Urban Studies - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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Community sport development & the Olympic games - outcomes from Vancouver 2010

Author: 
Date created: 
2012-11-01
Abstract: 

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) requires that all Olympic host cities plan for post-Games legacies. In the case of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, a key legacy promise concerned benefits for the local sport community. This promise played a vital role in securing political and citizen support to host the Games. This research explores the relationship between hosting the Games and the actual operational impacts and legacies experienced by community sport organizations in Vancouver’s Lower Mainland during and immediately following the Games. Qualitative interviews conducted with representatives of the local sport community provide insight into the diversity of experiences and perspectives on the topic of legacies at the community sport level following the Games in Vancouver. In many cases outcomes reported by local sport organizations differed from organizational expectations in the lead up to the Games. What is also noteworthy is the variance between local sport clubs and provincial sport organizations (hereafter “PSOs”) in both their operational approaches to the Games and reported outcomes.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Noel Dyck
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Urban Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Research Project) M.Urb.

How do social housing locations impact transit use in family households in the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby?

Date created: 
2012-08-23
Abstract: 

This study aims to explain how low-income families in Vancouver and Burnaby accommodate their transportation costs and transportation option(s) with limited financial resources. To answer the above question, a total of four social housing sites in Vancouver and Burnaby were selected for further study. Two sites with poor bus access were selected and two sites with good bus access were selected. Within those 4 sites, 12 families were interviewed. This study explores how low-income families choose their transportation mode(s) given their limited incomes and social housing locations. The findings indicate that the built environment, work and non-work destinations, public transit accessibility and frequency; and, family structure influence a household’s travel behaviours. The findings in this study warrant further research with regards to parking at social housing sites and the transportation behaviours of all social housing residents.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Peter V. Hall
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Urban Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Research Project) M.Urb.

Port Moody - City of the Arts? Culture as the catalyst for regeneration in Inlet Centre

Date created: 
2012-05-16
Abstract: 

In recent years, the popularity of cultural planning in Canada has soared. Proponents emphasize that cultural planning strategies lead to a variety of economic, social and cultural benefits and stress the importance of utilizing an integrated and cultural approach to urban planning. However, despite the growth of cultural planning since the 1980s, there has been little research dealing specifically with implementation and outcomes. This Research Project investigates the implementation and outcomes of cultural planning in the Inlet Centre neighbourhood of Port Moody, British Columbia, which has been oft cited as an example of a highly successful neighbourhood and town centre, and which the City has designated as a cultural precinct. The research seeks to determine whether or not there is a relationship between Port Moody’s cultural planning efforts and Inlet Centre’s success. In the first phase of analysis, Port Moody’s plans and strategies are analysed in relation to cultural planning concepts and theory. In the second phase, a range of data including City documents, Census data, websites and key informant interviews specific to Inlet Centre are analysed in relation to a set of culturally relevant characteristics. In the third phase, information pertaining to the development review process for two Inlet Centre land developments is analysed in order to determine whether or not a cultural lens has been utilized through the implementation and development of Inlet Centre. The findings indicate that while Port Moody has succeeded in achieving progress toward its economic, social and cultural goals, it has not succeeded in moving toward a more integrated and cultural approach to urban planning.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Meg Holden
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Urban Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Research Project) M.Urb.

Wasted lives: determining the feasibility of establishing a test case resource recovery programme in the urban poor community of Faux-a-Chaud, Saint Lucia

Author: 
Date created: 
2012-05-11
Abstract: 

According to studies carried out by the World Bank/UNDP Integrated Resource Recovery Project, highly developed informal sector networks of refuse scavenging (resource recovery) already exist in almost all developing countries, (Bartone 1990, p.15). This is due to the fact that in the urban centres of the developing world, the dramatic and rapid increase in population has led to several negative ramifications namely, a rise in the levels of urban poverty and an inability of governments to cater to the rising demands for basic infrastructure services such as solid waste management. As a result, the marginalized urban poor are exposed to numerous environmental hazards, (Hardoy and Satterthwaite 1991). Through scavenging recyclable materials, these groups are able to make a livelihood by providing a steady, reliable supply of secondary raw materials for local manufacturing industry, (Wilson et al. 2006, p.802). Therefore, resource recovery (RR) has been identified as a means of alleviating urban poverty, enhancing environmental sustainability and bettering communities.In the small island developing state of Saint Lucia, the researcher sought to determine the feasibility of establishing a test case resource recovery programme in an urban poor community, given the aforementioned benefits. Limited by the narrow scope of the project and the researcher’s own expertise, the study focused primarily on the social and policy factors, which were examined using the conceptual framework of sustainable community development based on the four principles of social equity, environmental integrity, good governance and economic viability. The results of the study denoted that there were no real policy barriers to the establishment of a resource recovery programme (RRP). However, the lack of legislation on more sustainable waste minimization strategies highlighted the lack of political will among past and present government administrations to move towards a more sustainable agenda despite their commitments to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Agenda 21. The social element denoted several challenges with regard to community cohesion and participation, representation, and consumption and waste disposal patterns of behaviour. However, if addressed, these challenges should not pose as a deterrent to pursuing further research for developing the RRP.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Patrick Smith
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Urban Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Research Project) M.Urb.

The urban politics of Vancouver's "greenest city" agenda

Date created: 
2012-01-13
Abstract: 

This study is about entrepreneurial urban strategies to reconcile environmental and economic objectives in cities pursuing “green” economic development. It looks at Vancouver's goal to become the "greenest city in the world" from the aspiration’s origin in the 2008 civic election to the adoption of the Greenest City Action Plan in July 2011. Using content analysis and interviews with key participants I identify an economistic and entrepreneurial ethos in the project’s discourse and proposals, and a selective and contradictory response to the ecological crisis. I gather evidence that an urban regime is forming to reconcile the project’s contradictory economic and environmental objectives, while promoting Vancouver as a “green” destination for investment and residents in a neoliberalizing global economy. This study adds to our understanding of entrepreneurial urban responses to the ecological crisis and of strategies to reconcile conflict between the economy and environment in urban politics.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Karen Ferguson
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Urban Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Research Project) M.Urb.

From transit to development at Main Street SkyTrain Station

Date created: 
2012-03-26
Abstract: 

Main Street station was designed and built in 1982 as the terminus of a demonstration line for the SkyTrain rapid transit system. This project examines the historical experience of Main Street station and how the station area has changed since 1984 when a long-term land-use and redevelopment plan was established. A conceptual framework applies transit-oriented development (TOD) theory to identify commonalities between the 1984 plan and the goals of TOD. The findings suggest that although the land-use plan intended to capitalize on the influence of the rapid transit station with location efficient and mixed-use zoning, development has not been as responsive to the presence of rapid transit as planners envisioned. Construction on the only major development project next to the station, City Gate, began nearly a decade after the introduction of rapid transit, while surface parking lots and vacant land remain elsewhere around the station. The analysis examines factors such as municipal support for the residential redevelopment of False Creek during the 1990s, market demand, land assembly and developer interest that influenced the implementation of City Gate. Finally, an assessment of the present day study area illustrates why successful transit-oriented development must reflect principles of good urban design. This project suggests that if the Main Street station area is to become a compact, walkable and vibrant community, it must have good connectivity, legibility and a high quality public realm.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Anthony Perl
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Urban Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Research Project) M.Urb.

Suburban walkability: understanding the role of urban design and residential preferences

Date created: 
2012-01-03
Abstract: 

Neighbourhood design can play a role in facilitating walking within the neighbourhood. Elements in the built environment that are believed to play a role in walking include density, land use mix, connectivity, and urban design. This capstone project measures and compares walking frequencies, the number of observed pedestrians as well as self reported walking trips, in two suburban neighbourhoods. The neighbourhoods differ in many aspects of their built form: one neighbourhood is a neo-traditional design (NTD) while the comparison community is conventional suburban design (CSD). Neighbourhood perceptions, residential preferences, and travel attitudes were assessed. Higher observed and self-reported walking frequency can be found in the NTD neighbourhood. Walking frequency is higher among all NTD residents, not only those that prefer urban form features related to walking. The results indicate that the built environment does play a role in utilitarian walking within the neighbourhood.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Anthony Perl
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Urban Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Research Project) M.Urb.

Sustainable development compromise[d] in the planning of Metro Vancouver’s agricultural lands: The Jackson Farm Case

Date created: 
2012-04-23
Abstract: 

Loss of farmland to urban sprawl presents challenges to achieving sustainable development in Metro Vancouver. Finite petroleum supplies foreshadow a potential future need for locally attained foodstuffs to maintain regional food security, and it is therefore critical that local farmland protection be amongst the top priorities for policymakers. With losses to Metro Vancouver’s farmland still occurring, albeit in lower quantities than previously experienced, it is prudent to investigate potential improvements to existing policy successes in order to strengthen the region’s farmland protection initiatives that are administered by an intergovernmental framework of farmland guardianship. Recent trends in sustainability policy making and implementation have suggested an acceptance of “win-win” solutions by policymakers, resulting in sustainable development compromises. The recent Jackson Farm case suggests such sustainable development compromises can compromise sustainability principles, and additionally contains lessons that provide insight into potential policy improvements that could build upon Metro Vancouver’s farmland protection policy successes.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Meg Holden
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Urban Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Research Project) M.Urb.

How have neoliberal shifts from the 1980s to present day in social welfare delivery changed the services provided to street youth in Vancouver?

Author: 
Date created: 
2011-12-06
Abstract: 

In this paper, I analyse the history of services for street youth in Vancouver and the policy context in which street youth services in Vancouver operate. The history and development of street youth services in Vancouver over longer periods of time is not well researched and hence my research came from an exploratory perspective. I have pursued my research primarily through semi-structured interviews with key informants. I investigated the development of street youth services through three dimensions. The first dimension of my research project focused on issue recognition and looked at how street youth are configured as a social problem. The second dimension traced the history of the sector serving street-involved youth and is framed through an analysis of policy context. The final dimension of my research is a stakeholder analysis. A stakeholder analysis is commonly done in policy analysis to understand to what extent important stakeholders have influenced policy making in the sector. Of particular interest is how the policy and service-delivery context for street youth services has been shaped by policies which have been implemented and pursued by British Columbia’s provincial government since the 1980s. Implied in the trajectory of my research is a bigger question; how have neoliberal policies translated into a policy environment which is fragmented, hides its politics and is less interactive, responsive and co operative than one would hope for?

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Peter Hall
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Urban Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Research Project) M.Urb.

The intersection of Town Centre planning and politics: Alternative development in an inner suburban municipality in the Metro Vancouver region

Date created: 
2011-11-04
Abstract: 

Regional Town Centres (RTCs) are a central metropolitan growth management mechanism used to address liveability concerns and help plan for the future in the Metro Vancouver region. Intended to decentralize the magnetic pull of a traditional downtown, these high density suburban nodes are meant to refocus urban amenities in designated built up islands of urbanity in order to decrease the distance residents travel to employment, services, shopping and recreation. Nearly half a century since implementation, the City of Burnaby has demonstrated strong potential to realize the Town Centres concept with the continued development of the Metrotown RTC as well as the municipal Town Centres of Lougheed, Edmonds, and Brentwood. This paper examines the evolution of these centres through a local planning policy and political context. Despite various challenges, the policies produced in the late 1960s persevere today, presenting an alternative evolution to the dominant model of suburbia.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Meg Holden
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Urban Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Research Project) M.Urb.