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

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Urban by design: An evaluation of public spaces in downtown New Westminster

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

This research evaluates the public realm along Columbia Street in downtown New Westminster from an urban design perspective. It’s purpose is to provide a basis for future design decisions and related policy development affecting the quality of that public realm. The evaluation employs 35 criteria grouped under seven broad principles of urban design: good form, legibility, vitality, meaning, comfort, accessibility and security. The underlying premise is that these broad principles interrelate to create and protect the integrity of the public realm as a whole that may otherwise be compromised by individual developments on privately owned properties. Evaluation results suggest that improvements are needed to Columbia Street’s public realm in order to better support its intended role as a successful commercial core of a regional town centre. While this research does not recommend specific improvements, the results suggest aspects of the public realm that would benefit from greater attention.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Anthony Perl
Department: 
Arts and Social Sciences: Urban Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Research project) M.Urb.

Playing in the city: football fandom and street protests in Buenos Aires

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

This essay examines a particular aspect of certain forms of social behaviour that occur at selected times and places in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. In general terms, the essay adopts an ethnographic and culturally-informed perspective to identify and explicate particular dimensions of some publicly enacted relationships and activities that unfold within a large and densely populated city. More specifically, the essay asks whether the expressive activities of football fans, on the one hand, and street protesters, on the other, can be appropriately and usefully identified as constituting forms of ‘play’. Although necessarily limited in its aims and objectives, the essay does attempt to take account of some of the larger questions and analytic possibilities that emerge out of this preliminary investigation.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Noel Dyck
Department: 
Arts and Social Sciences: Urban Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Research project) M.Urb.

Analysis of residential property value before and after the opening of the SkyTrain Millennium Line

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

This research investigates the impacts of the construction of SkyTrain Millennium Line in Burnaby’s Lougheed Town Centre area on residential property values. These price impacts are for three years, corresponding to a year during construction (2000), the completion date (2002) and three years after its opening (2005). A hedonic property price model shows that the distance from the SkyTrain station had a statistically significant negative impact on residential property values only prior to the SkyTrain’s opening. The model also suggests that structural variables, such as floor space, age, heating are more influential than the distance to SkyTrain in affecting the property values.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Anthony Perl
Department: 
Arts and Social Sciences: Urban Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Research project) M.Urb.

Amenity bonuses: Bridging cultural production and consumption in Vancouver's city centre

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

This project examines the City of Vancouver’s Cultural Amenity Bonus program through the story of the Vancouver International Film Centre. The Amenity program, which began in 1975 under Vancouver’s Downtown Official Development Plan (DODP), is a collaborative funding mechanism that links City Hall, developers, and non-profits in facilitating the macro planning goals of creating a sustainable cultural infrastructure base in Vancouver’s downtown, as per the City’s Ten Principles of Sustainability. As such, the program is used to negotiate on behalf of non-profit incubator organizations involved in cultural service delivery within the downtown core. The purpose of this project is to assess to what degree the Film Centre exemplifies sustainable cultural infrastructure. By looking at concepts of consumption, production chain, infrastructure and partnerships this project acts as a preliminary background study which informs how to assess the performance of the Film Centre through the lens of sustainability.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Anthony Perl
Department: 
Arts and Social Sciences: Urban Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Research project) M.Urb.

The conscious city I: traffic congestion and change toward sustainability in Greater Vancouver

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

Using collaborative, grounded theory research, this study explores the relationship between traffic congestion and change toward sustainability in Greater Vancouver. The paper draws on document analysis and nineteen elite interviews to assess how traffic congestion has served as a catalyst for change through the development of a social consciousness of sustainability. The research finds that traffic congestion can be a powerful force for change. However, the nature of this change is subject to the two distinct and incompatible mental models that shape perspectives and behaviour in the region. The models break down mainly along urban and suburban boundaries, creating a major split in the region and significant variation in social consciousness. The paper concludes that future development in the region?and ultimately progress toward sustainability?will depend on the mental model of the dominant actors. Future research is needed to determine the applicability of the research to other metropolitan regions

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Meg Holden
Department: 
Arts and Social Sciences: Urban Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Research project) M.Urb.