Fourth Wave Centre

The Centre for Fourth Wave Urban Reform is committed to challenging and reforming older models of urban governance and values. Its name is a reference to the three waves of urban reform that have swept Canada since its founding.

The first wave of urban reform saw cities legally incorporated under the jurisdiction of the provinces. It’s impetus was related to the ferment around the founding of the country in the 1860s. The second wave of urban reform was related to the Progressive Movement and sought to reform governance and reduce corruption in cities. Its effects became clear in the 1910s.

The third wave of urban reform resulted from the social unrest of the 1960s and its effects were thoroughly suburbanizing. It featured an experiential environmentalism that was sympathetic to low-density living and was often suspicious of market forces.

 The three waves of urban reform centered around the 1860s, 1910s and 1960s might lead one to expect a fourth wave in the 2010s. What might such a fourth wave comprise? What value changes and increasing knowledge have taken place since the 1960s?

The Center for Fourth Wave Urban Reform is committed to identifying opportunities for improving cities and recognizing the challenges created by previous urban reforms. The Vancouver Urban Forum was created to help foster a conversation in the community about the possibilities of improving our cities through a new understanding of our past and deliberations about our future.

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