Governance and resistance


This City is Ours is a historical walking tour that takes place in Vancouver, B.C., on the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish First Nations, on unceded Coast Salish lands.

Our tour is designed to guide you through some of the many locations that have been sites of conflict in Vancouver’s relatively short history. It is important to acknowledge that all of Vancouver’s space is inherently ridden with conflict, as the city came to be through the practice of settler colonialism and the stealing of land from First Nations peoples.

The overarching theme and goal of This City is Ours is to examine top-down governance in Vancouver and highlight the means through which people pushed back with grassroots activism, in order to claim ownership over space.

Cities are always places of contested space, but the way these conflicts are presented in our historical memory speaks volumes about the narrative being promoted by urban institutions and the urban growth machine. The urban imaginaries for residents of Vancouver are going to be different depending on their gender, race and class, the communities they are a part of, the neighbourhoods they live in, and a whole host of other variables. What becomes crucial in our understanding of any city is how different communities interact with one another, and how these conflicts and collaborations play out and shape the urban built environment.

Our walking tour seeks to explore these spaces of conflict as they have existed (and continue to exist) in Vancouver. There are countless examples of communities organizing in order to push back against top-down governance, and of grassroots activism claiming ownership over space.

To learn more, and to access our podcasts, map and other information, please visit our website here.