Perth in Focus
The Vancouver Story: What can Perth learn about transformation and densification?


Wednesday, 25 November 2015
11:30 - Registration Opens
12:00 - Event Start
14:30 - Event Concludes


Hyatt Regency Perth
Grand Ballroom
99 Adelaide Terrace, Perth


Table of 10 $1650
Per person $175
This includes a two course lunch with wine.

OPEN TO PUBLIC Registration has now closed

This Perth in Focus luncheon featured former City of Vancouver Councilor and Director of The City Program at Simon Fraser University, Gordon Price. Gordon talked about Vancouver’s transformation and how it has brought economic, environmental and social benefits.

Event Overview

View the presentation.

View the photo gallery.

Lunch Learnings

At the latest Perth in Focus luncheon the Committee for Perth and research partner RAC launched Get a Move On! - a year-long research project that asks Perth commuters and the business community what kind of practical, long-term public transport system they want.

The fact-based project will also define and quantify the social, economic and environmental impacts of our current transport network.

Speaking at the launch was Gordon Price, Director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. Gordon shared his views on what Perth can learn from Vancouver.

While Vancouver is Canada’s densest city it hasn’t been seen as a negative. In recent years, the city has been at or near the top of the EIU’s Liveability Ranking for capital cities.

The key takeaways from Gordon Price’s presentation included:

  • Spending billions of dollars on roads won’t reduce congestion
  • Historically, people in Vancouver bought a home based on ‘location, location and location’ now it’s based on ‘transit, transit and transit’
  • In 1997, Vancouver passed a planning law that wouldn’t increase road capacity but accommodated growth through walking, cycling and public transport. As a result, traffic volumes in and out of downtown Vancouver are the same today as in 1965
  • If you offer people more transport options, they will use them
  • Any discussion about density is problematic, especially when it focuses on the family car having to be separated from the home
  • The number of young adults in Vancouver with a drivers licence are in the minority
  • Incremental increases in housing density in existing suburbs can be done by making it - invisible, hidden or gentle
  • He suggested, "If there's a place on the planet which has invested in more roads and succeeded in getting rid of congestion I'd love to hear it."

Meet our speakers and panellists

Gordon Price Image

Gordon Price

Director of The City Program, Simon Fraser University

In 2002, he finished his sixth term as a city councillor in Vancouver, B.C. He also served on the Board of the Greater Vancouver Regional District (Metro Vancouver) and was appointed to the first board of the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority (TransLink) in 1999.

Price is a regular lecturer on transportation and land use for the City of Portland, Oregon, and Portland State University. He writes a monthly column for Business in Vancouver on civic issues, and he conducts tours and seminars on the development of Vancouver. He also publishes an electronic magazine on urban issues (with a focus on Vancouver) called Price Tags, and he has been published in several journals, including Inroads, the Canadian journal of opinion. He blogs

In 2003, he received the Plan Canada Award for Article of the Year for "Land Use and Transportation: The View from '56" from the Canadian Institute of Planners. In 2007, he was the winner of the “Smartie” People Award from Smart Growth B.C. In 2009, he was made an honourary member of the Planning Institute of B.C.

Price sits on the boards of the Sightline Institute and the International Centre for Sustainable Cities. He is also a member of local districts for the Urban Land Institute and Lambda Alpha International.

Sally Braidwood Image

Sally Braidwood

Research Consultant, Ipsos

Sally joined Ipsos in 2014 and leads the Public Affairs research division in Western Australia. Through its Social Research Institute and Reputation Centre, Ipsos Public Affairs conducts strategic research to understand and manage issues, advance reputations, determine shifts in attitude and opinion, enhance communications and evaluate policy.

As a research consultant, Sally has the opportunity to work closely with public and private sector clients to ensure the voice of the Western Australian public is represented in strategic planning and decision making across a range of areas including transport, infrastructure, housing, health, resources and energy.

Sally holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Master of Business Research from the University of Western Australia. In addition to this, Sally is a passionate supporter of Western Australian arts and culture and is the Board Chair of Propel Youth Arts WA, the peak body for youth arts in Western Australia.

Patrick Walker Image

Patrick Walker

Executive General Manager, Advocacy and Members at the RAC

Patrick Walker commenced his current position as Executive General Manager, Advocacy and Members at the RAC in July 2011. Immediately prior to this, he was the Director General, Department of Indigenous Affairs from 2008.

Patrick was a Commissioner at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Commissioner for Consumer Protection and Prices Commissioner in Western Australia for 10 years and during this period he was also a member of the Legal Aid Commission of Western Australia, the Medical Board of Western Australia, a Trustee of the national Travel Compensation Fund and Chairman of Workpower Incorporated, which provides employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Patrick has also had extensive management experience in local government, with his most recent position being Chief Executive Officer at the City of Subiaco (1993 to 1998). During this time he was elected as State President and as a National Director of the Local Government Managers’ Association.