Redressing Urban Displacement: The reimagining of Hogan’s Alley
Vancouver, BC, Unceded Coast Salish Territories – The Hogan’s Alley Society (HAS), in collaboration with the City of Vancouver and SFU Institute for Diaspora Research and Engagement (IDRE) will host a public dialogue to share with the audience the work the three teams have done collaboratively over the past year, in preparation for the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaduct removal. The event will take place at SFU Harbour Center Campus, 555 W Hastings, Fletcher Challenger Theater, from 6:00pm to 9:30 pm (wheelchair accessible).
On October 27, 2015, the City Council voted 5-4 to remove the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts. The removal of these viaducts presents the City of Vancouver with a unique opportunity to address the past wrongful displacement of Vancouver’s long-standing Black community familiarly known as Hogan’s Alley.
Renowned architect Zena Howard and a panel of Hogan’s Alley Working Group members will meet with the public to discuss systems of exclusion and how to build a more equitable and inclusive metropolis. The Conversation will focus on solutions for the re-development of Hogan’s Alley which address the past injustices done to the Black community.
At the turn of the century, Strathcona’s Black neighborhood was formed. Employment with the railroads, dissuasion from living in other communities and acceptance within the area resulted in a significant Black presence in the Hogan’s Alley neighborhood. By the mid-1950s, the community had grown and there were as many 800 people of African descent living in the area.
By design and by neglect, the City of Vancouver let the neighborhood deteriorate to the point that the Black community had begun to disperse. The streets, landscaping, and sidewalks had fallen into disrepair and the threat of expropriation loomed over the community. Neglect and inaction were not byproducts of fiscal constraints or municipal prioritization. By leaving the community to fall into disrepair, the City contributed to the degradation of Strathcona justifying their case for the removal of this neighborhood of poor immigrants and visible minorities from the metropolis. The final act to the death of this community was the building of the viaducts.
Stephanie Allen, one of the members of the Hogan’s Alley working Group expresses the community’s long-term point of view: “We see a chance to harness existing models of non- profit real estate development, casting a wider net to include voices from neighbors, community groups, Indigenous peoples, and people of African descent for whom this place represents a chance to participate in city-building.”
The evening will center Black Vancouver art and music. There will be a reception where the public will have an opportunity to interact with event organizers.
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