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Unpacking Inspire Jericho: First Nations as a developer and the question of luxury real estate in Vancouver

Authors: Alexine Maria Sanchez*, University of British Columbia
Topics: Urban Geography, Land Use, Canada
Keywords: urban governance, First Nations, real estate, luxury housing, Vancouver
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Sitting in the middle of a housing supply crisis, Vancouver continues to find itself in transforming local and global interconnections on housing and urban development. Through examining the planning process of the ongoing Jericho Lands development, this paper explores the distinct role of Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Development Corporation (MSTDC), a joint commercial development corporation owned by three Lower Mainland First Nations in Vancouver, British Columbia. As co-owner of the current largest contiguous development in the city, the involvement of MSTDC highlights the transforming practice of urban governance at the municipal level, and particularly how it intersects with affordability, transportation, and the historically charged issue of reconciliation. Due to the concern of the project contributing to high-value and luxury properties in Vancouver, it poses deeper questions not only for the urban processes of the city but how urban issues also intersect with the aspirations and values of its Indigenous owners. By examining the early stages of the planning process entitled Inspire Jericho, this paper demonstrates the complex role of an emerging type of a real estate actor, its contribution to governance practices in Vancouver, and its potential impact to real estate development in one of the most expensive and robust cities in the world.

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