Milestones 2020

2020 will be remembered as a transformative year around the world. How did it change Vancouver?

For the sixth year, the Vancouver City Planning Commission brought together our city’s top urban thinkers, planners and advocates for our annual year-in-review forum— a discussion of how 2020’s events and decisions will shape where Vancouver is heading.

The panel on February 18, 2021 included Kamala Todd, an Indigenous urban community planner and filmmaker; Alex Boston, a renewable, resilient +restorative cities specialist; Anthonia Ogendule, a Black community leader empowering youth to transform communities and shift culture; and, Jesse Donaldson, an author and journalist who shines a provocative light on Vancouver’s civic culture and history.

The panel was moderated by Frances Bula, a journalist covering urban issues and city politics in Vancouver

View a video of the forum


Kamala Todd is a Metis-Cree community planner, educator, curator and filmmaker who was born and raised in the beautiful lands of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ and Skwxwú7mesh-speaking people (also known as Vancouver). She is currently adjunct professor at SFU Urban Studies and UBC SCARP.

Kamala was the City of Vancouver’s first Indigenous Arts and Culture Planner, and before that, she was the Aboriginal Social Planner, where she created Storyscapes, an Indigenous community arts and storytelling project to help bring greater recognition for the many diverse stories of Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh and urban Indigenous people in Vancouver.

Alex Boston is the Executive Director of SFU’s Renewable Cities program. He has two decades of experience in climate and energy policy, planning and engagement. He has served governments, real estate developers, utilities, university think tanks, municipal associations, and non-profits. Alex attributes some of his strongest policy solutions to meaningful engagement with earnest skeptics and open-minded opponents.

Anthonia Ogendule is an trained urban planner and resilience professional with a passion for cities and engaging communities. She was a member of the North East False Creek Stewardship Committee, igniting the re-imaging on Hogan’s Alley and launching the Hogan’s Alley Land Trust, which evolved into the Hogan’s Alley Society.

Inspired by her now 13 year old daughter, Anthonia founded the Ethọ́s Lab, a non-profit social enterprise providing youth ages 13-18 access to emerging technologies and an impassioned community of innovators. Ethọ́s Lab is leveraging Culture as a vehicle to access STEM Exploration to ensure youth are creators vs. consumers.

Jesse Donaldson is an author and journalist. His current series is 49.2: Tales from the Off-Beat, a series examining the weird and wonderful elements of Vancouver’s history. The first instalment, Land of Destiny (Anvil Press) delved into the often unseemly world of Vancouver real estate.


Frances Bula has written about urban issues and city politics in B.C.’s Vancouver region, covering everything from Downtown Eastside drug addiction to billion-dollar development projects, since 1994. She writes for the Globe and Mail, BC Business and Vancouver magazine.


The Vancouver City Planning Commission acknowledges we are on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. We thank them for having cared for this land and look forward to working with them in partnership as we continue to build this great city together.

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