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

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The age of engagement in Vancouver’s independent theatre sector

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-09-19
Abstract: 

This research focuses on the prioritizing of community engagement in arts and culture policy and production, specifically within Vancouver’s independent theatre sector. It concerns itself equally with how artists and policy makers define community engagement, how it is operationalized in art making and what impact the policy is having on the funding, creation and consumption of art in the urban environment. Using document analysis, interviews with a senior executive at the British Columbia Arts Council and case studies of three Vancouver based independent theatre organizations, I identify operational gaps in how community engagement policy was implemented and administered, continued uncertainty in how community engagement is defined by artists, a resulting financial precarity for some, but not all, individuals and organizations operating in the sector and some of the ways community engagement has impacted aesthetic choices. This study hopes to add to our understanding of how policy and creative practice intersect.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Nicolas Kenny
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Urban Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Urb.

Twenty years of car sharing: a case study on the city of Vancouver’s role in the growth of car sharing in Vancouver

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-05-23
Abstract: 

This thesis explores the City of Vancouver’s role in supporting the growth of car sharing in Vancouver from 1997 to 2016. In December 2016, Vancouver had the highest number of car share members and vehicles in a single city across North America. Using a mixed methods approach, City documents and interviews are used to assess the impact that City policies have had on the development of this mobility service. The research found that City policies, including the provision of permit and dedicated onstreet parking, parking incentives for new developments and incorporating car share vehicles into the City’s fleet have had the greatest impact in supporting car share growth in terms of members and usage. The thesis concludes that the City of Vancouver has strongly supported the growth of car sharing; however, given the absence of a broader car sharing planning framework, existing policies remain disconnected. City car share policies that were introduced in the 2000s should be updated to incorporate advances in technology: autonomous driving, fleet electrification, and ride sharing. More robust terms of measurement would also improve the City’s opportunity to leverage positive outcomes that car sharing brings, such as a reduction in private vehicle ownership and use.

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

Connecting to opportunity: The urban mobility and everyday survival of youths transitioning from government care in Metro Vancouver

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-08-23
Abstract: 

In Metro Vancouver, youths transitioning from government care are routinely failing to become independent ‘adults’ and are struggling to secure housing, access resources, and develop the requisite life skills and education needed to gain greater financial security over time. Unlike their parented peers, whose familial support network allows them to rebound or ‘boomerang’ in the face of failure, these youths are continually at risk of homelessness and other adverse conditions. By using the mobility concept of 'tacking,' this ethnographic study examines the everyday experiences of seven Metro Vancouver youths from government care, as they navigate through challenges, obtain resources, and seize opportunities in a Canadian urban setting. This study adds to the field of urban studies and mobilities research by providing insight into the survival tactics of this marginalized category of young people who exist in cities across the world.

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

The location of artist clusters and the neighbourhoods they live in: An analysis of where artists live in Vancouver from 1991 to 2011

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-06-07
Abstract: 

This paper builds on the body of literature led by Ann Markusen in exploring where different types artists live in urban metropolitan areas. Findings from this paper provide further understanding of where artists live within Vancouver and what factors influence their location choices. Using census and national household survey data from 1991, 2001 and 2011, this paper examines the varying demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the neighbourhoods artists live in across Metro Vancouver. This longitudinal analysis applies the granger causality test to identify what factors attract and displace artists over time. A geo-spatial analysis shows that artist occupations cluster in central neighbourhoods near the downtown core in the City of Vancouver and have tendencies to be drawn towards different types of artist facilities.

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

Housing high-tech in Harris Green: Examining the relationships between high-tech investment and decreased availability and affordability of rental housing in the Harris Green neighbourhood of Victoria

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018-05-28
Abstract: 

The high-tech sector in the City of Victoria has experienced exponential growth in recent years (2010-2017) along with a concurrent drop in housing availability and affordability. The purpose of this research paper is to understand how the high-tech sector’s growth has impacted housing in the Harris Green neighbourhood of Victoria. The Harris Green neighbourhood was chosen as a ‘case study’ for its unique centralized location, small size and density. A concentration of high-tech activity and workspaces has occurred within close proximity to Harris Green, as well as recent growth in multi-family developments, retail/commercial space and high population growth. By analyzing the activity and growth within a concentrated area, an understanding of the relationships between high-tech growth and housing conditions was developed to assist in future decision-making by local governments concerning economic growth and housing sustainability.

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

“Don’t let a good disaster go to waste”: Investigating emergent desires for urban resilience at the City of Calgary

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-02-28
Abstract: 

This study is about urban resilience as an emergent concept at the City of Calgary in the wake of several significant crises. It looks at how the crises affected institutional operations, and whether the changes in operations principles conformed to a theoretically robust conceptualization of urban resilience. Using a mixed methods approach of document analysis and key informant interviews, I examine City staff’s desires for a more proactive approach to infrastructure and operations decision-making processes and identify major gaps and tensions in their understanding and use of urban resilience concepts. I present evidence that city staff’s vague resilience definitions and priorities conflict with other tensions within the bureaucracy and contribute to the justification and entrenchment of status quo operations. This research contributes to our knowledge of the challenges of navigating resilience concepts and planning for urban resilience at the municipal level.

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

An ex post facto evaluation of a Metro Vancouver Transportation Plan

Date created: 
2018-03-27
Abstract: 

Plans ought to be evaluated upon completion to determine their impacts and the reasons for success or failure. With this information, future planning efforts can be improved. Accordingly, this thesis offers an ex post facto evaluation of Metro Vancouver’s Transport 2021 medium-range transportation plan to determine its effectiveness and recommend how to improve future plans. In 1993, this plan recommended regional transportation policies and projects for the horizon year of 2006. Using a mixed-methods approach adapted from Laurian et al., the plan’s logic, implementation, and outcomes were examined, and factors affecting the results were considered. Although the plan proved technically capable of meeting its goals, it was not an effective plan, as it was only partially implemented, and its goals were not fully achieved. I identified factors that limited the implementation and outcomes, including politics and a failure to achieve the goals of the related land-use plan.

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

Community Centred: The Impact of Relationship-Based Fundraising on Strathcona Community Centre

Date created: 
2018-01-23
Abstract: 

This project explores the impact of neoliberal funding on non-profit organizations. Framed by relevant literature on current funding models, community development and social capital, this research consists of an in-depth case study of the Strathcona Community Centre Association in order to contextualize and understand that organization’s success at generating revenue through relationship-based fundraising. The project uses a mixed methods approach, including document analysis and interviews with key informants. The organization’s reputation and longstanding commitment to community development are key to the Strathcona Community Centre’s fundraising success, however the particular historical, geographic and demographic context within which it is located means that this model is not replicable. Furthermore, the need to focus large amounts of time and energy on precarious, short-term sources of funding perpetuates the cycle of financial instability and organizational vulnerability.

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

Strategically planning for parking: An inquiry into parking requirements for laneway houses in Vancouver

Date created: 
2018-03-16
Abstract: 

This study investigates the alignment between Vancouver’s strategic plans and the uniquely low parking requirement for its laneway housing policy. Parking requirements, a long-standing tool to create parking alongside housing, are purported to be a relic of automobile-centric, density-shy planning. But they remain a politically convenient and thus entrenched approach, offering a straightforward ‘bring-your-own-parking’ standard that shifts the responsibility for abundant street parking onto new residents. The perpetuation of parking minima in Vancouver is found to be politically motivated: ad hoc incrementalism and compromise are preferred as more pragmatic than implementing stated objectives boldly and without compromise. Officials speculate that this approach was necessary to make laneway housing acceptable to existing residents, suggesting that, paradoxically, parking requirements can present both opportunity and barriers for infill housing. The study recommends more data, public dialogue, and transparency in the translation of strategic policy into regulatory policy.

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

The historical changes of New Westminster’s Brunette Creek industrial land

Date created: 
2017-11-28
Abstract: 

This research focuses on how economic and transportation infrastructure changes impact industrial land uses from 1945 to 2014 in the Brunette Creek industrial area of New Westminster, British Columbia. Using a mixed method approach, I conduct a statistical analysis of industrial business listings data and link these results to a content analysis over the study time period. The research shows that industrial land uses were impacted by changes to the economy and transportation infrastructure projects in the region. Economic changes in manufacturing production methods, de-industrialization and rise of the service sector impacted the study area’s land uses and led to industrial diversification. Transportation projects including the development of key road networks, the Port Mann Bridge in 1963 and rapid transit infrastructure had both direct and indirect impacts on industrial land uses in Brunette Creek.

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