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

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Did the Town of Ladysmith’s community visioning process increase broader municipal engagement?

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

This project on civic engagement in the Town of Ladysmith explores the potential that a short-term municipal visioning process influenced broader civic engagement outside of its scope. Using mixed methods to triangulate quantitative, qualitative, and participatory data, this research incorporates existing literature and investigates new ways of measuring civic engagement. The results demonstrate the importance of trust, transparency, clear two-way communication, and shared responsibility in creating effective community engagement. This research also demonstrates a preliminary indication that unplanned civic engagement increases may be a result of finite engagement events when those events meet the above criteria for collaboration between citizens and their local government.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
M
Department: 
Urban Studies Program - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.Urb.)

Socio-demographic factors and civic voting behaviour: the case of Vancouver

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

Socio-Demographic Factors and Civic Voting Behaviour: The Case of Vancouver considers the relationship between voting behaviour in the 2008 Vancouver municipal election and socio-demographic characteristics of people living in Vancouver’s voting divisions. It includes a focus on voting behaviour and the socio-demographic variable of housing tenure. While related studies on election behaviour have taken place at the federal and provincial levels, little has taken place at the municipal level. Using quantitative data from Statistics Canada 2006 Census and City of Vancouver 2008 election, the hypotheses of these relationships are tested using regression analysis. The explanatory variables found to have a statistically significant influence on the vote for Vision Vancouver, the centre-left civic party, are university education, Chinese immigrants, rented dwellings, voter participation, youth, and persons 55 years and over. The socio-demographic data is further analyzed with thematic maps to provide additional context about the location of these voters in Vancouver.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
P
Department: 
Urban Studies Program - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.Urb.)

Population demographics and transit use patterns in urban areas adjacent to SkyTrain lines

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

The SkyTrain system has been in operation in Metro Vancouver since 1986 when the Expo Line was opened. The Millennium Line was opened in 2002. The two transit lines have been used by the municipalities to encourage high density developments near the stations. The study examined whether there were significant differences in terms of neighbourhood design, density, diversity and demographics within 400 and 1,500m capture zones from stations. Data was compared on a regional and local level. The 1996, 2001 and 2006 Census data was analysed to find out how the neighbourhoods changed over a decade. The data indicates that the Expo Line neighbourhoods have a well established transit ridership base and much higher densities than the Millennium Line neighbourhoods or the wider Metro Vancouver area. Most importantly, the data showed that Millennium Line neighbourhoods have undergone a change since the line opened and attracted new transit riders.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
P
Department: 
Urban Studies Program - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.Urb.)

Public space in Vancouver's downtown

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

This study examines whether evidence exists of people and processes changing the regulation of public space in Vancouver’s downtown between 2003 and 2009, with particular attention paid to the Downtown Eastside. What role, if any, can be attributed to Olympics’ preparations? My central argument focuses on how legislation restricting panhandling, loitering and sleeping/camping impacts the most vulnerable citizens, which, in Vancouver, may relocate people from the downtown core into the Downtown Eastside. I compare Vancouver’s by-laws with other Canadian cities to understand Vancouver in a Canadian context. Finally, I examine policy decisions of three regulators of public space: the City of Vancouver, Business Improvement Associations and the Vancouver Police Department. I conclude that, while the regulation of public space has changed, the Olympics simply play the role of catalyst rather than instigator. Individual political priorities are much more pertinent to the regulation of public space than are the Games themselves.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
M
Department: 
Urban Studies Program - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.Urb.)

The effects of Chinese urban housing inequality on low and middle-income families: a case study of Beijing

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

This study examines the issue of housing inequality in Beijing, and how urban low and middle-income families gain access to affordable houses. By analyzing the housing price-to-income ratio (PIR) and affordable housing supply and demand, this project reveals how serious the affordability issue is in Beijing. Interviews with residents living in affordable houses are explored to show how Beijing residents deal with the unaffordability of housing, as well as their personal experiences with inequality. Affordable housing policy documents are also examined to explore how policy-makers are trying to resolve the problems of inequality. The project finds that although both social networks (guanxi) and money pay offs play a role in the affordable housing allocation process, lack of policy regulation and poor implementation are the major causes of inequality in housing accessibility. Drawing lessons from Hong Kong and Singapore, the study makes recommendations for Beijing’s affordable housing development.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
P
Department: 
Urban Studies Program - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.Urb.)

The role of the 'builder' in community sport in Canada

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

Sport in Canada is led mostly led by volunteers and accounts for the largest proportion of volunteers in the country. Much of our sport infrastructure, especially in terms of the establishment of community sport facilities, and continued operation of organizations, depends on volunteers. Trends of declining and changing types of volunteering have profoundly negative potential consequences for community sport, especially if the key volunteers of our sport system are not replaced. For sport and recreation managers, in local government and in provincial or national sport governing bodies, the challenge will be to encourage and support existing sport builders and to be on the lookout for their successors. This project seeks to understand community sport ‘builders’, to illustrate the nature of their motivations and contributions, and to explore the types of support they need and desire in order to continue their work as exceptional volunteers.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
N
Department: 
Urban Studies Program - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.Urb.)

Rail integrated communities in Tokyo

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

Tokyo’s railway station areas are models of transit-oriented design. To differentiate them from transit-oriented developments (TOD), the term rail integrated community (RIC) has been created to describe these high density, safe, mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly developments around railway stations that act as community hubs, served by frequent, all-day, rail rapid transit and accessed primarily on foot, by bicycle, or by public transit. Japanese private railways have been instrumental in creating these RICs. Though they receive little financial support from the government, private railways in Japan achieve profitability by diversifying into real estate, retail, and numerous other businesses. Tokyu Corporation is used as the case study to exemplify how government policy and socioeconomic context contributed to the successful private railway model. Ten indicators, such as ridership, population density and mode share are used to analyze two stations created by Tokyu to demonstrate how this model is manifested in Tokyu’s rail integrated communities.

Document type: 
Thesis
Senior supervisor: 
P
Department: 
Urban Studies Program - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.Urb.)

Business improvement areas in British Columbia

Author: 
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

While most British Columbians have probably never heard of Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) most have been in commercial districts that they oversee. With approximately 57 BIAs in British Columbia today, BIAs have become de facto another level of government and are a fundamental part of the governance structure of many urban communities. The utilization of BIAs as a development tool raises important practical and theoretical questions about the use of public space, governance, public policy, municipal service delivery, and economic development. However, these questions cannot be addressed without a substantial pool of empirical data and analysis. This research project reports the result of a questionnaire survey of British Columbia BIAs. It catalogues and analyzes BIA structures, priorities, services, activities, and accountability measures, laying a foundation for better understanding of the variation, differentiation, and structural evolution of BIAs in the Province.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
P
Department: 
Urban Studies Program - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.Urb.)

Initiation of public participation within greater Tehran Municipality: attitudes, theory and practice

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

This study examines the growing interest in public participation at the local municipal level in Tehran, the capital of Iran. This research paper utilizes a qualitative case study to evaluate a participatory project called ‘Nezarate Hamegani-Center 1888’. First, the study reviews public participation patterns in Iran and focuses on existing foundations of participatory actions in Iranian history as fundamentals to the creation of Center 1888 in 2005. Second, it analyzes the development of Centre 1888, and its qualities and missing elements. As the study demonstrates that the local Iranian officials created Center 1888 to enhance the city management of Tehran’s municipality, it articulates that the project designers failed the consideration of fundamentals for devising an effective participatory project. Further, this study addresses the existing problems within Center 1888 and identifies a number of recommendations which could help improve the center’s objectives and should be considered for conducting future participatory projects.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
K
Department: 
Urban Studies Program - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.Urb.)

Implementing sustainability in Surrey: amending the East Clayton neighbourhood concept plan.

Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

This paper examines the implementation of the East Clayton Neighbourhood Concept Plan (NCP) in Surrey, B.C., between adoption of the NCP in 2003 and 2008. Created through a partnership project between the City of Surrey and the University of British Columbia, the NCP includes an implicit commitment to sustainability through seven planning principles. These sustainable planning principles were compromised by amendments to the NCP to enable developers to build more ‘marketable’ projects. This analysis looks at what type of amendments to the NCP were most prevalent, their cumulative impact in the neighbourhood as well as the sustainable planning principles affected. The NCP amendments are an example of the way the inherent conflict between land both as a social good and a private commodity is negotiated.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
G
Department: 
Urban Studies Program - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Research Project (M.Urb.)