local large institution in British Columbia.

00:59:09.625 –> 00:59:24.865
In the mid 1980 S. there was already evidence available then to demonstrate that, what we, what we refer to as providing certain services closer to home was what was clearly in the better interests of people that we were aiming

00:59:24.865 –> 00:59:33.444
to assist, and the concentrating people not only in institutions, but separate from all of the resources of their communities, was detrimental in the immediate term. also even more so in the long term because we’ve

00:59:33.444 –> 00:59:48.899
we’ve know we’ve been since those years we’ve seen increasingly the evidence that that approach is correct.

00:59:48.899 –> 00:59:56.271
We’ve seen that the likelihood of recovery from serious mental illnesses and addictions is far greater than we thought in the 1980 S. and we’ve also seen evidence from very high quality sources in multiple

00:59:56.271 –> 01:00:06.384
countries, demonstrating how best to help people to export that process.

01:00:06.384 –> 01:00:17.072
And one of the elements of it you refer to earlier, but in a different context, is the opportunity for citizenship, for engagement in life.

01:00:17.072 –> 01:00:31.061
And what we see on this. this metaphor of a spine that that you used spines is of course, connected to the the the rest of the body.

01:00:31.061 –> 01:00:42.361
What we see are people concentrated on the spine that started in other regions, and they have moved there for a variety of reasons, push and pull factors.

01:00:42.361 –> 01:00:56.121
And but these are individuals who those that remain homeless are overwhelmingly people who experience serious mental illnesses as well as addictions.

01:00:56.121 –> 01:01:07.820
We’ve seen the rise of what’s been referred to as deaths of despair. in a number of jurisdictions, and it’s an out summary that there are strong links and I I really

01:01:07.820 –> 01:01:15.826
appreciate Tim tim’s reference to to a maslow. they’re there because because we need to reconsider our ideas of what is what is human nature.

01:01:15.826 –> 01:01:21.200
What are the aspects of us that really require fulfillment and support, or where you’re gonna be in trouble.

01:01:21.200 –> 01:01:31.695
And what we over currently pursuing in Canada in Dc.

01:01:31.695 –> 01:01:36.021
For sure, but elsewhere in Canada is markedly at odds with the evidence of how best to support.

01:01:36.021 –> 01:01:43.215
Wellness which is integral with lead, social integration.

01:01:43.215 –> 01:01:49.582
The Portuguese National Strategy fortunately gets a lot of attention, and I think quite quite deservedly in their strategy, is the statement.

01:01:49.582 –> 01:01:54.329
Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as recovery without social reintegration.

01:01:54.329 –> 01:02:06.886
It was obvious to the framers of their document in 1999.

01:02:06.886 –> 01:02:12.814
The integration. The opportunity for flourishing is central, and in in our current policies we are not only moving in very much in the opposite direction.

01:02:12.814 –> 01:02:21.501
What do I mean where we’re encouraging the development to make encampments and 10 cities?

01:02:21.501 –> 01:02:29.104
We’re encouraging concentrating people in accommodations as an alternative to those settings.

01:02:29.104 –> 01:02:32.988
We’re providing people not with opportunities to return to employment and choose where they would like to live.

01:02:32.988 –> 01:02:40.180
These are, by the way, central elements of of that’s been shown to work.

01:02:40.180 –> 01:02:43.257
Let me underscore this because it it defies what a lot of people seem to seem to believe.

01:02:43.257 –> 01:02:58.525
When we interviewed across the country we had a 120 million dollars to do this work.

01:02:58.525 –> 01:03:06.554
When with the interview people who’ve been homeless for many years on average, 10 years struggling with serious mental illnesses, profound social exclusion, going back to childhood on day, one their priorities, include if I could have it I would

01:03:06.554 –> 01:03:16.830
like an independent place to live in a normal building, and I would like to begin our return to paid work.

01:03:16.830 –> 01:03:26.106
82%. The next most frequently selected pursuit is, i’d like to get off drugs. at least i’d like to like reduce the ravages in my life. These are the priorities.

01:03:26.106 –> 01:03:42.521
If we listen to people now by listening, we get some insight into what Maslow and others attempted to to tell us about our nature.

01:03:42.521 –> 01:03:47.283
We provide, we have a a a twofold opportunity. One is to assist them in ways that are likely to be beneficial, but also to promote their sense of agency. and that is a key part of the ultimate journey. to wellness.

01:03:47.283 –> 01:03:51.788
We are, we are not doing those things. We are currently in Bc.

01:03:51.788 –> 01:04:04.106
Proposing that people who are homeless and mentally ill, and who are unemployed.

01:04:04.106 –> 01:04:11.354
That the top priority should be to decriminalize their possession of illicit drugs and implement a publicly funded source to deliver those books to them full. Stop!

01:04:11.354 –> 01:04:28.235
That’s what our provincial health officer requested not contingent on providing any other services.

01:04:28.235 –> 01:04:33.755
At the same time our provincial government has ordered our University to dismantle the multi ministry database that has existed since 2,002, and has been has been the basis for developing many of

01:04:33.755 –> 01:04:46.337
our insights in Bc. and published for other jurisdictions around what works the best

01:04:46.337 –> 01:04:51.889
As soon as as soon as it was reported that these data ought to be used, could be used to reveal the effectiveness of this government’s commitment to housing people together.

01:04:51.889 –> 01:05:03.387
It took one week for the University to receive a letter ordering us to destroy the data.

01:05:03.387 –> 01:05:19.405
There is a active disinterest in evidence-based practice and the transparency, and I I I think that

01:05:19.405 –> 01:05:27.023
The more the problems faster and multiply, the more people realize, the more the more compassion fatigues, expands, and and the more people realize that in our long term the the stakes around integration and harmony versus

01:05:27.023 –> 01:05:35.472
splintering and civil discord, our key a key dynamic.

01:05:35.472 –> 01:05:43.867
So understanding our long-term. well-being well-being of our children, those that come after us that that that’s part of what gives me hope.

01:05:43.867 –> 01:05:46.357
But i’ve been hopeful before. and thank goodness I hope it seems to spring eternal.

01:05:46.357 –> 01:05:57.127
You’ll be hopeful again let’s Let’s not lose hope.

01:05:57.127 –> 01:06:02.640
But I you know I I am old enough to remember d institutionalization, too, and and I think there are lots of people who are young and don’t know about this transition that we made which may in fact ultimately have been the

01:06:02.640 –> 01:06:10.870
right idea. I think that’s what you’re suggesting like warehousing people into those situations was the bad idea.

01:06:10.870 –> 01:06:18.079
But the dilemma is now did we actually set up the kinds of supports that need to be in place. and obviously not.

01:06:18.079 –> 01:06:24.666
And now we’re in this crisis we’re in now so I want to go back to my spinal image and just challenge us.

01:06:24.666 –> 01:06:36.394
You know about and those of us. Should we call ourselves urban stewards?

01:06:36.394 –> 01:06:40.359
People that care about the collective. experience of living in close proximity to one another, and to people that are not like us. But we’re not all the same, we don’t all have the same gifts.

01:06:40.359 –> 01:06:45.277
We don’t all have the same challenges we have different circumstances?

01:06:45.277 –> 01:06:53.728
And can we collectively foster the kind of empathy that we need?

01:06:53.728 –> 01:07:04.463
Because I think the dilemma we’re experiencing at the moment is that, as you use that phrase compassion, fatigue, Julie and I really appreciate that.

01:07:04.463 –> 01:07:14.765
That. And this is also, I think, True, if you’re staying at home and working at home in an environment that is that you control know what kind of home you live in.

01:07:14.765 –> 01:07:19.917
But you know more or less you control and you’re not being confronted regularly with people who are different from you, where you have to navigate to share an elevator or an escalator or entering into a

01:07:19.917 –> 01:07:31.030
streetcar, you know. Do we lose our capacity to build that kind of collective empathy?

01:07:31.030 –> 01:07:35.539
Or is it actually gonna create a situation where we’re more fearful And I think this is a profound moment for us, And I saw somebody said a question about business improvement.

01:07:35.539 –> 01:07:42.566
Areas. You know that resident associations there are some, and Kim, you may be familiar with these.

01:07:42.566 –> 01:07:52.825
There are some business improvement or business improvement districts or other that are starting to take residents into their membership. right?

01:07:52.825 –> 01:08:08.273
So there is a bit of a trend on that and i’m interested about that, because I think most people have a fear of a resident associations that they’re just basically people who don’t want their neighbor to change So is there a

01:08:08.273 –> 01:08:23.903
way to come out of this with a different kind of interest structure, institutional infrastructure that will support the economic social healthcare housing all the needs that manifest on a main street.

01:08:23.903 –> 01:08:29.472
Go ahead, Tim. Well, there there are. There have been for a while, and there in New York, you know, some Bia bid structures that have residential representation, and then there has it has been more and more of a topic as

01:08:29.472 –> 01:08:42.882
downtowns that used to traditionally be mostly commercial, non-residential have more and more residents.

01:08:42.882 –> 01:08:47.812
And I think that these issues are interrelated is if whether it’s a Bia, or whether it’s like a new form of neighborhood driven into that partners with government that that has built into it the private sector the

01:08:47.812 –> 01:08:55.435
civic sector and government being forced to interact and talk to each other.

01:08:55.435 –> 01:09:05.264
And they are moving into topics beyond just sort of sweeping the streets, and like a little bit of light marketing.

01:09:05.264 –> 01:09:12.081
Then it isn’t that it is necessary that they have they also be. and if they are going to be empowered in certain ways, if certain governmental powers are going to be devolved to a local entity that is a

01:09:12.081 –> 01:09:21.956
hybrid in some form, then they must also be more representative and democratic than they are in certain cases.

01:09:21.956 –> 01:09:26.890
Now, or have strong you know, mechanisms for making sure that they’re really going through the process of collecting the the opinions and thoughts of the community.

01:09:26.890 –> 01:09:37.229
And why don’t we create something New if I wanted to if there’s anybody on the call from Edmonton.

01:09:37.229 –> 01:09:42.163
Can you just throw into the chat, whether the community league model of which there are over a 100 and advent, and I think they hope I’ve got that right, and they’ve been around for I think a 100 years.

01:09:42.163 –> 01:09:51.054
Which is a community-based, mixed membership. sherry, sherry.

01:09:51.054 –> 01:09:55.556
Can you tell us whether the community leaks I don’t know if that’s a model that we should be thinking about across the country where it’s a broader membership not just the business not just resident, but some kind of

01:09:55.556 –> 01:10:03.182
a collaborative something, something that allows us to take this more holistic approach.

01:10:03.182 –> 01:10:11.189
One of the things that I, Julian, back to your point about who was on a main street, and you’ve got an extraordinary example of it on Hastings at the moment.

01:10:11.189 –> 01:10:13.878
Yeah. could we imagine a main street that had a force and supportive house and different kinds of businesses?

01:10:13.878 –> 01:10:17.196
And what do you think I mean natalie you’re nodding at me?

01:10:17.196 –> 01:10:26.634
Could we have a cultural space? Could we have public services on these streets?

01:10:26.634 –> 01:10:41.258
Apparently here in Germany they’re looking at pop-ups where they’re going to make spaces available to cultural groups for a couple of years, so that you can reinhabit the space in a different kind of

01:10:41.258 –> 01:10:53.201
way. have you imagined that for vannier I actually It’s funny, because as you were talking, I had this flashback to Saturday, Saturday we hosted our annual fare and you know there’s been a lot of construction on the main Street on

01:10:53.201 –> 01:10:56.447
Beachwood, and we had 4,000 people on the main street, and here I was standing across from the church that my grandfather and grandmother worked in, that my parents were married, and that I was baptized in this French church that had

01:10:56.447 –> 01:11:09.242
been decommissioned, and nothing had happened in 15 years.

01:11:09.242 –> 01:11:18.705
They built a condo butt against it. and there was this whole sort of dynamic of like everything’s going to be ruined in the neighborhood, because this is happening, And there I was watching dry queens danced with kids and 60 year

01:11:18.705 –> 01:11:23.013
old women who were predominantly white in their condos and people who couldn’t afford food, who were accessing food from our free food memberships.

01:11:23.013 –> 01:11:31.018
And I was like. This is diversity, like diversity.

01:11:31.018 –> 01:11:37.238
Just colorful diversity is all of us living together, taking care of each other when needed, and like contributing to each other and celebrating together.

01:11:37.238 –> 01:11:48.347
I spent 10 years in Toronto in Kensington Market, and at the time, you know, that was the Olivia Chow Jack.

01:11:48.347 –> 01:11:59.435
Latent days, and they used to come and sit in my coffee shop every morning along with the street worker along with the drug provider along with, you know, the graphic designer and the lawyer, and we all sat together having coffee and

01:11:59.435 –> 01:12:02.919
we all live that same experience together. And I think that we forget that, like you know, people who live in suburbs and hockey moms actually do care about people that are homeless.

01:12:02.919 –> 01:12:06.629
This concept zimbabwe I don’t know where it comes from.

01:12:06.629 –> 01:12:12.185
But I don’t know a lot of people that are like I don’t want this in my backyard.

01:12:12.185 –> 01:12:19.208
I think what I hear, especially in vanya is we want this in our backyard. But you have to do it the right way.

01:12:19.208 –> 01:12:23.707
If You’re gonna put in my backyard and i’m speaking specifically to the salvation army project, we have in Vanya.

01:12:23.707 –> 01:12:32.356
If You’re gonna put a Mega shelter in our backyard, we know that’s not gonna work.

01:12:32.356 –> 01:12:38.543
It’s not the mega shelter we don’t want It’s not the homeless people we don’t want, or the services or the access to the services it’s we don’t want an archaic system

01:12:38.543 –> 01:12:42.642
being placed here so that you’re just transporting your problems from one neighborhood to another. We want to integrate.

01:12:42.642 –> 01:12:48.594
We want to work together. We want to solve these problems together.

01:12:48.594 –> 01:12:58.663
In the right way and I think we’re on that precipice right now, a figuring that out, you know, because I know a lot of what to do.

01:12:58.663 –> 01:13:05.533
You know people who care a lot about about the issues that we’re facing, and yet we have these politicians that seem to think that we don’t, and they perpetuate this notion that we are you know that

01:13:05.533 –> 01:13:22.833
rich people are only interested about how much money they’re gonna make and how much taxes they’re gonna pay. Well, I don’t think that’s the case.

01:13:22.833 –> 01:13:25.942
I really don’t. Yeah, yeah yeah you go getting set up with the way media wanna sound bite all this into this is the conflict, and this is a conflict.

01:13:25.942 –> 01:13:34.524
And, in fact, we know, and I guess let’s go to the evidence for a minute.

01:13:34.524 –> 01:13:47.738
Now are. you heard Julian lament the fact that he’s actually collected evidence, and that the political forces, whatever they are, want to shut that evidence out.

01:13:47.738 –> 01:13:49.368
Could we get ourselves to a really locally informed evidence base so that the banners of the world could actually inform those kinds of decisions rather than.

01:13:49.368 –> 01:13:58.066
And I hear what you’re suggesting the chat’s blowing up.

01:13:58.066 –> 01:14:03.842
I hope you’ll notice that it’s fabulous when people respond to you guys so so energetically, it’s not a question of rejecting that shelter. it’s the question of what the process was that arrived the

01:14:03.842 –> 01:14:06.702
decision, but also, as you suggest, just moving. one broken system over 8 blocks is not the solution.

01:14:06.702 –> 01:14:21.297
So now to first you and then we’ll come back to you Julian.

01:14:21.297 –> 01:14:31.821
Sure So my observations are that on the ground whether it’s through a Bia or whether it’s through a human services division at the municipal level, they people are crying out for data people are crying

01:14:31.821 –> 01:14:43.159
out for for intelligence. they want to understand, and they want to understand in a much more nuanced way than just simple demographics like how many people live here, or how many people do this?

01:14:43.159 –> 01:14:55.543
Or you know they want to yeah we have we’ve we’ve had a couple of instances a couple of projects fairly substantial projects over the last couple of years, where we’ve worked directly with municipalities with

01:14:55.543 –> 01:15:08.917
their with their human services and their service delivery groups that are that are asked very nuanced questions about vulnerability. and how vulnerability now is, is is a much more.

01:15:08.917 –> 01:15:27.485
It’s a much more informed concept I think for a lot of people than it was a few years ago, which and I think it was also a very, I think I think the the our understanding of the concept of vulnerability. and its and its various forms, you know some

01:15:27.485 –> 01:15:34.073
hidden, some, some not so hidden. have become a lot more clear to the service delivery mechanisms at at the municipal level. And so questions around questions that are that that clients are coming to us with are

01:15:34.073 –> 01:15:39.455
things like what’s the difference? you know How can I How can I tease out the socially vulnerable population from the financially vulnerable population?

01:15:39.455 –> 01:15:53.404
How do I teach those 2 out from each other, and how?

01:15:53.404 –> 01:15:58.971
How how can I leverage data to better understand the particularities of one type of vulnerability, so that I can, you know, develop policies so that I can inform policy development that is going to be much more effective and much more sort of refined

01:15:58.971 –> 01:16:15.238
to reflect that particular kind of intersectional experience, whatever that might be right.

01:16:15.238 –> 01:16:21.075
These are questions that 3 years ago I was never getting asked right so there’s this: There’s been this amplification of of sort of a recognition of of the need to address nuance, and the communities that people are serving

01:16:21.075 –> 01:16:34.457
So this whole broad, broad stroke stuff is simply not it’s not playing out well anymore.

01:16:34.457 –> 01:16:43.308
See Tim, You want to. You wanna jump in, and then Julian, go ahead you had these institutions.

01:16:43.308 –> 01:16:48.700
You had big entities that weren’t working you had you know, people being segregated as opposed to integrated, and you had one size fits all which, if you know, if you’re dealing with that If you’ve

01:16:48.700 –> 01:16:54.630
ever done with anybody, with sort of complex mental issues it’s like incredibly individualized.

01:16:54.630 –> 01:17:00.630
And and i’d like to suggest that you know getting away from big, segregated, and one size fits all is is what we have to think about.

01:17:00.630 –> 01:17:02.858
But how do we do it structurally often when there’s a good idea, a good entrepreneurial idea.

01:17:02.858 –> 01:17:07.633
And this will services sector. People say, How do we scale this up?

01:17:07.633 –> 01:17:17.507
Is it scalable? And in some ways, I think, How do we think about how do we scale this down?

01:17:17.507 –> 01:17:28.025
How do we scale down the way government is So often and big institutions and big corporations, whether it’s a chain store that says we’re gonna put the same thing everywhere?

01:17:28.025 –> 01:17:34.835
How do we scale things down and make it more locally? nuanced, as you just said, and and d Scale and De-escalate? But how do you do that institutionally?

01:17:34.835 –> 01:17:39.159
And I and I would say that they there there’s many issues to be started out, and it and there’s a lot of equity issues in in at least in the Us.

01:17:39.159 –> 01:17:46.161
And no one from neighborhoods that the bid bia model doesn’t work, but it’s an experiment.

01:17:46.161 –> 01:17:53.996
It’s a It’s a tool for local governance that brings some private sector money to the table, and creates an alignment of interest.

01:17:53.996 –> 01:18:01.169
How what are ways to sort of have that kind of scaling down locally?

01:18:01.169 –> 01:18:04.471
Responsive thing happened structurally, and have resources for all kinds of problems, not just sweeping the streets, you know, be done better at the local level.

01:18:04.471 –> 01:18:10.488
So I just love scaling down. Can we just all adopt that?

01:18:10.488 –> 01:18:13.346
To hell with scaling up let’s talk about scaling down. I’m gonna fall in love with that thanks dim

01:18:13.346 –> 01:18:16.684
This idea, You know It’s interesting the south African representative here at the G. 7

01:18:16.684 –> 01:18:21.370
Is the deputy minister. I just love the name of her ministry.

01:18:21.370 –> 01:18:30.231
I spoke to her and told her I loved it it’s called the Department of Cooperative Governance.

01:18:30.231 –> 01:18:34.530
So, and traditional affairs. Koak, can you imagine? I mean, imagine trying to do that here in North America, cooperative governance and traditional affairs?

01:18:34.530 –> 01:18:37.037
And I spoke with her about how I don’t know i’m sure it doesn’t.

01:18:37.037 –> 01:18:50.681
Oh, it’s not all perfect and in practice you know she sort of rolled her eyes, and said, Well, it’s not that easy, I said.

01:18:50.681 –> 01:19:05.674
No, I get that. But this idea that you could actually pull things down, and Julie and I’m wondering about that from the from the spirit of de institutionalization is in sack, and I appreciate people from amateur chiming in to give

01:19:05.674 –> 01:19:12.483
us a sense of weather community. they’re not perfect but is there, a bit of a model there. if we found ourselves in a place where you could have some kind of mixed governance different kinds of skill sets, businesses, residents, professionals.

01:19:12.483 –> 01:19:15.612
institutions, anchor institutions engaged in a kind of collective, and they had resources.

01:19:15.612 –> 01:19:21.568
A collective stewardship approach, because that kind of informally already happens.

01:19:21.568 –> 01:19:26.923
The Downtown East Side has an ecosystem of informal coping, and and that’s one of the concerns.

01:19:26.923 –> 01:19:33.720
I think people have about ripping it apart is that you’ll disrupt all those informal networks.

01:19:33.720 –> 01:19:38.234
So is there. is there thinking, going on in terms of the supportive structure of service.

01:19:38.234 –> 01:19:44.683
Mix that you You’re on the cutting edge of trying to develop in Vancouver is there?

01:19:44.683 –> 01:19:48.984
Talk about that about scaling down no there’s some There’s actually, I think resistance to it.

01:19:48.984 –> 01:19:57.296
And the image that in mind for me is the the familiar bicycle wheel.

01:19:57.296 –> 01:20:07.575
So we have the hub and this folks and the rim and back in the day the the arrows pointed from the rim toward the hub.

01:20:07.575 –> 01:20:11.041
If if you were in the community and your so-called metal illness needs eclipsed, what was, could be, could be supported locally, and you move to the institution.

01:20:11.041 –> 01:20:28.005
And in, you know today’s era the arrows go the other way.

01:20:28.005 –> 01:20:47.817
But the problem is the there’s nothing at the other end for people to work with, or at least I shouldn’t say there’s nothing sorry there is everything we need. accept the the the resources that enable those local assets.

01:20:47.817 –> 01:20:55.201
To be their best No, but if that is a resource Is it a resource, allocation challenge fundamentally because you’ve got You’ve got that

01:20:55.201 –> 01:21:04.889
When we’ve offered people choices 0% choose homes in the same neighborhood where we meet them.

01:21:04.889 –> 01:21:10.078
0, and The vast majority were not in even the city where we meet them 10 years before.

01:21:10.078 –> 01:21:13.966
We know this from looking at health registration? Where did they?

01:21:13.966 –> 01:21:23.472
Where did they choose? 80 80 They choose. they choose unpredictably.

01:21:23.472 –> 01:21:27.791
They choose the way we would choose if we were all given a map and an inventory of homes, and people asking, we’re all homeless, and we would, and they asked, well, where would you like to live and we’re

01:21:27.791 –> 01:21:30.230
and we’re we are where we are because it’s the only place for us right everywhere else.

01:21:30.230 –> 01:21:35.968
We’ll get move along, but or remanded or whatever.

01:21:35.968 –> 01:21:48.172
But here we you know. and now we get choices, and Mary chooses Marco and Tim chooses.

01:21:48.172 –> 01:21:54.118
Dunbar. Why, why do any of us make these choices Here’s what we don’t do None of us. Not one of us will say there’s a building over here with diverse mix of people old people young people kids singles and There’s a building over

01:21:54.118 –> 01:22:08.988
here, where every single tenant was once homeless, struggling with mental illness and addiction.

01:22:08.988 –> 01:22:25.275
Which one do you want to go? We will we won’t choose the the diverse building, and so will people with mental Illnesses they they, when given opportunities that these are the choices they’ll make and the

01:22:25.275 –> 01:22:40.679
problem is not so. Not only should we not be building the solution right where the pro problem happens to be like that street, but we need to be thinking about the that the hub in the spoke the people are not all from this area, but how can we

01:22:40.679 –> 01:22:48.115
not only mobilize effective responses where people are, but also mobilize them In settings where people are developing these challenges, and also where people who we meet in our urban areas may wish to relocate 25%

01:22:48.115 –> 01:23:03.214
have kids under age, 1820, right? they’re not living with them Most are in in state care, Right?

01:23:03.214 –> 01:23:07.497
That is another one of their huge motivators, and being able to relocate and ensure that there is a insisted standard of support. By the way, Bis are central to this, and the 2 reasons are Bis are the group to

01:23:07.497 –> 01:23:17.612
speak to about accessing landlords in the private sector we’re not.

01:23:17.612 –> 01:23:23.806
Problem is not a construction problem. Our problem is identifying and securing an inventory of housing. Anticipating that there will be mental illness in our society.

01:23:23.806 –> 01:23:28.541
There will be people and establishing that funding it, and that comes through.

01:23:28.541 –> 01:23:41.281
That comes through via’s and through private landlords the other thing is jobs.

01:23:41.281 –> 01:23:46.008
We need to be implementing well established. effective supported employment and building that with employers in the private sector there.

01:23:46.008 –> 01:23:59.055
Home work, you know, back back to tim’s reference to Maslow.

01:23:59.055 –> 01:24:06.442
We need to recognize that these partnerships are are essential, and the process of integration opportunity is it?

01:24:06.442 –> 01:24:14.322
It takes, takes 2 right. The individual who is alienated by but there’s all the rest of us who are concerned, and who are wanting to be a part of the solution.

01:24:14.322 –> 01:24:21.689
If we are feeling frustrated in the limited, are limited roles contributing to increase integration.

01:24:21.689 –> 01:24:31.385
That means that our social capital is being wasted. We all need to be harnessed constructively.

01:24:31.385 –> 01:24:34.436
If we all is that metaphor if we all lift together, it’s a light So I wanna we we’re gonna kind of run out of time.

01:24:34.436 –> 01:24:43.755
Your guys just conscious. We only got 4 min left. But I you know in many ways.

01:24:43.755 –> 01:24:54.460
When you talk about choice, Julian I always feel that’s a fundamental aspect of ribbon, life is that when in doubt you up diversity and you up choice and I think what you’re suggesting is and

01:24:54.460 –> 01:25:08.509
i’m sorry that mark garner Isn’t on maybe he is. but he, when he was in Toronto, he would often say, We need to see the distribution of services for people that need them distributed more evenly so that people have

01:25:08.509 –> 01:25:14.894
more choice that they’re not just in one part of the city, right? So as we move forward, and as you think of yourselves in this place, stewarded function, question came in from the from the chat about if we’re gonna see shifts in

01:25:14.894 –> 01:25:21.093
in building use and land use. are we gonna see less commercial space.

01:25:21.093 –> 01:25:27.085
For instance, what’s it gonna take for us to repurpose these spaces so that you could actually have the provision of broader services.

01:25:27.085 –> 01:25:29.972
It’s kind of a notion of a 15 min neighborhood, right, including metal house supports.

01:25:29.972 –> 01:25:36.941
So can we just go around and i’ll just get a closing comment from each of you.

01:25:36.941 –> 01:25:50.152
Your first not, or just a closing thought about the vision you might think we’re gonna be on the edge of cheating.

01:25:50.152 –> 01:26:01.839
Well, I think I think one of the key components and it’s just one is, and being more informed in the types of businesses that we bring into these these neighborhoods.

01:26:01.839 –> 01:26:10.274
The the the This is we we try and attract that we focus on independent and small businesses that allow for for for people to to to build a thriving community.

01:26:10.274 –> 01:26:22.420
Now I’ve heard from from people who know a lot more about this than I am, than I do that that generally we’re quite good in Canada at helping businesses get started.

01:26:22.420 –> 01:26:37.488
But we’re not really very good at helping them thrive and I think one of the key pieces here is honestly. I think it’s in the democratization of data making data more accessible, more affordable.

01:26:37.488 –> 01:26:44.680
And I think a model like the York region. Small business Enterprise Center is a perfect example of how municipalities, how how local governments, and even how regional and and and provincial and federal organizations can help

01:26:44.680 –> 01:26:49.200
make Can help business owners make better decisions making the data more accessible.

01:26:49.200 –> 01:26:53.516
So i’m i’m not surprised neither that you know you’ll be saying data data data.

01:26:53.516 –> 01:26:59.485
But you’re also saying, localize it, and create some kind of collective space that could focus it.

01:26:59.485 –> 01:27:01.361
Tim. thoughts from you as well. I think about it based on what you said, you know.

01:27:01.361 –> 01:27:08.157
Think about loosening the constraints. How How are these downtowns going to evolve?

01:27:08.157 –> 01:27:10.668
I do know society’s changing? think about the way our how rigid our land use processes are, and so many of our regulations.

01:27:10.668 –> 01:27:13.741
So how do you loosen the constraints?

01:27:13.741 –> 01:27:19.376
But at the same time not have no constraints like.

01:27:19.376 –> 01:27:29.851
But after dining, think about a public space you have to create a container where there’s the random set of interactions, create the container for creativity.

01:27:29.851 –> 01:27:33.792
Fl flexibility, intersection, and evolution. But how can you have to have some philosophy and rules for how things are going to operate within that fluid environment and that tension.

01:27:33.792 –> 01:27:47.588
But but right now it’s it’s rigidity it’s large scale.

01:27:47.588 –> 01:27:56.244
It’s not adapted cities. Do, not Adapt their physical spaces. do not adapt to the changes in society quickly enough, so we’ve got to loosen up, Julian something from you and then clean up

01:27:56.244 –> 01:28:00.929
to you, Natalie. Go ahead, Julian. Something quick and anticipating needs.

01:28:00.929 –> 01:28:04.871
Recognizing the the the indicators of need early kids who’ve been in in care.

01:28:04.871 –> 01:28:10.447
Kids who’ve had special needs and adverse childhood experiences.

01:28:10.447 –> 01:28:22.409
We and providing them, I think the you know the keeping keeping it local.

01:28:22.409 –> 01:28:26.308
It’s. it’s not about one big spine in our big urban centers and concentrating resources there to compensate It’s about all the little spines in every small community.

01:28:26.308 –> 01:28:30.047
Well, and I was gonna comment on your hub spoke you know we’re moving away from that.

01:28:30.047 –> 01:28:32.052
If there’s no just one single hub anymore. right with folks.

01:28:32.052 –> 01:28:39.306
Now we’re talking about polycentric I think is the current term.

01:28:39.306 –> 01:28:51.864
This idea that we can wherever wherever we can let’s relocalize, including care.

01:28:51.864 –> 01:29:02.392
Go ahead and have the last word too. Drag queens and I feel the pressures on. I think we’re on the precipice of this really unique opportunity to rethink our downtown core to rethink the spaces that we have and how

01:29:02.392 –> 01:29:05.278
they can help the problems that we have as well. So how build buildings that were once government buildings can become housing buildings, how those buildings could have services within them and businesses within them.

01:29:05.278 –> 01:29:13.280
And how we can rethink what diversity and inclusion actually means.

01:29:13.280 –> 01:29:19.508
It doesn’t mean in just including other people into your lives it means all of us, including each other.

01:29:19.508 –> 01:29:22.576
And I think we really need to look at how to help the business. people out there that have borne the branch of this will continue to bear.

01:29:22.576 –> 01:29:26.318
The Brent of it will have tax bills for the rest of their lives.

Some of them, and what they’re going to need to rebuild it.

People that are able to work, and in order. to have that they’re gonna need childcare and transportation and affordable housing in the downtown core.

So I mean that’s enough. I Think make it happen so as we always say at city talk, the conversation doesn’t end here just because the chat will be published.

We hope you’ll stay in touch with us obviously on these topics.

The important thing is that cities do not sit still and nor do the people that are in them.So i’m hoping you’ll all get out go spend a bit of money on your local business. Go and build some empathy for other people that are in that main Street space with you, and let’s collectively figure out how we’re going to rebuild and what we’re going to reform into who knows it’s all around the corner.

We’ll be back and city talk in a couple weeks Watch it’s on indigenous housing, and also we’ll be doing one on the repurposing of commercial space because that’s happening in front of our eyes, and thanks Everybody really great to meet to meet you. thank you for joining us and matter, and Tim and Natalie always great to see you. Thanks.

 

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