This project tracks the shift in development and neighbourhood planning policy in Vancouver's Chinatown from 2000 to 2019. Using concepts from policy studies and Pierre Bourdieu's theories of class and group formation, it explores the conditions and degree of the policy change, and provides preliminary assessments of the durability of the change. During this period, there was a substantive shift in planning goals and primary policy tools from a focus on economic revitalization to a concern with preserving intangible heritage. This shift was driven by the arrival of a cohort of young, educated, Chinese-Canadian adults – part of a broader demographic phenomenon – whose work to stop a prominent development proposal fomented a restructuring of the neighbourhood's political coalitions and reframing of political discourse around concerns of social justice and cultural preservation. Within this political context, key policy entrepreneurs were able to link the political upheaval and reframed policy concerns with the pursuit of UNESCO World Heritage Designation as a new organizing policy objective for Chinatown's neighbourhood planning.
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Thesis advisor: Ferguson, Karen
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