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The reconfiguration of downtown Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, 1980-2006 : a case study of Kelowna's.. Marten, Tina Inez Lissa 2009-12-31

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THE RECONFIGURATION OF DOWNTOWN KELOWNA,BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA, 1980-2006:A CASE STUDY OF KELOWNA’S NEOLIBERALDOWNTOWN TRANSFORMATIONbyTina Inez Lissa MartenB.A., Okanagan University College, Kelowna, BC, 2005A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinThe College of Graduate Studies(Interdisciplinary Studies)[Sociology and Geography]THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA(Okanagan)JULY 2009© Tina Inez Lissa Marten, 2009iiABSTRACTDuring the last twenty-five years, the City of Kelowna, located in the Okanagan Valley in BritishColumbia, has been experiencing rapid urban growth. The city has transformed from a mostlyrural agricultural area with a resource-based economy into an urbanized neoliberal CensusMetropolitan Area with a post-Fordist economy. This thesis examines the neoliberal urbanreconfiguration of Kelowna’s downtown, where one area, Ellis Street, has been transformed dueto an economic stimulus, whereas another area, Leon and Lawrence Avenues have been starved,devoid of investment. Kelowna’s population has changed due to in-migration. The city is nowhailed as a retirement Mecca in BC, and as a paradise to live, play and work, but this growth hasaffected Kelowna’s residents in different ways. On the one hand, the city attracts retirees, labourand capital, but at the same time, there has been an increase in poverty and homelessness.Subsequently, the changes to the city’s urban fabric have been quick and profound throughgentrification, development and redevelopment, gated and walled communities, and the buildingof highrises. Some of the most drastic transformations framing this contradictory change havebeen in the downtown core, where redevelopment has manifested itself through gentrification ofold homes, urban infill and luxury highrises. The population of the downtown has also changedwith the wealthy taking up residence and in doing so pushing out the poor.This thesis investigates the neoliberal transformation of Kelowna’s downtown, studying theimpacts of these changes on the city’s social, economic, political and spatial realm. It furtherinvestigates the agents who have been instrumental to prepare Kelowna for neoliberalism.iiiTABLE OF CONTENTSABSTRACT ................................................................................................................................. IITABLE OF CONTENTS ...........................................................................................................IIILIST OF TABLES........................................................................................................................VLIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.....................................................................................................VILIST OF ABBREVIATIONS .................................................................................................. VIIACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ....................................................................................................VIIIDEDICATION ............................................................................................................................IXCHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION......................................................................................... 1CHAPTER TWO: THEORY ...................................................................................................... 52.0 INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................... 52.1 NEOLIBERALISM ............................................................................................................ 62.2 URBAN MORPHOLOGICAL EXAMINATIONS OF CITY SPACE......................... 312.3 THE LOCAL GROWTH MACHINE, PLACE ENTREPENURIALISM, GROWTHCOALITIONS AND RESISTANCE ..................................................................................... 36CHAPTER THREE: METHOD ............................................................................................... 443.0 INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................. 443.1 RESEARCHING NEOLIBERALISM IN THE CITY OF KELOWNA ...................... 443.2 CONCLUSION.................................................................................................................. 58CHAPTER FOUR: KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA ................................. 594.0 INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................. 594 .1 KELOWNA’S LATE FORDIST AND POST-FORDIST YEARS............................... 614.2 KELOWNA’S NEOLIBERAL PERIOD........................................................................ 684.3 THE NEOLIBERALIZATION OF HOUSING ............................................................. 734.4 CONCLUSION.................................................................................................................. 86CHAPTER FIVE: THE NEOLIBERALIZATION OF THE URBAN BUILTENVIRONMENT IN KELOWNA, BC .................................................................................... 875.0 INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................. 875.1 THE DOWNTOWN RESEARCH AREA....................................................................... 895.2 THE NEOLIBERAL RESTRUCTURING OF THE CITY OF KELOWNA .............. 905.2.1 CITY OF KELOWNA PLANNING DOCUMENTS, 1990s – EARLY 2000s...... 945.3 REGULATION OF THE URBAN BUILT ENVIRONMENT.................................... 1055.4 CONCLUSION................................................................................................................ 121ivCHAPTER SIX: NEOLIBERAL AGENTS OF CHANGE AT WORK: A CASE STUDYOF KELOWNA’S DOWNTOWN TRANSFORMATION .................................................. 1236.0 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................... 1236.1 KELOWNA’S AGENTS OF CHANGE........................................................................ 1246.2 TRANSFORMATION OF KELOWNA’S URBAN BUILT ENVIRONMENT........ 1446.3 KELOWNA’S COMPREHENSIVE DEVELOPMENT ZONE ................................. 1546.4 CONCLUSION................................................................................................................ 161CHAPTER SEVEN: CONCLUSION..................................................................................... 163BIBLIOGRAPHY..................................................................................................................... 169BOOKS .................................................................................................................................. 169JOURNAL ARTICLES........................................................................................................ 172MAGAZINE ARTICLES..................................................................................................... 173PAMPHLETS AND REPORTS........................................................................................... 174UNPUBLISHED SOURCES................................................................................................ 175INFORMALLY PUBLISHED ELECTRONIC SOURCES.............................................. 176PUBLIC DOCUMENTS....................................................................................................... 179ONLINE PUBLIC DOCUMENTS ...................................................................................... 182ONE SOURCE QUOTED IN ANOTHER .......................................................................... 184APPENDICES…………………………………………………………………………………185APPENDIX 1: BEHAVIORAL RESEARCH ETHICS BOARD APPROVAL……….185vLIST OF TABLESTable 4.3.1: Downtown Kelowna Residential Units per Housing Type, 1998-2007……………83viLIST OF ILLUSTRATIONSIllustration 4.0.1: Kelowna, located in British Columbia, Canada………………………….......59Illustration 5.1.1: Downtown Research Area…………………………………………………....89Illustration 5.2.1: Barren Land along Gordon Drive…………………………………………….93Illustration 5.3.1: City of Kelowna, Hierarchy of Planning Documents…………………….....107Illustration 5.3.2: Martin Lofts…………………………………………………………………111Illustration 5.3.3: Downtown Tax Incentive Area……………………………………………...119Illustration 6.1.1: Preload on Ellis Street and Clement Avenue………………………………..140Illustration 6.2.1: Looking North on Ellis Street.…………………………………………...….147Illustration 6.2.2: Looking South on Ellis Street……………………………………………….147Illustration 6.2.3: A Fortified Highrise Entrance on Ellis Street……………………………….149Illustration 6.3.1: Area of the Proposed Comprehensive Development Zone………………….154Illustration 6.3.2: Rendering of the Proposed Comprehensive Development Zone……………155viiLIST OF ABBREVIATIONSALR Agricultural Land ReserveASP Area Structure PlanBC British ColumbiaBIA Business Improvement AreaCD21 Comprehensive Development 21 (another name for CDZ)CDZ Comprehensive Development ZoneCLC Canada Lands CompanyCMA Census Metropolitan AreaCN Rail Canadian National RailDCC Development Cost ChargeDCSTF Downtown Centre Strategy Task ForceDKA Downtown Kelowna AssociationEDC Economic Development CommissionMLS Multiple Listing ServiceNAFTA North American Free Trade AgreementOCP Official Community PlanOSTEC Okanagan Science and Technology CouncilUDI Urban Development InstituteviiiACKNOWLEDGEMENTSI am immensely thankful for the tremendous support and encouragement that I have receivedduring the past four years - it has been a long and exciting journey. I am especially grateful tomy parents, Eva and Günther, my beloved partner Jens and my boys, Sven-Erik and Nicholas.You have always believed in my ability to bring this project to completion, and you have beenimmensely patient with me - even when my stress levels peaked. Thank you also to my friends,Dr. Luis Aguiar and Dr. Robert Whiteley, whom have shown their support in manyconversations and discussion. Thank you for being always interested in my work and willing tolend an ear. But undoubtedly I am most thankful to my mentors and supervisors, Dr. RicardoTrumper, Dr. Patricia Tomic and Professor Bernard Momer, who, with a magical mix ofquestions, critical commentaries, advice, and yet more questions, have helped me sort mythoughts and find the right words to express myself. You have not only kindled my sociologicaland geographical imagination, but also given me tools to use it! Another thanks to my classmates, Joanne Carey and Kristin Stratulat, who endlessly discussed neoliberalism with me. Youhelped expand my understanding and thinking. Moreover, I am especially grateful to Dr. DixonSookraj, my External Examiner, who accommodated this thesis’ review under a very tight timeline. Thank you for your swift review! I am further very thankful to Dr. Marvin Krank, the Deanof UBC Okanagan Graduate Studies, who helped to re-structure my academic timeliness in timesof crisis. Without your willingness and continued support to work around my family’s needs, thisproject would not have been completed. A most heartfelt thank you! Thank you also to the greatstaff at UBC Okanagan Graduate Studies, who repeatedly answered my (recurring) questionsand helped with all the forms and paperwork. It has been a pleasure working with you! Last butleast, thank you to the staff at the UBCO library, which helped me dig for reference materialsand order many books. Your help is greatly appreciated.Thank you all for your love and support!ixDEDICATIONTo Sven-Erik, Nick and Jens1CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTIONPost-Fordist transformations have been of interest to researchers for the last thirty years. Theemergence of neoliberalism and its effects on the urban landscape in this period has concernedparticularly sociologists and geographers. For example, geographer David Harvey hascontinually been intrigued and fascinated by the effects of neoliberalization on a city,1 whereassociologist Pierre Bourdieu has been more interested in uncovering how neoliberalism reworksrelations of labour and capital, 2 and sociologists Richard Sennett and Zygmunt Baumann havewritten extensively on neoliberalism’s impacts on people. 3 Urban sociologists and geographers,like Neil Brenner and Nikolas Theodore and Jamie Peck and Adam Tickell, have examined howneoliberalism has re-worked space and place, 4 and Peter Winn and writer Naomi Klein havedocumented neoliberalisms bloody revolutions extensively.5This thesis focuses on Kelowna, British Columbia (BC), a city that in the last 2 decadeshas transformed from a non-metropolitan area into a Census Metropolitan Area (CMA).6 I studythe neoliberal transformation of Kelowna’s downtown by contrasting two specific areas. On theone hand, I analyse the redevelopment of a few blocks of Ellis Street, which received atremendous economic stimulus. On the second, I considered two nearby parallel streets forming1 David Harvey, “The Right to the City,” New Left Review 53 (September – October 2008) (online version) (accessed May 7, 2009).2 Pierre Bourdieu, Acts of Resistance: Against the Tyranny of the Market (New York: New Press, 1998);and Firing Back: Against the Tyranny of the Market 2, (New York: New Press, 2003).3 Richard Sennett, Der flexible Mensch: Die Kultur des Neuen Kapitalismus, (Berlin: Berlin Verlag, 2000);Zygmunt Bauman, The Individualized Society, (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2001).4 Jamie Peck and Adam Tickell, Neoliberalizing Space, (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers Ltd., 2002);Neil Brenner and Nikolas Theodore, Spaces of Neoliberalism: Urban Restructuring in North America and WesternEurope, (Malden, Mass: Blackwell, 2002).5 Peter Winn, ed. Victims of the Chilean Miracle: Workers and Neoliberalism in the Pinochet Era, 1973-2002 (Durham: Duke University Press, 2004); Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism(New York: Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt, 2007).6 A Census Metropolitan Area defines an area with more than 100,000 inhabitants, of which at least 50,000live in the urban core. Statistics Canada, “Census Dictionary,” reference/dictionary/geo009.cfm (accessed April 29, 2009).2a depressed area, which has been characterized by a complete lack of interest of neoliberalforces. My area of interest, Kelowna, located in the Okanagan Valley in BC, underwent a uniquetransformation during the past 25 years. During that relatively short time span, what was once arural community turned into a sprawling city; orchards and farms turned into walledcommunities and exclusive resorts, as well as highrises, hotels, strip malls and big box stores.Most often Kelowna has been hailed as a four-season playground, a great place to live and work,and a retirement Mecca in British Columbia.7 The population has increased primarily due to in-migration of retirees and investors. Large numbers of people have bought property in Kelownafor vacation, retirement or speculation, triggering an unprecedented building boom. However,these rapid transformations of the urban landscape have influenced people in Kelowna indifferent ways: while the economy continues to attract labour and capital, there has been anincrease in poverty and homelessness.8Consequently, Kelowna’s urban fabric has changed quickly and profoundly, especiallysince the urban built environment is continually being transformed through gentrification andredevelopment. Some of the most drastic transformations have been experienced in thedowntown core where affluent populations are buying up property, taking up residence andpushing out poorer populations. The concurrent explosion in housing prices coupled with anacute shortage of affordable and adequate housing has impacted vulnerable populations greatly.7 Bernard Momer, “The Small Town that Grew and Grew and...: A Look at Rapid Urban Growth andSocial Issues in Kelowna, BC,“ in Beiträge zur Geographie Kanadas II,ed. Christoph Stadel, Salzburg: SalzburgerGeographische Arbeiten, (1998), 65-80; p:66.8 Kelowna Drop-Inn and Information Centre in collaboration with the Kelowna Homelessness NetworkingGroup, Report: Census of Kelowna Homeless Individuals, Fall 2004, (accessed April 09).3As increasing numbers of residents cannot afford to live in Kelowna anymore, there have beenmore poor, marginalised and/or homeless individuals and families.9In this dissertation, I investigate the neoliberal transformation of Kelowna’s downtown: Irecord and examine spatial and social ramifications of this radical fast-paced economic, politicaland ideological change. Harvey’s10 seemingly simple but vexing question, how neoliberalismimpacts a city, dominated my thinking during this investigation.My analysis of Kelowna’s downtown adds to the emerging body of knowledge ofneoliberalism. Whereas much of the research on neoliberalism and the city has focused on largecities,11 my empirical study of a mid-sized city that only in 2001 became a CMA will contributeto Canadian research that examines neoliberal metamorphosis like the one in Kelowna.In the next chapter, I review the body of sociological and geographical literature thattheorizes neoliberalism, examinations of its manifestations in the urban built environment, aswell as neoliberal agents of change. In chapter 3, I describe the methodological steps I havetaken to investigate Kelowna’s neoliberal urban reconfiguration. In chapter 4, I offer anoverview of the historical transformation of Kelowna to set the background for understanding theimpact of neoliberalism in its urban built environment. In chapter 5, I analyse this impact,focussing especially on the bureaucratic processes of regulation of the urban space. I investigatekey planning documents from the City of Kelowna, paying particular attention to plancontributors and their relations to the City in their attempts at creating a climate conducive to9 Poverty and Homelessness Action Team - Central Okanagan, “Towards Ending Homelessness inKelowna. Poverty and Homelessness in Kelowna,” Towards_ Ending_ Homelessness_in_Kelowna-Pages_1-2.pdf (Accessed April 29, 2009); Kelly Hayes and Wayne Moore, “Poverty Survey PaintsBleak Picture,”, May 4, 2009); Poverty and Homelessness Action Team – Central Okanagan, Central OkanaganCommunity Affordability Survey Report 2009,, May 4, 2009);.10 Harvey, The Right to the City.11 David Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2005);Brenner and Theodore, Spaces of Neoliberalism; Peck and Tickell, Neoliberalizing Space.4erasing barriers to capital intervention in the urban build environment. In chapter six, I identifyand examine who has been able to shape and influence the economic, political and social climateof Kelowna in preparation for its neoliberal urban reconfiguration. In the concluding chapter, Ireflect on the current period (2009), when neoliberalism is at a crossroad worldwide. As theimpact of this moment is being felt in the city, I wonder what kind of new accommodations bycapital are already in process and what the impact on the city and its habitants this new era willbring with it. I hope this thesis contributes to that understanding.5CHAPTER TWO: THEORY2.0 INTRODUCTIONThis chapter introduces the literature and in particular the theories that influence my analysis. Itarises from my studies in sociology and geography. Over the course of my studies I havedeveloped an understanding of neoliberalism and its transformative power over urban space thatwill allow me to interpret the transformations experienced in the city of Kelowna, in particular,its downtown, during the past decade. Here, I focus on the effects of contemporary forces ofneoliberalism over urban space in an interdisciplinary manner with particular attention on howneoliberal discourses, policies and practices reconfigure key aspects of urban space, the builtenvironment and the social relations structured there. I aim at developing the tools to understandactual change of physical and social structures, or in other words, to read how the actual physicallayout of the city and its social relations result from the actions of neoliberal forces. In thischapter, I review the theories that are the basis of my empirical work. The first section of thischapter looks at the development of neoliberalism first as an economic theory and then as apolitical and ideological project. Then I review studies concerned with the backbone ofneoliberalism: the rule of the “market” and the quest for “free trade” through privatization,welfare program deregulation and state restructuring. Even though the more generalcharacteristics of neoliberalism are the same, there may be local flavours, as not every place isthe same, not every history is identical, and not every neoliberal restructuring wave follows thesame pattern. The connecting tie, I suggest, is that the implementation of neoliberalism,seemingly paradoxical, is deliberate and requires political will.Many argue that under neoliberalism, the state has become a tool for an ideological andpolitical project to restore class power anew to dominant classes. I examine how and whyneoliberalism in Canada has penetrated many levels of public and private life. I analyze how thestate has been reworked - with the state’s direct or indirect complicity - into an ally of capital,6and how people’s relations to the state have changed and how the state is ridding itself of socialresponsibilities, forcing people to fend for themselves. I am especially interested in examiningthe discourses that support neoliberalism and force its socialization. To illustrate a successfulattempt at neoliberal discourse creation and dissemination I look at the example of Albertaduring the reign of the Conservative Ralph Klein government in the past decade.In the second part of this chapter, I turn my attention to geographical theoreticalinfluences that can be used for the examination of social relations in urban spaces. I reviewgeographical inquiries into the spatial urban evolution, in particular urban morphology, the studyof the evolution of urban development over time, an ideal tool to investigate socio-spatialprocesses of neoliberalized space.2.1 NEOLIBERALISMIn capitalism, the dominant elites - always trying to avert looming capital crises –fightcontinually to keep capital accumulation as unrestricted as possible. Therefore, they engage in acontinuous attempt to re-structure the world according to their needs, all the while creatingstructures that allow and support their quest for incessant capital accumulation. In the 1980s thepredominant Keynesian version of capitalism was in crisis and the economic elite was feelingthreatened with annihilation and loss of power and capital.12 Neoliberalism became the tool ofthe dominant classes to help restore their power.13 Here I understand neoliberalism first as aneconomic theory, second as economic and political practice and third as hegemonic discourse.Thus, neoliberalism and its ramifications have not been accidental, but rather a deliberatepolitical and ideological project of the dominant classes’ world wide, aiming at restructuring12 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism.13 Ibid.7markets for capital accumulation while reinforcing elite’s power.14 Drawing on parallels that thelate sociologist Pierre Bourdieu (2003) makes with economic globalization, I believe thefollowing quote holds true for neoliberalism:“Economic globalization is not a mechanical effect of the laws of technology or theeconomy but the product of a policy implemented by a set of agents and institutions,and the result of the application of rules deliberately created for specific ends […] theproduct of a more or less consciously concerted policy.”15Neoliberalism is deliberate and needs enabling circumstances for successful implementation.The economic theory of neoliberalism became popular in the 1940s with the MontPelerin Society, an elite club, whose members feared that the influence of the dominant classeswas waning.16 For them, neoliberal economic policies were a vehicle to restore their riches. Infact, in 1947, the economist Friedrich von Hayek found the Mont Pelerin Society based on thebelief that “essential conditions of human dignity and freedom” were threatened.17 Membershipwas exclusive and included influential members from academe (mainly the realm of economics),historians and philosophers,18 as well as the press (to embed journalists, who could disseminatethe idea(l)s to the masses).19 Within the realm of the Mont Pelerin Society, von Hayek began toformulate a body of economic theory, based on his views of Adam Smith’s ideas. Smith becamea classic guideline for the economic theory of classical liberalism, and his ideas are still found inneoliberal economic theory.Smith wrote in The Wealth of Nations that state intervention in commerce, agricultureand manufacture needed to be abolished to achieve liberalism. The market needed to be left to its14 Bourdieu, Firing Back; Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism; Klein, The Shock Doctrine.15 Bourdieu, Firing Back, 84-85 (my emphasis).16 Ibid.; Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism.17 The Mont Pelerin Society, “Statement of Aims,” June 7, 2007).18 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism; Klein, The Shock Doctrine.19 Jamie Peck, “Neoliberalism on the Loose”( paper presented at a research talk at the University of BritishColumbia Okanagan, Kelowna, BC, March 15, 2007).8own mechanisms, without state interference. As a result, a harmonized market would emerge, a“state of “natural” health when all was in balance.”20 Classical liberals believed that allindividuals should enjoy social, political and economic liberties. Through the implementation ofthe balanced market, an “invisible hand” would create social harmony, thus improvingeveryone’s condition. At the same time, however, believers of classical liberalism took no issuewith unequal distributions of social goods, property and wealth and the resulting socialdisparities, poverty and malaise. The belief that in a “free” market society people are free todevelop to their own potential unrestricted by governments, and that the social order achieved inthis form is the most efficient because it is based on perfect competition, is the basis of neoliberaltheory. To this day, members of the Mont Pelerin Society “see danger in the expansion ofgovernment, not least in state welfare, in the power of trade unions and business monopoly, andin the continuing threat and reality of inflation.”21In the 1950’s and 1960’s, as the leader of the University of Chicago School ofEconomics, the influential neoliberal economist and Mont Pelerin Society member, MiltonFriedman, became paramount in the training and teaching of neoliberal economics globally. Infact, the Chicago School trained in classical neoliberal economic theory, “not just as a school butas a School of Thought.”22 As representative of the Chicago School, Friedman became anorganic intellectual of neoliberal ideas worldwide.According to author Naomi Klein, for the Chicago School “the economic forces ofsupply, demand, inflation and unemployment were like forces of nature, fixed and20 Klein, The Shock Doctrine, 57.21 The Mont Pelerin Society, “Statement of Aims,” mpsGoals.cfm#foot2(accessed June 7, 2007).22 Klein, The Shock Doctrine, 56.9unchanging.”23 Supply and demand “existed in the perfect equilibrium, supply communicatingwith demand the way the moon pulls the tides.”24 Thus, Friedman, with his belief of a balanced“free” market, influenced his disciples according to the idea that markets were to be made “pure”and “free” from government interference. He “dreamed of de-patterning societies, of returningthem to a state of pure capitalism, cleansed of all interruptions – government regulations, tradebarriers and entrenched interests.”25 Therefore, “the mission of the Chicago School was one ofpurification.”26 Clearly, neoliberal economic principles were in stark opposition to the Keynesianeconomics of the time and the post WWII welfare state.Over the second half of the twentieth century, Chicago School economists, incollaboration with the United States’ government, engaged in a variety of economic experimentsto transform the world’s dominant economic system around the world into market driveneconomies.27 Klein argues that many Chicago School graduates became accomplices toeconomic terrorism, when they helped with the provision of economic blueprints. These studentswrote PhD theses and produced models for economic development and market purification. AsHarvey argues, they created neoliberal “utopian project[s] to realize a theoretical design for thereorganization of international capitalism.”28 Therefore, in a sense, these blueprints were at-the-ready neoliberal strategies for use in economies that had to be purified and converted to23 Ibid., 57-58.24 Ibid., 58.25 Ibid., 57 (my emphasis).26 Ibid., 61.27 See Klein’s The Shock Doctrine for a detailed description of collaboration between military dictators andneoliberal economists.28 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, 19 (author’s emphasis).10neoliberal economies. Upon implementation, they became “political project[s] to re-establish theconditions for capital accumulation and to restore the power of economic elites.”29Neoliberal economic theory has not only benefited the upper classes economically, but asa political project30 and as ideological discourse31 it has consolidated the elites’ social position:“The evidence strongly suggests that the neoliberal turn is in some way and to some degreeassociated with the restoration or reconstruction of the power of the economic elites.”32 Harvey’swords convey that the implementation of neoliberal economic theory is no coincidence; it is adeliberate project implemented at certain times --times of shock and crises-- by dominant classesin the deliberate attempt to free the market from government interference.In fact, according to different authors, neoliberal policies have often emerged duringsituations of natural or fabricated instability, a state of ‘emergency,’ such as forced politicalchange, like a coup, terrorism, war, or environmental disaster. For example, the 1973 September11 coup in Chile, the 2001 September 11 attack in the United States, the 2003 Invasion of Iraq,the 2004 Asian Tsunami, or the 2005 Hurricane Katrina are moments of instability attached toneoliberal action. In fact, timing is crucial for the successful introduction of neoliberalism.33Peck and Tickell write, “[economic] crisis proved to be important moments in its[neoliberalism’s] ongoing transformation.”34Moreover, Klein has argued that there is a correlation between the magnitude of shockand ease of imposition of neoliberal policies. She suggests that the greater the disorientation and29 Ibid., (author’s emphasis).30 Ibid.31 Bourdieu, Acts of Resistance; Bourdieu, Firing Back.32 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, 19.33 Bourdieu, Firing Back; Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism; Winn, Victims of the Chilean Miracle;Klein, The Shock Doctrine.34 Peck and Tickell, Neoliberalizing Space, 40.11chaos that people suffer the easier is the imposition and implementation of neoliberal policies. Itmakes sense to suggest that the general public, while trying to adapt to the chaos and change, andwhile trying to regain some sense of balance and meet their most basic survival needs, isextremely challenged to comprehend a neoliberal turn. How can the public understand thesituation of turmoil as a situation of political change and foresee its ramifications, especiallywhen neoliberal policies are all too often ‘cloaked’ as remedial emergency measures? Iunderstand this situation as deliberate: people are kept in a state of (sometimes prolonged) crisis,which grants the dominant classes’ firstly additional time to implement economic neoliberalism,and secondly, create a hegemonic neoliberal political project. This problem is compounded bythe fact that architects of neoliberal policies, in collaboration with dominant classes, havebecome more adept at creating situations that serve as gateways for the imposition of neoliberalpolicies. Overall, the dominant classes have become shrewder over the past decades, as theyhave had more opportunities to practice neoliberal state reconstruction and neoliberal statecraft.35During the 1970s and 1980s, the world experienced a significant crisis of capitalistaccumulation. High unemployment and rising inflation in Europe and the United States createdan economic situation that worried the global elite: “when growth collapsed in the 1970s, whenreal interest rates went negative and paltry dividends and profits were the norm, then upperclasses everywhere felt threatened.”36 Harvey suggests that the upper classes were worrying theirposition of privilege and power was threatened. This capital crisis, with its shrinking profits,prompted corporate elite’s into action. In addition, at the same time this unique economic climate35 For a very detailed example and thorough analysis of neoliberal state restructuring in Chile in the 1970s,again, see Winn, Victims of the Chilean Miracle. This book demonstrates the terrors of forced neoliberalrestructuring of Chile, where Pinochet, with the help of the “Chicago Boys” and backing by capital, brutallyrestructured the country after a military coup in 1973. Moreover, this book is an excellent read for all those whowant to understand how brutal neoliberal restructuring is upon implementation, how the Chilean people suffered,and the grave ramifications that neoliberal restructuring brings. It also shows how the project becomes hegemonicand remains strong in democratic environments.36 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, 15.12provided an exceptional opportunity to herald neoliberal economic policies as a cure-all for whatwas wrong with the economy: being too sluggish, suffering from high unemployment and risinginflation.37 The answers to the economic crisis of the time were purposeful and crafted,38 “[t]heupper classes had to move decisively if they were to protect themselves from political andeconomic annihilation.”39 The answer was a strategy based on increased powers for the corporateand business sector while simultaneous imposing fiscal austerity measures upon the state to savemoney and reduce state expenditures.40 For example, the Volcker Shock41 introduced sweepingreforms that rid the government of social responsibilities while simultaneously granting morepowers to the dominant classes.42 Alternatively, Alberta’s Klein government, elected in June of1993, promised to eliminate deficits, and reduce social spending and personal taxes. In order tofulfill its election promises, the Klein government created a “discourse of globalization” aimed atmaking Alberta “a more competitive player on the international market place.”43 During thattime, in more countries around the globe, as neoliberalism became the new prevailing economicmodel, state power was eroded, the welfare state dismantled, and the state restructured accordingto neoliberal interests.37 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism; Klein The Shock Doctrine.38 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism.39 Ibid., 15.40 Claude Denis, “Government Can Do Whatever It Wants”: Moral Regulation in Ralph Klein’s Alberta,”The Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology 32(3) (1995): 365-83; Winn, Victims of the Chilean Miracle;Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism.41 Named after Paul Volcker, the United States Federal Reserve chairman, who increased interest rates inthe US. By 1981 the interest rates rose to 21%, pushing many people into bankruptcy. Outside of the US, soaringinterest rates on given loans pushed developing countries into crisis: their loans became much more expensive andtheir increased financial burden negatively impacted their ability to repay their loans.42 Winn, Victims of the Chilean Miracle; Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism; Klein, The ShockDoctrine.43 Denis, “Government Can Do Whatever It Wants,” 371.13Neoliberal theory adheres to the belief that the market is sacred and that “all humaninteractions should become domains of the market.”44 When everyone becomes a free agent inthe neoliberal market economy, everyone’s potential can be unleashed and maximized. Only thenwill human beings succeed at their full potential - when their entrepreneurial potential isunrestricted. In the same logic, neoliberal theory argues that people’s positions in society areresults of their interaction with market forces, albeit forgetting and denying that some are simplyborn into positions of privilege. In addition, the corporate elite suggests that all people willbenefit greatly when corporations reap huge benefits and the rich get richer, “[a]n unregulatedmarket is the best way to increase economic growth, which will ultimately benefit everyone.”45From the 1970’s onwards, in many parts of the world, within the logic of neoliberaleconomic theory, the role of the state has changed drastically from the role of the Keynesianwelfare state to a deregulated neoliberal state. The main policies of the neoliberal recipe wereprivatization, deregulation and restructuring. In the name of efficiency, public companies were‘renovated’ to make them more attractive to potential buyers, and then sold to the private sector.People were laid off and unionization disallowed. As a direct result, many profitable publiccommon goods such as highways, hospitals, water, utilities, banks, schools, universities and keyindustries were placed in the hands of the corporate elite.In sum, in the attempt to reduce their own regulatory role, governments restructure theeconomy and labour relations according to capital’s interests, while attempting to create newmarkets.46 Throughout this process, governments rid themselves of social and environmentalresponsibilities, passing them off to the private sector. In fact, neoliberal economic restructuring44 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, 3.45 Elizabeth Martinez and Arnoldo Garcia, “What is ‘Neo-liberalism’? A Brief Definition,” Economy 101,Global Exchange, /econ101/ neoliberalDefined.html (accessedSeptember 15, 2006).46 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism.14erodes the services and provisions of the welfare state to the people, while creating structuresthat support capital. Interestingly, the state does not retract or shrink with less socialresponsibility and reduced social spending.47 Moreover, despite eliminating social services,public expenditures to businesses are not reduced. Contrary to public claims, corporations arecontinually subsidized with tax breaks and other benefits. The state becomes “an indispensablepartner of capital.” Harvey explains that the“creation of a ‘good business climate’ was a priority. This meant using public resourcesto build appropriate infrastructures for business particularly in telecommunicationscoupled with subsidies and tax incentives for capitalist enterprises. Corporate welfaresubstituted for people welfare.”48A ‘good business climate’ is a climate where capital can operate freely, supported and protectedby government, but at the same time unrestricted by human rights regulations and/or workerprotections. Capital and organized labour hold diametrically opposed goals. Contrary to capital’sinterests, worker’s rights prevent capital from exploiting workers, and worker’s solidarityprevents capital’s attempts of de-unionization. Neoliberal theory argues that unions andsolidarity are continual impediments to market freedom, stifling competition, productivity, andrestricting worker mobility.49 Therefore, when workers’ feelings of cohesiveness and socialsolidarity are broken, and there is no organized labour (anymore), neoliberal economies canthrive.50 In that sense, the erosion of worker’s rights and social protections, and the push to breakunions, are inversely related to the success of neoliberalism.51 Neoliberalism must therefore beunderstood as a deliberate attack on labour and social solidarity.47 Denis, “Government Can Do Whatever It Wants,” 380.48 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, 47.49 Bourdieu, Firing Back; Winn, Victims of the Chilean Miracle; Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism.50 Ibid.51 Peck and Tickel, Neoliberalizing Space.15More so, during state restructuring, neoliberal theory calls for severe austerity measuresto public expenditures, such as social services. According to the neoliberal perspective ofAlberta’s government, “the government should not be held responsible for the fulfillment of allsociety’s needs.”52 Claude Denis quotes former Alberta Premier Ralph Klein: “governmentdoesn’t and indeed, cannot have all the answers, all the money or all the compassion.”53 In theattempts to dismantle existing welfare provisions, spending reforms for social security,education, health care, elder and childcare are first proposed, and later implemented. The result istwo-fold: first, there is a very drastic reduction of the social safety net. People are forced to makedo with less. Over time, these austerity measures tear the social fabric,54 especially once povertyand class polarization become systemic and entrenched. Instead of providing services throughthe state, the responsibility for social well-being is handed off to the individual, forcingindividuals to become self-reliant and solve problems individually, without state support. DuringAlberta’s neoliberal turn, “the Albertan government insists that Albertans must become moreresponsible for their own well-being […] the goal is not to make [social] welfare unbearable […]But it has to be uncomfortable enough that people will try and find an alternative way ofliving.”55 In addition, this neoliberal rhetoric suggests that those who still need and draw onsocial welfare are failures in the sense that they fail to realize their entrepreneurial potential inthe market. And this is the second ramification of neoliberal welfare restructuring: the perceptionof users of social services changes. In a social climate where people’s successes or failures areunderstood in relation to the market, those people who need social service support are seen as52 Denis,“Government Can Do Whatever It Wants,” 378.53 Ibid.54 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism.55 Denis, “Government Can Do Whatever It Wants,” 380.16failures and therefore a burden. Over time, especially as the neoliberal doctrine becomesentrenched and hegemonic, welfare users are seen as “borderline deviants.”56Indeed, there is an active assault on the idea of the ‘common good’ under neoliberaldiscourse. Notions of community and solidarity are aggressively and continually attacked.Feelings of social cohesion, solidarity and civic duty are replaced with feelings of individualentitlement,57 especially as competitive strivings of individuals emerge and community cohesionbegins to erode and break down. The individual is socialized58 and habituated59 with the idea of‘individual responsibility,’60 creating a push for an individuated society,61 within which “one’splace in society becomes no longer as a (wanted or unwanted) gift.”62 Instead, one’s position insociety results from individual-to-market interactions. Baumann even suggests that individualstoday suffer from a ‘problem of identity,’63 meaning people fail to develop a person-specificidentity, one where people define themselves collectively through struggles within society. Incontrast, identity is rather defined according to what sells best in the market and what charactertraits have the best market marketability. More so, neoliberalism forces one to continually adoptnew identities in accordance with changing and dynamic market forces.56 Ibid.57 Ibid.; Baumann, The Individualized Society.58 Cindi Katz, “Vagabond Capitalism and the Necessity of Social Reproduction,” Antipode 33(4) (2001),709-728.59 Bourdieu, Firing Back.60 Baumann, The Individualized Society.61 Ulrich Beck, Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity (London: Sage Publications, 1992).62 Baumann, The Individualized Society, 144.63 Ibid., 147.17“In other words, the quandary tormenting men and women […] is not so much how toobtain the identities of their choice and how to have them recognized by people around– but which identity to choose and how to keep alert and vigilant so that another choicecan be made in case the previously chosen identity is withdrawn from the market orstripped of its seductive powers.”64It is no accident that people are feeling neoliberal transformations as restraints on/in their lives.Groups that have historically had less power are most severely impacted by neoliberalism, and asa result, suffer the most, for example, minorities, children, women, the poor and thedisadvantaged.65 In most cases, their suffering and disadvantage increases as the market expandsand intensifies, and as neoliberalism grows more entrenched.66Neoliberalisms implementation is path-dependent,67 meaning that there are certain stepsto be taken before neoliberal economic theory can grow into a more over-reaching political andideological project. For example, Peck and Tickell write the first neoliberal “developed”transformations came in the 1970s when Margaret Thatcher, in Great Britain, and RonaldReagan, in the United States, began implementing neoliberal economic policies.68 Thatneoliberal turn presented a shift from neoliberalism as abstract intellectual theory to implementedeconomic theory, and only thereafter neoliberalism became a concrete political and ideologicalproject. Throughout that time, the focus of the Thatcher and Reagan’s governments was torework the state, rolling-back the existing welfare state. During a second set of neoliberaltransformations, in the early 1990s, there were efforts to roll-out neoliberalism through64 Idem, (author’s emphasis).65 Winn, Victims of the Chilean Miracle.66 However, at times neoliberalism can also create unusual side effects. In Chile, Heidi Tinsman writes, asthe economy was restructured, large numbers of women entered the labour market, which gave them some economicfreedom in the sense that they could earn their own wages and were not solely dependent on their husbandsanymore. A perverse situation ensued, where they entered into relations of exploitation in the factory, whichhowever presented options to leave exploitative and abusive relations at home. Heidi Tinsman, “More than Victims:Women Agricultural Workers and Social Change in Rural Chile,” 261-297, in Peter Winn, ed., Victims of theChilean Miracle (Durham: University Press, 2004).67 Brenner and Theodore, Spaces of Neoliberalism; Peck and Tickell, Neoliberalizing Space; Harvey, ABrief History of Neoliberalism.68 Peck and Tickell, Neoliberalizing Space.18neoliberalized institutions, in addition to manifest and to institutionalize neoliberalism as apolitical and ideological project.In fact, neoliberal theory, upon implementation, has destructive and creative moments,69thus engaging in “creative destruction.”70 During periods of neoliberal destruction, or “roll-back”moments, the state is deregulated and dismantled,71 whereas during periods of creation, or “roll-out” moments, there is an “emergent phase of active state-building and regulatory reform.”72These neoliberal waves constitute an entrenchment of neoliberal reform and signal a shift fromneoliberal economic theory to neoliberalism as implemented political and ideological theory.However, neoliberalism has not only been experienced in Britain and the USA. In fact,today it is lived in most areas around the world. Canada is no exception. Just to mention oneexample relevant to this thesis, the federal government froze its social housing funds in 199473downloading its responsibilities to provide for non-market housing to the provinces. Theprovinces in turn, tried to download as many of these responsibilities to the municipalgovernments. This downloading exemplifies how the state’s welfare provision in the form ofsocial housing was stopped, and subsequently the provision of affordable housing eliminated.The federal government is not in the business of providing non-profit housing any more: thisresponsibility now rests with provinces and municipalities. As a result, there have been very fewnon-market housing units been built while there definitely is a growing need.74 Rather thanestablishing a single pattern of action, neoliberal theories can show ‘local flavours,’ especially69 Brenner and Theodore, Spaces of Neoliberalism.70 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, 3.71 Peck and Tickell, Neoliberalizing Space, 37.72 Ibid., 33.73 Bruce Porter, “The Right to Adequate Housing in Canada,” in David Hulchanski and Michael Shapcott,ed., Finding Room: Options for a Canadian Rental Housing Strategy (Toronto: CUCS Press, 2004), 69-80.74 David Hulchanski, “A Tale of Two Canada’s: Homeowners Getting Richer, Renters Getting Poorer,” inDavid Hulchanski and Michael Shapcott, ed., Finding Room: Options for a Canadian Rental Housing Strategy(Toronto: CUCS Press, 2004), 81-88.19during processual implementations. Depending on the circumstances of the state/ economy/ placeunder neoliberal assault, there can be and are different outcomes. As such, neoliberal policieshave been implemented differently, at different paces and with differing patterns. In part, this isdue to the particular conditions of the areas where it is imposed and the specific needs that thosewho prepare for neoliberalism create. Like already suggested earlier, and following Bourdieu’slogic, neoliberalism is a product of policies implemented by different agents and ‘their’institutions.75 Even though neoliberalism is seen as contradictory at times, it remains steadfast inits goals. It remains capitalism - reborn under the cloak of neoliberal policies with the goal ofcreating a ‘utopia of unlimited exploitation.’76 Overall, the implementation of neoliberalism mustbe understood because of unique political and economic precursors in a geographic area, acontinual and ongoing process,77 growing more entrenched over time.Under neoliberalism the state is reworked in either “active or passive complicity“78because the state plays an instrumental role for capital.79 This process of neoliberal restructuringis in no way a passive dismantling of the state apparatus, but instead the state participates in itsrestructuring. In being so malleable and responsive to the economic neoliberal discourse, whichreflects capital’s desires, the state becomes a vehicle for the economic elites to increase (their)capital.80 The use of neoliberal economic theories to restructure the state is like a dual attack:these theories simultaneously attack and abolish that part of the state that is seen as resistant to75 Bourdieu, Firing Back.76 Bourdieu, Acts of Resistance.77 Peck and Tickell, Neoliberalizing Space.78 Bourdieu, Firing Back, 86.79 Denis, “Government Can Do Whatever It Wants;” Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism.80 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism.20the interests of elites, while they (these theories) also construct and create new neoliberal statestructures that support the further progression and entrepreneurial activity of a neoliberal state.81Neoliberal state restructuring results in negative implications for the state and its citizens:In practice, there is a loss of democracy. In neoliberal states, key positions within governmentare filled with individuals from the business and corporate elite.82 Throughout the restructuring,capital is freed from regulation, which increases its mobility.83 For example, in municipalitiesthere is less public involvement in municipal government.84 It is replaced by special interestgroups and members of the business community representing capital, such as the Chamber ofCommerce or other pro-growth organizations.85 The shifting state responsibilities, and a “shiftfrom government (state power on its own) to governance (a broader configuration of state andkey elements in civil society) [… where] the practices of the neoliberal and developmental statebroadly converge,”86 with the resulting regulatory framework and legislation tend to benefitcapital. Harvey explains, “in many of the instances of public-private partnerships87, particularlyat the municipal level, the state assumes much of the risk, while the private sector takes much ofthe profits.”88 In the neoliberal world, there reigns an “economic democracy,” “a new definition81 Ibid.82 William Carroll, Corporate Power in a Globalized World (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2004);Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism.83 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism.84 Ibid.85 Eben Fodor, Better Not Bigger: How to Take Control of Urban Growth and Improve Community(Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers, 2001).86 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, 77.87 Public-private partnerships are partnerships between the public sector and the private sector that arejointly funded. However, these partnerships do not share the profits equally, all too often granting more profits andbenefits to the private sector, leaving the public sector with the risks and costs. A recent example of a public-privatepartnership in Kelowna is the new Bill Bennett Bridge. Financed, developed, constructed and serviced by SNCLavalin, the bridge is a public-private partenership between the people of BC and SNC Lavalin.88 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, 77.21of democracy which excludes 99.9% of the world’s people,”89 where “citizenship [is reduced] toan economic status.”90 To quote sociologist Jerry Harris “One dollar, one vote.”91 Only thosewith capital hold decision-making powers. Therefore, over time, the state increasingly loosescontrol over capital, and capital begins to escape the nation or government that it previously‘belonged’ to.92 Deprived of funds, states/cities are then required to resort to other strategies ofcapital attraction.Ironically, in order to welcome capital, the state is forced to embrace more neoliberalpolicies. To entice capital, governments embrace market-oriented concepts that make themovement of goods and capital easier. At the municipal level, cities must also attempt to enticecapital, which often happens through “place-marketing, and regulatory undercutting in order toattract investments and jobs.”93 Moreover, less funding for cities often translates into fiscalreforms of city government, budgetary cuts and economic restructuring,94 for exampleprivatization (of infrastructure maintenance and/or construction) and public-private partnerships.Thus, cities attempt to attract capital and business investors through urban renewal projects,which promise to economically regenerate the city.95 These urban renewal projects, often89 Jerry Harris, “Globalisation and the Technological Transformation of Capitalism,” Race & Class 40(2/3)(1998/1999), 21-35; 32.90 Ibid., 33.91 Ibid., 31.92 Ibid.93 Helga Leitner and Eric Sheppard, Economic Uncertainty, Interurban Competition and the Efficacy ofEntrepreneurialism (1998), as cited by Brenner and Theodore, Spaces of Neoliberalism, 20.94 Brenner and Theodore, Spaces of Neoliberalism.95 Erik Swyngedouw, Frank Moulaert and Arantxa Rodriguez, Neoliberal Urbanization in Europe: Large-Scale Urban Development Projects and the New Urban Policy (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers Ltd., 2002),195-229; Brenner and Theodore, Spaces of Neoliberalism; Patrick Loftman and Brendan Nevin, Prestige Projects,City Centre Restructuring and Social Exclusion: Taking the Long-Term View, in Malcolm Miles and Tim Hall, ed.,Urban Futures: Critical Commentaries on Shaping the City (New York: Routledge, 2003), 76-91.22comprised of pro-growth policies, flagship developments96 and prestige projects,97 work underthe logic of “the promotion of a future vision.”98 This vision could include economic growth,“smart growth,”99 rejuvenation and regeneration of derelict areas, and/or place marketing forglobal recognition. Sometimes, “a mix of projects is presented, [but] regardless of the efficacy ofsuch a mix, the main objective of these projects is to obtain a higher social and economic returnand to revalue prime urban land. [The explicit goal of a city is then] to improve the tax base […]via a sociospatial and economic reorganization of space.”100 In fact, as Capital News reporter JeffNagel explains, the provincial government of BC experiences a huge windfall when there is a lotof real estate activity. In 2006 alone, BC’s “red-hot real estate market [fuelled] a huge andgrowing windfall for the provincial government that’s on track to top $850 million this year.With every house or condo that changes hands at ever higher prices, Victoria [the capital of theprovince of BC] gets a cut through its Property Transfer Tax.”101 This 2% tax, implemented in1987, has earned the government $302 million in the 2001-02 fiscal year and $625 million in the96 Phil Hubbard, “Urban Design and City Regeneration: Social Representations of EntrepreneurialLandscapes,” Urban Studies 33(8) (1996), 1441-1463.97 Loftman and Nevin, Prestige Projects, City Centre Restructuring and Social Exclusion.98 Swyngedouw, Moulart and Rodriguez, Neoliberal Urbanization in Europe, 202.99 In urban planning “Smart Growth” pertains to a planning theory that aims to grow a city in its centerthrough densification, with the main goal to avoid sprawl and urbanization. The smart growth rational is based oncalculated growth, where there are anticipated outcomes to steer the growth (Fodor, Better Not Bigger). Smartgrowth initiatives include the building of communities with a variety of housing, well-connected transportationnetworks, local employment, recreation and shopping in walking proximity. Growth happens in these ‘smartcommunities,’ thus ceasing to put pressures on outward expanding growth, preserving agricultural lands andenvironmentally sensitive areas. For a list of “10 Smart Growth Principles” see tabid/133/Default.aspx (accessed May 12, 2008). For more information on the SmartGrowth movement in British Columbia, go to “Smart Growth BC” (accessed May12, 2008). For smart growth in action and how it is being implemented in BC communities see “Smart Growth onthe Ground”, which is a partnership between the University of BC’s Design Centre for Sustainable Sustainability,the Real Estate Institute of BC and Smart Growth BC. Go to indexnscp.asp (accessed May12, 2008).100 Swyngedouw, Moulart and Rodriguez, Neoliberal Urbanization in Europe, 204.101 Jeff Nagel, “Victoria Cashes in on Boom with Real Estate Tax,” Capital News, 3 February 2006.232004-05 fiscal years.102 Clearly, governments profit when there is a lot of activity in the realestate and development market, especially when prices are increasing. As another example ofgovernment intervention in the real estate industry, Harvey writes that there have been sixtydocumented cases in the State of New York, where “revenue-strapped municipalities are nowregularly using the power of eminent domain to displace low- and even moderate- incomeproperty owners living in perfectly good housing in order to fee land for upper-income andcommercial developments that will enhance the tax base.”103 This accumulation bydispossession,104 whereby resources are redistributed to the upper classes, gives witness toneoliberalism’s regressive redistributive powers, one of “the main substantive achievements ofneoliberalization.”105However, creating conditions that welcome capital is easier than holding on to thatcapital, since global capitalists hold no allegiance to any one nation, state, region or city; theyinvest where profit yields are the largest, as well as facilitated.106 Cities are forced to createcapital enticing situations, become entrepreneurial and create a good climate for business:107“[C]ity government was more and more construed as an entrepreneurial rather than asocial democratic or even managerial entity. Inter-urban competition for investmentcapital transformed government into urban governance through public-privatepartnerships. City business was increasingly conducted behind closed doors, and thedemocratic and representational content of local governance diminished.”108For example, for urban renewal projects the municipal government assumes the risks, whereasthe private sector enjoys the profits. The city gains a larger tax base, but the public subsidizes the102 Ibid.103 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, 164.104 David Harvey, The New Imperialism (Oxford [u.a.]: Oxford Univ. Press, 2004).105 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, 159.106 Harris, Globalisation and the Technological Transformation of Capitalism.107 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism.108 Ibid., 47.24private sector that earns and takes away the profits,109 depriving the city and the public of anylong-term benefits. Moreover, as soon as profits have been accrued, capital is ‘off’ again, lookingfor another investment, because capital needs to accumulate incessantly. This continual quest forprofits, coupled with the technological revolution of the 1990s,110 “has propelled investmentaway from manufacturing and into global speculation.”111 Harris explains, “the ability to transfermoney worldwide instantaneously led to […] an explosion of financial speculative markets.”112The speed and ease of money movements and fund transfers creates very volatilemarkets113 that can change nearly instantaneously, especially since investors can direct capitalwith the stroke of a key. At the municipal level, speculation often fuels more speculation, asbuildings and land present commodities that have a worth arising from performanceindicators.114 At the city level, speculation often begins small and then quickly progresses to amuch larger scale.115 For example, at the beginning of a speculation cycle, small projects aregentrified, then entire blocks and districts. Geographer Michael Freeman argues that the projectsof speculation get bigger, especially once external companies show interest in an area, increasingthe scale and scope of speculation, yielding larger profits.116 Thus, another repercussion ofneoliberalization has been increased speculation and a global diffusion of capital,117 resulting in a109 Fodor, Better Not Bigger.110 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism.111 Harris, Globalisation and the Technological Transformation of Capitalism, 22.112 Ibid.113 Ibid.; Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism.114 Michael Barke, “Morphogenesis, Fringe-Belts and Urban Size: an Exploratory Essay,” in T.R. Slater,ed., The Built Form of Western Cities (London: Leicester University Press, 1990), 279-99; Igal Charney, “PropertyDevelopers and the Robust Downtown: the Case of Four Major Canadian Downtowns,” The Canadian Geographer49(3) (2005), 301-312.115 Mike Freeman, Commercial Building Development: the Agents of Change, in T.R. Slater, ed., The BuiltForm of Western Cities (London: Leicester University Press, 1990), 253-276.116 Ibid.117 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism.25power shift granting more powers to corporations and the business sector, but as the 2007 crisisof sub-prime in the US shows, making the global financial system vulnerable. Once a real estatemarket begins to pick up, land is often purposefully withheld to push prices up further. There is adefinite correlation between future expectations of land use and land costs. “[I]n a city where thefuture expectations of urban growth are high, there will be a greater tendency to withhold landfrom the current development, thus forcing up the price and the density use on the land that isdeveloped in the current period.”118Giving into this logic of a ‘casino mentality,’119 where speculations with commodities,and increasingly information,120 have been normalized and legitimized, cities have become“venues for frenzied real-estate development and property speculation.”121 In cities, aided bycredit from banks and investors, investors speculate with (future) land developments and realestate: factual as well as virtual, meaning that real estate speculation thrives with selling andbuying of not-yet-built real estate. For example, the Globe and Mail reporter Gary Mason writesthat in Vancouver investors from China, Korea, Iran, Europe and Russia currently buycondominiums.122 Of the 2,925 condominium units slated for completion in 2009, 98% havebeen sold, and of the 714 that are to be built for 2010, 83% have been sold. Many of those unitsexist only on paper. As Mason also explains, an unfinished condominium penthouse at theShangri La sold for $16 million. That same condominium, not yet built, (and planned with lesssquare footage) three years ago, was for sale for $5.3 million.123 Often the same unit is sold andresold several times over a short period. Increased speculation, coupled with commodification of118 Barke, Commercial Building Development, 285.119 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, 133.120 Harris, Globalisation and the Technological Transformation of Capitalism.121 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, 133.122 Gary Mason, “Just Who is Buying Vancouver’s Zillion-Dollar Condos,” Globe and Mail, May 17, 2008.123 Ibid.26everything and the technological transformation, lead to a ‘financialization of everything,’124whereby speculation has become more legitimated and normalized. In the city, the anticipationof what is to come in the future125 drives urban growth. For example, and according tospeculatory logic, if there is anticipated economic growth, then there will be an in-migration ofpeople and an expansion of consumption, especially in housing.126 In truth, speculative realestate developments are private initiatives127 to create ‘good’ pro-growth climates, oftensupported and subsidized by governments. This could be through land use planning, zoning andby-laws, gateway projects or public-private partnership infrastructure projects. Overall,speculation is integral to the success of neoliberalism in the sense that capital can accrue veryfast in this climate. In addition, money itself does have value, but that value is influenced by theexchange of information about potential for growth or loss. 128 This value is then furtherinfluenced by governmental policies that regulate economic activities and capital movement.When money can move fast and at moment’s notice, then the potential for profit increases.However, as capital moves about globally in a highly volatile and unrestricted manner, the globalmarket itself becomes increasingly volatile and there are many telltale signs of uneven (global)development.129 Actually, uneven development propels neoliberalization,130 especially sinceresulting inequalities invite more neoliberal ‘policies of betterment’: the cyclical nature ofuneven development continues.Due to the sweeping commodification of everything, nations, countries, regions, cities124 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, 33.125 Fodor, Better Not Bigger.126 Ibid.127 Ibid.128 Harris, Globalisation and the Technological Transformation of Capitalism.129 Ibid; Bourdieu Firing Back; Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism.130 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism.27and neighbourhoods become markets, and the neoliberal state’s role is instrumental in theredistribution of capital. The municipal government, as a state body, must attract capital, but indoing so is also influenced by that capital. In that sense, capital only rewards states withtemporary access and use of the capital, if the state is able to contribute to growth of the capital.Thus, the more accommodating a municipal government can be, the more successful it will be incapital attraction and retention. In the process, however, the political and economic authoritiesoften have to bend over backwards to gain access to capital and appease the desires of capital.The interests of the dominant classes are diametrically opposed to the interests of theworking classes.131 The goals of economic and political elites are to create and protect structuresthat support and allow unfettered capital accumulation. To implement their neoliberal strategiesthe dominant classes must alter the public’s perception of neoliberalism, as well as government-capital relations, thus shaping a discourse that portrays neoliberal practices as beneficial to thepublic, and restructuring of the state as a logic subsequent step. The public is taught to believethat the state functions best in ‘unrestricted’ markets, and that neoliberal structural readjustmentsand reforms are in everyone’s best interest.132The neoliberal discourse of free trade emphasizes that the market rules in everyone’s bestinterest. In this context ‘free’ does not mean free and uncontrolled. Rather, the goal of theneoliberal discourse is to make people believe in a myth of an unregulated market, a self-regulating entity. In reality, the market is socially constructed according to the needs and wantsof dominant classes. This discourse further promises the working classes a trickle of wealthcoming ‘down’ from the upper classes. The neoliberal discourse purports that upper classes, with131 Richard H. Robbins, Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism (2nd edition, Toronto: Allyn andBacon, 2002); Bourdieu, Firing Back.132 Bourdieu, Firing Back.28the help of neoliberal economic theory, will eliminate poverty on a domestic and global level,but only if markets and trade are free.133As sociologist Pierre Bourdieu argued, the neoliberal discourse is a strong discourse,“For neoliberal discourse is not like others. Like psychiatric discourse in the asylum …it is a strong discourse that has behind it the powers of a world of power relations whichit helps to make as it is, in particular by orienting the economic choices of those whodominate relations and so adding its own – specifically symbolic – force to those powerrelations.”134And this discourse presents itself as the cure-all to today’s problems, no matter if the problem isof an economic, political or social nature.The neoliberal discourse is based on the notion that social relations are restricting.135Instead, each individual must be responsible for him/herself,136 and every individual shall act likean entrepreneur in his or her everyday relations. Social relations become relations of the marketplace. Moreover, the neoliberal discourse suggests that private property and personalresponsibility are paramount, trumping social relations and solidarity. Social solidarity is seen asrestricting to each individual’s self-fulfillment, and, according to neoliberal belief, forms ofsocial solidarity must be dissolved. Collective human rights must be eroded in favour ofindividual rights. As Thatcher so famously said in May of 1979, “economics are the method, butthe object is to change the soul.”137 This cultural transformation138 was manifest in the belief thatthe individual and his/her “freedom” are more important than the sum of individuals and society.Arising from that logic, after the internalization of a neoliberal discourse, social cohesion exists133 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism.134 Bourdieu, Firing Back, 95.135 Ibid; Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism.136 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism.137 Bourdieu, Firing Back, as quoted in Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, 23.138 Denis, “Government Can Do Whatever It Wants.”29only in temporary relationships, because social bonds have been replaced with marketrelations.139Dominant classes, with the help of governments, “make moral regulation”140 whichcreates the cultural transformation of society, and which is necessary to give people the tools toembrace the ideals of neoliberalism. In this process, the media is very important: they serve, as avehicle to disseminate the ideals of the dominant classes141 and bring neoliberalism to themasses, so that it can penetrate all aspects of people’s lives, forcing internalization of isprinciples.142The anti-social neoliberal discourse pushes for an individuation of society143 and is basedon individual self-responsibility and success in relation to a market-oriented and self-commodifying entrepreneurial lifestyle. Social solidarity and connectedness become hindranceson the personal quest for market success. Thus, neoliberal discourse suggests there are“particular” ways of being human “that are legitimized and naturalized through moralregulation”144 into a culture-economy,145 where people show a moral behaviour that is in fact ofan economic nature. In this culture-economy, people are in constant competition with oneanother: for property, for subsistence, for resources, for their own well-being. Failure to thriveand become rich rests with the individual,146 who fails to seize opportunities, lacks self-disciplineand is unable to maximize personal potential. The neoliberal common sense upholds social139 Bourdieu Firing Back; Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism.140 Denis, “Government Can Do Whatever It Wants.”141 Ibid; Fodor, Better not Bigger; Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism.142 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism.143 Baumann, The Individualized Society.144 Mariana Valverde, “Moral Capital,” Canadian Journal of Law and Society 9 (1994), 212-232, as quotedin Denis, “Government Can Do Whatever it Wants,” 368.145 Denis, “Government Can Do Whatever It Wants.”146 Sennett, Der Flexible Mensch; Bourdieu, Firing Back.30inequalities and wealth polarization as legitimate. For example, in the city, people haveinternalized the social segregation of classes in the sense that rich upper classes have a right tothe best land and properties, just as it has been internalized that the poor live in the derelict areasof town. After all, neoliberal ideology states that people get what they deserve. Those living inderelict and disinvested areas of town must simply have little market potential.This dominant discourse is disseminated with the help of the media,147 as well asreproduced during interpersonal interactions,148 mainly between “those associated with socialreproduction”149 of the neoliberal culture-economy. The neoliberal belief system is passed onand accepted as the dominant discourse, especially since social reproduction is more stationarythan capital, and occurs in all milieus and realms of the neoliberal state.150 Over time, the tenetsof neoliberalism become the new common sense.Eventually, the implementation and internalization of neoliberalism is not only seen inpeople’s interactions and beliefs, but are also translated and manifest in the urban builtenvironment. Newly built neoliberal urban realms reflect aspects of neoliberalism in cityreconfiguration, layout, building design and style, as well as zoning, or intended human use ofthis urban environment. It is at this juncture that an interesting paradox arises: neoliberal policiesare manifest in a ‘free’ market ideology, whereas cities are planned based on the regulation ofspace. To examine Kelowna’s experience with neoliberalism, and to understand how neoliberalpolicies influence and change urban space and people’s use thereof, an investigation of theneoliberal urban reconfiguration is warranted.147 Denis, “Government Can Do Whatever It Wants.”148 Katz, Vagabond Capitalism and the Necessity of Social Reproduction.149 Ibid., 708.150 Ibid.312.2 URBAN MORPHOLOGICAL EXAMINATIONS OF CITY SPACEWhile neoliberal theory argues for the deregulation of space, today’s neoliberalized urban spacesare in practice heavily regulated. To develop an understanding of this contradictory situation, ageographical inquiry into the morphology of urban space, or the historical evolution of urbanspace over time, is beneficial. Urban morphology helps to analyze neoliberalism’s power torework the urban built environment.Space has held many different meanings for geographers in the past, and as such,inquiries in spatial geography focussed on space in either absolute or relative terms.151 The earlygeography (until the 1970s) centred on positivistic and quantitative approaches to examiningspace, where space was understood to be objective and empirical. From this perspective, spacewas rather understood as “an absolute container of static, though movable, objects and dynamicflows of behaviour.”152 “A kind of absolute grid, within which objects are located and eventsoccur.”153 Relations and events occurred in this absolute space based on geometric patterns. Thisapproach excluded relations between people and places and denied the importance of socialvectors in socio-spatial relations. Generally, geographers studying urban morphology usedtopographical maps and town plans, as well as plans depicting settlements with the goal toestablish settlement patterns. Their approach was historico-geographical, looking at historicpatterns of urban development over time. Results, however, often proved inconclusive, sinceknowledge of simultaneously accompanying social and economic relationships within the areas151 Phil Hubbard, Rob Kitchin, Brendan Bartley and Duncan Fuller, Thinking Geographically: Space,Theory and Contemporary Human Geography (London: Continuum, 2002).152 Brendan Gleeson, “A Geography for Disabled People?” Transactions of the Institute of BritishGeographers 21(1996), 387-396; p. 390, as quoted in Hubbard, Kitchin, Bartley and Fuller, ThinkingGeographically, 13.153 Mark Curry, “Postmodernism, Language and the Strains of Modernism,” Annals, Association ofGeographers 81 (1995), 210-28; p. 5, as quoted in Hubbard, Kitchin, Bartley and Fuller, Thinking Geographically,13.32of study were often unknown or not considered.154 Space was considered neutral, and the forcesand processes that shaped it were too often simply excluded from the investigation.This has changed and today’s morphogenetic work includes critical inquiries into urbanreconfiguration, like the work by geographers Deryck Holdsworth and Gunter Gad155 in Canada.These analyses are is inclusive of critical examination of people,156 forces and processes thatrework city space. Therefore, the use of urban morphology to examine the economic, politicaland ideological forces that socially construct cities is essential, because the physical structure ofthe urban built environment serves as a historical mirror of the interplay of the aforementionedforces. The urban built environment reflects how the landscape has been influenced by differentagents of change (land entrepreneurs and select members of the planning, real estate,development industry and business),157 and thus developed over the course of time. Additionally,the understanding of dialectical relationships between individuals and the urban builtenvironment is paramount for a critical inquiry. Current examinations of space are morerelational, questioning spatial problems more analytically and critically, where the“understanding of space prioritizes analyses of how space is constituted and given meaningthrough human endeavour.”158 From this perspective space is not neutral, but a product of socio-spatial relations.154 JWR Whitehand, “The Basis for an Historico-Geographical Theory of Urban Form,” Transactions of theInstitute of British Geographers, New Series, Vol. 2, No. 3, Change in the Town (1977), 400-416.155 Gunther Gad and Deryck Holdsworth, “Corporate Capitalism and the Emergence of the High-rise OfficeBuilding,” Urban Geography 8 (1987), 212-231, as quoted in Igal Charney, “Property Developers and the RobustDowntown: the Case of Four Major Canadian Downtowns,” The Canadian Geographer 49(3) (2005), 301-312.156 Charney, Property Developers and the Robust Downtown.157 Harvey Molotch, Strategies and Constraints of Growth Elites, 1, in Scott Cummings (ed.), BusinessElites and Urban Development: Case Studies and Critical Perspectives, (Albany, State University of New YorkPress: 1988), 25-47. (accessed May 28,2007).158 Hubbard, Kitchin, Bartley and Fuller, Thinking Geographically, 13.33“The relationship between space, spatial forms and spatial behaviour is not contingentupon ‘natural’ spatial laws, but is rather a product of cultural, social, political andeconomic relations; space is not essential in nature but is constructed and produced;space is not an objective structure but is a social experience.”159Over time, a more critical inquiry into political, economic, social processes, as well asideological forces that shape space over time, has become the focus of geographical spatialstudies. This theoretical shift in the analysis of space has constituted the beginning of a criticalspatial inquiry that challenges space as a neutral entity upon which human activity patterns aresimply imbued.One of the most prominent theorists examining space as socially produced is the latesociologist Henri Lefebvre, who attempts to understand what space is, and to decode how spaceis produced. He argues that space is a social product based on the assumption that relationsbetween society and space are produced and maintained in triangular processes. For Lefebvre,the first spatial process entails a ‘spatial practice,’ meaning there are daily occurrences,movements and migrations of people in space. These daily interactions with the space and thoseinteracting within that space reproduce it (the space). Their (inter)actions give the spacelegitimacy, and further, socially construct it as space.160 For example, the city is the space wherepeople conduct their daily interactions (socialize within it), and while doing so, sociallyreproduce that space. Their social interactions grant that space legitimacy. That city spaceconstitutes the “sites, circuits and environments through which social life is produced andreproduced,”161 and presents a realm where social vectors, such as class, power and genderrelations are reproduced and legitimized.159 Idem, 13-14.160 Lefebvre, The Production of Space (London: n.p., 1991).161 Alison Blunt and Jane Wills, Embodying Geography: Feminist Geographies of Gender. DissidentGeographies: An Introduction to Radical Ideas and Practice (Toronto: Prentice Hall, 2000), 90-112; 77.34For Lefebvre, the second spatial process addresses ‘representations of space’ or howspace is represented and socially reproduced. In Lefebvre’s words, representations of space are“the way in which the power, knowledge, and spatiality of the powerful is inscribed in space.”162Space is represented using different means, for example, the media, maps or books. These helpto make sense of space.163 It is the representation of space in public discourse where particularspatial practices are reproduced. That is, people are socialized to behave a certain way within acertain space. They acquire, following the logic of the sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, the culturalcapital to participate in the urban space,164 which is coded165 and elicits specific behaviours.166Space is always represented from particular ideological viewpoints and inherently hegemonic.To conduct oneself properly, one must internalize the rules and regulations upon which thespatial practice is based (or the sum of all the components of urban built environment).Finally, the third spatial process identifies ‘spaces of representation’, referring to spaceswithin which people live their daily lives.167 This includes the private, as well as public realms ofspace. It is within this space that people’s conduct and actions are subjected and influenced bythe political and ideological processes that shape and govern the everyday,168 and where peopleexperience the present political and ideological forces.In sum, for Lefebvre, combined, these three spatial processes make up the space thatcontains society’s social relations and within which these social relations are produced and162 Lefebvre, The Production of Space, as quoted in Sallie Marston, “The Social Construction of Scale”Progress in Human Geography 24(2) (2000): 219-242; 221.163 Hubbard, Kitchin, Bartley and Fuller, Thinking Geographically.164 Pierre Bourdieu, “The Forms of Capital” in Mark S. Granovetter and Richard Swedberg (ed.), TheSociology of Economic Life, (Westview Press, 2001): 96-111.165 Lefebvre, The Production of Space; Paul Knox and Steven Pinch, Urban Social Geography (4th edition,Toronto: Pearson Education Ltd, 2000).166 Dolores Hayden, The Power of Place (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1997).167 Lefebvre, The Production of Space.168 Hubbard, Kitchin, Bartley and Fuller, Thinking Geographically.35reproduced. Thus, space is not stagnant, but rather fluid and changing over time. Hence, criticalinquiry into socio-spatial relationships examines interactions between people and space, as wellas the resulting spatial forms and behaviours; the urban built environment; the actual layout ofthe city; the permissible land uses and the physical structures built within this urban realm, asreflections of the forces that socially, politically and culturally constructed the space, “crucially,all three make up ‘space’; analytical priority cannot automatically be given to one over any of theothers.”169 Space is constructed from a culmination of forces.In a similar line, Knox and Pinch argue that space, under neoliberal impetus, is not only amedium for dominant classes to accrue capital and to spatially entrench their class position, butthat dominant classes manipulate space according to their interests. Moreover, the restructuredurban spatial organization170 also influences the socio-spatial dialectic171 between classes, where“people create and modify urban spaces while at the same time being coordinated in variousways by the spaces in which they live and work.”172 Three characteristics can be identified fromthe sociospatial dialectic between classes. They include, first, that space constitutes socialrelations, where within the characteristics of the site influence the form and shape of thesettlement.173 Second, space constrains the social relations occurring within it, especially sincethe physical layout and architecture of the space regulate the human behaviour.174 And third,space mediates social relations in the sense that: “a wide variety of social practices, including169 Ibid., 15170 Knox and Pinch, Urban Social Geography.171 Edward Soja,” The Socio-spatial Dialectic” Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 70(1980), 207-227.172 Knox and Pinch, Urban Social Geography, 8.173 Ibid.174 Ibid., 9.36patterns of everyday life”175 can occur. Thus for Knox and Pinch, “space, then, cannot beregarded simply as a medium in which social, economic and political processes are expressed. Itis of importance in its own right in contributing both to the pattern of urban development and tothe nature of the relationships between different social groups within the city.”176In summary, the examination of urban morphology not only reveals the character of anarea, but also offers a very detailed examination of street layout and city blocks, the location andcharacter of public and private city space and their metamorphosis over time. Critical inquiry ofthis nature, coupled with a socio-spatial approach to examining space, is useful for understandingthe processes and identifying the people or groups that have power to shape urban space and itsphysical landscape.2.3 THE LOCAL GROWTH MACHINE, PLACE ENTREPENURIALISM, GROWTHCOALITIONS AND RESISTANCEMolotch makes a strong argument that US cities are dominated by a “small or parochial elitewhose members have business or professional interests that are linked to local development andgrowth,”177 or in other words agents of change. He argues that these elites use the space of thecity to pursue their interests, living within this space, but also using the space as a commodity fortrade in the urban economy.178 They use their power to influence public authority with theirinterests and, together, elites and public authorities create economic developments, in turnenhancing their local business interests. Thus, they create a “growth machine,” with strategies175 Idem.176 Ibid.177 Harvey Molotch, Strategies and Constraints of Growth Elites, 1, in Scott Cummings (ed.), BusinessElites and Urban Development: Case Studies and Critical Perspectives, (Albany, State University of New YorkPress: 1988), 25-47. (accessed May 28,2007).178Molotch and Logan, Urban Fortunes.37that intensify land use and increase the land’s exchange value. The growth machine becomes an“apparatus of interlocking pro-growth associations and governmental units”179 in the attempt toincrease the elite’s fortune, wealth and power, where the city itself becomes a profit-generatinginstrument.Further, geographers Jane Wills and Allison Blunt argue that space is a resource, and theurban built environment with its infrastructure must be understood as “part of capital.”180 To bemore specific, this capital is the buildings and infrastructure within the urban builtenvironment.181 However, this capital is very stationary, or fixed, since the physical nature of alandscape transforms and changes rather slowly. In short, this capital is tied up in the urban builtenvironment. This spatial trapping of capital presents a challenge to place entrepreneurs in thesense that it is a hindrance to new development and the creation of more capital. “Previousrounds of investment become obstacles to the further development of capitalism and, as newmarkets are sought for more productive investment; existing nodes of accumulation lose theirpositions of strength.”182 It becomes clear that capital investment into the urban builtenvironment can simultaneously, at some time, be a stifling point to future development.This contradiction is being tackled by space entrepreneurs who continually try to findways to use space in a manner that will bring them profits. To maximize profits, owners ofcapital will invest their capital wherever they receive the highest returns for their investments.Harvey calls this the ‘spatial fix’, whereby capital owners escape low returns and crisis byinvesting elsewhere.183 The result is that areas with profit potential are receiving funds,179 Ibid., 102.180 Allison Wills and Jane Blunt, Dissident Geographies: An Introduction to Radical Ideas and Practice,(Pearson Education: Harlow, 2000), 77.181 David Harvey, Social Justice and the City (Edward Arnold: London, 1973).182 Wills and Blunt, Dissident Geographies, 56.183 Harvey, Social Justice and the City.38funnelling these into specific areas. In the urban built environment, this is seen in some areasblossoming from active investment, whereas other areas are suffering from active disinvestment.Over time, areas are then shaped by financial support or lack thereof, depending on developmentcycles.Place entrepreneurs buy and sell commodities of land and buildings for profit.184 Theythrive on buying low, then selling high, trying to make the largest possible profit. Afterpurchasing land, they attempt to increase the value of the land through economic intensification.This could be in the shape of land and building improvements (for example renovations andgentrification) or streetscape improvements (for example planting trees, installing flower basketsand benches). Advertising and public relations are also an integral component to selling the placeentrepreneurs’ project in order to entice people to become part of that particular place and/orproject. Whipping people into frenzy over real estate projects (e.g. buildings and their features)or specific areas of town (e.g. the downtown core) are known tactics of the growth coalition.A case in point of these strategies is seen in staged real estate project releases. As newdevelopments are constructed, opportunities for purchase are made available - albeit only inphases - where each phase is released only with an extensive PR campaign. According to thelogic of place entrepreneurialism, with every round of advertisement and PR prices increase.Ideally, for the price entrepreneur, every fresh phase attracts new potential buyers. I identify thisphenomenon in Kelowna.Members of the growth machine and place entrepreneurs will collaborate with other placeentrepreneurs and/or different levels of governments, to succeed in their quests for maximumprofit. In doing so they compete with one another, but at different levels and at different times: assuch, on the one hand, they vie to create the best conditions for their developments and profits,184 Domhoff, Power at the Local Level.39but on the other, they stand to benefit when the overall economic activity and intensity ofeconomic activity increases. Molotch explains that “area-wide intensification, ordinarily in theform of increments in the basic economy which, in turn generate[s] labour in-migration and othereconomic growth (e.g. wholesale and retail trade), benefits the investments of all local propertyentrepreneurs.”185Nonetheless, there is a “nested” hierarchy between growth machines, depending onlinkages and connections with other growth machines and growth coalition members.186 Ingeneral, the way that growth machines function is not staid, but rather plastic and place specific,giving each local growth machine a local flavour. There are a few characteristics that growthmachines share and their pathologies show this. Molotch argues that the growth machine issynonymous to the concentration of economic power in the hands of a few, leaving little roomfor competition and hardly any attempts to dilute this power. All of this is aided, as Molotchfurther argues, by a hegemonic view, which suggests people of higher classes are deemed more“public regarding” than others. “Their specific personal or group or class interests in fortunebuilding in the locality are left unexamined.”187 All too often, placement, control, decisionmaking and creation of public policy are geared at supporting the interests of the growth elite,albeit cloaked in a discourse that promises benefits to all. “Growth machines service eliteinterests, promote social inequality and harm the environment.”188 Moreover, the leadership ofthose attached to the local growth machine is not questioned, allowing power to remainconcentrated. This oversight allows the local leadership that is part of the growth elite to remain185 Molotch, Strategies and Constraints of Growth Elites, 1.186 Ibid.187 Ibid., 3.188 Logan and Molotch , Urban Fortunes, 97.40devoted to their own good, even at the expense of other local interests.189 Ultimately, publicwelfare is not important, but reforming public institutions to suit and support the interests of thelocal growth machine is of utmost importance.At the core of the local growth machine are those that have ties to the land and buildingsof a particular area, such as real estate investors, financial institutions and those that service theneeds of these place entrepreneurs. It must be understood that “political parties, elected officialsat the local, state and congressional level, and business trade and development associations areintrinsic components of the growth machine.”190 Real estate lawyers, accountants, propertymanagement firms, advertising agencies, construction supply houses, title companies, merchants,etc. can also be part of the local growth machine. In short, all those with a stake in growth in aregion, and as such the success of the growth machine itself, will support and defend the growthmachine. At times, it might be hard to imagine who is interested and in what capacity, sincemotives are not always clear, “even museums, universities and social service organizations maycome to support the growth goal either to increase patronage or to curry favour from the eliteswho give money and serve on their boards of directors.”191 And last, newspapers are integral tothe growth coalition, printing and disseminating the dominant ideology and limiting dissentingnarratives.But hegemony is never complete, those most vested to the health and social well-being ofthe land, its occupants and its infrastructure, also have goals that contradict the goals of thegrowth machine. There can be a clash of goals, especially when those with socially sustainableinterests in the land want to preserve the place, whereas the growth machine wants to modify itto yield maximum profits. As a result, community members are all too often negatively impacted189 Molotch, Strategies and Constraints of Growth Elites, 4.190 Ibid., 2.191 Ibid., 1.41by decisions of the growth machine. After all, the intrinsic goals of the growth machine are landand place exploitation for profit. Even though local opposition to the growth machine are oftenonly little hurdles to land development in the overall development process, this opposition isintegral to the dynamics of the growth machine. Without opposition, a more critical examinationof the workings of the growth machine would not exist.To date, examination of dominant elites and workings of power have been the focus ofresearchers like sociologists C. Wright Mills,192 Barry Wellman,193 John Logan and HarveyMolotch,194 Pierre Bourdieu195 and William Carroll.196 And while much of current researchfocuses on disadvantaged and marginalized populations, it is extremely important and timely toinvestigate and scrutinize how power functions and works.Domhoff has tackled this gap in the research examining how power operates at the locallevel, suggesting that power structures at the local level come in the shape of local growthcoalitions.197 These coalitions are land based with the overall goal of land use intensification. Hefurther evocates that the easiest way to intensify land use is to stimulate growth, which is usuallyfollowed by an increase in population. The economic elites that he researched attempted toattract corporate employers to the region. If successful, the workforce expanded, the housingmarket intensified and people spent their wages, as a result boosting the local economy.192 C. Wright Mills, The Sociological Imagination (New York: Oxford University Press, 1959).193 Barry Wellman, “Network Analysis: Some Basic Principles,” Sociological Theory Vol. 1 (1983), 155-200.194 John Logan and Harvey Molotch, Urban Fortunes.195 Bourdieu, Acts of Resistance and Firing Back.196 Carroll, Corporate Power in a Globalized World.197 Domhoff, Power at the Local Level.42Domhoff restates that the discourse of growth is “based in this idea that growth is aboutjobs, not about profits.”198 And then cites Molotch,“Perhaps the key ideological prop for the growth machine, especially in terms ofsustaining support from the working-class majority, is the claim that growth "makesjobs." This claim is aggressively promulgated by developers, builders, and localchambers of commerce. It becomes part of the statesman talk of editorialists andpolitical officials. Such people do not speak of growth as useful to profits--rather, theyspeak of it as necessary for making jobs.”199The newspapers disseminate the ideological discourse of growth200 and without much criticaldiscussion become a tool of the dominant classes, especially since the media plays a crucial rolein the socialization of neoliberalism. Domhoff’s perspective illuminates my analysis ofKelowna’s growth coalition.To reiterate, a place is not only a public or private realm where social transactions occur,but also in turn a place of socialization for those attached to it. People influence space and spaceinfluences people. Yet, as historian Dolores Hayden wrote, “class, ethnic and gender history[are] shaping the landscape in ways that have barely been studied”201 and a critical exploration iswarranted. I am convinced that people must understand what meaning a place holds in order toconnect to the social order that is reproduced within that space. An individual who is unable to‘read’ a landscape is robbed of a connection, and of the possibility to understand existingrelationships, including their own. As the influential sociologist Mills stated, a person’s ability tounderstand history and one’s own biography within history is paramount to what he calls asociological imagination. This sociological imagination allows a person to place themselveswithin the social milieu and history of their time. As a result, that person is capable to understandtheir relation to and place within broader society. A geographical imagination allows people to198 Domhoff, Power at the Local Level, 320.199 Idem.200 Denis, “Government Can Do Whatever It Wants.”201 Hayden, The Power of Place, 3.43develop mental maps of the surrounding world, and seeing themselves situated within. The self-positioning of people is in turn influenced by their own internalizations of the social vectors atwork. As Hayden and scholars Laura Vaughan, David Clark, Ozlem Sahbaz and MordechaiHaklay point out, cognitive mapping can be extremely powerful in shaping people’s perceptionof space,202 for example to establish for themselves if a place is liveable or not. In order to givemeaning and to understand the urban built environment, people must have an imagination thatallows for an understanding of their place within this world. In other words, without anunderstanding of the complex social forces and agents at work, and how they shape and reshapethe urban built environment, an imagination and subsequent critical inquiry becomes impossible.202 Hayden, The Power of Place; Laura Vaughan, David Clark, Ozlem Sahbaz and Mordechai Haklay,“Space and Exclusion: Does Urban Morphology Play a Part in Social Deprivation?” Area 36(2) (2005), 146-163.44CHAPTER THREE: METHOD3.0 INTRODUCTIONA city is a culmination of processes and forces (external and internal) that combined organize itseconomic, political, physical and social make-up.203 To examine and uncover the forces that havedriven the transformation of Kelowna in the last decade, I have used a combination of qualitativeresearch methods.2043.1 RESEARCHING NEOLIBERALISM IN THE CITY OF KELOWNAMy research is interdisciplinary in nature, drawing from a variety of qualitative research methodsin sociology and geography. For the collection of my primary data, I used the followingstrategies: I conducted general internet searches, specific internet searches on the City ofKelowna website, an in-depth search on a specialized realtor database (called Kinnexis), andcountless regular searches of Okanagan media websites. I also conducted in-depth interviews. Inthe remainder of this chapter, I describe the rationale and method of each search in more detail.203 Knox and Pinch, Urban Social Geography.204 During my research, I encountered a methodological challenge while collecting data. While there aremany groups involved in shaping a city, it is not always possible to expose those working from behind the scenes.Secrecy, and business conducted behind closed doors, allows hidden powers to steer and influence businessinitiatives and transactions. It is extremely difficult for ‘outsiders,’ or those that do not belong to the businessdealing, to bring light to this secrecy and to follow decisions arising from business interaction with a city’s planningdepartment that shape the physical structure of the city, the urban built environment. To illustrate, the City ofKelowna Planning Department and senior staff regularly engage in meetings, such as luncheons with local businessleaders at the Chamber of Commerce or with leaders from the development and real estate industry at the UrbanDevelopment Institute, which is publicly attainable knowledge, while the content of conversations is ‘private.’Moreover, City Planning policies allow those with interests and capital means to come together in so-called pre-development application meetings, where potential developers meet with Planning Department staff in order to talkabout possible developments. There can be several of these meetings before an official application is filed. In fact,these meetings are deemed a regular component of the development process of the 21st century in North America.At the City, as I have learnt, there are no publicly accessible records of these pre-development application meetings.These aforementioned strategies do not only help to conceal the actions of those who actively shape the urban builtenvironment, they also conceal the level of influence that individuals and/or groups have. Thus, these strategiespreclude public participation in the decision-making process of city planning and help actors to remain hidden fromthe public’s view, making it difficult to determine which developments and planning initiatives are initiated andinduced by negotiations between profit-seeking developers and city officials, especially since both groups are oftendriven by financial incentives.45I began my primary research with a general internet exploration on topics of re-development in Kelowna’s downtown, searching for information pertaining to highriseredevelopments and ‘their’ development companies. During this research, I tried to identifydevelopers and their involvements in redevelopment initiatives by tracking board and associationmemberships, as well as other real estate and development industry involvements, as available inthe public domain. Moreover, I searched for information relating to re-development initiatives inKelowna’s downtown areas, paying particular attention to three downtown areas: Leon andLawrence Avenue, as well as Ellis Street and the grounds belonging to the Canada LandsCompany Ltd. (CLC) along Sunset Boulevard. I also searched for information about theproposed downtown Comprehensive Development Zone, which is a major re-developmentinitiative, proposed for a specific area of downtown, that I will discuss as a case study ofneoliberal urban restructuring in chapter six.Thereafter I conducted a much more specific search of the City of Kelowna website.205Specifically, I searched the website for four types of information: First, for information on thestatus of submitted development applications, trying to uncover if and at what time developmentpermits had been granted. I focussed especially on highrise development applications located inmy research areas of Leon and Lawrence Avenues, Ellis Street, and Sunset Boulevard.Second, I collected city documents like the City‘s Official Community Plans (OCP), itsamendments, zoning bylaws, and other planning documents, for example strategic plans, conceptplans and citizen surveys. I studied the 1995 OCP and its major updates from March 2002 andFebruary 2004. I paid particular attention to more specific plans like the Kelowna Downtown: aPeople Place, 206 within which the City, in close collaboration with community members and205 City of Kelowna, “Home,” (first accessed in September of 2005).206 City of Kelowna Planning Department and Urban Systems Ltd., Kelowna’s Downtown: a People Place(October 1999), iii.46groups, developed strategies with the goal to keep Kelowna’s downtown economically andcivically viable. I also analyzed the following reports from various websites of City departments:the 1998 Inner City Shore Zone Concept Plan,207 the October 1999 Kelowna’s Downtown: aPeople Place, the May 2004 Community Strategic Plan Update, Preliminary Survey Results,208the 2006 Citizen Survey Detailed Report,209 the November 2006 Report from the City of KelownaAffordable and Special Needs Housing Taskforce,,210 and last the Housing Resources Handbook2007.211I studied these reports to learn how Kelowna’s urban built environment is planned andregulated. I also wanted to uncover who has steered Kelowna’s development and planning duringthe past decades, paying particular attention to continual involvement of individuals, groupsand/or associations. In addition I identified and studied minutes from the Mayor’s EntertainmentTask Force, the Affordable and Special Needs Housing Task Force and, most importantly, theDowntown Center Strategy Task Force. I read these minutes in addition to the task forcemandates, to examine the interactions of those involved in the task forces, and to understand howstrategies for downtown redevelopment were developed and subsequently asked for in front ofcity council.The minutes from the Downtown Centre Strategy Task Force, a statutory Councilcommittee established in 2004 and dedicated to strategically transforming parts of Kelowna’sdowntown, were especially interesting. From these minutes I gleaned the names of individuals,207 City of Kelowna, Inner City Shore Zone Concept Plan (1998).208 City of Kelowna, “Community Strategic Plan Update, Preliminary Survey Results,” (May 2004)>PDFs/%5CStartegic%20Planning/Community%20Survey%Results%2Epdf(accessed July 24, 2007).209 Kettle Valley Research, 2006 Citizen Survey Detailed Report (August 2006).210 City of Kelowna, Report from the City of Kelowna Affordable and Special Needs Housing Taskforce(November 2006).211 City of Kelowna Community Development and Real Estate Development, Housing Resources Handbook2007. Benchmarks and Resources for Affordable, Special Needs and Rental Housing (2007).47groups, and associations involved in preparing downtown for redevelopment and transition.Many of these individuals and groups, as my later discussion will show, have been ongoinginfluences in Kelowna’s transformation. I have recorded their names and cross-referenced themwith contributors to planning initiatives.212 This knowledge, gathered from the public domain,has allowed me to link members of Kelowna’s business as well as real estate and developmentindustry directly to city planning directives. This understanding has also helped me recognizethat the urban built environment is shaped and re-worked over the long-term, as is seen in thecommitment and investment that many individuals, groups and associations have shown over thepast decades - towards a downtown transformation that will likely last for several decades.However, one limiting factor during this search was the lack of documents availabilityprior to 1996 on the City’s website, the main exception being the OCP from 1995, which I didaccess via the internet. As a result, I studied older (pre-1996) documents in person in one of theplanning rooms at the Planning Department.Third, I reviewed maps from the City’s website. Maps are useful, because they “showspatial patterns and relationships.”213 Data presented in a map, depending on the scale of themap, represent a mapping of social relations, for example points (e.g., historical monuments,schools, parks, towns or cities), lines (e.g., roads and transportation ways, or politicalboundaries) and areas (e.g., water features, parks, or city districts).214 Upon careful study of thephysical features in the urban built environment, as well as their size and location, one candevelop an understanding of socially significant patterns.215 In this sense, maps can convey how212 Carroll, Corporate Power in a Globalizing World.213 Margot Northey and David B.Knight, Making Sense: a Student's Guide to Research and Writing(Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2001), 90.214 Keith Hoggart, Loretta Lees and Anna Davies, Researching Human Geography (London: Arnold, 2002).215 Ibid.48“individuals or groups relate to one another.”216 To illustrate, if one were to look at a city withmany gated communities, the walling and gating of the communities is represented with physicalbarriers surrounding the community (the cluster of housing) and a street design where only one,often private street will connect the gated compound to the city’s public road system. It must benoted, however, that even though maps offer useful information, they are at the same time alsoselective and present an abstraction of reality.217 To be even more explicit, maps alwaysrepresent the bias of the person compiling the information, but still serve as very valuablerepresentation of a particular way of viewing the world.I also viewed many maps: old maps from historical books, orthographic maps, in additionto computer generated maps, especially those that one can self-compile on the City’s website.218I printed the street sections of the properties that I am researching and taped them together intoone long street section. In addition, I printed maps showing the zoning and legal addresses of theproperties that interest me. Overall, these maps helped me develop a spatial understanding of myresearch areas and depicted how the properties and streets in my research area have changed overtime.Fourth, I accessed the digital archives of the City to locate old council agendas. I lookedat Council agendas dating back to 1996, when they were first computerized.219 I searchedthrough the old council agendas trying to find rezoning applications of properties located onLeon and Lawrence Avenues, since rezoning applications must be discussed in front of CityCouncil and therefore must be publicly announced, for example in the local newspaper, beforeany kind of permits are approved and subsequently granted. The Council agendas provided216 Kristin G Esterberg, Qualitative Methods in Social Research (Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2002), 162.217 Northey and Knight, Making Sense.218 City of Kelowna, “City Maps,” (accessed August 10, 2008).219 Many properties on Ellis Street have been individually rezoned to allow for highrise redevelopment, aprocess that has often pitted developers against the general public in front of City Council.49record for rezoning application to change and alter the urban built environment of select areas ofthe downtown, and were often an indication of an impending impetus for change. I also used thisinformation to learn more about the potential development itself, since these rezoningannouncements proclaim who applies for the rezoning and development application, as well asdescribe the features of the development.Furthermore, I conducted an in-depth search of the Kinnexis database, an internet servicedatabase mostly used by realtors and appraisers. Within Kinnexis, one can access data pertainingto real estate listings, such as the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), property sales information,and tax records up to the 2006 tax year. I used the Kinnexis database to study the tax records andMLS listings of properties located on Leon and Lawrence Avenues.220 MLS tax records show thecivic address, contact information and legal description of the property, and the properties salesactivity (if there was any). In addition, the MLS database allows access to all past and presentsales listings, provided the properties were listed with MLS when they were for sale in Kelowna(which is the usual case when a property is listed for sale with a local realtor).The MLS listing offers information on the listing status of a property (e.g., for sale oroffer pending), describes the actual listing (e.g., description, features, and layout of property), lotand title information, legal and tax information, the property’s zoning, in addition to informationabout previous sales and/or sales attempts. In general, this information describes the sales historyof specific properties and shows in what area property transfers occurred. More specifically, thisinformation shows if a property has sold for its assessed price or a lower/higher price. Inaddition, it also shows what areas have experienced the least/ most sales activity.From this database, I recorded the taxation information for each of the specified220 I wanted to determine the level of sales activity in the area of Leon and Lawrence Avenue. At the time Ibegan this research, it appeared there was no sales activity in that area whatsoever even though the city had rezonedthe area already in the 1990’s, allowing for highrises. I wanted to uncover if there had been any sales in the area, andif, when properties had changed hands.50properties on Leon and Lawrence Avenues, attempting to develop a pattern of sales activity orlack thereof. Moreover, I copied the old available MLS listings for the properties of interest onLeon and Lawrence Avenues. In general, I used the Kinnexis tax records in conjunction withdata that I collected from the British Columbia Assessment Authority, as I will explain shortly. Icross-referenced the Kinnexis property information to verify zoning, as well as the actualregistered use of the property. Overall, the information that can be collected from Kinnexis isquite extensive, especially since old and expired MLS sheets remain accessible within theKinnexis database, and grant access to past and current sales, as well as sales attempts. Thisinformation helped me to establish patterns of sales activity in my research area, and allowed meto establish how often properties had been sold, and where specifically. This information servesas an indication of change and transformation, especially as temporal redevelopment patternsemerged.As another important resource I regularly accessed and studied the websites of TheCapital News, The Daily Courier, The Vancouver Sun, The Globe and Mail and Castanet (a localinternet news source). I systematically followed the news during the 2005-2008 period, searchingfor news relating to Kelowna’s downtown, such as highrise redevelopments, privatization, andwhat is called the ‘militarization’ of space.221 I clipped newspaper articles from the local dailynewspaper The Daily Courier, the thrice weekly The Capital News, the national Canadian dailyThe Globe and Mail, as well as local monthly and bi-annual magazines like Okanagan Life, theOkanagan Life Real Estate Relocation Guide, Okanagan Home, and Okanagan Q, also for theperiod from 2005-2008. These news sources provided me with a local perspective and helped me221 Don Mitchell, Cultural Geography: A Critical Introduction (Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishing,2000); Mike Davis, City of Quartz (London: Verso, 1992).51analyse the current discourse surrounding, and also supporting, Kelowna’s downtownreconfiguration.I also looked for news coverage explaining what shall happen to social service providersin the area of my interest (for example, a supposed relocation of the Kelowna Gospel Mission, ahomeless shelter located on Leon Avenue, especially piqued my interest), poverty andhomelessness, staff transfers and restructuring at the City (especially in the planningdepartment), re-development strategies and initiatives brought forward by the City, and publicopinions as expressed in letters to the editor, to name a few.Additional research included visits to the BC Assessment Authority office and the City’sPlanning Department. At the BC Assessment office, I studied publicly accessible microfiches tocollect more in-depth information about properties on Leon and Lawrence Avenues. I engaged ina multi-step process to gather this information: The first step was to locate each one of theproperties in the BC Assessment microfiches. Once found, I recorded the property’s BCAssessment role number and the legal street address of the property. The second step was toobtain more specific property information. On the second set of microfiches, I used thepreviously investigated BC Assessment role number to find more detailed property information.I especially studied the second set of microfiches looking for two things: who owned theproperty, and how the property value had changed since the last assessment (e.g., from the 2005-2006 tax year). The third and last step included investigating property sales activity for the Leonand Lawrence Avenues area. This involved examination of a third set of microfiches. Since salesdata at the BC Assessment office is grouped by year and geographical area, I only looked forsales in the section of the Central Business District, pertinent to my research. Overall, I studiedall the different microfiches from 1996 onward and carefully recorded all the gatheredinformation.52The City has archives that are not open to the public. One of those archives is located atthe Planning Department and another one at the City Clerk’s office. While I was successful ingaining personal access to some materials housed in an archive at the Planning Department, Icould not access any materials in the archives of the City Clerk’s office.222As already mentioned, the archives of the City Clerk’s office were also inaccessible tomy research inquiries. I had to rely on information from one of the city’s clerks.223 I wanted toexamine old Council agendas looking for re-zoning and development applications. Since re-zoning applications must be approved by Council, they show what area was re-zoned to allow forhighrise redevelopment and subsequent transformation. Apparently all the data from the CityClerk’s office is to be computerized and transferred from old hand-written index cards into somesort of computerized order.I also “walked” the research area, following the urbanist Jane Jacob’s advice that to understand acity “you’ve got to get out and walk.”224 Physically walking an area under research is importantbecause it allows the researcher to develop a feel for the area, form a mental map225 and establishif and how the area is different from surrounding areas. I spent time in my research area, not onlywatching interactions of people, but also examining the urban built environment itself. For222 I attempted to gain access to planning documents compiled prior to 1996, which pertains to thoseplanning documents that had not been digitized yet and were therefore inaccessible through the City’s internalwebsite search engine, by making an appointment with a planner from the City’s Planning Department. While theplanner retrieved the requested documents for me from the internal Planning Department library, I was unable toaccess other City’s documents, as they are not catalogued in a manner accessible to the public. The only way toaccess a document is by knowing exactly what specific document to ask for. This presents a serious challenge whileresearching: there might be specific documents and reports that could offer better insights, but unless one knowsabout their existence, one cannot ask for them. For a more thorough discussion on challenges to conductingresearch, see Esterberg, Qualitative Research Methods.223 There is no actual physical space for researchers to conduct research and the old data is in some sort of‘in-between’ state, inaccessible.224 Jane Jacobs, “Downtown is for People,” The Exploding Metropolis (Garden City, New York:Doubleday, 1958)225 Hayden, The Power of Place.53example, I investigated how space became militarized226 with security features like gates,cameras and security patrols. As another example, I observed changes to the urban builtenvironment, such as highrise buildings and Kelowna’s first private elevated walkway betweenbuildings,227 located on Pandosy Street, which allows people to cross from the parkade onLawrence Avenue to an adjacent office building without entering the public realm of thestreet.228 As part of my geographical research, I studied old photographs and maps. The oldphotographs came mostly from books from the Okanagan Historical Society, and a few localhistorians. These photos show Kelowna’s downtown during past decades. The visual imageryhelped me establish a historical mental picture of city space allowing for better comparisons totoday, especially since previous building styles and street layout are different from today’s. Thesidewalk width, parking stalls and building facades have changed over the past decades. I alsofound old maps that illustrate how some city streets looked in the past. For example, I foundhistorical pictures of downtown and an old map showing Lawrence Avenue in 1905.229 With thehelp of that map, I was able to derive how many properties were located in one section ofLawrence Avenue in 1905, and to establish if the number of properties has remained the sameuntil today, or if there had been property (sub)divisions or amalgamations. I used thatinformation further to cross-reference my research in regards to property lines and size,especially as compared to more recent times.226 Mike Davis, “Fortress Los Angeles: The Militarization of Urban Space,” in Michael Sorkin, ed.,Variations on a Theme Park: The New American City and the End of Public Space (New York, Hill and Wang:1992), 156-180.227 Trevor Boddy, “Underground and Overhead: Building the Analogous City,” in Michael Sorkin, ed.,Variations on a Theme Park: The New American City and the End of Public Space (New York, Hill and Wang:1992), 123-155.228 Ibid., Mitchell, Cultural Geography.229 Ursula Surtees, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada: A Pictorial History (Kelowna, BC: KelownaCentennial Museum, 1987).54However, the main component of my research was interviews. With UBC OkanaganBehavioural Research Ethics Board approval,230 I conducted a total of 15 interviews. Iinterviewed developers (local and from abroad), planners from the City and real estate agents inthe city. I also interviewed individuals in executive and management positions at City Hall, theDowntown Kelowna Association, the Urban Development Institute, the Canada Lands CompanyLtd, the Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Commission.The interviews were semi-structured. They were to be taped with the permission of theinterviewee, transcribed verbatim and returned to the interviewee for revisions and approval.After contacting potential interviewees and securing an interview appointment, I sent them aninterview guide in preparation for the actual interview. That gave the interviewee an idea of whatI was going to ask, and allowed him/her to prepare for my questions.231 This strategy proved tobe quite successful, as it allowed the interviewee to think about the questions ahead of time, andat the same time did not prevent me from raising new questions arising from their answers. Someinterviewees gave me written material, made suggestions and/or offered to establish contactswith others for additional interviews. The interviews generally lasted approximately 30-60minutes, although I also had two interviews that lasted nearly 90 minutes. Some intervieweeswere particularly eager to share information; others enthusiastically showed maps and pictures. Ialso had two interviewees who were forthcoming with information during the interview, but latereschewed contact with me when they had to revise and approve the transcripts. Maybe theirreluctance has to do with the fact that Kelowna is quite small and has only recently begun togrow more dramatically. Kelowna’s development community is very tightly knit and there arenot that many local developers with highrise building interests and abilities. Actually, high-rise230 See UBCO Behavioral Research Ethics Board Certificate of Full Board Approval in the Appendix.231 Esterberg, Qualitative Methods in Social Research.55building expertise and technology have been imported, mainly from Vancouver, the next closestcity with a thriving high-rise building industry.I have been very careful to protect research participants’ anonymity. I have kept researchparticipants’ identities as confidential as possible,232 by numbering the interviews from one to15. In order to ensure research participants’ anonymity, and to maintain their confidentiality, Ideliberately omitted any specific information about the research participants, like their job title,occupation or gender, which is necessary when research is conducted in a small community.233The date, time and location of the interview are not cited in order to ensure that no reader of thisthesis will guess a research participants’ identity.In addition to the interviews, I collected names and capacity of people in the developmentcommunity from the public domain, as the information became available to me. I carefullyrecorded in what capacity I became aware of the person, for example through a newspaper articleor news report, as contributor to a report, or in conjunction with a particular development. It wasmy hope to identify those that have abilities and powers to influence the development andphysical shape of the urban built environment in Kelowna, and to prepare the city fortransformation. Cross-referencing the collected information, I not only uncovered individual’sinvolvements in general city reconfiguration, but also their specific involvement in re-development initiatives, taskforces, and as facilitators for neoliberalism’s implementation.I compiled this information, with other relevant sources, into flowcharts with the purposeto reveal people’s connections and subsequent possibilities to influence the shaping of the city’surban realm. For this task, I relied on John Logan and Harvey Molotch’s234 work on local growth232 Ian Gregory, Ethics in Research (New York, Continuum: 2003).233 Ibid.234 Logan and Molotch, Urban Fortunes.56machines, as well as William Domhoff’s235 and William K. Carroll’s236 exploration of elitesocial organizations and corporate elites. Carroll237 has been especially successful in showing theescalating involvement of corporate elites and their interests in the economic, political andincreasingly also the social realm, by mapping individuals/elites intricate web of involvements.With the help of his methodology, recording and cross-referencing, I was able to identifyKelowna’s local elites, and understand how they are connected to one another. Domhoff, inconjunction with Molotch and Harvey, taught me to understand that urban gatekeepers areinstrumental to the growth machine and its interests, especially when pushing for never-endingredevelopment and transformation of the urban built environment.In addition, I compiled all the information on highrise developments in Kelowna that Icould find. This included information about each of the highrises that have already been built orthat are still to be built in the downtown, focusing especially on those highrises that are locatedin my research areas of Leon and Lawrence Avenues, Ellis Street, and Sunset Boulevard. I wrotedown the (proposed) location and name of the building, the owner, developer and features of thebuilding, as well as the estimated cost and anticipated completion date of the building. I alsorecorded other materials pertaining to highrises, for example advertisements for condominiumliving and promotional materials explaining how “green and sustainable” highriseredevelopments are. Overall, the total number of new highrise developments showed themagnitude and scale of redevelopment that Kelowna’s is subjected to and gives witness to theextent of the transformation of the city’s urban built environment.235 Domhoff, Power at the Local Level.236 Carroll, Corporate Power in a Globalizing World; and William K. Carroll, Corporate Power andCanadian Capitalism (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1986).237 Carroll, Corporate Power in a Globalizing World.57Furthermore, I compiled the accumulated information about each of the properties underexamination on Leon and Lawrence Avenues into one spreadsheet. On this spreadsheet, Irecorded the legal address of the property, its role number, any information on the registeredowner, zoning, as well as the assessed value for 2006 and 2007. With the help of thisinformation, I worked out if a property’s value had increased or decreased from 2006 to 2007.Combined, these numbers suggest that there is a definite relationship between developmentcycles of urban areas, property prices and speculation.238Before I conclude, I briefly reflect on my research experiences on a personal level. Living inKelowna and being an activist, the current neoliberalization of Kelowna affects me personally, inmy community involvement and in my academic life. Living in Kelowna since 1992, I holdmany personal experiences of a city under neoliberal transition. I have seen the urbanreconfiguration of Kelowna’s urban built environment in the downtown core first-hand. I havebeen a witness to the increasing numbers of poor and homeless in the streets. I have read andcollected letters to the editor from people unable to pay for rent and food. I also studied the pastthree Kelowna Homelessness Surveys,239 which show that the numbers of homeless onKelowna’s streets have increased. I have observed the waves of gentrification that have seen oldspace torn down and/or converted, only to be sold for millions later to an investor. Having read238 Barke, Morphogenesis, Fringe-Belts and Urban Size; Fodor, Better Not Bigger; Harvey, A Brief Historyof Neoliberalism.239Kelowna Drop-In and Information Center in Collaboration with the Kelowna Homelessness NetworkingGroup, Report on the Spring 2004 Census of Homeless Individuals in Kelowna; Kelowna Drop-In and InformationCenter in Collaboration with the Kelowna Homelessness Networking Group, Report. Census of HomelessIndividuals in Kelowna Fall 2004, (accessed March 10,2006); Poverty and Homelessness Action Team Central Okanagan, Survey and Assessment of Homelessness inKelowna, Spring 2007, (September 4, 2007) 20Survey% 20Spring%202007.pdf (accessed August 10, 2008).58and studied neoliberalism with a sociological and geographical imagination, I am by now veryaware which transitions and changes arise from neoliberalization.3.2 CONCLUSIONMy research has been varied, since I needed a wide-ranging approach to uncover who has powerto shape and influence urban planning and development in Kelowna, and to document the extentof their involvement in city planning. Moreover, it was imperative to understand how neoliberalagents of change and institutions form temporary alliances in preparation for neoliberalization,and to document their efforts.Looking back, my methodology has evolved over time. With every obstacle encountered,I had to develop another strategy, but I also learned from this evolving process. Researching,while continuously modifying and fine-tuning my strategies, propelled by the “desire to advanceknowledge and understanding,”240 I learned to keep my eyes and imagination open. Gatheringinformation is often a multi-faceted process and it is only later, with patient and careful analysis,that the researcher can make sense of the collected materials. In that sense, with every bit ofinformation gathered, the neoliberalization of Kelowna became more clear, and the workings ofneoliberalism more transparent. Piecing the collected information together a narrative emergedthat I describe in the following chapters, chronicling the neoliberal transformation of Kelowna.240 Gregory, Ethics in Research.59CHAPTER FOUR: KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA4.0 INTRODUCTIONThe Okanagan Valley, where Kelowna is situated, is located in the Southern Interior of theProvince of British Columbia (BC). Kelowna is the largest settlement in the Regional District ofthe Central Okanagan (RDCO),241 and the city itself is positioned on the shores of OkanaganLake,242 as seen in Illustration 4.0.1.Illustration 4.0.1: Kelowna, located in British Columbia, Canada. Source: Map drawn by Tina Marten (2009).Kelowna is easily accessible by car as it lies approximately 400 km’s east of Vancouver,600 km’s west of Calgary, and 150 km’s north of the American border. In addition, the city islinked to the world beyond BC through its international airport, which was expanded to the tune241 The Regional District of the Central Okanagan encompasses a land area of 2,904 km². BC Statistics,“Regional District 35 – Central Okanagan: Statistical Profile 2007,” (accessed July 10, 2008).242 Okanagan Lake is 135 km’s long and up to 5 km’s wide at its widest point. International LakeEnvironment Committee, “Data Summary Okanagan Lake,” database/nam/dnam-51.html(accessed June 22, 2008).60of $1.35 million dollars.243 It is hoped that the “investment of $1.35 million for the airportexpansion will stimulate the local economy by bringing additional international flights to theOkanagan, boosting tourism and other business opportunities,” Ron Cannan, Kelowna’s Memberof Parliament, publicly stated in 2007.244The climate of the Okanagan Valley is arid, with hot summers and temperate winters, 245since Kelowna annually receives over 2000 hours of sunshine and comparatively very littlerain.246 Kelowna is surrounded by rolling hills and mountains, with at least four alpine and cross-country ski resorts,247 and a fifth ski hill (Kelowna Mountain) currently being constructed withincity limits.248 Federal and regional government policies allow for wind powered, as well asmotorized watercrafts on Okanagan Lake, which many people use to engage in water sportsactivities of all sorts. There is an annual Dragon Boat Festival, currently one of the largestsporting events, attracting over 4500 competitors in approximately 160 dragon boating teams.249In addition, there are more or less 16 golf courses250 and there are at least 50 wineries within anhour’s drive. In short, Kelowna is heralded as a four-season playground and the “Hawaii of theNorth.”251243 Western Economic Diversification Canada, “Canada's New Government commits $1.35 million forKelowna International Airport expansion,” October 13, 2007, July 10, 2008).244 Ibid.245 City of Kelowna, “About Kelowna,“ (accessed July 8, 2008).246 Tourism Kelowna, “Climate,“ July 8, 2008).247 In close proximity to Kelowna there are the following four ski hills: Big White by Kelowna, Silver Starby Vernon, Crystal Mountain by Westbank and Apex by Penticton.248 Kelly Hayes, “Kelowna Mountain,“, January 17, 2007, news_list.cgi? method =show_story&id=25902&query=search (accessed Jan 18, 2007).249Dragon Boat Festival, “The Festival,“ (accessedJuly 10, 2008).250, “Home,” search courses.cfm (accessed June 22, 2008).251 Momer, The Small Town that Grew and Grew, 66.61Today’s Kelowna is a unique place in more than one way: First, it is a ‘white fortress’252city; second, it is a retirement ‘Mecca’ for seniors and third, it is heralded as the “most costcompetitive place for business,”253 suggesting the workforce is docile,254 while talented.255 In thischapter I discuss the unprecedented economic and housing boom that has transformed the city inthe past years, fuelling social polarization and aggravating existing social inequalities. I arguethat neoliberalism is a propelling force in this transformation. Kelowna’s uniqueness arosethroughout the past 25 years as the city was transforming from a predominantly rural agriculturalarea with a resource-based economy to a post-Fordist, urbanized neoliberal CMA, whereagricultural lands have given way to a paved neoliberalized urban built environment. Thisuniqueness is socially constructed and far from coincidental, a product of collaboration betweendominant (white) elites. Then, I focus on the post-Fordist turn. I emphasize the demise ofindustrial production, the restructuring of agriculture and the decrease of agricultural landsaround the city. Next, I concentrate on the rapid urbanization of the current period of Post-Fordist neoliberalism.4 .1 KELOWNA’S LATE FORDIST AND POST-FORDIST YEARSKelowna, due to its geographical location, may be identified as a hinterland community. Travelbeyond the Okanagan Valley was, and to a certain extent still is, cumbersome, especially inwinter, as the valley is surrounded by mountains that make road conditions challenging. With the252 Luis LM Aguiar, Patricia Tomic and Ricardo Trumper, “The Letter: Racism, Hate and Monoculturalismin a Canadian Hinterland,” Carl E. James (ed), Possibilities and Limitations:. Multicultural Policies and Programsin Canada (Halifax: Fernwood Publishing, 2005), 163-174.253 Economic Development Commission, “Doing Business in Kelowna: Manufacturing,“ (accessed July 28, 2008).254 Aguiar, Tomic and Trumper, Work Hard, Play Hard.255 Vilano Matt, “The Best Place to Build a Data Centre in North America,“ CIO, February 13, 2008, (accessed September 10, 2008).62building of the airport in 1958,256 and its further expansion in the last few years to accommodateinternational flights, the area has become more accessible. Kelowna has the appeal of its milderclimate (if compared with other parts of Canada), its rural and ‘natural’ character and its sense ofbeing a safe and fun place to live. The city is located on the shores of a large lake, in theOkanagan Valley, with important settlements on either side of the lake. To connect both sides ofthe city a ferry service across the lake existed until 1959. This made the movement of cars andpeople possible. In 1958, after two years of construction,257 the Princess Margaret FloatingBridge258 was completed, linking the west side of the lake to the city proper,259 makingmovements of people and goods faster, more dependable, and in general, easier.In the 1960s, people worked in light manufacturing and the service and forestryindustry.260 One of the largest employers at that time was the BC Fruit Processing Ltd., whichhad been in operation since 1946.261 In 1961 the population was 13,188262 and the OkanaganValley was “an amalgamation of fairly small and isolated groups of communities, an area wherethe main economic production was tied to ‘nature,’ agriculture, fruit production and forestry.”263During the late 1960s and early 1970s, however, agricultural production began to decline and256 City of Kelowna, “Airport History,” (accessed September 11,2008).257 Surtees, Kelowna, British Columbia, BC.258 Government of BC, Ministry of Transportation, “Bridge Opening Remembered 50 Years Later,“ (accessed August 30, 2008).259 Momer, The Small Town that Grew and Grew and...260 Mark Zuehlke, The B.C. Fact Book: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About British Columbia(Vancouver: Whitecap Books, 1995).261 Sun-Rype, “Our History,” (accessed September 11, 2008).262 BC Statistics, “British Columbia Municipal Census Populations, 1921-2006,” (accessed September 5, 2008).263 Aguiar, Tomic and Trumper, Work Hard, Play Hard, 128.63recreation, tourism and light manufacturing started to increase in importance.264 The firstshopping centre, attached to the Capri Hotel, opened in 1959. It was known as the Capri Hoteland Shopping Centre.265 Western Star, a truck manufacturer, opened its factory in 1967, wheretrucks were built for three and a half decades from locally manufactured parts andcomponents.266 In 1970 Brenda Mines (copper, molybdenum, silver and gold), located inPeachland (some 30 km’s from Kelowna), opened and over the course of 20 years employed aworkforce between 330267 and 400.268In 1971, Kelowna’s population had increased to 19,422. The city’s boundaries changed inthe following years, when the communities of the Okanagan Mission, Rutland, North Glenmoreand other areas that had previously belonged to the Okanagan Regional District wereamalgamated. As a result, by 1973, Kelowna was home to 50,000 people.269 Recreationalfacilities, such as the Parkinson Recreation Centre were built to recreate the increasingpopulation.270 In the 1970s, the city also began to attract retirees in more important numbers.271Later, aging boomers moved to Kelowna ready to enjoy the remainder of their lives in what wassold as this ‘bucolic’ and beautiful scenery of pristine nature.272 Then the Valley remained rural;land was affordable and the cost of living relatively “cheap.”264 Skip Krueger and N. Garth Maguire “Changing Urban and Fruit-Growing Patterns in OK,” OkanaganHistorical Society 49 (1985), 19-25.265 Surtees, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.266 Ibid.267 Brenda Mines Closed, “History of Brenda Mines,” (accessedSeptember 12, 2008).268 N.A., “Brenda Workers Adjust,” The Daily Courier, November 1, 1989.269 City of Kelowna Official Community Plan, “Population and Housing Projections Discussion Paper,”http:// 20Dec.%2003%200pdf,p.1 (accessed July 25, 2008); Momer, The Small Town that Grew and Grew.270 Surtees, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.271 Zuehlke, The B.C. Fact Book.272 Aguiar, Tomic and Trumper, Work Hard, Play Hard.64With the advent of globalization and Free Trade, agricultural production began to decline.Meanwhile there was a push from the development industry to create value from agriculturallands and during this shift; two major fractions emerged in the valley: those who wanted topreserve rural economic interests, and those who pushed for urbanization and construction ofurban amenities.273 Friction arose, especially around economic interests of potential developersand perceptions of what land should be used for. From the developers’ perspective, land was‘sitting idle’ and under-utilized. Farmers and government, though, felt the need to protectfarmlands. Seemingly, before the 1970s, legislation to protect land use in the Okanagan wasinexistent: “until the early 1970s [there was] little or no land use control in the valley.”274 In1973, the New Democratic Party implemented the ALR as a measure of control to “preserve thefarmer”275 and to protect farmlands from developers’ grasps. Ironically, and something thatmight warrant a re-examination, is the fact that in the mid-70s more land was successfully takenout of the ALR in the Okanagan Valley region than anywhere else in BC.276 By the mid-1970s,the entire valley was urbanizing rapidly:277 lands freed from the confines of the ALR weretrapped anew in suburban developments and Kelowna began sprawling out hastily with manynew strip malls along Highway 97. Orchard Park Shopping Centre was completed in 1971, beingthe largest shopping centre of the Interior of BC.278 The first highrise, the Kiwanis Tower, wasbuilt in 1973 in close proximity to Kelowna’s downtown, to provide seniors with rental housing.273 Don Elzer, “How Green was my Valley? History Reveals the Two Faces of Community Planning in theOkanagan,” Okanagan Home, April/May 2008. June 27, 2008).274 Krueger and Maguire, Changing Urban and Fruit-Growing Patterns in OK, 22.275 Elzer, How Green was my Valley? 43.276 Krueger and Maguire, Changing Urban and Fruit-Growing Patterns in OK. In fact, the push to end theALR land freeze remains in the consciousness of the development industry, and frictions persist.277 Ed Whitcomb, A Short History of BC (From Sea to Sea Enterprises: Ottawa, 2006).65Thereafter it took another 6 years until the second highrise, the Executive House, was completedin 1976, with stratified rental apartments, allowing for either owner occupation or rentals.279There were also three to four-storey rental apartment buildings in the downtown, yet, singlefamily dwellings were still the main type of housing.In the late 1970s, Fordism was losing momentum, while the resource-based economy(forestry and agriculture) decreased in importance. More and more people began working insecondary services, such as construction and manufacturing, and tertiary services. Orchard ParkMall and Capri Centre Mall proved successful, attracting many from the interior for shopping.The removed focus from forestry and agricultural production constituted a turning point in theValley that paved the way for further urbanization. The population of Kelowna changed from51,955 in 1976 to 61,213 in 1986.280While vacationers continued to find the natural setting appealing, tourism was not a bigindustry yet. In the 1980s, Kelowna became better known as a tourism destination as it waspurposefully marketed as a ‘resort city,’281 attracting more vacationers, which, at that time, camemainly from other Canadian provinces.282 The economic integration of Canada with the US, latermanifest in the 1988 Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States, and the thereafterNorth American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, the US and Mexico, changedthe economic landscape of Canada. The elimination of trade barriers and tariffs made the exportof BC’s agricultural products difficult, in turn ‘opening’ Canada to agricultural imports fromelsewhere. US fruits and vegetables began to flood the grocery produce sections, “forcing278 Primaris Real Estate Investment Trust, (accessedSeptember 12, 2008).279 Personal communication with Kelowna Realtor Wayne Ross, Kelowna, BC, September 2008.280 BC Statistics, “British Columbia Regional District and Municipal Census Populations, 1941-1986,” (accessed August 12, 2008).281 Aguiar, Tomic and Trumper, Work Hard, Play Hard.282 Zuehlke, The B.C. Fact Book.66farmers off the land”283 and over time increasing farm bankruptcies.284 As a result, fruits andother agricultural products were not the mainstay of the Okanagan economy anymore, which hadsubsequent ramifications for Kelowna’s image. Moreover, the Okanagan Valley became moreaccessible with the construction of the Coquihalla Highway, which was built through theCascade Mountains, 285 offering a third route into the Okanagan Valley.286 Completed by 1986, itmade travel to and from the BC coast shorter with a driving time of approximately 4 and ½ hoursin the summer. However, being a high mountain road driving continued to be treacherous anddifficult, especially in the winter months. Additionally, during the emerging worldwideretirement of the Baby Boomer generation, Kelowna became a popular retirement destination forthose seniors that received pension payments through the welfare state.287 Continued (disposable)income into old age allowed many retirees to take up residence, 288 many of whom are of Anglo-Saxon and Germanic background. By the early 1990s the electoral district of Okanagan West,which encompasses Kelowna, had a larger senior’s population than the rest of BC. ThenKelowna’s population included approximately 21% of people over 65, compared to the rest ofBC’s population, which included approximately 12.5% of people over 65.289 Furthermore, thesame census results revealed that the immigrant population of this electoral district camepredominantly from the UK and other North West European countries, and congregated in much283 Jim Hodgson, “Fruit Imports Hit as Protest Draws 700 Here,“ The Daily Courier, September 6, 1983.284 Jim Hodgson, “What Farmers Got on Sales,“ The Daily Courier, September 6, 1983.285 Whitcomb, A Short History of BC.286 “Coquihalla Officially Open,“ The Daily Courier, May 16, 1985, in the The Century in Review compiledby Kyle Anderson and Jo Ann Reynolds for the Okanagan Valley Newspaper Group, (Horizon Operations (Canada)Ltd., 1999), 278.287 Whitcomb, A Short History of BC.288 Aguiar, Tomic and Trumper, Work Hard, Play Hard.289 BC Statistics, “1991 Census Profile, Okanagan West, Provincial Electoral District,” (accessed September 11, 2008).67larger numbers in Kelowna than elsewhere in BC.290 Thus, the 1991 Census states that 23% ofimmigrants came from the UK and 25.2% from North West Europe.291The handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997 had important, although indirectimplications for the make up of Kelowna and its surroundings. Changes to Canada’s immigrationlaws in the late 1970s and mid 1980s, allowed those with capital from Hong Kong to land inCanada as business immigrants.292 For the period from 1980-2003 “Hong Kong has been the topsource of the overall business immigrants coming to the province [of BC]. [Actually,] HongKong accounted for 37 percent of all the entrepreneur immigrants, 34 percent of all the investorimmigrants, and 15 percent of all self-employed immigrants to BC.”293 In fact, from 1988 to1991, 71.5% of all BC immigrants were born in Asia.294 This trend continued, and from 1991 to1996, immigration from Hong Kong topped the immigration charts with 21%, but by 1996, thatnumber had dropped to 9.9%.295 Regardless, these new arrivals located primarily in the urbancenters of Vancouver and Toronto. Because of this new immigration, the Chinese communityestablished a stronger presence in Vancouver than in the past. Seemingly, many ‘white’Vancouverites felt threatened by this ‘Asian Invasion,’ and left Vancouver for ‘safer’ places,such as Kelowna, and elsewhere in the Okanagan. 296 The Interior, at the time with its cheaperland and real estate prices, was more affordable for homeowners from Vancouver, the city with290 Ibid.291 Ibid.292 There were three classes of business migrants: entrepreneurs, self-employed and investors; Whitcomb, AShort History of BC.293 BC Statistics, Population Section, Management Services, “Special Feature: Business Immigrants toBritish Columbia” (July 2004) (accessed August 31, 2008).294 BC Statistics, “Census 91 Fast Facts. Issue 14: Immigrant Population,” (accessed August 31, 2008).295 BC Statistics, “1996 Census Profile of BC, Total Immigrants and Recent Immigrants by SelectedCountries of Birth,” (accessed August 31, 2008).296 Aguiar, Tomic and Trumper, Work Hard, Play Hard.68the most expensive real estate in Canada.297 Those white migrants were able to purchase land andluxury real estate, and, in turn, contributed to rising real estate prices298 in Kelowna.299 Throughthe resulting building boom from 1996 to 2001 the number of private dwellings increased from36,751300 to 41,604301, and the average sales price of a house rose from $132,276 in 1991, to$167,982 in 1996 and, even higher, to $190,552 in 2001.302 Indeed, Kelowna has experienced adramatic transformation.4.2 KELOWNA’S NEOLIBERAL PERIODAccording to Harris, the technological revolution of the 1980s made capital more mobile,303providing an infrastructure for money speculation through computer technology. Labour also hasbecome more mobile in this period.304 In Kelowna, throughout the late 1990s, a new economybased on tourism, high tech, real estate development and land speculation developed. In fact, tosome extent Kelowna too has shifted focus to industries that revolve around technology andspeculative finance sectors, particularly in real estate. For example, the total value of sales in the297 For example, the 2001 median house price in Vancouver was $200,559. BC Statistics, “The 1991Census of Canada, Housing Characteristics,” (accessedSeptember 12, 2008).298BC Statistics, “Feature Article: Migration and Housing Demand,” (accessed September 12, 2008).299According to BC Statistics, the Central Okanagan has been a major net recipient of intraprovincialmigration for the years 1993-1994. (accessed September 12,2008).300 BC Statistics, “British Columbia Municipal and Regional District 1996 Census Results,” (accessed September 12, 2008).301BC Statistics, “British Columbia Municipal and Regional District 2001 Census Results,” (accessed September 12, 2008).302 All numbers from the Central Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board “Central Historical Stats 1987-2005,” (accessedSeptember 12, 2008).303 Harris, Globalisation and the Technological Transformation of Capitalism.304 Idem.69Central Okanagan rose from $249,400 million in 1987 to more than a billion in 2005.305Similarly, housing prices in Kelowna have increased as the rise in median new house valuesshows: in 1990, a new house value was $124,428,306 but by 2005, the value has risen to$369,900. Astonishingly, the prices have continued to rise and the median resale price of adetached house was $485,000 in 2007.307No doubt, in the last few years Kelowna has experienced a housing boom. Kelowna is notunique in this experience. Other cities in Western Canada, whose economies are connected toresource extraction, have also seen an increase in construction and housing prices. Kelowna’shousing boom, however, was also ignited by the Okanagan Fire of 2003, when more than 350houses in well-to-do neighbourhoods were destroyed and then rebuilt with insurance money.Historically, Kelowna has been a white place as I showed before. Immigrants coming toKelowna have predominantly come from the United Kingdom (UK) and Europe. For example,the number of immigrants who came from the UK in 1986 and 1991 was 23%. In 1996, thenumber dropped to 21%, 308 but by 2006, the number rose to 31.5%.309 The number ofimmigrants coming from Europe was 55% in 1986, and then dropped to 53% in 1991. By 1996,305 Central Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board “Central Historical Stats 1987-2005,” (accessed September 12,2008).306 Economic Development Commission, “Living in Kelowna,” (accessed September 12, 2008).307 Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, “Kelowna Housing Market Outlook, Spring 2007,” (accessed September 12, 2008).308 Ministry of Community, Aboriginal & Women's Services, “Profile of Immigrants in BC Communities1996,“ Immigration% 20Profiles/Kelowna.pdf (accessedMay 8, 2008).309 BC Statistics, “Profile of Diversity in BC Communities 2006, Kelowna,” (accessed August 31, 2008).7050% came from Europe. 310 By 2006, the number dropped again, to 39.9%.311 However, fewvisible minorities have settled in Kelowna. In 1996, Kelowna’s population of 89,442312 includedonly 4.5% of visible minorities, while BC’s overall population included 17.9% visibleminorities.313 And even though BC’s population generally became more diverse in recent times,and 14.8% of Kelowna’s 2006 population were immigrants,314 the city’s inhabitants stillremained remarkably white. Interestingly, from 2001-2006, the percentage of visible minoritiesliving in Kelowna dropped from 6.2% to 6.1%.315 It is safe to say that Kelowna has remained abastion of whiteness - echoing a long-standing monocultural history.316 This homogeneity of thepopulation elicits feelings of safety and security in a racialized world and presents an escapefrom a worldwide increasing ethnically diverse population.From 1991 to 1996, the population of monocultural Kelowna grew by 22%, from 111,846to 136,541.317 Many more dwellers worked in the post-Fordist economy. For example, while in1996 only 4.9% of the labour force was employed in resource-based industries and 20% in310 Ministry of Community, Aboriginal & Women's Services, “Profile of Immigrants in BC Communities1996,“ (accessedMay 8, 2008).311 BC Statistics, Profile of Diversity in BC Communities 2006, Kelowna.312 BC Statistics,” 1996 Census Profile of British Columbia's Census Subdivisions, Kelowna C,” (accessed September 12, 2008).313 Statistics Canada, “2001 Kelowna Community Profile: Visible Minorities Status,” July 29, 2008).314 BC Statistics, “Profile of Immigrants in BC Communities 2006, Central Okanagan,” (accessed August 31, 2008).315 BC Stats. “Profile of Diversity in BC Communities 2006, Central Okanagan,” (accessed August 31, 2008).316 Aguiar, Tomic and Trumper, The Letter.317 BC Statistics, “1996 Community Profiles, Kelowna,” Details/details1.cfm? SEARCH=BEGINS&ID=989&PSGC=59&SGC=91500&DataType=1& LANG= E& Province= All&PlaceName=kelowna&CMA=915&CSDNAME=Kelowna&A=&TypeNameE= Census %20 Agglomeration(accessed August 12, 2008).71manufacturing and construction industries, 74.9% were concentrated in the growing serviceindustries.318 This trend continued over the next five years. In fact, by 2001, the labour force,which was nearly 50,000 strong, included an agricultural and resource based sector, which hadshrunk to 4.27%. The manufacturing and construction industries had decreased to 17.31%, whilethe service industries’ share had grown to 78.42%.319 At that time, the finance and real estatesector employed 6.48% of the workforce with 1800 people employed.320 By 2006, the totalworkforce had increased to 56,800, with a share of the finance and real estate sector of 6.65%.321Kelowna’s Western Star truck manufacturing plant, one of the main representatives of theFordist industry in Kelowna, closed its doors in 2002, letting 600 workers go.322 The city’ssawmill TOLKO,323 which had employed close to 330 people in 1996324 under the leadership ofOkanagan local Al Thorlakson, was partially shut down by the end of 2006, sending at least 130workers to the unemployment line.325 These two industries are among the most representative ofthe Fordist period in Kelowna. The closing of their operations signal the demise of this period inthe city, the loss of secure union jobs and the consolidation of a neoliberal era characterized by318 Numbers compiled by Tina Marten from BC Statistics 1996 Census Community Profile (see footnote41).319 BC Statistics, “2001 Community Profile, Kelowna: Work,“ english/Profil01/CP01/ Details/Page.cfm? Lang=E&Geo1=CSD&Code1=5935010&Geo2=PR&Code2=59& Data=Count&Search Text=kelowna&SearchType=Begins&SearchPR=01&B1=Work&Custom=, (accessed August 12,2008).320 Ibid.321 BC Statistics, “Community Facts,” (2001), 1.322 Chris Nuttall-Smith, “Kelowna Truck Firm Faces Closure: The Western Star Trucks Plant in Kelownathat is Owned by Freightliner and Parent Company DaimlerChrysler, has Traditionally been the Largest SingleEmployer in the Okanagan Valley,” The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, B.C., October 12, 2001(Final C Edition).323 Crown Forest, a unit of Fletcher Challenge Canada, was acquired in 1992 by Timber West ForestLumber Operations, another subsidiary of Fletcher Challenge, and thereafter acquired by Riverside Forest Productsin 1997. In 2000 TOLKO bought the sawmill and ran it until lying off most of its workforce due to technologicaland economic restructuring. The Alacra Store, “Riverside Mergers,” Riverside_Forest_Products_Ltd.-1067574 (accessed September 12, 2008).324 BC Statistics, “1996 Census Profile of British Columbia,” (accessed July 12, 2008).325Don Plant, “Tolko Shuts Down Plant, 130 Given Notice,“ The Daily Courier, October 14, 2006.72precarious employment, such as contractual and temporary work. Faced with this radical crisis,and in agreement with the tenets of neoliberalism, the city was forced to make special efforts toattract capital. Tourism and technology were two of the anchors of the new economy. The callcentres Marusa Marketing and Sitel opened their doors in 2005,326 offering entry-level non-unionized jobs, most often part-time shift work. Marusa Marketing employed 440 individuals in2006 and Sitel 160, and was touted as a great employment opportunity for locals, who have “fewoptions and [are] thus’ eager to fulfil full and part-time positions.”327 However, call centers had ashort life in the city. One reason for their short life may be the increase of housing prices in thelast years in the city, low levels of unemployment and the pressure over salaries to increase.Marusa Marketing reduced their workforce to 220 in 2007,328 before abruptly closing their doorsin April of 2007, relocating elsewhere.329 Sitel followed suit and closed down in August 2008.330The wonderful opportunities that these employers offered Kelowna’s workforce came to a swiftend after only two years.Kelowna has changed under neoliberal impetus, trying to attract more mobile capitalthrough offering an educated workforce to work in the technology and tourism sector. Real estatedevelopment became a major industry while simultaneously fuelling a speculative moneyeconomy. Wealthy and white retirees “discovered” Kelowna and over time, Kelowna becamehome to proportionally more individuals over 65 than elsewhere in BC. Moreover, Kelowna hasremained white, attracting more whites whereas ethnic diversity increases elsewhere. Theeconomy transformed from secure union jobs to precarious part-time jobs for skilled workers326 Ray Turner, “Rezoning for Call Centre,”, February 28, 2008.327 Aguiar, Tomic and Trumper, Work Hard, Play Hard.328 Economic Development Commission, “Labour Force, Major Employers List 2006 for the CentralOkanagan,” (accessed September 2, 2008).329 Kelly Hayes, “Marusa Mum on Closure,”, February 21, 2008.330 John Moorhouse, “Call Centre Closes in October,” The Penticton Herald, May 30, 2008.73without unionization. All these changes and transformations have also altered Kelowna’s realestate and housing market, as I show next.4.3 THE NEOLIBERALIZATION OF HOUSINGHousing has not been immune to the workings of neoliberalism. Neoliberalism has restructured,reworked and changed its local state. The federal government has restructured its financialobligations and downloaded many responsibilities to the provinces and municipalities. Under thisnew relationship, cities are left with new funding responsibilities at the same time that fundingsources are eliminated. Thus, cities are forced to become “creative” and entrepreneurial to makeup for financial shortfalls. As Harvey argues, “The role of the local state has shifted frommanagement of the city’s economy and infrastructure to aggressive entrepreneurialism, wherebytoday local governments actively recruit and solicit capital settlement to the areas under theirjurisdiction.”331 As a result, cities are in on-going competition with other cities for support fromother levels of government. Thus, while the city is competing with other cities, the competitivecity at work332 means “the development of local policy prioritising the ‘making [of] cities [as]competitive location for investment, export, tourists and elite residents.’”333 In short, the city isforced to take opportunities that promise funds, even if these funds bring only short-term gain, oryet worse, over the long-term turn into obligations when maintenance costs and repairs must becovered by the public purse. For example, in the mid 1980s, in Canada, provincial governmentsreduced their spending on housing. Between 1985 and 1997, housing expenditure was reduced to331 David Harvey, “From Managerialism to Entrepreneurialism: the Transformation in Urban Governance inLate Capitalism,” in Spaces of Capital: Towards a Critical Geography, (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press,2001), 3453-68, as quoted in Aguiar, Tomic and Trumper, Work Hard, Play Hard, 125.332 Roger Keil and Stefan Kipfer, "Toronto Inc? Planning the Competitive City in the New Toronto,"Antipode 34(2) (2002), 227-264.333 As quoted in Aguiar, Tomic and Trumper, Work Hard, Play Hard, 125.74about $100 million (more than 90 percent).334 Then, the federal government froze its socialhousing budget, eliminating new social housing after 1994.335 As McGill University Planningprofessor Jeanne M. Wolfe stated,Responsibility for social housing has been devoluted from the federal government to theprovincial and territorial governments, who in turn shift administration andmanagement to regional and municipal agencies. And while the proportion of needyfamilies is increasing, the deficit-minded Federal government maintains its financialcommitment to existing programs with no new funds presently available. Marketsolutions are promoted by both public and private sectors […].336This leaves municipal governments to address this funding shortfall on their own. As a result,very little new social housing is being built and municipal governments are looking to thebenevolence of the private sector.There are important changes in the way land and real estate are conceived in this new eraof the city and its surroundings. By the 1990s, new developments were characterized bytimeshares and (gated) resort developments, especially golf and ski resorts. The purchase oftimeshares promised access to prime vacation real estate, and people invested heavily to ‘own’real estate on a short-term basis. In Kelowna, the downtown Grand Okanagan Lakefront Resortand Conference Centre was the first large timeshare real estate, enticing people to come forweeklong vacation stays after its completion in the late 1990s.Resort vacations, and activity and experience-based tourism gained popularity withcarefully concerted campaigns. Wine tourism, cultural tourism, and sports tourism becameimportant segments of the tourism industry of the 1990s. The overall goal was to entice wealthiertourists to come to Kelowna for longer stays (where they could and would spend more money)334 Bruce Porter, “The Right to Adequate Housing in Canada,” in Finding Room: Options for a CanadianRental Housing Strategy by David Hulchanski and Michael Shapcott, ed., (Toronto: CUCS Press, 2004), 69-80.335 Ibid.336 Michael Shapcott, “Where are We Going? Recent Federal and Provincial Housing Policy,” in FindingRoom: Options for a Canadian Rental Housing Strategy, by David Hulchanski and Michael Shapcott, ed., (Toronto:CUCS Press, 2004), 195-212; 202.75and to create loyalty to Kelowna, and the Okanagan Valley, so tourists would return year afteryear.337 The Okanagan Cultural Corridor Project is one such tourism initiative, where culturaltourism entails visits to “museums, art galleries, artist studios, historic sites and heritageattractions, arts events and cultural festivals, First Nations cultural attractions, wineries, openfarms and orchards and, food processors and chefs,”338 in venues located up and down theOkanagan Valley. In addition, ‘white’ tourism grew into a much bigger industry. The TourismBureau of Kelowna devised many advertisements and pamphlets geared at white middle andupper class tourists, with pictures of white families playing at the beach, engaging in exclusivesports, such as power boat sports and alpine sports, or other consumption driven activities.Under neoliberalism tourism development, promises to bring profits and prosperity, andthe subsequent commodification of culture and traditions are necessary to lure tourists and theirdollars to the consumption thereof. In that sense, tourism and its re/developments are alsovehicles to push for transformation and change, such as gentrification of specific areas, creationof themed areas, and/or commodification of people and places. In Kelowna’s downtown, theCultural District was developed in the 1990’s, restoring landmarks of imperial history such as theLaurel Packinghouse on the corner of Cawston Avenue and Ellis Street in the downtown core.The six-block area, bound by Queensway in the South, Water Street in the West, ClementAvenue to the North and Ellis Street to the East is “thriving with attractions such as shopping,galleries, historic sites and views, restaurants, the Artwalk, and spectacular Waterfront Park,discover the district.”339 The gentrification and development of that area was supported and337 The Okanagan Partnership Strategy, “Okanagan Competitiveness Strategy, Appendices A&B,” (June2004), (accessed September 12,2008).338 Tourism BC, “Visitors to the Okanagan Valley 2002. Executive Summary,” 1, (accessed September 3, 2008).339 Kelowna’s Cultural District, “Self Guided Waling Tour Brochure,” (accessed September 2, 2008).76guided by a statutory committee of the City of Kelowna, the Mayor’s Downtown Taskforce.Furthermore, that area has received support from the following policies and plans: “the OfficialCommunity Plan, the Kelowna Centre Plan, the Streetscape Plan, the Social Plan, the EconomicImpact Study, the Downtown plan and the Cultural District Plan.”340 I will discuss some of theseplans in more detail in the next chapter, but I will suggest here that these plans are instrumentalto the implementation of neoliberalism in Kelowna and that many of the plan contributors haveworked very hard to implement. The revitalization and gentrification of the Cultural District havebeen a step in the preparation of a market redevelopment elsewhere in the city.The creation of the Cultural District was instrumental in the preparation of highriseredevelopment of other downtown areas. With arts-focused and city supported gentrification, thesix block area of the cultural district became an area where people could “safely” engage inconsumption of art and culture. In that sense, this spatial revitalization was an attempt toestablish the area as safe in order to draw people and their dollars to the area. The highrisedevelopments on Ellis Street capitalized on the Cultural District revitalization initiative, and theirclose proximity to the district has made the sale of real estate units easier. In that sense,developers have benefited financially from the revitalization initiative and public investment inthat area.Other areas of Kelowna’s downtown also saw waves of gentrification and subsequentintensification as more people came to Kelowna.341 Streets with quaint little houses weretransformed when certain properties could be redeveloped with the addition of another residence.340 Kelowna’s Cultural District, “About Us,” (accessed September2, 2008).341 Elzer, How Green was my Valley?77City zoning of RU6342 properties allow for a secondary dwelling of up to 970 square feet. TheCity of Kelowna had hoped to stimulate infill and densification in the downtown with these so-called Carriage Houses, but the outcome was different from anticipated. Where the city hadhoped to create infill with small and affordable housing, the Carriage Homes rented forexorbitant rents and their buying and selling fuelled real estate and housing speculation.RU6 properties became properties with extra potential, very enticing to entrepreneur’s inreal estate. Their redevelopment process entailed that people bought RU6 properties and appliedto the City of Kelowna Planning Department to subdivide the properties in order to redevelopthem with a secondary residence. Upon approval, many developers built the cheapest homespossible, trying to create maximum living space, often at the cost of aesthetics and quality.Throughout this process, many mature trees were removed and neighbours lost all privacy,especially when new two-storey Carriage Homes were squeezed between single storey, and oneand a half storey homes. These new houses quickly became eyesores and altered theneighbourhood character. Furthermore, investors discovered that they could renovate the mainhome, build a Carriage House, and then flip both homes.A third trend was the sub-division of larger RU6 properties, and the subsequent buildingof two new large homes to be sold separately upon completion. The resulting building flurryfuelled the real estate market and swept in waves across side streets in the downtown. As aresult, the character of many streets was altered and people’s mobility increased. Some movedinto the area as renters, others sold their properties to make money or to get away from thebuilding activity, yet others moved repeatedly in the attempt to find the most affordable rentalhousing.342 The designation RU6 refers to City of Kelowna zoning designation, allowing two dwelling units for aproperty. For a more detailed description see the City of Kelowna “Zoning Bylaw 8000, Urban Residential Zones,Section 13-Urban Housing Zones,” 14.78Today, Kelowna’s housing market is comprised of 44,985 occupied private dwellings,which have an average of 6.8 rooms and 2.8 bedrooms. However, compared to the rest of BC,where the average number of rooms per dwelling is 6.4 with 2.7 bedrooms,343 it becomes clearthat houses in Kelowna have more rooms, including bedrooms. Also, these 44,895 dwelling unitsare occupied by 140,490 people, placing on average 2.3 people per dwelling, whereas thedwelling occupation average in the rest of BC is 2.5 people per dwelling.344 While dwellings inKelowna are larger, they are less occupied. Generally, most of these private dwellings are owneroccupied: 72% are owned and 28% are rented. Again, the proportion of homeowners in Kelownais stronger when compared to BC numbers, where 70% are owned and 30% are rented.345 Thesenumbers suggest there is a strong home-owning culture in Kelowna. However, these numbersalso suggests that there are fewer options for renters, for example less available market rentalunits and even fewer units of public housing. In Kelowna, most of the housing is markethousing,346 with an aging stock of rental housing. In fact, rental housing is not being built asdevelopers cite problems to recover their costs; market housing simply grants developers largerprofit margins.347 In addition, some Kelowna developers eschew the inclusion of affordabledwelling units in their development projects, as the Daily Commercial News reported on June 27,2008, “for fear that [it] will stigmatize the building and reduce its market appeal.”348 Instead,343 BC Statistics, “2006 Census Profile: Kelowna C,” 3.344 Ibid.345 Ibid.346 Privately owned housing, built to be sold for profit. The homeowner is responsible for the house, itsmaintenance, etc.347 Shapcott, Where are We Going?348 N.A., “Kelowna Taps Developers to Help Build Fund for Affordable Housing,“ Daily CommercialNews, June 27, 2008, article/id28595 (accessed July 28, 2008).79developers make a monetary contribution to the City’s Housing Opportunities Reserve Fund. 349This practice is not unusual, the City of Kelowna neither ensures nor enforces a balance or ratiobetween public and private housing being constructed, therefore granting developers decisionmaking power, unhindered by inclusionary housing bylaws or other measures.350 And eventhough the City of Kelowna elicits contributions from developers towards the HousingOpportunities Reserve Fund, these contributions are a pittance when compared to the profitmargins that developers stand to make.The neoliberal turn came along the emergence of a new discourse: helping people make the jumpinto homeownership. Pushing people into becoming homeowners would relieve governments ofsocial responsibilities to provide adequate and affordable housing. Thus new programs wereimplemented to help those with lower socio-economic incomes to become homeowners. As aresult, many people bought homes and began carrying mortgages instead of paying rent. Thiswas aided by an extension of the traditional 25-year mortgage to a 40-year mortgage period in2007, allowing individuals to spread the cost of homeownership over a longer period.Within the logics of neoliberal ethics, transforming people into homeowners by helpingthem purchase a home means that being and staying housed becomes an individualresponsibility. According to this logic, renters have simply failed in the housing market, failed touse their market potential to secure and retain housing. It is no real surprise, then, that in349 The City of Kelowna Housing Opportunities Reserve Fund is described as follows on the City’s website:“The intent of this fund is to encourage the development of affordable housing. The City will use monies (generatedfrom land sales and leases as well as other sources) to acquire lands suited to development opportunities that wouldinclude affordable housing. Land would then be leased or sold to builders, non-profit housing societies, developersand others to achieve projects that include a proportion of affordable housing,“ (accessed July 28, 2008).350 Christoph Stadel with Dominik Prock, “”Gated Communities” – postmoderne Wohnparadiese infreiwilliger Segregation? Das Beispiel von Kelowna (British Columbia), Kanada,” Klagenfurter GeographischeSchriften, Heft 18 (2000), 191-204.80Kelowna - where homeownership is prised and advertised as a lifetime achievement, as seen inthe bombardment of real estate and mortgage ads - there are few units of rental housing. Thereare 4469 units of rental apartments, in addition to 8,167 other rental dwelling units (e.g. in semi-detached homes, duplexes or row houses or other accessory suites).351 However, only 2,364 ofthese are publicly funded, and the rest are market-oriented. As the City of Kelowna HousingResources Handbook concludes, there is a deficiency of 7,974 units of permanent housing,presenting the 13,122 individuals in need of subsidized housing with an insurmountablechallenge to secure adequate and affordable housing.352 It is not surprising then, that Kelowna’shousing market has proportionally more for-profit, or market housing, than non-profit housing.Kelowna’s rental vacancy rate fell to zero in October of 2007. The Canada Mortgage andHousing Corporation had projected the rate to remain below 0.5% throughout most of 2008,353but the current crisis (2009) has reversed this trend as rental ads have began to appear all over thecity. This highlights a trend in the rental-housing sector, where rental housing starts havedeclined despite low vacancy rates and steady increases in rents.354 There are simply too few newrental units being built. “[In Kelowna,] apartment and townhouse rental housing starts totalledonly 40 units in 2005 and 2006, down from almost 350 units during the previous four yearperiod. No new rental units are expected in 2007.”355 And yet another very worrisome trend isbeginning to emerge in Kelowna: the conversion of rental housing to ‘affordable low cost’housing. Some developers have now begun to purchase rental complexes and are refurbishing351 City of Kelowna, Community Development and Real Estate, “Housing Resources Handbook “ (May2008), 7.352 Ibid., 8.353 Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, “Rental Market Report Kelowna CMA,” (2007), 1. (accessed January 15, 2008).354 City of Kelowna Community Development and Real Estate, “Housing Resources Handbook“ (May2008), 7.355 Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, “Rental Market Report Kelowna CMA,” (2007), 2. (accessed January 15, 2008).81them in order to re-sell the individual apartments as ‘affordable’ housing. For example, asKelowna Capital News reporter Jennifer Smith explains, on Bernard Avenue in Kelowna’sdowntown, thirty year old 1,000 square-foot two-bedroom condominiums were bought by thedevelopment Company Cheam Casola 2007 Holdings Ltd.356 in order to be resold again for an‘affordable’ CAN $200,000-325,000.357 The developers offer the existing tenant a first option topurchase the unit for a reduced price with a low down payment. However, many of these unitsare occupied by seniors, lone-parents or others who do not qualify for mortgages for one reasonor another. They are lifetime renters,358 and thus cannot enter the homeowner market. The renterscurrently living in one of these converted units are ‘compensated’ with two months without rentand a moving allowance, for their inconveniences. In a way tenants are simply forced out, forwhat other choice do they have? And where could they move to in a city with a very low rentalvacancy rate? To this date, to my knowledge, possible impacts of these housing conversions havenot been studied. Housing is a commodity and as such bought and sold continuously, driven bythe interests of the private market. As long as there are people willing to buy these refurbishedapartments, renters are displaced, excluded from homeownership and discriminated against.359In fact, the City of Kelowna has been somewhat sideswiped by this new strategy. Smithcites Theresa Eichler, the city’s community planning manager, as saying that “for a number ofyears we’ve felt that it wasn’t a real concern, because the numbers [of conversions] were so356 City of Kelowna, “Council Minutes, April 28, 2008, Regular Afternoon Meeting,” CityPage/Docs/PDFs%5CCouncil%5CMeetings%5C2008-04-28%5CMinutes%20-%20April%2028%20P.M.%20Regular%20Meeting.pdf (accessed July 25, 2008).357 Jennifer Smith, “Rental Units Sold as Low Cost Housing,” Kelowna Capital News, April 30, 2008.358 David Hulchanski, “A Tale of Two Canada’s: Homeowners Getting Richer, Renters Getting Poorer,” inFinding Room: Options for a Canadian Rental Housing Strategy, by David Hulchanski and Michael Shapcott, ed.,(Toronto: CUCS Press, 2004), 81-88.359 Sylvia Novac, Joe Darden, David Hulchanski and Anne-Marie Seguin, “Housing Discrimination inCanada: Stakeholder Views and Research Gaps,” in Finding Room: Options for a Canadian Rental HousingStrategy, by David Hulchanski and Michael Shapcott, ed., (Toronto: CUCS Press, 2004), 135-14682low.” 360 She further reports,” [but] a number of larger buildings are now being purchased for thesame purpose. And that could have a significant impact on the number of homes for rent.”361 Thecity’s current strategy is to monitor the rental market and re-evaluate upon receipt of a newconversion application, “especially since Kelowna City Council still has yet to establish a policyon whether developers should be allowed to purchase and stratify what is left of the rentalhousing market.”362 But, as Council records show, the conversion application for CompanyCheam Casola 2007 Holdings Ltd. was approved unconditionally.363 As one local writerobserved, “[e]ach time, there has been a political will to grant favours to a few in hopes that theeconomy will flourish and a timeless prosperity will occur for everyone.”364Motel rooms and mobile home parks also had to make way for new developments. By2000, at least five motels were torn down and rezoned to allow for new developments. Theresidents were moved and temporarily housed elsewhere,365 but in the long-term, the affordablehousing was forever lost after it was demolished. The Hiawatha Mobile Home Park, whereresidents are mostly seniors, is one such example. Alberta developer Phil Milroy (WestcorpProperties) bought the property and in 2008 had delivered eviction notices to the Park’sresidents.366 They must evacuate their mobile home once the rezoning request has passed through360 Jennifer Smith, “Rental Units Sold as Low Cost Housing”, Kelowna Daily Courier, April 30, 2008.361 Ibid.362 Ibid.363City of Kelowna, “Council Minutes, April 28, 2008, Regular Afternoon Meeting,” (accessed July 25, 2008).364 Elzer, How Green was my Valley? 38.365 Ministry of Social Development and Economic Security, “Planning for Housing (Revised 2000),” (accessed September 3, 2008).366 Camille Jensen, “Hiawatha Residents Upset,“, June 30, 2007, (accessed September 08); Don Plant, “Hiawatharesidents await eviction,“ The Daily Courier, February 2, 2008.83city council, and then those seniors, many on fixed incomes, will need to relocate withinKelowna’s expensive private housing market.For a very long time, single-family dwellings were the most common building style inKelowna. Land was cheap and plenty, and people built large homes on large lots. During the pastdecade however, it has become evident that there will be a shortage of land due to the limitinggeography of the Okanagan Valley, and a shortage of water since no one really knows for surehow much water is contained in the valley’s aquifers.367 Land has become the new gold.368 As aresult there has been a push to densify housing on already developed land, and urban sprawl is tobe stopped and under the auspices of smart growth , densification and infill, what hassubsequently also altered the building style. Success of this densification discourse isdemonstrated by the increase of condominiums being built, especially in Kelowna’s downtowncore, and as seen in Table 4.3.1.Table 4.3.1: Downtown Kelowna Residential Units per Housing Type, 1998-2007Year SingledetachedSemidetached SecondarySuiteRowHousingApartment TotalDevelopmentPermitsIssued1998 6 4 7 0 142 1591999 5 0 8 36 66 1152000 9 6 11 0 60 862001 5 0 6 0 195 2062002 20 4 43 8 160 2352003 10 2 32 0 427 4722004 21 6 53 40 354 4742005 21 5 31 20 271 3482006 11 6 20 0 65 1022007 16 3 20 4 424 467Source: Data compiled by Tina Marten from the 2003, 2006 and 2007 City of Kelowna Development Statistics. Allstatistics prepared by the Planning and Development Services Department.367 Chris Wood, “Drying up the Okanagan: Mud Pond Near Kelowna, B.C. Thirsty Region is 'Canary inCoal Mine' for BC and Water,“ The Tyee, August 17, 2006, (accessedSeptember 3, 2008).368 Laurie Carter, “Okanagan Lifestyle Woos Amenity Migrants,” Okanagan Life Relocation and RealEstate Guide 2007/2008, 9-18; 26.84Today the apartment/condo outpaces any other residential building style in the downtown. Thestrongest years for condominium approvals in the downtown were in 2003 and 2007, when 427and 424 respectively were approved. The year 2004 also showed strong growth in thecondominium sector with 354 units approved. These numbers translate into 12 newcondominium towers in the downtown, many of them still in the planning stages and/or existingonly as imagined/virtual real estate.Owning and living in a condominium is now a viable alternative to owning a house. TheOkanagan Life Relocation & Real Estate Guide 2005/2006 advertised “urban living” as “stylishand mak[ing] environmental and economic sense.”369 This ‘urban revolution’ is hailed as thepanacea to urban sprawl, hoping that urban dwellers will develop a sense of place, creatingcommunity, support local businesses, get out of their cars and into the streets. In short, the hopeis that these people bring a renewed hustle and bustle to the downtown and so rejuvenate the nowempty streets. However, in the past decade amenity migrants370-- those who are attracted by theperception of ‘better’ amenities of an area371-- have begun to flock to the Okanagan in general,and to Kelowna more specifically. Often their choice to relocate is supported by ‘portable’ jobs,those that can be performed from home.372 These migrants come to Kelowna as secondaryhomeowners, bringing with them investment income.373Often investors are temporary orseasonal residents. A pull factor is the scenery of the Okanagan and the wish to consume369 christina erl-daniels, “Urban Living Comes to Kelowna,“ Okanagan Life Relocation and Real EstateGuide 2005/2006, 39.370 Carter, Okanagan Lifestyle Woos Amenity Migrants.371 Raymond Chipeniuk, “Planning for Amenity Migration,” BioOne, 24 (4) (2004), 327-335. [0327%3APFAMIC]2.0.CO%3B2&ct=1 (accessed September 13, 2008).372 Susan I. Stewart, “Amenity Migration,” North Central Research Station, (USDA Forest Service,Evanston, Il.: 2000) (accessed September 1, 2008).373 Laurence A.G. Moss, “Amenity-led Change in Rural Towns and Regions,” Amenity Migration PlanningCapacity Building Workshop 1, Castlegar, BC (April 9-11, 2008), 2. (accessed September 1, 2008).85‘nature,’ and to play in the Okanagan’s “year-round playground”374 of mountains, lakes andbeaches. The problem is that many of these migrants are only part-time residents of thecommunity. For example, many of the new condominium highrises constructed along Ellis Streetbelong to amenity migrants, they are only used temporarily.375 Even though these migrants returnin regular intervals,376 they do not become part of the community but remain “high incometransients.”377With a discourse painstakingly constructed around experiences, lifestyle, choice andconsumption, Kelowna is branded and offered as a fun place to be. The Tourism Kelownawebsite advertises, “in Kelowna your toughest choice is what to do next.”378 Even better, theofficial City of Kelowna website boasts that people living in Kelowna live an “enviedlifestyle,”379 because “set against a spectacular backdrop of mountains and lakes, Kelowna is agreat place to golf, fish, hike, ski, and enjoy water sports.”380 In fact, Kelowna, as an experienceis so wonderful, according to Tourism Kelowna, that “you’ll want to return to Kelowna, BC,again and again.”381 This experience-centered discourse is also reflected in the current slogan ofthe Economic Development Commissions ‘Invest Kelowna’ campaign, which entices people tocome to Kelowna to work, play and prosper – precisely in that order.382 Thus, the meticulously374 Aguiar, Tomic and Trumper, Work Hard, Play Hard.375 Interview Five.376 Stewart, Amenity Migration.377 I learned this term from Kelowna’s activist John Zeger.378 Tourism Kelowna, “Welcome to the Official Site of Tourism Kelowna in British Columbia, Canada,“http:// (accessed July 8, 2008).379 City of Kelowna, “Visitors,” (accessed July 10, 2008).380 Ibid.381 Tourism Kelowna, “Welcome to the official site of Tourism Kelowna in British Columbia, Canada ,“http:// (accessed June 22, 2008).382 Economic Development Commission, “About the Economic Development Commission,” (accessed July 14, 2008).86fashioned overall picture purports that in Kelowna people have few worries and life must be easyand carefree.4.4 CONCLUSIONThis chapter shows how Kelowna has transformed from a small rural community to an urbanizedneoliberal CMA with a population of over 100,000 people. I explained how Kelowna hastransitioned from a Fordist economy to a neoliberal economy, supported by the construction andreal estate industry and fuelled by a speculative money economy. I suggested that Kelowna is awhite fortress, welcoming to whites, especially wealthy whites. I devoted a considerable sectionof this chapter to the neoliberalization of housing in Kelowna, and various forms of housingconversions, such as RU6 rezoning to allow for Carriage Houses, rental stock conversion, andthe elimination of affordable rental and mobile home park housing. I explained that revitalizationinitiatives, such as the creation of the Cultural District in Kelowna’s downtown, must beunderstood as an instrumental step in the preparation of space for redevelopment, a step that ishighly profitable for the private housing sector, while funded by the public. I hope I showed thatKelowna’s neoliberalization has transformed the city in a particular way, increasing socialinequality all the while entrenching class separation.87CHAPTER FIVE: THE NEOLIBERALIZATION OF THE URBAN BUILTENVIRONMENT IN KELOWNA, BC5.0 INTRODUCTIONAccording to Wendy Larner not enough attention has been paid to the “intellectual, policy, andpractitioner networks that underpin the global expansion of neoliberal ideas, and their subsequentmanifestation in government policies and programmes.”383 In a neoliberal climate, it is not only acity’s space that is reworked and redeveloped according to capital’s force; the governing bodyitself is modified to accommodate the needs of capital. This thesis is an effort to contribute to theunderstanding of the forces behind the rapid neoliberal transformation of urban Canada in thelast decades, with particular attention to the City of Kelowna. The role of developers andbusiness in the governance and planning of the city is of crucial importance for this. In thischapter I suggest that the neoliberalization of the City has been deliberate and steady, with theparticipation of key individuals, companies and institutions in the promotion of changesnecessary to implement a rapid and new form of urban redevelopment. I argue that developersand land entrepreneurs are major players in these transformations. Thus, under neoliberal rule,the urban space must be read as a reflection of businesses and capital’s interactions with Citygovernance, considering that the ensuing social fabric created by this interaction mirrors, inimportant forms, capital’s imaginations.To analyze these changes I offer an analysis of key planning documents prepared in the1990’s and early 2000s by the City of Kelowna Planning Department, which envisions thetransformation of the city into one with a newly redeveloped and compacted densified downtownwith high-rises. The planning documents are of interest because they explain how the stage is setfor capital injections in the form of intentional investment and redevelopment of the downtown383 Wendy Larner, “Neoliberalism?” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 21 (2003), 509-512.88area.384 I also pay attention to the role of the City in regulating the downtown’s urbandevelopment in this period. I describe the hierarchy of planning documents that shape the urbanbuilt environment, paying attention not only to plan contributors, but also demonstrating howthese documents facilitate and steer neoliberalized city planning and, as a result, propel aneoliberal transformation of the City’s downtown urban built environment. I argue that agents ofchange, as well as individuals and special interest groups, have been instrumental in the creationof these planning documents, and consequently, in the transformation of the built environment.384 Commonwealth Historic Resource Management Ltd. in association with AMS Planning and Research,Gryphos Land Use Planning Corp., Dennis McGuire, Steven Thorne, Scott Fraser, and Quoin Project and CostManagement, Cultural District Implementation Strategy and Marketing Plan (June 2000).895.1 THE DOWNTOWN RESEARCH AREAThe area of Kelowna’s downtown examined by my research encompasses 36 city blocks in total,as can be seen outlined in Illustration 5.1.1 below.Illustration 5.1.1: Kelowna’s Downtown Research Area. Source: Map created by Tina Marten, 2009.The downtown has been home to the business district for over one hundred years. The aestheticsof Kelowna’s downtown resembled the downtowns of other western small or medium cities,90mostly stores and businesses, in two-storey buildings, some with living quarters above.385 Four-storey buildings came only in the 1960s with the adoption of the 1961 Official CommunityPlan,386 when commercial buildings were allowed to be four storeys tall, but generally only ontwo streets, Leon Avenue and Lawrence Avenue. However, some four storey apartmentbuildings were approved in a piecemeal fashion elsewhere in the downtown. As a result, theheight of many downtown buildings has stayed the same for most of the century. Only in 1996City Council adopted the Commercial 7 zoning bylaw, which allows for 7 storey buildings, butcurtailed to the downtown area of Leon and Lawrence Avenues.387 Interestingly though, the lastheight amendment has not translated into the built environment. No new higher buildings havebeen built on Leon and Lawrence Avenues during the past decade. Instead, developers foughthard for high rise rezoning elsewhere downtown.The urban fabric is regulated by the City, which stipulates permissible conduct andactivities through its planning documents and by-laws. While these documents are legitimated byCity Council, they are created by the Planning Department, often with input from communitystakeholders, who, in the downtown core in this particular period, represent mostly business andcapital.5.2 THE NEOLIBERAL RESTRUCTURING OF THE CITY OF KELOWNAThe neoliberalization of the Canadian State of the last decades388 began to rework state structureson a provincial and municipal level. BC’s Social Credit government was in power from the early1950s until 1972, and came back into power in 1975. The Bennett government of the mid-385 City of Kelowna, Official Community Plan: Bylaw 740 (1938).386 City of Kelowna, Official Community Plan: Bylaw 2293 (1961).387 City of Kelowna, Official Community Plan: Bylaw 7600 (1995).388 Denis, “Government Can do Whatever it Wants.”91seventies characterized itself with attacks on trade unions and calls for social restrain, limitingsocial spending. Later, when in 2001, the Liberal Party came to power in BC under its leaderGordon Campbell,389 fiscal austerity, privatization and assaults on the welfare state quicklybecame a reality.During neoliberal state restructuring, accompanying structural adjustment policies forcemunicipalities and city governments to take on increasing responsibilities for the financial,economic and social well-being of the city and its dwellers and to develop “creative ways toresolve them, for example, by considering partnerships with the private sector.”390 Throughoutthose years, at the regional level, cities were forced to become competitors in the marketdomain,391 with “cities […] selling themselves in a national and global market place of cities,”392hoping to attract enough funds to back their financial needs, balance their budgets and providefor their citizens. Within this competitive climate, cities pursue a wide range of financialinitiatives, from funds for social housing to support initiatives against homelessness or forinfrastructure projects, to only name a few. The neoliberal city itself is the investmentopportunity, and its government has the task, through its governance policies, to make the city“more attractive as an investment location.”393 During this process, city managers, politiciansand agents of change become the entrepreneurs that hold the “capacity to formulate schemes thatbenefit [and stimulate] growth”394 within the city.389 The BC Liberals were re-elected in 2005 and 2009, again under the leadership of Gordon Campbell.390 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism; Peck and Tickell, Neoliberalizing Space; Brenner andTheodore, Spaces of Neoliberalism.391 Susan George, “A Short History of Neoliberalism,” Conference on Economic Sovereignty in aGlobalising World, March 24-26, 1999, (accessed February1, 2006); David Harvey, From Managerialism to Entrepreneurialism.392 Paul Treanor, “Neoliberalism: Origins, Theory and Definition,” (2001), (accessed July 10, 2006).393 Ibid.394 Molotch, Strategies and Constraints of Growth Elites.92Geographer David Harvey has been a pioneer in interpreting the structural changes to thenature of governance of public space and its privatization under the rule of the market:“… business and corporations not only collaborate intimately with state actors but evenacquire a strong role in writing legislation, determining public policies, and settingregulatory frameworks (which are advantageous to themselves). Patterns of negotiationarise that incorporate business and sometimes professional interests into governancethrough close and sometimes secretive consultation.”395While governance is restructured to include the interests of capital, those who are most impacted(the public) by this new form of operating are excluded from the decision making process.396Kelowna has not been excluded from the neoliberal trend of this period. The city hasbecome imagined as a highly competitive product offered “as a location for the entrepreneur.”397Saleable features of the area included, but were not limited, to its natural features, the city’sinfrastructure (existing or planned398), and the resident labour force (for example, lack ofunionization399). On the other hand, social responsibilities, for example, social housing, havebeen downloaded into its local government to be resolved through creative neoliberal ways.In fact, the BC Government has implemented important structural changes to the socialhousing program, as part of its efforts at neoliberalizing BC’s housing sector. For example, from2002 to 2007, 89 million dollars in federal capital funds were diverted to assisted living, as areplacement for much needed new social housing. At the same time that new construction ofsocial housing ceases, the province negotiates with the federal government to take over existingsocial housing stocks in order to subsequently turn around and privatize them in public-private395 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, 76-77.396 Silvia Fuller, “Restructuring Government in BC,” Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, October 1,2001, (accessed November 10,2008).397 Interview Three.398 In tourism brochures and magazine ads, a city is sold most often with its existing features. Kelowna wasnot an exception, as seen in brochures advertising the fun of skiing at the local ski hills, swimming in OkanaganLake and sun tanning on its beaches, or wine-touring.399 Aguiar, Tomic and Trumper, Work Hard, Play Hard.93partnerships with the private for-profit and non-profit sector, but now with reduced governmentsupport.400 Once privatized, these social housing units are in danger of conversion to luxuryliving spaces. This disturbing trend is occurring in Vancouver, where social housing units are leftto deteriorate until the Fire Department condemns the building. Residents are then evictedbecause the building is deemed inhabitable. Thereafter, the building is sold to developers whoapply for rezoning and redevelopment applications.401 Once the building is empty, existing livingspace is converted to luxury condos. Actually, conversions were the main reason for loss ofsocial housing, followed by by-law enforcement for health, standards of maintenance, and fire,redevelopment, renovations and closure.402 From the 1970s to 1998, Vancouver lost 6000 unitsof social housing.403For Kelowna, the picture is not that clear, as there are no official records that tally theloss of social housing units, although several low-income motels along Gordon Drive were torndown in the early 2000s. Those lands sit vacant today, as the Illustration 5.2.1 shows.Illustration 5.2.1: Barren Land along Gordon Drive. Source: Photo taken by Tina Marten (February 2009).400 John Irwin, Home Insecurity: the State of Social Housing Funding in BC (August 2004). (accessed November 10, 2008).401 N.A., “No Place for Home: After Years of Neglect, Vancouver's Notorious Downtown Eastside nowFaces a Development Boom that is Threatening to Displace Thousands of Low-Income Residents,” Goliath, March1, 2007 (Online version), January 13, 2009); Monti Paulsen, “Vancouver Losing SROs Faster than It Can Replace Them. Based onFigures in City’s own Report,” The, July 10, 2007, January 14, 2009).402 Pivot Legal Society, Cracks in the Foundation (Sept. 2006), Publications/reportscitf.htm (accessed January 14, 2009).403 Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, “Retaining Affordable Housing,” Replacement HousingVancouver, (accessed January14, 2009).94However, Ian Graham, chair of the Kelowna Poverty and Homelessness Action Team – CentralOkanagan, guesses that in Kelowna 356 social housing units have been lost since the mid1990s.404The downloading of responsibilities into the hands of municipal government forcesmunicipalities on a quest for resources for their newly gained responsibilities, and intogovernance models that function primarily with the attraction of capital in public- privatepartnerships.405 In this fashion, the City of Kelowna’s 1992 Strategic Plan proclaims that“downloading more extensive and stricter Provincial Government standards and changingProvincial Government policies/objectives […] serve to expand the range of services which localgovernment must provide.”406 Moreover, city governments must find “solutions to local issues[…] through regional approaches.”407 This requires a new direction in city planning.5.2.1 CITY OF KELOWNA PLANNING DOCUMENTS, 1990s – EARLY 2000sNew neoliberal strategies are laid out in planning documents from the 1990s, such as the 1992Strategic Plan: Choosing our Future (hereafter Strategic Plan), the 1998 Inner Shore ZoneConcept Plan (hereafter Shore Zone Plan), the 1999 Kelowna Downtown: a People Place plan(hereafter Downtown Plan) and the 2000 Cultural District Implementation Strategy andMarketing Plan (hereafter Cultural District Plan). Neoliberalism thrives in a perpetual pro-growth climate with ongoing development.408 This climate is fostered and supported with arhetoric and discourse that considers development, on the one hand, necessary and404 Personal conversation Ian Graham, Chair of the Poverty and Homelessness Action Team of the CentralOkanagan, in Kelowna, BC, January 14, 2009.405 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism.406 City of Kelowna, Choosing our Future, Draft Strategic Plan (October 1992), Part 2, 6.407 Ibid., Part 2, 5.408 Molotch, Strategies and Constraints of Growth Elites.95unavoidable,409 and on the other desirable and beneficial.410 For example, Strategic Planprojections proclaimed that the City of Kelowna would grow tremendously, that, in fact, thepopulation would swell to 115,000 by 2004 and even 133,000 by 2011,411 and that this growth(arising from in-migration) is necessary to bring in labour to work in the economy of the growingcity. Clearly, a large influx of migrants places tremendous pressures on agricultural lands,placing them under a concrete threat of urbanization, as well as placing enormous strain on thecity’s existing infrastructure and services.412 A strategy was needed to deal with the prospectedinflux of newcomers, while protecting the existing rural small-town character of Kelowna. Aplan was required that would “give direction for making important decisions about the futuredevelopment of the city, outlining five to ten year directions for services and city policies,” 413 anapproach that would normalize in-migration and population increases, while praising(re)development and growth.Moreover, a strategy was needed to localize this proposed growth. Planning documentswere put together by City planners in collaboration with downtown stakeholders (e.g. membersfrom the Downtown Kelowna Association, the Urban Development Institute and/or the Chamberof Commerce, as well as the Canada Lands Company).414 These were adopted by Council toprepare the downtown for redevelopment. Through the study of the many planning documentsunder which the City operates, four documents are most instrumental to exemplify this economic409 Ibid.410 Barke, Morphogenesis, Fringe Belts and Urban Size.411 City of Kelowna, Choosing our Future, Draft Strategic Plan, Part 4, Section 1, 2.412 Ibid., Part 4, Section 5, 1.413 Ibid., Part 1, 1.414 Commonwealth Historic Resource Management Ltd. in association with AMS Planning and Research,Gryphos Land Use Planning Corp., Dennis McGuire, Steven Thorne, Scott Fraser, and Quoin Project and CostManagement, Cultural District Implementation Strategy and Marketing Plan; Stantec Consulting Ltd. , DowntownNorth Area Structure Plan, prepared for Canada Lands Company Ltd. (August 1999). City of Kelowna PlanningDepartment and Urban Systems Ltd., Kelowna Downtown: a People Place (October 1999); City of Kelowna, InnerCity Shore Zone Concept Plan.96development approach. The Strategic Plan explains strategies that the City adopted in 1992 tomanage the growth of the entire city, whereas the Downtown Plan, the Shore Zone Plan, and theCultural District Plan are geographically specific plans, addressing Kelowna’s proposeddowntown growth in detail.In more detail, the Downtown Plan introduces a long-term economic revitalizationstrategy for the entire downtown area, mainly through real estate redevelopment. This planenvisages the downtown redeveloped with highrises, allowing people to dwell415 downtown, inorder “to maintain and enhance our Downtown as an economically, vital and exciting place tocelebrate the civic life of our city.”416 Similarly, the Shore Concept Plan also introduceseconomic revitalization measures, but along the downtown waterfront area. This plan calls tocelebrate the past entrepreneurial and social history of the Okanagan Lake waterfront.417 Itenvisions people coming to the area, who, while commemorating waterfront history, engage innewly created leisure activities along the waterfront. In other words, people are to celebrate arecreation of the past, to mimic the past as an “imaginative reconstruction,”418 whilesimultaneously consuming the place and service offered within the newly built amenities, forexample a public wharf.419 And last, the Cultural District Plan introduces measures to create adowntown cultural district. This cultural district is supposed to attract locals and tourists alike tocultural amenities that are scattered in a six block area.420 It is hoped that the creation of “an area415 Aguiar, Tomic and Trumper, Work Hard, Play Hard.416 City of Kelowna Planning Department and Urban Systems Ltd., Kelowna Downtown: a People Place,iii.417 City of Kelowna, Inner City Shore Zone Concept Plan.418 Sharon Zukin, “Whose Culture, Whose City?” The Cultures of Cities (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing,1995).419 Ibid.420 Commonwealth Historic Resource Management Ltd. in association with AMS Planning and Research,Gryphos Land Use Planning Corp., Dennis McGuire, Steven Thorne, Scott Fraser, and Quoin Project and CostManagement, Cultural District Implementation Strategy and Marketing Plan.97of vitality and activity,”421 coupled with the gentrification of its public spaces, will create athriving cultural tourism economy.422 What is more, this plan actually suggests that Kelowna’scultural products and resources, coupled with innovative cultural district planning, will helpKelowna become a leader in cultural tourism in Canada.423The development of a synergy between downtown areas, it is believed, will “make theDowntown a prime beneficiary of culture-related activities.”424 The results are twofold: on theone hand, the creation of leisure amenities and a cultural district would not only keep people inthe downtown for longer periods of time, but also entice them to return more often.425 On theother hand, a reworking of all these areas according to capital’s desires, grants capital morecontrol over the space itself, as well as its history. In this way downtown stakeholders and landentrepreneurs gain control over the area as well as its historical representation, especially withregulated and controlled spaces and scripted re-imagined activities.426 Moreover, capital gainscontrol over the people within these newly minted spaces,427 in turn making the space enticing tocapital all over again. Controlled spaces exude little ability for resistance to capital, but instead,in a Foucaultian manner, lull and coerce those within into (capital’s) compliance.Neoliberalization has affected the work of City Hall in very specific ways. First, confronted withnew neoliberal financial reality, the city needs to develop new financing models and421 Ibid., iv.422 Ibid.423 Ibid., 4.424 City of Kelowna Planning Department and Urban Systems Ltd., Kelowna Downtown: a People Place, v.425 Commonwealth Historic Resource Management Ltd. in association with AMS Planning and Research,Gryphos Land Use Planning Corp., Dennis McGuire, Steven Thorne, Scott Fraser, and Quoin Project and CostManagement, Cultural District Implementation Strategy and Marketing Plan; City of Kelowna, Inner City ShoreZone Concept Plan; City of Kelowna, Kelowna Downtown: a People Place.426 Zukin, Loft Living.427 Molotch, Strategies and Constraints of Growth Elites.98philosophies,428 while remaining within the legal parameters of the Municipal Act, whichauthorizes and regulates the financing of municipal services.429 One of the features of neoliberaltimes is that government funding is curtailed, thus not only dispersed sparingly, but also awardedto applicants after competition. In other words, cities are forced to simultaneously entice capitalwhile competing with other cities for resources. In order to attract funds, the city strives topresent itself as worthy of investment and willing to bear risk. An entrepreneurial climate isfostered and exemplified by the willingness to engage in new projects with developers, enter intopublic-private sector financing ventures and assist new growth.430 A shift in the City’s financingphilosophy is seen in the Strategic Plan’s discussion on taxpayer’s subsidies for growth. Theplan suggests there is a “willingness to subsidize new growth by paying for interest charges onDCC [development cost charges431] projects, [altering the] extent of the assist factor (the shareborn by the taxpayer)” 432 to allow that the public contribute more funds. This effectivelyremodels the level of risk that can be carried by the public, increasing risk allowance. Atransformation of the financing philosophy that advocates the public embrace risk supportscapital’s needs. In fact, an increased willingness to welcome risk is fundamental toneoliberalisms’ success433 and the legitimating of a casino economy.434 In short, risk that isoffloaded to the public is risk diverted from capital. However, in an effort to mediate risksassumed by the citizens of Kelowna, the City promises an attempt at staging growth and428 City of Kelowna, Choosing our Future, Draft Strategic Plan, Part 4, Section 5, 1.429 Idem.430 Ibid., Part 4, Section 5, 2.431 Development Cost Charges are development costs that arise or derive indirectly from the developmentproject. For example, a new development places additional strain on the existing infrastructure when new residentsdrive on existing roads, etc. Leung, Land Use Planning Made Plain.432 Ibid., Part 3, Section 5, 1-2.433 Bourdieu, Firing Back; Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism; Sennett, Der Flexible Mensch.434 Harvey A Brief History of Neoliberalism.99development “so that the City does not overextend itself by servicing too many new urbangrowth areas” at any one time, because “a less rigorous phasing of development results inincreased risk to the City and increases the [public’s] subsidies to new growth.”435 The otherplans also echo the new financing mentality. The Downtown Plan calls for increased privateinvestment, inviting capital particularly through real estate development opportunities. 436 Towelcome capital investment into the downtown, constraints to private investment opportunitiesare to be eliminated.437 Likewise, the Shore Zone Plan calls for donations, (corporate)sponsorships, as well as partnerships in funding of day-to-day activities and maintenance, inaddition to taxation funding and development-driven methods.438 While calls for financialsupport rely on more diversified strategies, funding models inviting capital’s participation stemfrom the private sector. In fact, the plan proclaims that interest exists from the private sector todevelop along Okanagan Lake. To conclude, these planning documents address the importanceof private capital investment in city planning, thus exemplifying that partnership with capital isessential in neoliberal climates.Second, arising from the new financial reality, the city is forced to build newrelationships with capital. While the city attempts to lure and trap capital into its urban realm, theplanning process must remain open to capital’s needs and desires. In the Strategic Plan the Citycites a Citizen Survey439conducted in 1991, where Kelownians expressed that higher urban435City of Kelowna, Choosing our Future, Draft Strategic Plan, Part 4, Section 5, 2.436 City of Kelowna and Urban Systems Ltd., Kelowna Downtown: a People Place, 37.437 Ibid.438 Development driven methods can include development cost charges, parkland dedication (where adeveloper dedicates land for a park, and in exchange receives credit for the neighbourhood park component of theDevelopment Cost Charge) or density bonusing (where the municipal government can provide density bonuses inexchange for the conservation or provision of amenities).439 City of Kelowna, Choosing our Future, Draft Strategic Plan, Part 1, 3.100densities are more desirable than the concretization of agricultural lands.440 Building in existingurban areas was seen as the lesser evil. Simultaneously survey respondents made it clear thatthey did not want new growth to happen in the downtown vicinity. Developers, on the contrary,wanted to build exactly in the downtown, where the limited land base yields higher returns, andwhere during “periods of rapidly rising land prices speculative activity increases.”441 Fordevelopers and other stakeholders from the real estate and development industry the downtownwas more desirable. The City supported them with planning methods based on urban infill anddensification. Despite public reluctance to develop a compact urban form, the City deems thisstrategy best for the creation of new real estate.442Thus, examining the four planning documents, it becomes evident that economicstimulation is the modus operandi: the Downtown Kelowna Plan calls for “business enhancementand economic development,”443 whereas the Cultural District Plan444 advocates for the creationof a culture economy.445 In line with the prevailing logic, the Shore Zone Plan calls for arevitalization and rejuvenation of the waterfront through a sustained celebration of (past)commercial activity along the Okanagan Lake’s shore line.446 The belief that only economicstimulation is the best programme for urban planning echoes the neoliberal theoreticalassumption that cities operate best according to market principles,447 and that economicinvestment heralds long-term benefits.440 Ibid., Part 4, Section 1, 5.441 Barke, Morphogenesis, Fringe-Belts and Urban Size, 286.442 City of Kelowna, Choosing our Future, Draft Strategic Plan, Part 4, Section 1, 6.443 City of Kelowna and Urban Systems Ltd., Kelowna Downtown: a People Place, iii.444 Commonwealth Historic Resource Management Ltd. in association with AMS Planning and Research,Gryphos Land Use Planning Corp., Dennis McGuire, Steven Thorne, Scott Fraser, and Quoin Project and CostManagement, Cultural District Implementation Strategy and Marketing Plan445 Zukin, The Cultures of Cities.446 City of Kelowna, Inner City Shore Zone Concept Plan.447 Carroll, Corporate Power in a Globalizing World.101(In)formal proposals tell City managers and Council where capital’s investmentwillingness is greatest.448 In general, city plans and strategies must remain profitable for capital;otherwise capital has little investment incentive. There are three possible strategies to enticecapital. First, the City grants capital decision making powers in its urban planning process, forexample, by inviting land entrepreneurs onto City taskforces.449 To illustrate, the Downtown Planwas compiled with help from the Downtown Plan Advisory Committee, which included(executive) members from the EDC, the DKA, the Chamber and the UDI.450 Second, the Cityhires land entrepreneurs as experts for urban development questions, as happened very recently,when Vancouver developer Graham McGarva advised the Downtown Centre Strategy TaskForce in matters relating to comprehensive large-scale downtown redevelopment. And third,allowing land developers to pay for redevelopment feasibility studies. This happened whenCouncil unanimously adopted that Westcorp Development could commission a report for$200,000.00 to establish how the Okanagan Lake waterfront could be developed, even thoughthe companies’ properties are located in the study area.451The entire time, however, the City needs to bridge the requests of capital with its ownpublic responsibilities. This is a difficult process, as the public’s and capital’s interests oftenconflict with each other. The City has to entice capital, for example with subsidies, whereas thepublic needs protection from capital’s exploitative pursuits. What is more, during the bargainingprocess between the City and capital, decision making powers are granted to capital that the448 One example of an informal proposal from a land owner comes in the form of an Area Structure Plan, asI discuss in more detail later in this chapter. The ASP allows a large scale land owner to present a proposal thatdescribes the development of his land including the surrounding areas to the City.449 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism.450 City of Kelowna and Urban Systems, Kelowna Downtown: a People Place, i.451 Jennifer Smith and Adrian Niecozym, “Private Sector Given a Shot”, Kelowna Capital News, August 22,2007; Darcy Nybo, “Summertime in Kelowna Where the Hottest Thing is Condo Development,” BusinessExaminer, September 4, 2007, 39/Summertime-in-Kelowna-where-the-hottest-thing-is-condo-development.php (accessed February 17, 2009).102public misses. To illustrate, City taskforces have a limited membership and filling seats with landentrepreneurs and downtown stakeholders limits seat availability to the general public.Examining the 2006 Downtown Plan Advisory Committee Taskforce membership, it becomesevident that out of fourteen members there was one City manager, one person from the EDC, onefrom the Chamber, one from the UDI, but six from the DKA. What is more, I recognize twonames of downtown land developers.452 There is only one public representative, a member of theSouth Central Neighbourhood Association. Not one person is identified as a member of thegeneral public!453 In this fashion, capital occupies many seats and as a result is granted morevoices and decision making power than the public. In sum, the City invites proposals for(re)development projects with developer-friendly zoning and bylaw ordinances, and generallywelcomes any kind of development. 454 Coupled with simple bureaucratic structures, as I discusslater, developers are invited to present proposals for augmentation of the urban built environmentwithout many hurdles, while the City attempts to secure potential development projects. Third,the city is forced to actively sell and commodify itself, or in other words presents itself as aninvestment opportunity. Capital and land entrepreneurs455 (local large-scale land owners andstakeholders) are tempted with possibilities of new markets. Possible redevelopment projects,such as high rises, flagship developments (e.g. arenas), and large scale infrastructureredevelopment projects are beckoning and help fabricate speculative markets in anticipation ofwhat is to come in the future. Often “the scale of building projects […] increase[s] with urban452 City of Kelowna and Urban Systems Ltd., Kelowna Downtown: a People Place, i.Dale Knowlan is the Executive Director of the Canada Lands Company Ltd., who develops a 10 acre parcelin Kelowna’s North End and Lindsay Webster is a downtown landowner and developer.453 Fuller, Restructuring Government in BC.454 Personal conversation with City of Kelowna Planner Nelson Wight March 10, 2006.455 Molotch, Strategies and Constraints of Growth Elites.103size,” 456 suggesting developers’ visions push city growth. Helpful for land entrepreneurs areplanning regulations that allow land assemblies, the trade of lands with the City, as well asnegotiations on development cost charges. These rules can act as incentives for landentrepreneurs to bring development proposals forward.Actually, the City takes an active role in the creation of the real estate market, choosingwhere to allow development and where to stall it. Here the City takes on a dual, but veryconflicting role. On the one hand it facilitates developer driven developments, granting permitsto developer’s requests but, on the other hand, at times, stages development, or in other wordsregulates the speed of development. The City stages development for two reasons: first, to notoverextend itself by developing in too many areas at any one time and, second, to minimize thepublic’s risk as a lender of public funds to developers.457 This is the so-called assist factor,meaning the portion of cost carried by the taxpayer, where the City finances and borrows moneywhen entering into partnerships with developers.458 Under this planning strategy a deflatedmarket does not bring revenues, but a boom market allows the City to profit. In order to makeprofit, the City must regulate the market so as to earn fees levied from developers fordevelopment cost charges, but developers reap huge profits from their development projects. Inthe end, while the City makes some profit, developers earn exponentially more. 459 The result istwofold: the City helps capital accumulate profit while granting capital increasing influence inplanning matters.The last example addresses a flexibilization of urban planning, where flexible and open-456 Barke, Morphogenesis, Fringe-Belts and Urban Size, 285.457 City of Kelowna, Choosing our Future, Draft Strategic Plan, Part 4, Section 1, 12.458 Ibid.459 Ibid., Part 4, Section 1, 13.104ended policies comprise the new strategies and plans. Neoliberal markets work best inderegulated environments, where the market can change quickly, not hindered by long-terminvestments that stifle capital’s mobility. Investment in the urban built environment presents achallenge for capital, because capital becomes trapped and embedded460 since investments inland and real estate are often long-term and therefore immobile. Unregulated markets are mostbeneficial for capital, keeping capital mobile, movable at a moment’s notice, ratherunrestricted.461 In order to grant capital the same abilities in urban planning, flexibility must tobe incorporated into planning and its policies.Flexibility is introduced as beneficial, a necessity to reach a plan’s goals. For example,the Downtown Plan advocates for a zoning that is flexible and open-ended, to create zoning asneeded. To exemplify, a future development proposal lies beyond the realm of existingpossibilities, but with a flexible and open-ended zoning approach, a new zone that suits the needsof the project can be created. Or another example, the Shore Zone Plan also calls for flexibility.“The intent […] is to be flexible so that implementation can take place, over time, inresponse to market conditions, public interest, availability of public and/or privatefunding and any yet-to-be-identified opportunities.”While strategies that advocate open-endedness and flexibility in planning are explained asbeneficial to the public and as necessary for urban development success, in truth they allow theCity to respond quickly to land entrepreneurs’ and capital’s requests and conditions. Moreover,flexibility introduces an element of precarity into urban planning, where plans become lessspecific in their strategies and goal. Instead, a plan becomes project oriented where the goal canbe realized in a variety of ways,462 and where capturing the potential of the market becomes460 David Harvey, Spaces of Capital: Towards a Critical Geography (New York: Routledge, 2001).461 Harris, Globalisation and the Technological Transformation of Capitalism.462 Hartmut Häußerman und Katja Simons, “Facing Fiscal Crisis: Urban Flagship Projects in Berlin,” inFrank Moulaert, ArantxaRodriguez, and Erik Swyngedouw (Eds), The Globalized City: Economic Restructuring andSocial Polarization in European Cities (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), 107-24.105imperative to the plan’s success. Furthermore, flexibility between plans allows the City toattempt a synergy between plan areas, as well as the creation of an entrepreneurial opportunisticclimate. Most importantly, capital benefits from a more flexible climate, because the state hasless control over capital and ergo less ability to discipline capital.463 In that sense, neoliberalurban planning becomes less sensitive to local needs,464 but increasingly sensitive to capital’sneeds.Overall, neoliberalism has permeated and changed urban planning in essential ways.Responsibilities have been offloaded onto municipal governments, which, in order to cope, haveadopted new creative measures for funding, financing and planning. Governance-capital relationshave been reworked, and urban planning strategies now incorporate neoliberal tenets, such asprivatization and deregulation. These reworked capital and city relations have been legitimatedthrough planning documents, and the results are seen in city planning and the overall regulationof the urban built environment, as I discuss next.5.3 REGULATION OF THE URBAN BUILT ENVIRONMENTThe urban built environment is a reflection of the social, economic, political and legalinteractions between citizens, special interest groups and bureaucratic structures, and theirresulting socio-spatial dialectic.465 Governance structures influence this socio-spatial dialecticthrough regulation and legitimating. A city is regulated through the municipality, or local state,“making for a complex and sometimes contradictory framework of legal spaces that are463 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism.464 Häußerman und Simons, Facing Fiscal Crisis.465 Knox and Pinch, Urban Social Geography.106superimposed in, and interpenetrated with, the social spaces of the city.”466 Here I explain thedevelopment application process, demonstrating how development applications travel throughthe City’s bureaucracy. I bring to light interactions between developers and staff from the City’sPlanning Department. I show an example of how planning tools, in this case concessions andincentives, are used to promote the interests of capital as well as the real estate and developmentindustry. I elucidate how cities can use planning tools such as concessions (exalting a specialcompromise in the interest of the community from a developer in return for developmentapproval) or incentives (offering special development conditions to entice development in certainareas) to regulate capital. I argue that capital’s interests are promoted, while the stream ofdevelopment applications is regulated. It will become clear that the City aggressively courtscapital, especially whilst offering concessions to entice development and real estate capital.At the local level, the City is governed by an elected Council (the Mayor and eightCouncilors), all of whom serve three years terms, representing the city at large.467 Kelowna’sCouncil relies on the BC Community Charter and the Local Government Act to establish policiesregarding the city’s population growth, development and operation.468 The City operates under acouncil-manager system, where administrative responsibilities of departments rests with the CityManager, who in turn oversees six City departments: Corporate Services; Financial Services;Planning and Development Services; Recreation, Parks & Cultural Services; Works and Utilities;and Human Resources.469 Council is legislated to operate on a balanced budget,470 placing fiscal466 Ibid., 133.467 City of Kelowna, “City Council 2005-2008,” (accessedSeptember 19, 2008).468 Ibid.469 Ibid.470 Ibid.107constraints on city governance.Formally, the City and its urban realm are regulated by a hierarchy of planning documents, asseen in Illustration 5.3.1: The City of Kelowna Hierarchy of Community Planning Documents, onthe next page.Illustration 5.3.1: The City of Kelowna, Hierarchy of Community Planning Documents. Source: City of Kelowna,Official Community Plan: Kelowna: Planning our Future, Chapter 1, 3. Reprinted with Permission.with the Official Community Plan (OCP) being the most important plan. The next significantplan is the Sector Plan, followed by the Area/Neighbourhood Structure Plan. They arelegitimated once adopted and endorsed by Council, the local government body. Overall, plansreflect the social order of the envisioned future city, as arranged in a spatial structure,471 becausecombined these plans, bylaws, agreements and permits influence the nature and direction of acity’s planning activities, as well as the form and shape of the resulting urban built environment.471 Leung, Land Use Planning Made Plain.108As stated, the OCP is the most important planning document since it presents a comprehensivestatement of the larger goals of a city’s community planning programme, setting the direction ofthe city’s growth and development with its long-term vision, “defin[ing] policies for land use anddevelopment.”472In 1995 the City envisioned the downtown as a place where heterogeneous populationscould come together in a variety of activities, in the city centre, a “vibrant, amenity-rich areawherein different land uses frequently occur within the same building and almost always occurwithin any given one-block area.” As such the area was to “contain a variety of housing types,the presence of which contributes to social diversity. [Downtown areas] are highly urbanized,[…] a primary tourist and entertainment draw.”473 It was hoped tourists and locals alike wouldcontinually be drawn to the downtown and its amenities, helping the downtown remainKelowna’s primary474 landscape of consumption.475 More specific, all the OCP’s goals are toprovide a policy framework for Council,476 allowing for the regulation of Kelowna’s urban builtenvironment for current and future citizens, addressing issues of housing, environmentalprotection, economic development, transportation, infrastructure and land use.477 Its policiesspecify how the urban built environment may be utilized and (re)developed. For example, thehousing bylaw of the OCP stipulates, through its zoning, what kind of housing can be built andin what location. In that sense, the OCP has a very specific focus; it is the “statement of472 City of Kelowna, “Frequently Asked Questions,” (accessed September 15, 2008).473 City of Kelowna, Official Community Plan: Kelowna: Planning our Future, Definitions, 3 (Revisededition March 5, 2002).474 Other town centers began to establish in Kelowna, for example in the Mission, Glenmore and Rutland.475 Mitchell, Cultural Geography.476 City of Kelowna, Official Community Plan, (accessedSeptember 22, 2008).477 Ibid.109objectives and policies to guide decisions on planning and land use management.”478 Moreover,the OCP is statutory with far-reaching implications, stipulating parameters to other planningdocuments, policies and municipal regulations, which must always be in accordance with theOCP upon council’s adoption. The OCP is created by city planners in collaboration with electedofficials, staff, and city stakeholders, with some provisions for some public input fromresidents.479 For example, in preparation for the current 2008/2009 OCP review Kelowna 2030:Greening our Future public input was facilitated through open houses, surveys and an invitationof written submissions to the Planning Department. 480Typically, an OCP is reviewed and amended in five year intervals, to reflect changes andtrends in the city, attempting to ensure that current community needs continue to be met.481Sincethe city’s incorporation in 1905,482 there have been five OCPs. The first one, Bylaw 740, wasthe first attempt to regulate the growth of the city. It was adopted by Council in 1938. This bylawwas replaced by Bylaw 2293, adopted in 1961, which emphasized the goal to “guide the naturalgrowth of the city in a systematic and orderly way for the ultimate benefit of the community as awhole.”483 The next amendment came in 1972, when Bylaw 3500 was adopted. This bylaw wasamended again only shortly thereafter in 1976 with Bylaw 4500, to deal with pressures arisingfrom the amalgamation of outlying areas in 1972.484 The subsequent amendment came in 1995,478 City of Kelowna, “Frequently Asked Questions.”479 Ibid.480 City of Kelowna, “Kelowna 2030: Greening our Future,” (accessedSeptember 23, 2008).481 City of Kelowna, “Official Community Plan,” (accessedSeptember 22, 2008).482 Frank Morgan Buckland, Ogopogo’s Vigil: a History of Kelowna and the Okanagan (OkanaganHistorical Society: Kelowna Branch, 1966).483 City of Kelowna, “Purpose,” Official Community Plan,. Bylaw 2293, (1961), 3.484 Momer, The Small Town that Grew and Grew and …, 66.110when the Kelowna 2020- Official Community Plan Bylaw No. 7600 was adopted. This bylawrepresented a turning point, adopting a new direction: the “commitment to direct futurepopulation growth to our pedestrian friendly Urban Town centres” 485 with the intent to increasepopulation density there. This bylaw received yet another major update in 2002, when “FutureLand Use, Road Network and Financing chapters and mapping were reviewed. [These changeswere approved] by Council on January 2004.”486Moreover, in the past few years Council has passed amendments to the OCP, often in theform of developer’s rezoning requests. For example, a developer wishes to re-zone a specificproperty to allow for a larger building, even though the current zoning does not permit this. This“spot” rezoning request presents an attempt to break the zoning of the area, because this requestsets a precedent for further rezoning attempts. Council’s approval authorizes the developer toalter the neighbourhood’s character by constructing bigger and/or higher buildings, just asCouncil opens the door for further applications of this nature. In fact, re-zoning allowing forhigh-rises has been approved by Council not only for the downtown, but also for other areas inthe city. Indeed, there have been instances where one approved rezoning application wassubsequently followed by a wave of rezoning and redevelopment applications. Evidence of thistrend is found in downtown side streets, where large apartment complexes butt up to small singlefamily dwellings. Further examples are found in the fact that entire blocks of single familyresidences have vanished to make way for apartment and condo buildings, for example onRichter Street, where the developer of the Martin Lofts assembled three properties to make way485 The Real Estate Foundation of BC, “Community Revitalization Strategies in B.C., City of Kelowna,” (accessed September 16,2008).486 City of Kelowna, “Official Community Plan,” September 15, 2008).111for 41 lofts,487 that dwarf the single family residence next door, as seen in Illustration 5.3.2:Martin Lofts below.Illustration 5.3.2: Martin Lofts. Source: Photo taken by Tina Marten (February 2009).Another example is on Leon Avenue, where five properties were razed to make room for a newcondominium complex. In a very short period of time, entire blocks, even neighborhoods, havebeen altered and changed.The link between the OCP and the Area/Neighborhood Structure Plan is the Sector Plan.A Sector Plan regulates with the future development of an area. Its main foci are the “essentialservices and facilities, land uses, transportation systems, population density and sequencing ofdevelopment [with] full consideration […] given to the costs and benefits of various actions upon487 Martin Lofts, “Home,” (accessed December 5, 2008).112the present and future social, economic and environmental fabric of the area.” 488 In other words,these plans intend to anticipate how development could impact infrastructure and existingdevelopment. Sector plans are compiled by City staff, but Council endorses their “future land usecomponent and any relevant policy wording that has city-wide implication.”489 They are adoptedinto the OCP after a bylaw and public hearing.Conversely, Area Structure Plans (ASP), also called Neighbourhood Structure Plans,are prepared by land entrepreneurs for”areas identified in the Official Community Plan as ASP areas, or for areas where theproponent is contemplating a proposal which does not conform to the purpose andintent of the Official Community Plan; and is of sufficient magnitude in terms ofpopulation, units of development, servicing constraints, social impact or economicburden on the municipality; or in Council’s view may affect adjacent properties, landuses or the natural environment; or in Council’s view may be affected by hazardousconditions; or in Council’s view may affect municipal heritage sites, or a revitalizationarea; and such other matters as may be required, unique to the plan area underconsideration.”490Areas calling for ASP’s are either outlined in the OCP or authorized by resolution of Council,meaning that land entrepreneurs can either address council for permission to prepare an ASP,491or they can wait until they are approached by the City.492 Overall, a plan of this nature must worktowards the objectives and policies stated in the OCP, however the ASP itself is not statutory.Currently, Council will only consider approving an ASP that has provisions for an urban centre,including a road network with compliant land use designations. An ASP can only be adopted asan OCP amendment following a public hearing, and upon Council’s approval.488 City of Kelowna, “Sector Plans,” (accessed September 21,2008).489 Ibid.490 City of Kelowna, “Area Structure Plans,” (accessedSeptember 22, 2008).491 Stantec Consulting Ltd., Downtown North Area Structure Plan.492 City of Kelowna, Kelowna 2020-Official Community Plan, Chapter 19 Future Land Uses, 19-5.(Revised edition February 3, 2003).113In general, ASPs provide an inventory of existing conditions for a specific area. In 2003there were eleven areas in Kelowna where ASP’s were anticipated. 493Potential developers usethe ASP to make a statement of development objectives and policies, while identifying majorland uses by type and density.494 In their ASP, developers must list the general location ofexisting and proposed transportation networks, as well as record information on the naturalenvironment of the area. In addition, they must identify major institutional facilities and theirneed, as well information on the location and type of development permit areas. Overall, the ASPexplains associated influences on future development for the specific ASP area, albeit accordingto a developer’s vision.ASPs are powerful tools since they allow land entrepreneurs to express their specificvision for an area. This invitation from the City elicits the entrepreneur’s reality and turns it intoa guiding vision for the entire area. Even though property owners in areas affected by the ASPare allowed to provide input and comment during the ASP creation, often their ideas aresecondary.Zoning ordinances regulate density and bulk for a property, stipulating land use capacityand regulating land use. In general, zoning can either be comprehensive, for the entire city, orarea specific. Often a city has both: one area is governed by a Comprehensive DevelopmentZone whereas another is area specific. “Zoning is law,”495 conferred upon the municipalgovernment by the provincial government, and it governs “all new constructions and changes inuse.”496 Commonly there are residential, commercial and industrial zones, and at times other493 Ibid.494 City of Kelowna, “Area Sector Plans,” (accessed September22, 2008).495 Leung, Land Use Planning Made Plain, 221.496 Idem.114zoning sub-categories.497 Kelowna currently has 6 zones: residential, commercial, agricultural,institutional, and industrial, as well as water zones. However, each of these zones is regulatedindependently and the OCP guides future zoning changes. 498Since a zoning bylaw stipulates specific use for a specific property, it can steerdevelopment either into an inclusionary or exclusionary direction. For example, regulating that ahouse must be a certain size is exclusionary to those who cannot afford to build a house that size.There is the danger that zoning is used “for dubious purposes such as [the] protection of thesocioeconomic states of an area or [for] discouragements of certain kinds of development.”499 Atthe same time that zoning benefits select groups, the greater public is also protected by specificdetailed and comprehensive zoning bylaws, since land entrepreneurs and the developmentcommunity are also stifled and restricted by this specificity.500Servicing agreements regulate specific servicing requirement for certain areas. Using theexample of subdivisions, servicing agreements stipulate regulations for road and public utilitiesprovisions. In general, they are based on subdivision, development and servicing bylaws.501The development permit is more specific, regulating aspects of a building itself. As suchit regulates the position of the building on the lot, the buildings size, form and exterior, as well assurrounding landscape. Development permit applications are negotiated between the City(planning department) and the developer, a process that can be lengthy at times if variances(changes to existing zoning) or rezoning (changing the zoning, for example to allow for larger497 Ibid.498 For more information on zoning bylaws and their purpose see the Kelowna 2020 – Official CommunityPlan, chapter 1, 4.499 Leung, Land Use Planning Made Plain, 218.500 Idem.501 For more information on servicing agreements see the Kelowna 2020 – Official Community Plan,chapter 1, 4.115buildings) are necessary for the project.In general, a development permit is a planning tool, especially since a city can offerincentives to elicit proposals of a certain nature or exact concessions in return for approving lessdesirable proposals. Overall, granted development permits provide guidelines for thedevelopment project while simultaneously attempting to protect existing infrastructure and thenatural environment. They are regulated by the OCP. Generally, a permit is only granted if theobjectives of the project comply with the OCP, or if Council approves the project502 in a piecemeal fashion.The last mention here goes to the building permit, which is the permit needed to erect,alter or extend an existing structure. This permit is only granted by the planning departmentwhen all the other requirements have been met, and the developer has proven to the City’sPlanning Department that he is in compliance.503 While the aforementioned explains thehierarchical order of planning documents and how planning visions are legitimated through thebureaucracy of the Planning Department, the bureaucratic journey of a development permit candiffer. I have established that, officially, development applications are made by a developer or adevelopment company to the City‘s Planning Department. However and as already mentionedbriefly, there are informal meetings between interested parties, land entrepreneurs and/ordevelopers, and senior city management, prior to the actual submission of the developmentapplication. One interviewee explains,“As for applications, regardless of where they are in the city, we strongly encourage theapplicant to come and sit down with us and have what we call a pre-applicationmeeting. And that can be simply a discussion. They might have plans, some preliminaryplans that they want us to look at, or they could be just looking at an area of town. Itdoes not really matter, we will sit down with them and look at what they are trying to502 For more information on development permits see the Kelowna 2020 – Official Community Plan,chapter 1, 5.503 Ibid.116achieve, based on the plans for the area, the zoning, the type of building it is. It isalmost like a sore thumb exercise: we will point out what some of the significantchallenges are that they might have in developing their project. We tell them where wethink they should be pushing based on our policy design deadlines. We will mentionany applicable incentive programs that may be available.”504In truth, developers and the city negotiate prior to a formal application being made.“So before they [the developer] get a formal application in, and the clock starts ticking,they will have a chance to refine their development plan. We can have two or three ofthese pre-application meetings if they want to refine their ideal project a littlefurther.”505This application is only filed once there is agreement between the developer and the PlanningDepartment. It has been suggested this way the City saves on paperwork, and avoids continualamendments to the ongoing development application process.506 However, I see this process asproblematic, especially since it is not possible to view records from these meetings: partially dueto privacy issues,507 and partially due to the fact that one cannot access development projects thathave not been entered into the computer system. They are simply not official records yet. Thatraises another serious question: How is accountability ensured in government officials anddevelopment and real estate industry relations, if negotiations are conducted without officialrecords? Further, from my research it emerged that it is impossible to find out who attendedmeetings, what was discussed during those meetings and, ergo, what compromises and/orpromises were made. Only once the application is recorded into the system, the applicant andhis/her attempts to alter the urban built environment become ‘official,’ but even then the Citydoes not release much information, citing issues of confidentiality.508 Generally, the public isonly informed of a pending development application, once the application goes to a public504 Interview One.505 Ibid.506 Interview Twelve.507 Interview One.508 Interview Eight.117council hearing, and that hearing is advertised on billboards on the respective property, as well aslocal community newspapers, and on upcoming council meeting agenda.City planning and development negotiations can be influenced by a city’s incentives andconcessions,509 since these present valuable planning tools for a city to steer and influencedevelopment. In offering incentives or exalting concessions, a city’s planning department usesits power to negotiate development, not only to directly influence the pace of development in aparticular area of the city, but also by steering the form and character of development. “Thepower to control development has […] given governments the leverage to ‘exact’ certainconcessions from developers in the community’s interest.”510To exemplify, concessions are made by a developer to a city during negotiations fordevelopment application approval. For example, in Vancouver, the Westbank ProjectCorporation511 has made concessions in the form of 75,000 trees (to be planted somewhere in BCforests), a public sculpture garden, and the restoration of the 1909 Coastal Church (located nextto the proposed development), as well as bestowing $2.3 million to the city’s affordable-housingfund,512 in return for development approval from the City of Vancouver to be allowed to build ahighrise at their desired location. Thus, the developer and the city have negotiated on a ‘price’that the developer must pay in order to be allowed to develop that project in that location.In contrast, if there are areas that are not developing fast enough, then a city may use509 Leung, Land Use Planning Made Plain.510 Ibid., 225.511 Skyscraper City, “Living Shangri La,“ (accessedSeptember 28, 2008).512 Mike Howell, “Architects Shangri-La in the Clouds,” Vancouver Courier, March 6, 2005 (FinalEdition).118incentives for developers to entice development. As Architect HL Leung explains,“communities […] offer incentives, such as use and density bonus, favourable tax assessment,and provision of services to entice certain types of development.”513The City of Kelowna offers a number of incentives to entice development, such asnegotiations on development cost and off-site charges, on-site parking requirements, cash-in-lieucharges, municipal taxation, permit fees, and the permit-approval process.514 In addition, it usestax incentives. One such revitalization tax incentive area is located right in the heart ofdowntown, including Leon and Lawrence Avenues, as can be seen in the small black square-likeshape on the left bottom corner of Illustration 5.3.3: Downtown Tax Incentive Area.515513 Leung, Land Use Planning Made Plain, 225.514 City of Kelowna, “Developer Incentives,” (accessed January5, 2009).515 City of Kelowna, “Bylaw 9630: A Bylaw to Designate Tax Incentive (Revitalization) Areas in BylawNo. 7600 Kelowna 2020 – Official Community Plan,” (accessed October 6, 2008).119Illustration 5.3.3: Downtown Tax Incentive Area. Source: Map created by Tina Marten (2009).Redevelopment in those downtown areas has not been successful, however, and in order to enticeredevelopment, highrise zoning was adopted in 1996.516 Nonetheless, despite the offering ofincentives while exacting no concessions, to date no redevelopment has taken place there, asituation that warrants further examination and analysis, as I do in the following chapter.Exacting concessions from developers should help planning departments ensure that516 Interview One.120planning is conducted in accordance with statutory governing documents, such as Kelowna’sOCP. This, amongst the goals for Kelowna, establishes that the pattern of development must nothave concentrated condominiums in the downtown, because a “full range of housing types,densities, sizes and prices/rents”517 must be built. In reality, however, most developmentsapproved are not in accordance with the OCP as seen in the City of Kelowna DevelopmentStatistics. Even though all housing markets are to be represented, it appears that the city does notenforce its own policies. Consistently, over the past six years, the newest type of housing built inthe downtown, have mostly been condominiums, while elsewhere they have been singledetached and row/townhouse units. 518 Indeed, land entrepreneurs take advantage of the fact thatthe City does not have an inclusionary housing bylaw, where a specific percentage of all newlyconstructed housing would have to be, and remain, non-market housing. As one intervieweeexplains, ”we are building upscale high-end homes.”519 Instead of ensuring affordable housingbeing mandatory in each new development, the City offers incentives to developers to enticeeven more luxury highrise developments downtown. The overall result of this lack ofinclusionary planning is a growing disparity in the housing market.520 Concessions seem to beinadequate tools to force developers to build affordable housing. In fact, they play no role, as oneof the interviewees explains: “None, not beyond general design parameters.”521 Clearly, in517 City of Kelowna, “Official Community Plan: Goals for Kelowna,” Section I, 6.518 City of Kelowna Planning and Development Services, 2007 Development Statistics (February 2008), 16.519 Interview Four.520 Recently Kelowna has been proclaimed as the 13th most expensive city to live in, in a comparison ofmajor urban markets in the countries of Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the Republic of Ireland, The United Statesand the United Kingdom. According to the Fourth Annual Demographia International Housing AffordabilitySurvey: 2008, in Kelowna the median house price is $446,300, whereas the median household income is $52,200.That results in a rating of 8.5, meaning the house price is 8.5 times more than the income. (accessed March. 20, 2008).521 Interview Eight. The City of Kelowna tries to stem speculation and buying houses for vacation rentalsthrough the actual design of the unit. “What we are trying to do, is trying to work with proponents when they come121Kelowna development practices are not regulated by social planning imperatives, whereconcessions are exacted from developers in return for development approval, instead members ofthe real estate and development industry apply to redevelop the urban built environment as theysee fit without having to make amends to the greater community. In fact, the City has created aproactive climate for the real estate and development industry, where “concessions occur [attimes] as part of […] growth maneuvering, not in opposition to it.”5225.4 CONCLUSIONThe neoliberalization of Kelowna’s urban built environment began in the 1990s as landentrepreneurs spent considerable time and energy preparing the city for a transformation.Through carefully concerted efforts that required much political will, the City was prepared forneoliberalism in part through the neoliberalization of the housing market. As relations with thelocal state were reworked, land entrepreneurs and capital became increasingly influential in theplanning process. Capital’s relations with the City changed as privatization and deregulationrestructured and reworked Canadian levels of government, downloading responsibilities from thefederal level to the provincial level and from the provincial level to the municipal level. As theCity was forced to deal with its new set of responsibilities, it developed new financial strategiesand governance models to deal with its new realities. The City’s attempts to lure capital, to enticeit to the table proved challenging since neoliberal capital is mobile and disembedded, alwaysseeking for larger profits.Throughout, however, the City became more receptive to capital, even its accomplice,while the public’s role and participation in urban planning was curtailed and shrinks. Other timesin to try and design the unit so that they are being more appealing to a resident rather then purely a vacation home, avacationer, or rental home. There are ways that you can design units to be more attractive to a resident owner.”522 Molotch, Strategies and Constraints of Growth Elites, 7.122public needs are simply disregarded. Concessions, generally, are not exacted by the City.While this chapter has discussed the influence of land entrepreneurs and capital on theCity and its planning process, it is just as important to examine how this entrepreneurial climateis created. The next chapter examines who in Kelowna has the ability to create a climateadvantageous for neoliberalism and offers examples of how this is done.123CHAPTER SIX: NEOLIBERAL AGENTS OF CHANGE AT WORK: A CASE STUDYOF KELOWNA’S DOWNTOWN TRANSFORMATION6.0 INTRODUCTIONAccording to Molotch523 agents of change are members of special interest groups, for exampleland and real estate developers and entrepreneurs that attempt to create opportunisticenvironments for growth and development. In the current neoliberal era, agents of changechallenge governments in preparation for neoliberalism. These agents purposefully manipulateeconomic, political, social and environmental realms to create fertile grounds for thedevelopment of neoliberal ventures. In doing so, they also act as gatekeepers of their areas ofinterests,524 controlling access to organizations and resources, as well as the distribution ofresources, either through direct personal political involvement and lobbying, or through moreindirect forms of involvement, like, for example, participating in taskforces and standingcommittees, and being involved in policy development. These strategies grant economic andpolitical elites advantageous positions525 where the position they hold is “itself a scarceresource,” and where they are able to gain “wealth, flattery, influence, [while using]organization[al] resources.”526 Consequently, economic and political elites are able to create andmaintain exclusive power networks essential for the reproduction of themselves as a class.527In this chapter, I attempt to identify some of the major agents of change emerging inKelowna in the last decade, paying attention to the groups that have been instrumental inchanging the face of Kelowna’s downtown. Namely, I will analyze the role of the Downtown523 Molotch, Strategies and Constraints of Growth Elites.524 Knox and Pinch, Urban Social Geography.525 Wellman, Network Analysis: Some Basic Principles.526 Ibid., 177.527 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism.124Kelowna Association (the DKA), the Chamber of Commerce (the Chamber), the EconomicDevelopment Commission (the EDC), the Urban Development Institute (the UDI) and theCanada Lands Company Ltd (the CLC). I study the role of these agencies in transforming thecity’s build environment through facilitating the application of neoliberal policies in economic,social and cultural strategies. Methodologically, I discuss the urban built environment in twoareas of Kelowna’s downtown that offer the most striking contrast in terms of motivated actionsby Kelowna’s agents of change: a) Ellis Street and Sunset Drive, and b) the Leon Avenue andLawrence Avenue area. While Ellis Street and Sunset Drive have been reconfigured withimportant intentional investments to be rapidly redeveloped with a number of luxurycondominium towers and other enhancements, Leon and Lawrence Avenues, a few blocks away,being the most blighted and impoverished area in the downtown, has not seen any investments indecades; on the contrary, it has been the focus of antagonistic policies and actions towards theusers of social services or other facilities existing in this area of the downtown.6.1 KELOWNA’S AGENTS OF CHANGEOne of the most instrumental agents in changing the face of Kelowna’s downtown is theDowntown Kelowna Association (DKA), which “began as a merchants’ group, a group ofbusinesses and business owners.”528 In November of 1989, with an application to Council tohave the downtown designated as a Business Improvement Area (BIA), the DKA was grantedpowers to improve and beautify the downtown business area.529 Legislating a BIA means that the528 Interview Five.529 A Business Improvement Area develops and undertakes programs and initiatives to improve adesignated BIA area. Once an area is declared a BIA, it is legislated by BIA legislation, and its members are leviedwith a special charge which is then used to implement the chosen BIA strategies (for example, programs andinitiatives that beautify the downtown and attract people there, public awareness campaigns, policing, economicattraction and retention programs). Business Improvement Areas of British Columbia, April 20, 2009).125City of Kelowna, on behalf of the DKA, levies taxes on all downtown properties (members’ feesare based on the total assessed value of the entire BIA), and provides these funds to the DKA inquarterly instalments. Furthermore, the DKA is financially supported from external fundingsources from private/ DKA members and industry, for example the Insurance Company ofBritish Columbia and Services Canada.530 The main goal of the DKA is to establish thedowntown as the premier business centre of Kelowna,531 organizing initiatives that lure people tothe downtown. Once there, potential customers are supposed to not only shop more, but alsoshop more often. To reach this goal the DKA conducts general area marketing with events thatpromote the downtown (for example through cultural activities like the annual concert series“Parks Alive!” in Kelowna’s parks), in addition to programs for economic development of thedowntown and business retention.532Although the DKA is presented as an organization concerned with improving publicspaces in general, it is primarily concerned with its members’ interests.533 Funds collected areallocated to downtown promotions, to rework downtown space, as well as for funding privatesecurity. In fact, since 2001 the DKA provides a private security force in the downtown with theDowntown Patrol,534 an initiative that thrives to this day and enforces the neoliberal discoursebehind the DKA. In addition, the DKA funds the Biz Patrol, another form of private police,where students are ‘disguised’ as ambassadors, also representing DKA interests on downtown530 Interview Five.531 Downtown Kelowna Association, “About us,” aboutus.html(accessed August 14, 2007).532 Ibid.533 Sharon Zukin, Loft Living: Culture and Capital in Urban Change (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UniversityPress, 1982).534 Since May of 2001, patrollers control a 42-square block radius of downtown, Monday to Saturday from9am to 10pm. They assist with “front line issues related to auto and commercial property crime, safety, hospitalityand the social environment.” Downtown Kelowna Association, “Programs,” (accessed October 28, 2008).126streets. In uniforms, they police the downtown gently, assisting tourists and shoppers, and callingon the Downtown Patrol to control panhandlers and other ‘undesirables.’ In other words, in aneoliberal move the City has privatized the policing of the downtown to a group with an investedinterest in protecting business, not the public. In addition, the DKA was also allowed by the Cityto create the Downtown Dumpster Removal Project535 -- a daily garbage pickup service.536 Thisis another example of neoliberalization,537 as the City, through claiming fiscal restraints, little bylittle privatizes public services and empowers business owners to control not only their privateproperty but the public space as well.538The DKA works closely with the City, urging its members to contribute to City matterson taskforces and standing committees, as well as other community boards. In fact, historically,DKA members have given input and voiced opinions for every major planning document,539 aswell as held positions on numerous City taskforces and committees.540 In addition, its membersregularly meet with City managers, members from the Chamber , the EDC, the UDI and otherdowntown stakeholders, such as the CLC, for business luncheons and other networkingopportunities,541 “[i]f it is downtown related, nine times out of ten [the DKA] are invited.”542535 Ibid.536 Downtown Kelowna Association, “Programs,” http://www. (accessed October 28, 2008).537 Denis, “Government Can do Whatever it wants.”538 Downtown Kelowna Association, “Programs,” (accessed October 28, 2008).539 Commonwealth Historic Resource Management Ltd. in association with AMS Planning and Research,Gryphos Land Use Planning Corp., Dennis McGuire, Steven Thorne, Scott Fraser, and Quoin Project and CostManagement. Cultural District Implementation Strategy and Marketing Plan; City of Kelowna Planning Departmentand Urban Systems Ltd., Kelowna Downtown: a People Place; City of Kelowna, Inner City Shore Zone ConceptPlan; City of Kelowna, Choosing our Future, Draft Strategic Plan.540 For example, on community groups and boards, such as “Communities in Bloom” and “Partners for aHealthy Downtown.” At the municipal level on the Mayor’s Entertainment Taskforce, as well as partners with theHotel Motel Association. Interview Three.541 Interview Three.542 Ibid; Wellman, Network Analysis.127Moreover, executive members have taken active roles promoting Kelowna nationally andglobally as a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers,543 which is a global tradeassociation of the shopping center industry.544 At those conventions, retail real estateopportunities are exchanged.“We will attend some trade shows and work with, really anybody, be it agents to privatepeople looking to come into the downtown. … we can help make connections. A lot of whatwe do, I think, comes down to being a central hub and that we can help make connections ona number of fronts.”545The DKA is a very well connected special interest group whose members are actively engaged inthe creation and sustenance of an entrepreneurial neoliberal climate in the downtown. Theysupport the privatisation of space, enforced through their private police, who protect the interestsof the DKA and its members. They further voice opinions on city matters, for example theOfficial Community Plan.546 Its members sit in Council committees, overall, they are involved inall matters of the downtown, especially matters pertaining to the current neoliberaltransformation.Whereas the DKA represents localized downtown business interest, the Chamber of Commerce’s(Chambers) 1630 members are dispersed throughout the city of Kelowna. In BC, the KelownaChamber is second only to the Vancouver Board of Trade (approximately 5000 members).547Funded through annual membership dues, as well income generated from events and543 Interview Three.544 The International Council of Shopping Centers has more than 70,000 members in Canada, the US and 80countries around the globe. For more information see International Council of Shopping Centers , “About,” (assessed February 18, 2009).545 Interview Three.546 City of Kelowna, “Official Community Plan Consultation,” (accessed April 21,2009).547 Interview Three.128sponsorships, with a budget of roughly “half a million dollars every year,”548 the Chamberreceives no government funding.The Chamber has been instrumental in shaping economic, political, cultural and sociallandscapes in Kelowna since its inception in 1906. It sees itself as a catalyst for a better businesscommunity with the “one prime reason for the chamber to exist - to do whatever is necessary tokeep the local area’s economic condition at a level where businesses will “risk their resources inthe community in the hope of making a profit.”549 The Chamber acknowledges its responsibilityfor Kelowna’s economic direction; in fact, it claims the latest growth and boom in Kelowna are,partially, a measure of its success.550 Many Chamber members believe that Kelowna holds aspecial spirit, as former BC Premier Bill Bennett echoes at the Chamber’s Centennial Dinner:“there has always been an entrepreneurial, community spirit that has beat just a little strongerhere in Kelowna…here in the heart of British Columbia…a spirit that has always made Kelownaa good place to open a business and to raise a family.”551 This entrepreneurial spirit is carefullycreated and nurtured by past and present Chamber members, many of whom belong to the localpolitical and economic elites. Chamber members have been and continue to present a powerfullobby, being simultaneously involved in the economic and political realm, often holding morethan one influential position, while at times straddling both realms. For example, there have beenseveral politically active Chamber presidents two even became BC Premiers: W.A.C. Bennett(Chamber president from 1937-1938 and the BC premier from 1952-1972) and his son BillBennett (Chamber president in 1966 and the BC premier from 1975-1985). Also, Grote Stirlingbecame a Member of Parliament (as Conservative Party member of the 1920s for the Yale548 Ibid.549 Ibid.550 Ibid.551 Bill Bennett, Speaking Notes Centennial Dinner, June 2006. (accessed August 28, 2007).129Constituency (which included the Okanagan Valley),552 and local residents J.W. Jones and LarryChalmers were elected to the Provincial legislature.553 In addition, six Chamber presidents servedas Mayor for Kelowna: D.W. Sutherland, J. W. Jones, W. R. Trench, W.B. Hughes-Games, G.D.Hammill, and W. Gray.554 Together, they have worked to sustain and foster the entrepreneurialspirit, advocating for Chamber members in a variety of ways.Chamber members lobby all levels of government, since “a united voice has far moreimpact than a single one, [therefore] the Chamber is in a position to influence outcomes.”555 Thisis done in several ways: at the municipal level Chamber members have written letters to Citymanagers and the Mayor, expressing their stance on citywide issues (for example the CDZ556).At the provincial level, Chamber executives have met with several provincial governmentrepresentatives and presented them with briefs’, “[d]iscussions at these meetings related tochallenges and obstacles regarding organized crime, the carbon tax, economic sustainability andother issues of concern to our members.”557 At the federal level, they have followed the samestrategy, Chamber executives meet with federal representatives to “discuss issues such as552 Living Landscapes, “Stabilization At Last: The Natural Products Marketing Act and Final Conclusions,” (accessed October 28, 2008).553 Personal e-mail correspondence with Jan Bauman, Secretary of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce,July 23, 2007.554 Ibid.555 Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, “Who we are,” index.php?fid=WhoWeAre&sid=About_the (accessed September 4, 2007).556 The proposed Comprehensive Development Zone (CDZ) comprises the area of the downtown betweenHarvey Avenue, Abbott Street, Bernard Avenue, Mill Street and Water Street. The CDZ erases all existingdevelopment guidelines in favour of new developer friendly planning bylaws, granting developers the right todevelop condos in exchange for monies levied by the City. The City, then, can use the levied funds to build publicamenities and affordable housing wherever they see fit.557 Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, “2008 Annual Advocacy,” uploads/2008annualadvocacysummary.pdf (accessed February 18, 2009).130organized crime, affordable housing, and homelessness.”558 The Chamber attempts to buildrelations with key decision makers in government, to create open dialogue.The Chamber’s goal over the past 100 years has remained steadfast: to “look after theinterests of the business,” 559 as well as break down barriers to doing business. Fitting examplesare the Chamber’s position paper560 on the CDZ, as well as the June and September 2008 lettersto current Mayor Sharon Shepherd and Council, in which the Chamber proclaims its support ofthe proposed OCP amendment, which proposes to solidify all current planning regulations,instead replacing them with comprehensive planning regulations – a necessity to implement theproposed CDZ.561 The Chamber has therefore been instrumental in a movement towardsneoliberalism. It has contributed to the privatization of responsibilities formerly resting with theprovincial and municipal government, favouring business but detrimental to the citizens ofKelowna in general and the poor in particular. The neoliberal urban reconfiguration of the city byintentional investment (in areas such as Sunset Drive and Ellis Street) and intentionaldisinvestment (in areas such as Lawrence Avenue and Leon Avenue), which the Chamber hasactively supported, has resulted in a drastic transformation of the downtown into a non-inclusive,upscale, highly segregated, and policed spaced. In today’s downtown, the poor and marginalpopulations are criminalized, dispossessed of many essential services, un-free to use the publicspace freely, and ultimately, displaced. Meanwhile, empty and semi-empty luxurycondominiums, the second homes of wealthy transients or speculators, began to fill other areas ofthe downtown.558 Ibid.559 Ibid.560 Chamber of Commerce, “Comprehensive Development Zone Position Paper,” (accessed February 18, 2009).561 Chamber of Commerce, “Letters to Mayor Shepherd,” June 6, 2008, and September 22, 2008 uploads/lettertomayorshepherd-ocp.pdf (both accessed February 18, 2009).131Attempting to support business in the entire Central Okanagan Regional District, the EconomicDevelopment Commission (EDC) has the function to promote the economic development ofKelowna and the Okanagan Valley region. The EDC was born out of a bylaw adoption,established by the Regional District of the Central Okanagan in 1972.562 Its role is threefold,focusing on business enhancement, attraction, and facilitation. Members are “working inpartnership [with governments, capital and business representatives, as well as stakeholders] tofacilitate a healthy, dynamic and sustainable community economy by supporting existingbusinesses and encouraging appropriate new business investment.”563 While the EDC attempts tostrengthen local business, their current preferred business strategy entails the enhancement of thelocal business base through the attraction of investment dollars, rather than the attraction of newbusiness to the region.564 This strategy is echoed in their goal to increase productivity and profitthrough enhancement and intensification of local businesses and niche markets.565 Morespecifically, this strategy is based on the willingness and propensity of local entrepreneurs tocreate favourable conditions for potential investors, vying to “meet […] the needs of potentialinvestors,”566 with the ultimate goal of attracting capital to the region. “Portfolio capital is just aseasily attracted by a speculative boom as it is by solid institutional and infrastructuralarrangements that might attract high-value added industries.”567 Angel investors, a particularlyrisk-welcoming type of entrepreneur, lend venture capital in return for gigantic profits (vying to562 Interview Four.563 Economic Development Commission, Kelowna 2007 Economic Profile, 3.564 Interview Four.565 Economic Development Commission, Kelowna 2007 Economic Profile, 5566 Economic Development Commission, “Home,” (accessed December 3, 2007).567 Okanagan Angel Network, (accessed February 20, 2009).132multiply their investments 10, 100 or even 1000 times!)568 for start-up of advanced technologyprojects. They are enticed to the Okanagan region by private invitation-only to high-riskinvestment opportunities. “Investment amounts will vary greatly, but typical angel investmentsare in the $25K to $100K+ range. Often, several angels will invest in a company. In some cases,millions of dollars have been invested.”569 In fact, elsewhere in BC, this form of capital attractionhas proven so successful that in the late 1990s the Okanagan Science and Technology Council(OSTEC),570 borrowed the idea and model from the Vancouver Angel Network and brought it tothe Okanagan to “improve access to capital for new business ventures.”571 In theory, the EDCand the Chamber, as members of OSTEC,572 are not only connected to the Okanagan AngelNetwork, but also to the Angel Capital Alliance, a “Professional Alliance of Angel Groups,”573with global connections to other Angel networks. Executives of the EDC and the Chamber donot only have access to risk-embracing individual Angels, but can also forge connectionsbetween (potential) entrepreneurs and capital. In reality, members of the EDC and the Chambercan access a vast network of investment capital locally, nationally and maybe even globally.568 This information comes from the Angel Network website as an explanation of an Angel’s expectations:“Just to make sure that our angels aren't confused with the philanthropic variety, entrepreneurs must understand that,because angels are willing to take huge risks, they also expect huge rewards. Returns on equity invested by angelsare not measured in percentage points; they are measured in multiples. Indeed, angels like to get 10 or 100 times,even 1000 times, back on their money!” Ibid.569 Ibid.570 Okanagan Science and Technology Council is a membership driven organization, “that fosters anenvironment that supports science and technology initiatives by acting as a representative and advocate for theinterests of members and the business community as a whole. We are a conduit that brings people together,partnering with industry, agencies and government. OSTEC's Mission Statement is to lead the development ofthriving technology-driven sectors in the Okanagan.” Okanagan Science and Technology Council, “Home,” (accessed February 20, 2009).It is important to notice that OSTEC’S members include the Economic Development Commission and theChamber of Commerce, as well as Urban Systems, a company that often assists the City’s staff and managers withits urban planning expertise. OSTEC, “Members,” (accessed February 20, 2009).571 Ibid.572 Okanagan Science and Technology Council, “Members,” (accessedFebruary 20, 2009).573 Angel Capital Association, February 20, 2009).133The EDC’s board has 30 members, representing the Okanagan business community, localgovernment and special interest associations.574 Appointees include the executive of theChamber from all the municipalities in the EDC jurisdiction,575 as well as political appointeesfrom municipal government and the Regional District of the Central Okanagan.576 Regardless,most of its funding comes from Kelowna’s taxpayers, collected and dispersed by the City, theamount contingent to the annual tax assessment. The last five budgets were around $620,000annually, with approximately $100,000 raised through partnerships with the federalgovernment.577The EDC is connected locally to the Chamber and the DKA. They contribute to speakingengagements at luncheons to award ceremonies,578 to attending other Development Commissionsmeetings (for example, the Vancouver Economic Development Commission). It is alsoconnected to government at the municipal level (the City and the Regional District of the CentralOkanagan), at the provincial level (to the Economic Development Ministry and the ProvincialNominee Team, who subsidize the economic development commissions, as well as theirmembers’ participation at trade events), and at the federal level (for example, Western EconomicDiversification Canada). In addition, the EDC is part of the Business Recruitment Team, a nowsix-year old partnership with the DKA and the Chamber, where the three agencies examineupcoming potential projects.579 According to one interviewee, “the three groups will organize574 Economic Development Commission, “Info,” (accessedDecember 3, 2007).575 In the case of the EDC this includes Lake Country, Peachland, Westbank and Kelowna.576 Interview Four.577 Ibid.578 Ibid.579 Ibid.134and host a lunch so that everyone will get together and meet them all in one room.”580 Plus, theEDC is a member of OSTEC, and as such holds a sure connection to the Okanagan technologysector. Lastly, the EDC is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centres, and itsexecutives attend International Council of Shopping Centres conferences jointly with DKAexecutives to market Kelowna’s retail real estate, business and capital opportunities abroad.581Collaborating with the DKA, the EDC is instrumental in shaping and fostering theeconomic climate of the city. The EDC is a key player between local, national and internationalbusiness and capital. It does not only publicize investment opportunities, but simultaneouslyhelps assemble and structure financial partnerships, and in doing so, legitimates neoliberal formsof capital investments, supporting and being supported by a speculative casino economy withshort-term investments.582Another instrumental player in the neoliberalization of the downtown has been the UrbanDevelopment Institute (UDI). This association represents the urban development, planning andreal estate development industry. Its mandate is to increase communication between thedevelopment industry, government and the public.583 Its corporate members are developers,property managers, financial lenders, lawyers, engineers, planners, architects, appraisers, realestate professionals, local governments and government agencies.584 Firms wishing to join one ofthe four BC chapters (Victoria, Vancouver, Kelowna and soon Vernon) must apply formembership (with two letters of reference), so that the board of directors can decide if the580 Ibid.581 Ibid.582 Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism.583 Urban Development Institute, “Home,” (accessed October 2, 2007).584 Urban Development Institute, “Membership,” (accessedOctober 1, 2007).135applicant fits the Association’s mandate. If, and once approved, applicants stand to benefit fromthe UDI’s“information pipeline, [have the] chance to make a difference, [are offered] professionaldevelopment opportunities, [may act as] government liaison, [partake in] partnershipsand networking opportunities, [will have access to the] exclusive members onlywebsite, [are privy to participation in] a social calendar, [and, in addition, might beeligible for] group health benefits.”585The Institute’s code of ethics states that “as a responsible corporation, [the UDI] recognize[s] theneed for wise, efficient and productive urban land use. To achieve this it is essential thatgovernments, communities and industry work together.”586In Kelowna, the UDI was born from the work of a group of developers, in the attempt torepresent the local development industry as a united front.587 Whereas the Kelowna chapter hasno national representation itself, the Vancouver UDI, where the Kelowna chapter holds a seat,represents all local BC chapters,588 being“committed to working with the Federal, Provincial, Regional and Municipalgovernments to ensure we create sustainable communities where all BritishColumbians, regardless of income levels, can find high quality housing and jobopportunities.[…] UDI is a well-oiled machine because of their commitment andservice.”589While not all Kelowna’s developers are UDI members, the UDI is the only local associationrepresenting developers in Kelowna.590 The UDI is funded entirely by private money591 andreceives no government support.592 Its members make financial contributions ranging from585 Ibid.586 Urban Development Institute, “About,” (accessed October 1,2007).587 Interview Fifteen.588 Ibid.589 Urban Development Institute, UDI Annual Report 2007, 5. Publications/UDI/UDI_Annual%20Report.2007_PDF.pdf (accessed January 2, 2008).590 Ibid.591 Interview Fifteen.592 Ibid.136CAN$300 to CAN$5000 a year.593 According to the UDI events website, AquiliniDevelopment,594 Ledingham McAllister,595 UBC Okanagan596 and Okanagan College597 areamong its sponsors.598The UDI states it holds respect for the public and consumers, community and land, thelarger environment and future generations, as well as for others in the development profession.599This association is very well connected, locally, nationally and beyond, and benefits fromnational and international affiliations.600 To illustrate, at the local level, UDI members work593 Ibid.594 Aquilini Developments belongs to the Aquilini Investment Group, whose members have beeninstrumental in the neoliberalization of Vancouver. The Aquilini Investment Group owns the Vancouver Canucksand are an official sponsor of Vancouver’s 2010 Olympic Games. Its team members include UDI executives, realestate and property developers, planners as well as construction companies. They have been responsible for theConcord Pacific neighbourhood in Vancouver and recently have been instrumental in highrise real estate anddevelopment in Kelowna’s downtown, with a development named “Twentyfour.” In 2007 the Vancouver Sunpegged Aquilini business at CAN$ 5 billion. Respectively, Vancouver Real Estate Direct. February 27, 2009,http://www. and BrianHutchinson, “Arrested development,” Financial Post Mobile, March 2, 2009, story.html? id=1299065 (both accessed April 19, 2009).595 Ledingham has been building in British Columbia since 1905. Bruce McAllister and Ward Ledinghambecame partners in 1984 and since then have been instrumental in real estate and development in Vancouver andnow in Kelowna: the CAN$150 million “Waterscapes” development on Sunset Boulevard and Ellis Drive, as well asthe proposed CAN$235 million master built community “Portraits” on the corner of Benvoulin Road and SpringfieldRoad. In addition, they have built for UBC Vancouver. In order, Ledingham McAllister, “About us,” and “New Communities,”;UBC Properties, “Awards,”; and the Economic Development Commission, “2008 Central OkanaganMajor Projects Inventory,” Major%20Projects %202008.pdf (all accessed April 19, 2009).596 UBC Properties Trust manages real estate development, planning and construction on UBC (Vancouver)and UBCO (Kelowna) lands. They have strong connections with Vancouver real estate and land developmentcompanies, in fact many developers and planners are UBC alumni. The UBC lands will never be sold, but insteaddeveloped with the goal to create endowment funds. Construction activity at UBC Okanagan is valued at CAN$207million, with another proposed building for CAN$30 million. The current UBC properties endowment is CAN$506million. UBC Properties Trust, “Endowment,” (accessed April 19,2009) and Economic Development Commission, “2009 Central Okanagan Major Projects Inventory,” (accessed July 24, 2009).597 2008 Construction activity at Okanagan College was valued at CAN$162 million. EconomicDevelopment Commission, “2008 Central Okanagan Major Projects Inventory,” Major%20 Projects %20 2008.pdf (accessed April 19, 2009).598 Urban Development Institute, “Events,” (accessed August 27,2008).599 Urban Development Institute, “Home,” (accessed October 2, 2007).600 Ibid.137closely with the City’s senior management and Council. They meet quarterly with the City ofKelowna Liaison Committee, where senior City officials and the Mayor discuss developmentmatters with UDI members. In addition, they collaborate with the Chamber and attend luncheonswhere City, Chamber and EDC members come together. Members of the UDI responsible for thecurrent transformation of the downtown do not only represent local business interests. One of itsmembers, currently interested in development possibilities in Kelowna, is the Senior VicePresident of Concord Pacific (part of the Aquilini Development Group), who in the past was alsothe president of the UDI Pacific Region Chapter,601 another is Ledingham McAllister.602 Clearly,both companies are trying to manifest their presence in Kelowna’s land development market.In conclusion, as an organization bringing together those with direct interest in land andreal estate development in Kelowna, the UDI has been instrumental in the transformation of thedowntown. It has held luncheons bringing senior City management together with landentrepreneurs and developers, often with presentations from land development experts.Moreover, the UDI has written to the Mayor asking specifically for increased incentives fordevelopers to build affordable housing in a profitable way.603 In fact, the City has a policy to601 Nate Berg, “BC Sees Development Market Frozen Into 2010,” Planetizen, February 4, 2009,http://www. (accessed April 19, 2009).602 Vancouver development companies Concord Pacific and McAllister are trying to develop in Kelowna.They have know-how and crane technology to build highrises. Moreover, McGarva (from VIA Architecture) hascollaborated with Concord Pacific in the past for Vancouver’s False Creek redevelopment. VIA Architecture hasalso worked for the Canada Lands Company. Respectively, commsvcs/currentplanning/urbandesign/ br2pdf/falsecreek.pdfFalse (accessed March 3, 2009).City of Kelowna Advisory Planning Commissionminutes, August 30, 2005. committees/advisory%20planning%20commission/history/2005%20meetings/minutes%20-%202005-08-30.pdf (accessed April21, 2009).603 Chamber of Commerce Statement of Policy, 3, (accessed April 21, 2009).138consult with the UDI as a special interest group in matters relating to the OCP,604 granting theUDI a say in municipal matters.The last agent of change with power to influence neoliberal transformations in the downtown inparticular, is the Canada Lands Company Ltd., a federally owned public crown corporationwhose sole shareholder is the Government of Canada.605 The mandate of the CLC was tomaximize value from Canadian National Rail Company (hereafter CN Rail) assets,606 butrecently has also bought other federal lands that are “surplus to the real estate needs of theGovernment of Canada.”607 The CLC deals with surplus land derived from earlier waves ofneoliberal privatization, in this case the privatization of the CN Rail Company. Uponprivatization of CN Rail in 1995,608 some of its holdings became superfluous. These ‘surplus’lands were in turn offered to the CLC, whilst rail operations remained with CN Rail.Conveniently, the CLC was able to ‘buy’ those properties from the government with only apromissory note,609 while “drafting […] an Agreement of Purchase and Sale […] in lieu ofpayment in cash at the time of sale.”610 This strategy grants the CLC the ability to defer capitalexpenditures on land purchases until the property has been redeveloped. This process happens604 City of Kelowna, “Official Community Plan Consultation,” (accessed April 21,2009).605 Canada Lands Company Ltd., “Home,” speeches/pdf/2002/sp10032002.pdf (accessedApril 3, 2006).606 Ibid.607 Canada Lands Company Ltd., “Frequently Asked Questions,” (accessedApril 21, 2009).608 The Canada Broadcasting Corporation reports that “the Canadian Government auctions CN off for 2.2billion in order to “streamline operations and raise funds for future growth” and the shares are traded publicly at theToronto and New York Stock Exchange. Thomson, Justin, CBC News Online, “Canadian National: from Coast toCoast to Coast,” (November 25, 2003), (accessed October 29, 2008).609 Canada Lands Company Ltd., “Land Transfer,” (accessedApril 3, 2006).610 Ibid.139away from the public’s view, since “details of on-going negotiations involving properties are notnormally public information.”611 Here the government, paradoxically, acts in ways unbeknownstto the public.The CLC has several strategies to create value from CN properties. Generally, the CLCfirst decontaminates and remediate the site.612 Thereafter, they sell so-called ‘non-strategic’properties to private developers, while keeping strategic properties for their own redevelopmentpurposes. A strategic property is one with land use zoning that permits developers to recoupclean-up and remediation costs with a 6-10% profit margin,613 so that the property can besubdivided and rezoned. Thereafter the CLC makes further choices: sell the subdivided andrezoned land either to a developer, or partner with a developer for redevelopment purposes.614The latter happened in Kelowna. The CLC acquired the Kelowna rail yard in 1995. Theclean up and remediation for the 35 acres site (25 acres of rail yard and 10 acres of land) beganin 1996.615 A development plan was soon put in place and finalized as the 1999 Downtown NorthArea Structure Plan.616 It allowed for subdivision and rezoning617 of the property for a mixed-use community, “incorporating industrial, office, commercial, residential lots and a hotel site,focussing on a 1.8 ha (4.8 acre) stream protection corridor and Sunset Park.”618 To date, the611 Canada Lands Company Ltd., “Frequently Asked Questions,” November 30, 2007).612 Lands used for railway operations need to be decontaminated and remediated, meaning that pollutantsand/or contaminants from rail way operations are removed from the environment (soil, ground and surface water).CN, Glossary of terms, “Remediation,” (accessedOctober 29, 2008).613 Interview Eleven.614 Ibid.615 Ibid.616 Stantec Consulting Ltd., Downtown North Area Structure Plan.617 Brandt’s Creek, “History”, (accessed November 30, 2007).618 Brandt’s Creek, “At a Glance,” (accessed December 2,2007).140development of Kelowna’s Brandt’s Creek Crossing is at varying stages. The portion of the siteapproved for highrise redevelopment has been pre-sold and construction has begun. One sectionof the property bordering Water Street, which has been rezoned for a hotel redevelopment,remains vacant. Initially, the Sheraton hotel chain announced they were to build a 20 storey619358 room luxury hotel in 2002,620 but that deal collapsed and in 2006 new plans to build aWestin Luxury Hotel were announced.621 That project also collapsed when the developer citedfinancing problems for this CAN$150 million project.622 To date, this part of the CLC property isstill undeveloped, an eyesore pile of pre-load, as Illustration 6.1.1: Preload on the Corner of EllisStreet and Clement Avenue below shows.Illustration 6.1.1: Preload on the Corner of Ellis Street and Clement Avenue. Source: Photo taken by Tina Marten.(February 2009).The CLC has therefore collaborated with the City for a decade now, the CLC hassucceeded in having the OCP zoning and bylaws amended in order to complete its landdevelopment goals. Moreover, executive members sit on Council committees and give input intoplanning issues. In doing so, the CLC has not only successfully contributed to the619 Steve MacNaull, “Major Hotel Sought for Downtown,” The Daily Courier, October 18, 2005.620 Canada Lands Company, “Canada Lands to Sell Hotel Site to P.R. Hotels Ltd. to Develop a SheratonHotel at Brandt's Creek Crossing,” (accessed October 29,2008).621 Alistair Waters, “Hotel Chain has Curious Way to Announce Local Project,” Kelowna Capital News,April 19, 2006.622 Steve MacNaull, “Top-10 Business Stories,” The Daily Courier, December 19, 2007.141reconfiguration of its north end downtown land parcel, but also reshaped the downtownelsewhere.Overall, in Kelowna, the focus of economic development is twofold: according to the KelownaEconomic Development Commission’s website, the focus is not solely to attract new business toKelowna, but also to “grow and diversify existing businesses.”623 Yet, the modus operandiremains the same: intensification of the economy equals growth and densification, followed byin-migration. In order to reach this goal of unbridled growth, the local growth coalition has tocreate a discourse that supports growth pursuits, suggesting that growth is in everyone’s interest.As such, newspapers and magazines, close allies of the growth coalition, become the medium forthe growth coalition’s new discourse, publishing experts’ opinions, heralding members of thegrowth coalition as local heroes, and printing pro-growth feature articles. In exchange foradvertising dollars, they produce glossy and shiny advertisements of the new land and real estatedevelopments. Dissenting opinions are not denied and one can find anti-growth letters to theeditor, but the stance of the editor can bee seen in between the lines. In Kelowna, the climate inthe local papers The Daily Courier and the Capital News has been in favour of the growthcoalition and there has been very little examination of the growth coalition or its members.A very recent example of the social construction of a pro-growth discourse can be seen inthe Okanagan Life magazine’s article “The Future of our Valley: a Roundtable Discussion,”624which is a verbatim account of a three part discussion between three university professors, twodevelopers, a consultant/wine grower, a farmer, an architect and an entrepreneur. Some of the623 The Economic Development Commission, “Info,” (accessedOctober 9, 2007).624 Okanagan Life, “The Future of Our Valley: a Roundtable Discussion,” (Jan./Feb. 2008) (accessedNovember 23, 2007).142attendees are, one way or another, closely affiliated with Kelowna’s growth machine. Forexample, Gail Temple is a member of the Urban Development Institute and works for theAlberta developer Phil Milroy.625 There are other members of the growth coalition, for examplethe director for Smart Growth BC, as well as large-scale property developers.626 During thesecond segment of the interview, participants imagine the Okanagan Valley’s future, the “idealOkanagan Community.”627 It is in this section that the experts, or the “the Okanagan’s bestminds and important players,“628 begin the creation of a discourse that imagines an idealcommunity based on the interests of the growth coalition, leading to the third part of theroundtable, which deals with development and growth. This is the most interesting section,because it is here that the participants suggest that Kelowna can be home to three million peopleliving in high-rise buildings. One roundtable expert makes the statement that “we haven’tdeveloped the land that we have and [we must] retrofit [...] it in a way that will allow us to keepour vistas of the hillsides, the quality, the beauty – all those things that people came to livehere.“629 The new terminology is not to develop land, but to retrofit and redevelopunderdeveloped land. Temple“would love to say something to that. It’s that, but it’s also that – I mean,redevelopment, you’re so right. The footprint of this community – we could have somany thousands of people living here and simply by just redeveloping the land that wealready have sacrificed, that already has buildings on it. [...] one of the biggest things inmy job – I stand in front of council and I lobby for developments all the time and one ofthe most difficult things is – we’re talking about redevelopment, we’re talking aboutinfill630 and changing neighbourhoods that actually already exist. And if we’re going to625 The developer Phil Milroy is instrumental to the restructuring of Kelowna’s downtown. I describe andanalyse Milroy’s role in Kelowna’s reconfiguration in greater detail in the following chapters.626 Okanagan Life, The Future of Our Valley.627 Ibid (my emphasis).628 Ibid.629 Okanagan Life, The Future of Our Valley.630 Infill refers to reconfiguring and redeveloping urban space with higher densities, or in other wordscreating more square footage in already developed areas.143go to that hundred year vision, these communities that exist today – that are all thesesingle family houses or whatever on the flats – they’re going to have to go through aperiod of transition and they’re going to have to change. One of the hardest things thatwe do is lobby for higher density infill development, because people stand in thatgallery and they go on and on about how we are now destroying their neighbourhood.But it has to actually change.”631This discourse suggests that only once the underutilized space is redeveloped, Kelowna willbecome an ideal community. Clearly, this community vision is not ideal for everyone, whichbecomes apparent in the opposition that developers face. Temple herself offers an example,“And we fought three years to go for a piece of property, long and hard, and we usedthe smart growth argument and showed that we were putting amenities that people[inplace][...]. But the hard thing was, 200 people came out to that gallery and held upplacards and council caved. And maybe now, five years later, council wouldn’t cave.But I’m telling you, it’s easier to go get a zoning on a piece of hillside because no one’sgoing to come out and fight you, because you’re not affecting anybody. So infill, asmuch as we all say it’s great, it’s really difficult and we need to educate people thatthat’s okay.“632There are only few groups or people who think more critically about the current growth thatKelowna is subjected to. There is open disdain about the idea to limit growth in any way orshape and as a result, discussions about new projects are very limited. Further, at times the meresuggestion of an open discussion is dismissed as ‘anti-growth.‘ The newly constructed discourse,based on the redevelopment of all this underutilized space, tolerates no counter discussions, butinstead suggests that all this new development is sustainable, good for cities, the environmentand those living within. That, in reality, any building activity represents intensification ofeconomic activity, and in turn is good for the growth coalition, is missed. ‘Smart growth’ and‘environmentally’ sensitive building is still building. The discourse centred on sustainabledevelopment is propelling growth and can thus have a variety of flavours – but the result is moreand intensified growth.631 Ibid.632 Ibid.1446.2 TRANSFORMATION OF KELOWNA’S URBAN BUILT ENVIRONMENTIn Kelowna, setting the stage for downtown redevelopment in the past decade materialized intwo distinct ways: through the injection of capital in one area while halting capital investment inanother. In other words, the stage was set with intentional investment and disinvestment. Capitalwas deliberately injected in the creation of an area designed as “the Cultural District,” triggeringa highrise development wave along Ellis Street that spread into the North End. In contrast, LeonAvenue and Lawrence Avenue suffered from years of intentional disinvestment, resulting in ablighted ‘problem’ area. Ironically, both areas belong to the same overall neoliberalredevelopment project.In the late 1980s, Ellis Street was on the verge of becoming a “problem area”: anindustrial area with nightclubs, the city’s food bank and massage parlours. To combat “urbandecay” and to set the stage for redevelopment, the City assembled properties in the area. Theybought properties as they became available for sale and supported the building of the GrandHotel (South Tower in 1993 and North Tower in 2000) along Okanagan Lake’s shore, andhighrises633 (the Dolphins in 1993 and the Lagoons in 2000634) on Sunset Boulevard.635 This wasthe beginning of the Cultural District,636 following Zukin, I may say, an urban reconfiguration633 The highrise is the most transforming development in Kelowna’s urban built environment. At the turn ofthe millennium there were only four highrise in Kelowna, but since then, according to Momer, the number hasmushroomed to 14 (11 additional highrises in the downtown). The year 2004 was pivotal for highrise construction:It was the first time in Kelowna’s history that more condos were built than single family dwellings. Bernard Momer,“Time to Grow Up? Kelowna’s Changing Skyline,” Planning West 48(3) (2006), 12-14 and City of Kelowna,Development Statistics 2006, 3, Docs/PDFs//Strategic%20Planning/2006%20Development%20Statistics.pdf (accessed March 27, 2008).634 SkyscraperPage.Com, “Diagrams,” (accessed March 3, 2009).635 Interview Fourteen; The City of Kelowna supported these redevelopments since they provided tourismaccommodation and were located in close proximity to the Cultural District. See the Commonwealth HistoricResource Management Ltd. in association with AMS Planning and Research, Gryphos Land Use Planning Corp.,Dennis McGuire, Steven Thorne, Scott Fraser, and Quoin Project and Cost Management, Cultural DistrictImplementation Strategy and Marketing Plan; Stantec Consulting Ltd and Downtown North Area Structure Plan;City of Kelowna Planning Department and Urban Systems Ltd., Kelowna Downtown: a People Place.636 Kelowna’s Cultural District, “The District: About Us,” March 18, 2008).145based on the reproduction of white middle class cultural space.637 Zukin explains that culturalspaces are spaces where “images and memories symbolize ‘who belongs’ in specific spaces”638created with the active participation of land entrepreneurs. Along with those newly configuredurban spaces, identities are forged, suggestive of those who belong and who do not. Culture andart, as themes, plus expensive stores, real estate and vacation rental offices are some of thecatalysts that propel a very particular type of urban development,639 a development that is“delectable […] an urban oasis were everyone appears to belong to the middle class,”640 and inKelowna, a white middle class.One iconic place in the cultural district is the Laurel Packinghouse. Built in 1918, itpreserves the history of the local orchard industry. In the late 1990s, the City subsidized thebuilding of the Rotary Center of the Arts, a center complete with a large auditorium, art exhibitsand where artists are able to rent studio space. In the mid-1990s, the City also entered into apublic-private partnership with RG Properties to build the Prospera Place arena.641 It was notuntil the City had planted the seeds for the transformation of the downtown that other agents ofchange entered the game. The City invested through several market cycles until the time was ripefor the development industry to jump in. “It [was] quite exciting. Free enterprise [started] outsome projects, put some land acquisitions together to make it work. It [worked] like a kick in thepants.”642637 Sharon Zukin, The Cultures of Cities.638 Ibid., 1.639 Zukin, The Cultures of Cities, 10.640 Idem, (author’s emphasis).641 City of Kelowna, “Prospera Place,” (accessed February 23,2009).642 Interview Three.146Once the Cultural District had been consolidated as a catalyst for a new downtown, manydevelopers became openly and actively involved in its redevelopment. Coupled with the City’ssupport in the form of rezoning, one developer, Ken Webster, was the first to build on EllisStreet. He completed the Cannery Lofts in 2005, a building unlike anything ever attempted inKelowna before.643 Webster became “a visionary” in the local real estate and developmentcommunity, who risked and succeeded with this new concept of loft living in Kelowna: “[t]heCannery Lofts, for example, were really designed for young professionals, for the creativeclass644 [because] the City strives to attract this class.”645 Webster “was the first guy over thegate to make a run on Ellis Street.”646 Thereafter other developers became interested in the area,making their redevelopment applications to the City. These applications for the construction ofhighrises required rezoning, which was a small hurdle, apparent in the number of highrisesapproved. There are three highrises in various stages of construction along Ellis Street today. InIllustration 6.2.1: Looking North on Ellis Street the above-mentioned pioneering Cannery Loft isin the background (on the left hand side), with the Downtown Lofts towering over a newapartment building in the foreground.643 Steve MacNaull, “Cannery Sales Lofty,” The Daily Courier, March 15, 2006.644 The term creative class refers to a socioeconomic class, that Richard Florida argues, plays a key role inthe New Economy. This class’ individuals are often employed in the high tech sector, they are knowledge workerswhose largest asset is their creativity. For a much more detailed discussion about the Creative Class see RichardFlorida, The Rise of the Creative Class (New York: Basic Books, 2002).645 Interview Three.646 Interview Three.147Illustration 6.2.1: Looking North on Ellis Street. Source: Photo taken by Tina Marten (February 2009).Illustration 6.2.2: Looking South on Ellis Street. Source: Photo taken by Tina Marten (February 2009).148The message conveyed is that this area of downtown is hip, desirable to live in, urban, yet safe.This is the ‘new’ Kelowna, where the creative class dwells.The ‘new’ downtown is home to independent, modern city dwellers, who understand thevalue of mobility and consumption. They enjoy living downtown in lofts and highrises, since thislifestyle is the new chic, especially appealing to people with ‘lock and leave’647 mentalities.Highrise dwellings may be locked up and left sitting empty, making them attractive real estate toout-of-towners, especially those looking for secondary or tertiary vacation real estate investment.It is questionable, however, how much absentee homeowners can contribute to a city’scommunity.Many of those who do purchase real estate are promised pleasure and a leisure lifestyle insecured spaces. Hedonistic lifestyles in fortified spaces result from fear of Others, those whocannot afford to shop in the area’s designer stores, frequent the upscale establishments or live inthe highrises. A highrise is a vertical gated community,648 a development for a certain group ofpeople, segregated according to class, socio-economic means, race and/or age,649 inclusionaryonly to those who can afford it, whereas the socio-economic weak and poor are not welcome.The features sold to city dwellers in highrises are sameness and homogeneity in controlled andfortified environments totally secluded from the community in which they are erected. Lookingat Illustration 6.2.3: A Fortified Highrise Entrance on Ellis Street, one notices iron bars curvingoutward, making it impossible to scale them. In this particular building, the entrance is video-monitored with a coded swipe key-card. In addition, the metal door is reinforced, making itimpossible to reach through the bars.647 erl-daniels, Urban living comes to Kelowna, 39.648 Setha M. Low, "The Edge and the Center: Gated Communities and the Discourse of Urban Fear,"American Anthropologist 103(1) (2001), 45-58; Zukin, Loft Living.649 Momer, Time to Grow Up?149Illustration 6.2.3: A Fortified Highrise Entrance on Ellis Street. Source: Photo taken by Tina Marten (February2009).There is a sense that people who live in this building are secured from the outside world. But notonly is the building secure, there is also surveillance on the street, which in practice means thepublic space of the street is privatized to protect these downtown building dwellers, those whobelong. However, as the pictures of Ellis Street above show, while the streets are scrutinized bythe eye of the cameras and filled with lines of parked cars, the sidewalks remain deserted, a clearreminder that the other side of the culture of security and safety is fear.To conclude, Kelowna’s downtown has been transformed, with the establishment of themodern Cultural District in downtown Kelowna, commemorating white culture and invitingpeople to participate in a celebration thereof. New downtown residents live in highrises, seducedby hedonistic lifestyles, while secured and protected on the one hand by a fortification of theirliving space, and on the other by the privatization of public space. The result is a culture basedon segregation, propped up by security and reinforced by fear.Whereas surrounding the Cultural District and Ellis Street a discourse of success,modernity, culture, and hedonism has been created at the same time that an important injection150of private and public investment has materialized, Leon Avenue and Lawrence Avenue havesuffered from years of intentional disinvestment, especially from a lack of investment in thephysical features and infrastructure. There have been neither cash injections nor physicalimprovements like the streetscape improvements in the Cultural District.650 But more striking yetis the discourse under which this area is represented. The agents of change described above havebeen instrumental in the creation of an urban ‘barren’ land both materially and discursively. Forexample, property owners have not been forced to maintain their buildings, there are no hangingbaskets mounted on the street lamps, just as there are few amenities such as benches. The Cityhas not provided property owners on Leon or Lawrence Avenues with the same incentives thatEllis Street land entrepreneurs have been offered; there have been no public-private partnerships.Instead, Council has granted several nightclub owners liquor licences and over time, the area hasbecome ‘blighted’ and ‘derelict’ with vacant boarded up buildings. Today, nightlife and servicesfor the poor are presented as similar. They are both shown to be impediments to the urbanredevelopment of downtown. Several nightclubs and three social service agencies, the Ki-Lo-NaFriendship Centre, the Kelowna Drop-Inn Centre and the Gospel Mission are lumped together asproblematic. In this discourse, the nightclubs make too much noise and fill the streets withdrunks at closing time, while the non-profit agencies attract ‘marginal’, ‘undesirables’ andhomeless people.651The Gospel Mission, a faith-based non-profit organisation,652 provides shelter for men ona daily, first come first served basis. They offer services such as meals, haircuts, and emergency650 City of Kelowna, Kelowna Centre Streetscape Improvement Study (May 1994).651 From a neoliberal viewpoint, these marginal populations are failures in the market place as they did notrealize their potential (see Denis, “Government can do whatever it wants”).652 This organization is located in the proposed Comprehensive Development Zone.151dentistry653 to Kelowna’s homeless populations. Depending on the time of day and socialservices provided elsewhere, marginal populations traverse up and down Leon and LawrenceAvenues. In the summer, many of them hang out in City Park, much to the chagrin of somepeople in Kelowna.Nurtured by neoliberal discourse, disdain towards marginal populations is dominant inKelowna. Strong feelings have been voiced in the local media, as the following excerpt shows:“Your taskforce should consist of bouncers, bikers, riot squad, vigilantes and legaltypes. Find out what you can do to drive them [vagrant homeless bums] out. Hose themdown. Make it miserable for them. Give the hotels the right to charge people money tosleep on the street, in dumpsters, in the park. It’s time to get nasty and move them.”654This writer is ready to engage in warfare against homeless individuals and worries helping ahomeless person will invite more people to choose this “free-loading” life style. Another writerasks for a return to a safe downtown. This person had to step over a homeless person and nowdid not feel safe any longer to walk downtown streets at lunchtime.655 Both letter writers askedwhy the City would allow these people to be there. They suggested that surely, they, astaxpaying citizens, have more rights to Kelowna’s downtown streets than ‘wasted’ individuals,as if the ability to pay taxes is the passport to citizenship.However, these individuals are not the only people perturbed by homelessness andpoverty. Other neoliberal agents of change are also very worried: A past president of the DKAclaimed, “[our members] have a right to conduct business and that is front and centre for us rightnow.”656 Another stated, “the Gospel Mission creates a street presence that unfortunately653 Kelowna Gospel Mission, “Home,” (accessed March 7, 2009).654 Beth Browne, “Hose’em Down and Run‘em Out of Town,” Letter to the Editor, Kelowna Capital News,January 30, 2005.655 Leslie Laird, “Our City Needs to Return to Safety,” Letter to the Editor, The Daily Courier, July 20,2005.656 Interview Five.152frightens some citizens of Kelowna.”657 And yet another admitted that agencies of that natureserve a purpose, but it is difficult to let them coexist with business and suggested that thisconcentration of social service agencies in one neighbourhood is a problem.“From a business perspective, when you concentrate those social services, and then it isa congregation of a certain kind of people in an area. That is what you have. And from abusiness perspective, from a doing-business-perspective, as well as from a touristperspective, it creates a threatening kind of environment for people and it is not a verycomfortable environment for people.”658It is not surprising to encounter a discourse of us/them in these neoliberal times where the rightof business overrides any other human right. Thus, there is no sense of shame in proposing tomove the non-profit organization serving the poor out of the downtown core in the name of “abusiness perspective, from a doing –business-perspective as well as a tourist perspective.”659Alfred Heinrich, an advocate to the housing-first-approach,660 suggested people needhousing first, only then they will stay off the streets. To be successful with the homeless, theymust be scattered across the city into rental housing, “[s]pread them out, remove them from thelifestyle, show them a better way, how to live in communities.”661 Removed from theirdysfunctional situations, they will ‘better themselves’ and stay in their new housing. Eventhough this approach to ending homelessness seems more humanitarian, his comments have adistinct neoliberal flavour: he suggests that being homeless is a life style, simply a choice thatindividuals make. Heinrich’s further suggested that even though institutions like the GospelMission have a purpose, a critical evaluation is necessary. As early as 2003 Council became657 Interview Twelve.658 Interview Three.659 Ibid.660 This approach proposes that people are more receptive to intervention and social service support afterliving in their own housing, gaining confidence and control over their lives faster and more successfully than thosethat are living in temporary shelter arrangements. See “Beyond Shelter: Housing First. Ending familyHomelessness” for more information. April 20, 2009).661 Marshall Jones, “Shelter Concept May be Outdated,” Kelowna Capital News, February 4, 2005.153interested in relocating the Gospel Mission662 and commissioned a CAN$25,000 dollarfeasibility study to investigate a possible move.663 Problematic for the City, however, is the factthat those social service providers are property owners, owning their buildings outright. TheCity’s excitement was further stifled with the cool reception from residents elsewhere. Movingthe Gospel Mission to another place proved a tough sell. Besides, as the local columnist AlistairWaters, poignantly wrote, “moving [the] Gospel Mission won’t make needy disappear.”664Active disinvestment in “‘blighted’” areas, presents the lowest point of a developmentcycle, an undesirable space filled with derelict buildings amidst a lacking infrastructure. In thesedeprived and derelict areas, agents of change have purposefully not invested or pushed fordevelopment, and over time, the area becomes more blighted, thus preparing the area forredevelopment. In Kelowna, land entrepreneurs argue that the situation on Leon and LawrenceAvenues is so dire, that only drastic measures can bring about positive change. This argument issupported by a willingness to invest in that area only if a drastic planning measure is adopted byCouncil: a CDZ. Upon adoption of such a CDZ, all current development and building guidelinesare dissolved and replaced with newly created guidelines, allowing for highrises redevelopmentof a four-block area “bounded on the north by Queensway Avenue and on the south by HarveyAvenue and on the east by Water Street and on the West by Abbott and Mill Street.”665 Thisinitiative, the City argues, will re-invigorate empty downtown streets, densify the core, andmanifest the westerly portion of the downtown as Kelowna’s gateway, and showcase the area as662 City of Kelowna, Downtown Redevelopment, “Frequently Asked Questions,“ (accessed April 21, 2009).663 Marshall Jones, “The Heat is on the Homeless,” Kelowna Capital News, January 28, 2005.664 Alistair Waters, “Moving Gospel Mission Won’t Make Needy Disappear,” Kelowna Capital News,February, 25 2005.665 City of Kelowna, “Frequently Asked Questions,” (accessedSeptember 27, 2007).154the heart of downtown, the heart of the city – locally, nationally and internationally, albeitaccording to the interests of special interests.6666.3 KELOWNA’S COMPREHENSIVE DEVELOPMENT ZONEIn September of 2007, the City publicly announced a redevelopment initiative to rejuvenate andgentrify the two most blighted areas of downtown. This initiative, the ComprehensiveDevelopment Zone foresees the ‘razing’ of a four block downtown area, which is seen inIllustration 6.3.1: Area of the Proposed Comprehensive Development Zone.Illustration 6.3.1: Area of the Proposed Comprehensive Development Zone. Source: City of Kelowna, “The StudyArea,” (accessed May 10, 2009).The CD Zone 21 proposes to redevelop the area with 13 highrise towers, some up to 30 storey’shigh, in addition to new shopping centers and some public plazas. City Park and the waterfront666 Ibid.155will also be redeveloped to augment access to the waterfront, and to reinvent and revitalize thearea with new amenities, such as a public wharf and new marinas. Illustration 6.3.2 Rendering ofthe Proposed Comprehensive Development Zone exemplifies the proposed urbanreconfiguration.Illustration 6.3.2: Rendering of the Proposed Comprehensive Development Zone. Source: City of Kelowna.667. (accessed May 10, 2009).A project of this magnitude is new to Kelowna. The entire downtown will be furthertransformed, displacing still even more of the current small-town city centre. For the City, andmany land entrepreneurs, the CDZ is the most radical answer to bringing redevelopment andrejuvenation to the downtown. Studying the history of the CDZ, it is evident this initiative hasbeen a long time in the making, and many agents of change, among them land entrepreneurshave invested much political will to bring this proposal to fruition.667 City of Kelowna, “Frequently Asked Questions,” (accessedMarch 23, 2008).156Officially, there was mention of the CDZ for the first time in September of 2007. Thelocal Kelowna Daily Courier reporter Ron Seymour proclaimed there had been a “visionunveiled for fixing [a] forgotten part of downtown.” The Planning Department shared its visionof a new downtown with a select few, offering a concept plan to revamp it. However, thisinitiative began in January of 2006, when the Downtown Centre Strategy Task Force (hereafterDTCSF), a City statutory committee, was struck. This taskforce has the mandate to “adviseCouncil on initiatives to make the Downtown a more desirable place to live and work.”668 Itprovides a forum for downtown land entrepreneurs and some Council members, as well as citystaff to explore and pursue downtown redevelopment initiatives. Many members (such asdowntown land entrepreneurs) of this committee hold vested (economic) interests in thedowntown. The taskforce’s six representatives are drawn from the UDI, the DKA, the Chamberand the CLC, in addition to two Councillors. One of the first tasks of this committee was toreview the plan Kelowna’s Downtown: a People Place.669 The UDI also supported this re-evaluation, suggesting what parts of the Downtown Plan should be re-examined. At the May2006 meeting, a joint letter from the UDI, the Chamber and the DKA was presented arguing areview of the Downtown Plan was necessary.670 Thereafter, during the June 15, 2006 meeting,local developer Ken Webster indicated his willingness to contact architect and urban planner RaySpaxman, and to ask if he could work as a consultant for the City.671 Spaxman had spearheadedseveral urban redevelopments elsewhere in BC, for example for the City of Vancouver and the668 City of Kelowna, Downtown Centre Strategy Task Force, “Terms of Reference,” (accessed November 28, 2007), 1.669 City of Kelowna Planning Department and Urban Systems Ltd., Kelowna Downtown: a People Place.670 City of Kelowna, Downtown Centre Strategy Task Force, “Minutes May, 2006,” (accessed November 28, 2007).671City of Kelowna, Downtown Centre Strategy Task Force, “Minutes June 15, 2006,” Docs/PDFs/City%20Clerk/Terms%20of%20Reference%20-%20Downtown%20Centre%20Strategy%20Task %20Force.pdf (accessed November 28, 2007).157City of Nanaimo. He had also worked with the Canada Lands Company, Canada Mortgage andHousing, the University of British Columbia, and other levels of local government.672 Spaxmanis a well-connected land entrepreneur living in Vancouver, working as a planner and consultant.He has been instrumental in forging change to the urban built environments of Vancouver andelsewhere. Actually, consulting for Kelowna allowed him to work with many of the samecompanies and land entrepreneurs with whom he had worked in the past. The City’s goal was toask Spaxman to “comment as to how (and if at all) the existing Downtown Plan falls short andhow, if necessary, any shortfalls can best be addressed.”673 By November 2006, the DCSTF hadCouncil’s support to hire Spaxman for the cost of CAN$20,000 to conduct his review of theDowntown Plan. He began his assignment in February of 2007.674Spaxman compiled his results into the Kelowna Downtown Plan Review, now widelyreferred to as the Spaxman Plan,675 and presented it to Council in July 2007. Within he states theCity needs to find a “champion with authority and commitment, with relevant resources toprepare and implement the new Downtown Plan and to ensure that ongoing developments areproperly conceived while the plans are being developed.”676 Spaxman warned, should the Citynot act on his recommendations, the downtown would continue to deteriorate and become an672 The Spaxman Consulting Group, “Projects,” (accessedSeptember 20, 2007).673 City of Kelowna, Downtown Centre Strategy Task Force, “Minutes October 19, 2006,”, (accessedNovember 28, 2007).674 City of Kelowna, Downtown Centre Strategy Taskforce, “Minutes November 16, 2006,” (accessed November12, 2007).675 John Zeger, Citizens for a Livable Downtown, “The Process Prior to August 2007,” (accessed March 7, 2009).676 Letter from Ray Spaxman to Mary Pynenburg, dated June 29, 2007. 2007%2D07 %2D23/ item% 205.1%20%2D%20downtown%20plan%20review.pdf (accessed Sept. 27, 2007).158even more blighted area.677 He further warned of “piecemeal and poorly executed [development]leading to an inefficient, disconnected and unattractive place”678 should the economy pick up andthe City be left without a comprehensive plan in place.At the same time, the City was buying land in the downtown in the hopes of accruingenough of a land base to jumpstart redevelopment.679 Their goal was to accumulate enough landto collaborate with a developer to get the ball rolling.680 During that time, the City became awareof Phil Milroy, President of Westcorp Properties Inc.,681 who was also attempting to purchaseland. Milroy was no stranger to the City. At some time in 2004, Milroy had proposed a veryambitious CAN$250 million development for Kelowna’s downtown waterfront, dubbed LawsonLanding.682 Thereafter the then-Mayor Walter Gray and five members of his Council had eventoured some Westcorp Properties in Edmonton.683The magnitude of Milroy’s redevelopment vision had scared some of Kelowna’s citizens,many of whom decried the sale of parkland to this developer.684 These letter writers questionedwhere Council’s allegiance really was: with the citizens of Kelowna or a developer fromEdmonton, who envisaged highrise redevelopment along the water’s front?685 There was a677 Ibid.678 Ibid.679 Interview Twelve.680 Ibid.681 Westcorp Properties Inc. owns and manages real estate, and they acquire, develop, construct, market andmanage property volume of CAN$210,000,000. Daily Commercial News and Construction Record, “WestcorpProperties Inc.,” (accessed April 23, 2009).682 Westcorp Properties Inc., “Current Developments,” development _current_lawson.html, (accessed March 7, 2009); Economic Development Commission, “Central Okanagan Major Projects2008,” 5.683 John Thompson, “The John Thomson Report: Willow Inn and Westcorp,” Story: 1984,,June 10, 2004, =show_story&id=1984&page=13#1984 (accessed April 23, 2009).684 N.A. “Kelowna Residents Speak out Against Waterfront Development Proposal,” The Vancouver Sun,August 5, 2004.685 Andy Thompson, “City's Future Out of the People's Hands,” Kelowna Capital News, February 13, 2008.159collective sigh of relief when the Lawson Landing proposal was not approved due a negativeenvironmental assessment from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans686 and was subsequentlytaken off Council’s table.687However, afterwards Milroy’s interest in taking the risk of being the first to developalong Kelowna’s waterfront was not forgotten by Mayor Sharon Shepherd. In March of 2007,she commented on Castanet that the door for collaboration with Milroy remained in fact open:“The door is still open for some form of waterfront development in Kelowna’sdowntown core. I look forward to hearing from Mr. Milroy. We would like to maintainhis interest in the downtown core and hopefully, there can be some project that will stillmeet the needs of the community as well.”688Milroy reaffirmed his willingness to collaborate. He released a statement to the Kelowna press,stating that, “Westcorp will be reviewing re-development options for its properties on the cornerof Queensway Ave and Mill Street.689 Westcorp Properties remains committed to the future ofdowntown Kelowna.”690 Kelowna had found its knight. “Ray Spaxman who did our review ofthe downtown plan said you need a champion, you need a white knight that actually seessomething in the downtown. Mr. Milroy is that person.”691Milroy was excited by the warm reception and returned to Council yet again with anotherproposal. He proposed to spend CAN$200,000 of his own money to prepare a conceptual plan686 Milroy had proposed to fill in part of Lake Okanagan in order to reclaim the lakeshore so that it wouldbe possible to build a marina. For this, however, he needs approval from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans,as Okanagan Lake is under federal jurisdiction.687 Milroy wanted to fill in part of Okanagan Lake, but the Department of Fisheries and Oceans refused togrant approval.688 Wayne Moore, “Door Still Open: Mayor,”, March 21, 2007, (accessed August 21, 2007).689 My research shows that Milroy only bought the hotel site in 2008. Until then he simply paid for the rightto purchase.690 Westcorp Properties Inc., “Current Developments,” development _current_lawson.html, (accessed March 7, 2009).691 Interview Twelve160that - if successful - would trigger redevelopment downtown. The City accepted his offer.692Milroy provided Council with the money, and the City in turn hired Graham McGarva of ViaArchitecture, whose “fee was being paid for with monies put up by Westcorp.”693 Truth be told,and as the above history of Milroy, McGarva and Spaxman explains, they had worked closelytogether in the past (in Vancouver).Then, in September 2007, the City organized a workshop 694 to listen to the concerns andvoices of the area’s landowners and businesses. A second meeting was afterwards arranged, thistime by invitation only, which included the DKA, the UDI, and the Chamber.695 Subsequentlythere were two open houses at the City (September 27, 2007 and November 6, 2007) in additionto one further workshop with downtown land owners (October 5, 2007). The City also conducteda community survey in September 2007 (1219 answers), simply a “non-statistically/unscientificsurvey of ten questions … aimed at gauging the form of development of the subject area thatwould be acceptable to the Citizens of Kelowna.”696 Thereafter, on February 11, 2008, Counciladopted an amenity package, a wish list from developers, including a “1.51 acres of outdoor parkand public spaces, a public plaza, pier, affordable housing and daycare or meeting spaces.”697While this may look like an interesting proposal, it must be noticed that in this plan the Citycontrols only the zoning, whereas the developer decides how, when and at what pace to build.698One wonders how the City could hold developers accountable to their promises in the case the692 Jennifer Smith, “City loses control over downtown planning,” Kelowna Capital News, August 24, 2007.693 Livable Kelowna, “Process,” process.php (accessed March 15, 2008).694 City of Kelowna, “Public Process Chart,” (accessed March 15,2007).695 Ibid.696 Ibid.697 City of Kelowna, “Frequently Asked Questions. Downtown Redevelopment,” (accessed March 20, 2007).698 Ibid.161CDZ comes to a realization. Discursively this re-development is not only to be necessary forKelowna and its future well-being, but also to be the sole viable alternative to rejuvenate thedowntown. The re-development of Lawrence and Leon Avenues was expected to help attractpeople to the previously empty downtown to “Live! Work! Play!”699The CDZ is an excellent example of how Kelowna’s agents of change have made effortsto affect urban restructuring according to neoliberal principles. The City has responded to theinterests of capital by becoming their partner in transforming the urban built environmentaccording to their interest rather than those of the general public. After cleaning the downtownfrom its most ‘undesirable’ citizens, a new configuration will bring new and expensive buildingsand new real estate opportunities. A new pier and marina is expected to appeal to people withdisposable income to consume culture and leisure. While the City partners with capital to makethe CDZ a reality, the City simultaneously relinquishes its control to capital, taking only care ofthe zoning. Capital is free to create speculative markets, which will influence the pace ofdevelopment. Clearly, developers will build ‘their’ highrises first, ensuring they earn their heftyprofit margins. The publics’ amenities will be built at some point in time when the market is ripeto do so. In the meantime, the downtown could be a construction site for twenty to thirty years.7006.4 CONCLUSIONKelowna’s neoliberalization has been carefully brought about, with much political will fromseveral neoliberal agents of change: the City, the DKA, the EDC, the Chamber, the UDI and theCLC, Kelowna’s growth machine. Together they prepare the city for a neoliberal urbanrestructuring, working in powerful collaborative frameworks. They come together in meetings, at699 Slogan of the Economic Development Commission advertising Kelowna. Seen on the EDC website inJanuary of 2008.700 Graham McGarva at the October 21, 2008 City of Kelowna Public Council Meeting.162conferences or in committees where they create opportune possibilities and set the stage forurban reconfiguration.On the one hand, reconfiguration of urban space has been forced with intentionalinvestment, as in the Cultural District and Ellis Street area, and intentional disinvestment, as onLeon and Lawrence Avenues, who have been starved of investment. Both strategies areinstrumental to urban redevelopment, however, since they simply represent different stages in theredevelopment cycle. The uneven redevelopment pattern has allowed members of the real estateand development community to purport drastic redevelopment measures to the City, as theproposed CDZ exemplifies. A severely deprived area needs an extreme makeover, and intenseplanning measures are the panacea. The complete reconfiguration of a four-block area withhighrises, plazas and other public amenities are deemed the sole possibility, to rejuvenate thedowntown and revitalize the city’s core.Consequences of neoliberal urban reconfiguration include, but are not limited to, atransformation of the area’s population, especially when newly created real estate marketsbeckon with potential profits. People purchase real estate for investment purposes howeverremain absentee owners. The newly created space is privatized, purposely built for many marketinteractions, and interactions within this space are scripted. Public space is transformed and lost,whereas the newly created space is heavily regulated, fortified exclusive and militarized.163CHAPTER SEVEN: CONCLUSIONNeoliberal capitalism has been spreading around the world since the 1970s.701 Neoliberalism wasfirst underwritten by theories and models that originated in the relatively obscure department ofeconomics at the University of Chicago and by an alliance of academics, business people, andpoliticians who met at Davos, Switzerland, to advance the interests of financial speculativecapital and globalizing transnational corporations. Its basic tenet is that the “invisible hand of themarket” is the most efficient instrument in the organization of relations between people, the mostpure form of allowing human’s essence to flourish. Unhindered competition without governmentor regulatory interference of any kind is the ideal state of this project. Thus, the old capitalistsystem with its national protections, regulatory bodies, relatively strong unions, and welfare stateadministered under a Keynesian paradigm had to be replaced by new systems where capital andgoods were allowed to roam the world unchecked.The first comprehensive attempt to implement a neoliberal model was under the aegis ofa Chilean military dictatorship that followed a military coup in 1973. Thereafter neoliberalismbegan to spread throughout the world, propelled by a crisis of the Fordist capitalist system thathad started in the early seventies. While the early neoliberal “shock treatment” was possible inChile because of sheer terror, the model penetrated other parts of the world under democraticregimes. The neoliberal ideology became hegemonic guiding economic policy, politicalplatforms and finally the human ethic of citizens itself. Neoliberalism permeated economic,political and social realms both in the metropolitan centers and in the hinterlands. The impact ofneoliberalism on the hinterland has been little studied. Canadian studies of neoliberalism haveemerged rather recently, and it is very timely to investigate how neoliberalism impacts the701 Bourdieu, Acts of Resistance and Firing Back; Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism; Klein, TheShock Doctrine; Winn, Victims of the Chilean Miracle.164Canadian hinterland.Neoliberalism reworks not only economic, political, social and ethical realms, but alsothe urban realm, and its spaces and places restructuring cities, which in turn must adjust to thenew structures.702 Within the neoliberal logic, cities become competitors.703 Large and smallcities adapt to the new neoliberal realities and articulate to the hegemonic national and globalinterests. City politics give way to models often designed to represent the interests of local forcesvying to survive and take advantage of new political, economic, social and ethical forms. This isthe focus of this thesis.This thesis investigates how neoliberalism has affected Kelowna, BC, examining in detailhow the City has positioned itself in the process of neoliberalization. I study how, in the pastdecades, the City has become a facilitator for neoliberal capital, offering its urban realm and thespace of the Okanagan Valley as the medium for profit creation. I explore how Kelownatransforms due to neoliberalization, and grows from a small mid-sized semi-rural retirement andresource-based city to a Census Metropolitan Area, with more than 50,000 people in its urbancore. Focusing especially on the downtown, I explore how a neoliberal market is facilitated tofunction smoothly. I further investigate who is in the position to create and influence such amarket, paying special attention to the individuals and agencies that hold the power to do so. Iuncover that a neoliberal market does not work on its own, but instead is guided, facilitated andprotected by what urban sociologist Molotch calls neoliberal agents of change (landentrepreneurs and select members of the planning, real estate and development industry, as wellas business). Indeed, I examine how the main institutions of the groups that are dominant in thecity’s politics and economy (the Downtown Kelowna Association, the Chamber of Commerce,702 Zukin, The Cultures of Cities.703 Brenner and Theodore, Spaces of Neoliberalism.165the Economic Development Commission, the Urban Development Institute and the CanadaLands Company Ltd.), supported by the City’s senior staff, and legitimated by the City’splanning, have functioned to facilitate the transformation of the city to profit from a worldspeculation boom in housing, consumerist approaches to gourmet tourism, and new views ofpost-Fordist work and play.In Kelowna, by the early 1990s, there was a push to transform the local economy into anew one based on tourism, high-tech, high end retirement, real estate development and landspeculation. The closures of the local sawmill and truck-manufacturing plant embodies the finalstages of Fordism in Kelowna and with it, the end of secure unionised employment.Agriculturalists had to adjust to the impact of NAFTA, moving toward the production ofexpensive crops and wine-tourism. The city organized itself to aggressively attract capital, and inits offering presented a skilled workforce and a privileged urban space. Among others, softwarecompanies took root in the area and call centers relocated to the Okanagan, epitomizing thechanging nature of the North American economy. The Call centers in particular represented thepost-Fordist labour market with its contractual precarious entry-level part-time jobs. The workculture in Kelowna was adjusting to neoliberalization with its unequal division of wealth, thetemporary nature of employment, and de-unionization. However, as the push toward making ofthe Okanagan a sort of Silicon Valley petered out, the local agents of change began to rely moreand more on the discourse of beauty and on the urban space to link to the Canadian and globaleconomy.Urban space is a powerful resource for cities, especially in neoliberal times, when citiesmust entice capital by, for example, dismantling barriers to capital or grant special tax breaks. InKelowna, the City facilitated the approval of resort developments where people could own atimeshare, of a growing number of gated communities and redevelopment areas. The tourismindustry that historically catered to lower income visitors commenced to develop and middle-166class tourists began to develop loyalty to Kelowna. A discourse that promised a life of leisure (orwork coupled with leisure) in the Hawaii of the North,704 helped to create a new market for thosewho wanted to move to Kelowna permanently or for those who wanted a second home in theOkanagan. In particular, many of the immigrants to the Okanagan were people from Vancouverwho could sell their houses and move to the cheaper and white(r) hinterland, or workers fromhigh paying jobs in the booming Alberta oil industry, who were able to buy real estate in thevalley. More so, as a culture of speculation seeped into the ethics of North American populationsfuelled by access to easy credit and long-term mortgages, Kelowna appeared as a desirable realestate market to make quick profits. Together, these forces helped bring capital and permanentand temporary residents to Kelowna. Subsequently, themed gated communities, largesubdivisions and new neighbourhoods were built all over Kelowna and the Valley, and highriseswere built and planned for the downtown. In fact, the housing industry fuelled speculativehousing markets in the new century.The city’s institutions have flexibly adjusted to the new conditions, keeping a favourableenvironment for capital. This is reflected by a new plan to transform the downtown. The Citywants to redevelop it according to the interests of capital, hoping to facilitate profitaccumulation. Proposed is a Comprehensive Development Zone (CDZ), a completereconfiguration of the existing downtown space, to replace the areas close to the waterfront withluxury high-rises and new public amenities. In this proposal, the City is only responsible for thezoning, whereas the final design, timing and construction responsibility lies with the developer.The City argues that this redevelopment will revitalize the urban space, attracting skilled workersand taking a page from Florida’s705 creative class. City plans argue that more people living in the704 Momer, The Small Town that Grew and Grew and…705 Richard Florida, Cities and the Creative Class, (Routledge, New York: 2005).167downtown will translate into more dollars spent in the downtown, helping downtown businessthrive. In turn, this CDZ will make the downtown a desirable place to be for the rich andwealthy, which then will move to Kelowna to “work and play.” Problematic to this developmentis the presence of Kelowna’s marginal, poor and homeless population in the area. Currently, theyaccess social service providers located in downtown core, and hang out in the downtown andCity Park. In fact, these people are seen to be such an impediment to urban redevelopment that itis proposed to move some of the social service providers out of the downtown core and scatterthe homeless clientele into secondary suites across town. What will become of Kelowna’sdowntown remains to be seen, but the sheer magnitude of this proposed reconfiguration serves asa success of neoliberal agents in preparing the City for neoliberal collaboration, and at the sametime demonstrates the City’s willingness to facilitate capital. That said it might be no surprisethat Council passed the proposed CDZ in October of 2008.However, I am writing this in the spring of 2009 when neoliberal capital, easy credit andhousing speculation are at a crossroad. The economic global crisis that started in 2008 has notonly changed Canada’s economic climate; by now, the consequences of the global cash crunchhave reached Kelowna.706 Construction has ground to a halt,707 projects have been postponed orentirely shelved,708 and workers have been laid off. The speculative housing market has folded asinterest in real estate investments has dried up. I wonder how neoliberal agents of change willonce again work the market to sustain the growth-centered discourse that supports theredevelopment of downtown space. I question, how they will create new markets and/or reviveold ones. I ask, will neoliberalism be able to sustain itself in Kelowna, and if so, what form andshape might it take? 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(September 22, 2008) and (both accessedFebruary 18, 2009).George, Susan. “A Short History of Neoliberalism.” Conference on Economic Sovereignty in aGlobalising World, March 24-26, 1999, (accessed February 1, 2006).Moss, Laurence A.G. “Amenity-led Change in Rural Towns and Region.” Amenity MigrationPlanning Capacity Building Workshop 1, Castlegar, BC (April 9-11, 2008). /media/innovation/regional-innovation-chair/planning-for-amenity-migration /Amenity_Led_Change.pdf (accessed September 1, 2008).Peck, Jamie. “Neoliberalism on the Loose.” Paper presented at a Research Talk at the Universityof British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, BC, March 15, 2007.Stewart, Susan I. “Amenity Migration.” North Central Research Station, (USDA Forest Service,Evanston, Il.: 2000) (accessedSeptember 1, 2008).176Personal conversation with Kelowna Realtor Wayne Ross, in Kelowna, BC, September 2008.Personal conversation with Ian Graham, Chair of the Poverty and Homelessness Action Team ofthe Central Okanagan, in Kelowna, BC, January 14, 2009.Personal conversation with City of Kelowna Planner Nelson Wight, March 10, 2006.Personal e-mail correspondence with Jan Bauman, Secretary of the Kelowna Chamber ofCommerce, July 23, 2007.Personal e-mail correspondence with the Madison Team, June 17, 2007.INFORMALLY PUBLISHED ELECTRONIC SOURCESAlacra Store. “Riverside Mergers.” (accessed September 12, 2008).Angel Capital Association.” Home.” (accessed February 20, 2009).Beyond Shelter: Housing First. “Ending family Homelessness.” (accessed April 20, 2009).Brandt’s Creek. “At a Glance.” (accessed December2, 2007).---. “History.” (accessed November 30, 2007).Brenda Mines Closed. “History of Brenda Mines.” September 12, 2008).Business Improvement Areas of British Columbia. 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