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Down to the nitty gritty : the politics and practice of implementing a vision in Kensington-Cedar Cottage,… Slack, Sarah 2005

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DOWN TO THE NITTY GRITTY: THE POLITICS AND PRACTISE OF IMPLEMENTING A VISION IN KENSINGTON-CEDAR COTTAGE, VANCOUVER by SARAH SLACK B.A., The University of British Columbia, 1997 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTERS OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES [Planning] THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April 2005 © Sarah Slack, 2005 ABSTRACT Kensington-Cedar Cottage [KCC] is one of twenty three local areas as defined for planning purposes in the City of Vancouver. It is an area characterized by remarkable social diversity. KCC was one of two local areas to pilot the Community Visions program, a new approach to local area planning employed by the City of Vancouver. The KCC CityPlan Committee is comprised of a group of area residents who work with planners from the City of Vancouver in the implementation of the KCC Community Vision. This research asks in what sense the existence of the KCC CityPlan Committee strengthens community planning by facilitating inclusive citizen participation in decision making about the future of the area. This thesis finds that while the existence of the Committee facilitates active citizen participation in decision making about the future of the area for the relatively small group of people who are involved in its activities, the Committee is not representative of the residents of KCC. The KCC CityPlan Committee facilitates information sharing about planning activities with the wider community; however, the priorities and activities of the Committee and Community Vision Implementation Program do not reflect the needs of many KCC residents who struggle daily with securing adequate and affordable housing, food, childcare, and transportation. This research also finds that the existence of the KCC CityPlan Committee provides opportunities for neighbourhood groups in the area to coordinate at the local area level, build a broad base of support, and find resources for their initiatives. In the relationships created between neighbours, that result in collective action toward inclusion, we can find possibilities for neighbourhoods in which all residents feel they belong. The Community Visions Program does support the activities of some of these neighbourhood level groups, though mainly those concerned with environmental beautification. Exclusion and growing disparity will be a reality in Kensington-Cedar Cottage, unless there is a sustained and active commitment to the goal of inclusion by citizens, community groups, city planners, and politicians. Two actions that would result in more inclusive planning in Kensington-Cedar Cottage are support for initiatives at the neighbourhood level that foster inclusion, and the establishment of meaningful partnerships with community based organizations working with marginalized members of the community. TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT ii LIST OF TABLES v LIST OF FIGURES vi ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS vii DEDICATION viii 1. INTRODUCTION 1 This Was No Bowling Alone Scenario! 1 CityPlan & Community Visions Implementation 2 Research Question 4 Research Methods 4 In-depth interviews 5 Participant observation 6 Document analysis 7 Research as a process of social learning 8 Scope 9 Organization 10 2. PHILOSOPHICAL FRAMEWORK 1 3 The Seductive Tango Of Consumer Citizenship 1 3 Should Community Planning Be Political? 1 7 The Never-ending Slam Dance Of Democracy 19 The Meanings Of Community 21 Where Communities Of Place And Action Meet 23 The Paradox of Community 23 A Persistence Of Hope For Inclusive Communities 25 3. LOCATING KENSINGTON-CEDAR COTTAGE 28 A Brief History 30 Into The New Millennium 34 4. PLANNING IN VANCOUVER AND THE EMERGENCE OF VISION1NG 38 History Of Planning In Vancouver, Kensington & Cedar Cottage 38 The Politics Of CityPlan: City Council's Role 44 CityPlan And The Changing Role Of The Planner 47 CityPlan: Directions for Vancouver 48 From CityPlan To Community Visions ...49 5. THE KENSINGTON-CEDAR COTTAGE CITYPLAN COMMITTEE 56 History & Role 56 Membership & Mandate 59 Structure & Activities 63 Creating a Neighbourhood Centre at Kingsway and Knight 64 Conclusion 72 6. LIMITING AND FACILITATING INCLUSIVE PARTICIPATION 76 Structural Factors 76 The Vancouver Charter 77 Livable Region Strategic Plan 78 iii At-large electoral system 81 City of Vancouver organizational structure 83 Approach To Planning 86 Information sharing 87 Partnerships to enhance community development 88 A planning presence In the community 90 Relationships Of Proximity 92 Relationships between citizens and planners 92 Relationships among neighbours 92 7. TOWARD A MORE INCLUSIVE PRACTISE OF PLANNING 99 8. EPILOGUE 106 APPENDIX A: CITYPLAN COMMUNITY,.VISIONS PROGRAM TERMS OF REFERENCE SUMMARY 1 09 APPENDIX B: CITY OF VANCOUVER ORGANIZATION CHART 111 WORKS CITED 112 i v LIST OF TABLES Table 1: CityPlan and Community Visions Timeline 3 Table 2. Interview Codes And Dates 6 Table 3. 2001 Census Data 35 Table 4. CityPlan: Directions For Vancouver 49 Table 5. Community Visions Process 51 Table 6. City of Vancouver Community Services Departments 84 v LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1. Ken Lum's "There is no place like home" 26 Figure 2. City of Vancouver Local Areas 29 Figure 3. Kensington-Cedar Cottage Local Area. 30 Figure 4. Michael Turner's poem (iv) from Kingsway 33 Figure 5. Kensington-Cedar Cottage Vision Highlight Map 55 Figure 6. Kingsway and Knight Neighbourhood Centre Delivery Program Area 66 \ ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I begin my acknowledgements with sincere thanks to the citizens and planners who shared their time, thoughts and stories with me in the interviews I conducted for this research. Thanks to Ken Lum and Michael Turner for incisive words and images that challenge and inspire, and for permission to share your art with those Who read this thesis. To my wonderful thesis supervisor John Friedmann, my thanks for the incredibly insightful questions that persisted through the years until I answered them and for insisting that I write a narrative. To Leonie Sandercock, whose evocative writing and comments about both the challenges and potential for an inclusive planning practise inspire my persistence of hope. Thanks also to Kari Huhtala, for taking time out of a busy schedule to be involved in this project, and contributing considerable insight into local area planning in Vancouver. To fellow students in the PhD Colloquium, your perceptive questions and encouragement helped me to work through ideas and challenges that I encountered in this journey. Vanessa, Joanna, Dave, Rebekah, Rachael, and Naomi - I was motivated to finish this thesis so I could be a good example for you of the importance of education, and finishing school! Thanks to my friend Charm, for moral support. To Paige, who has nurtured my education in so many ways: from being a teacher who so obviously cared and took an interest, to a friend whose support enabled me to realize my goal of studying at UBC. To my husband Jim, for your never failing support and for taking such good care of Emma and me, especially in the home stretch. To my enchanting daughter Emma, our mutual delight in each other's existence was a source of so much inspiration to me as I wrote this thesis. vii DEDICATION To my mother Susan, who taught me to think independently, nurtured my intense curiosity about the world around me, and encouraged me to be analytical by telling me my first word was 'why?'. I wish she were still here to celebrate this milestone with me. viii 1. INTRODUCTION This Was No Bowling Alone Scenario! My first encounter with the Kensington Cedar Cottage CityPlan Committee, the group that would eventually become the case study for this thesis, was in the spring of 2001. I had just finished my first year at the School of Community and Regional Planning and had my head stuffed full of ideals about citizen participation and the belief that sustainability can be achieved through the democratization of planning. At this Annual Meeting of the Kensington Cedar Cottage CityPlan Committee that I attended, I found a room full of 50 or so citizens, interested and engaged in the planning of their neighbourhood. This was no 'bowling alone' scenario1! I also found city planners who had come to the neighbourhood, not the other way around - and learned that this happened on a regular basis - once a month in fact. This was unique, compared to my experience of a lack of any sustained presence by planners in Mount Pleasant, the neighbourhood where I was living at the time. I was very interested in finding out more about the KCC story and what it could teach me about the possibilities for community planning in Vancouver. I was born in Vancouver, but moved to Ontario when I was a pre-schooler. I returned to this beautiful place to begin my university ' "Bowl ing A l o n e " is the title o f a b o o k by Rober t P u t n a m that a r g u e s A m e r i c a is b e c o m i n g a s o c i e t y c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a d e c l i n e in p e o p l e ' s e n g a g e m e n t in the i r c o m m u n i t i e s . 1 education at UBC and have called this city home ever since, finding a life partner, a job with a progressive non-profit organization, recently buying a home, and welcoming an enchanting little girl into our family - in short putting down roots. I settled upon this case study for my thesis research in part as a way to discover more about my city that I love, its social history and fascinating politics. My academic and professional interest is in what this story has to teach me about the ethics and pragmatics of planning practise. CityPlan & Community Visions Implementation The KCC CityPlan Committee comes out of a process the City of Vancouver has been engaged in for more than a decade. The CityPlan process began in 1 992 as an exercise in city-wide visioning for 0 Vancouver. City council members and planning staff wanted an overall plan for the city that could provide a framework and broad vision for decisions on City programs, funding, policy decisions, and actions over the following twenty years. This three year process cost $4 million dollars with the end result CityPlan: Directions for Vancouver, adopted as policy by council in 1 995. CityPlan was short on specifics and the Community Visions program was launched to flesh out the details and implement CityPlan vision directions at the local area level. It is here that Kensington-Cedar Cottage enters the story as one of two local areas that was chosen to begin this experiment in community visioning in Vancouver. KCC is 2 one of 23 local areas defined for planning purposes in the City of Vancouver. The KCC Community Vision was completed in 1 998 and in 1999 the KCC CityPlan Committee was formed for the implementation stage of the Community Visions process. Table 1 outlines the timeline for the CityPlan and Community Visions processes. Table 1: CityPlan and Community Visions Timeline CITY WIDE VISION 1992 CityPlan process begins. Purpose is to produce a city wide plan that provides a framework and broad vision for decisions on City programs, funding, policy decisions, and actions over the next twenty years. 1995 City council adopts CityPlan: Directions for Vancouver. COMMUNITY VISIONS 1997 Community Visions process launched to bring CityPlan to the local area level. Dunbar and Kensington-Cedar Cottage chosen as the two pilot areas for the process. 1998 KCC Community Vision adopted by City Council. 1999 KCC CityPlan Committee created for the implementation stage of the Community Vision process. The KCC CityPlan Committee is composed of volunteer residents who meet once a month with planning staff from the City of Vancouver, to 3 share information and help monitor and implement ideas contained in the KCC Community Vision. Research Question Out of my interest in the specifics of the KCC story, my broader philosophical interest in participatory democracy, and my professional commitment to social inclusion in planning practise, a research question emerged: In what sense can we say the existence of the KCC CityPlan Committee strengthens community planning by facilitating inclusive citizen participation in decision making about the future of Kensington-Cedar Cottage? This is a classic kind of planning question. It is a question with citizen participation at its heart. One which many, many people have asked before with reference to other cases. The persistence of these kinds of questions speaks both to the importance of inclusion and participatory decision making in democratic planning and to the ongoing need to be attentive to the ways in which they can be implemented in planning practise Research Methods I employed a variety of methods in the research for this thesis including interviews and participant observation of KCC CityPlan Committee meetings and related events. I also conducted a review and analysis of 4 City of Vancouver policy documents, minutes of KCC CityPlan meetings, and other relevant City of Vancouver publications. In-depth interviews 1 interviewed ten people for this research project. Eight of the interviews were with citizens who at the time were, or had been, involved in the activities of the KCC CityPlan Committee. Two are planners who work directly with the KCC CityPlan Committee members. The interviews occurred between October 2002 and January 2003 2. The most recent civic election in Vancouver occurred on November 1 6, 2002 exactly half way through my interviews and hung thick in the air of every single one of them. The interviews were open ended in the sense that I had a full page of interview questions in front of me, that served more as a guide for discussion rather than a rigid template for data gathering. I used the list of questions at the end of the interview to ensure we had covered main themes. During the interviews I asked follow up questions or probing questions that led the discussion in the direction of the themes I had established. Interviews are coded in the body of the thesis in the following manner shown in Table 2. 2 A l l o f the in te rv iews w e r e c o n d u c t e d o n e o n o n e , w i t h the e x c e p t i o n o f t w o p e o p l e w h o m I i n te rv iewed at the s a m e t ime . I tape r e c o r d e d all o f the in terv iews e x c e p t for one . T h e in terv iews w e r e held in p e o p l e ' s h o m e s or o f f ice , m y h o m e , a n d co f fee s h o p s . A l l o f the in terv iews were b e t w e e n o n e a n d two h o u r s l o n g . 5 Table 2. Interview Codes And Dates CODE DATE CITIZENS Cl October 22, 2002 C2 October 22, 2002 C3 October 22, 2002 C4 October 29, 2002 C5 November 2, 2002 C6 November 21, 2002 C7 November 22, 2002 C8 November 28, 2002 PLANNERS PI December 1 8, 2002 P2 January 8, 2003 I had met the people I interviewed previously at the monthly KCC CityPlan Committee meetings, which I had been attending regularly for about one year before I conducted the interviews. In order to recruit interviewees, I gave a brief presentation of my proposed research at the KCC CityPlan Committee meeting in October 2002. After that presentation a number of people approached me and volunteered to be interviewed. They all happened to be men! I subsequently sent official recruitment letters to those who had expressed interest in being interviewed and to some women who were involved in the KCC CityPlan Committee, or had been previously, requesting an interview. Participant observation Participant observation of KCC CityPlan Committee meetings has also been an integral part of my research. All the minutes from the meetings 6 are posted on the City of Vancouver's website, however they are simply a summary of the meeting. Actually attending in person provided a much richer understanding of aspects of the meetings like areas of conflict or consensus, as well as patterns of negotiation between planners and citizens. I also attended City of Vancouver public open houses and public hearings on issues related to the KCC Community Vision implementation. I had many informal, open-ended conversations, which we refer to as chats outside of research papers, that were peppered with gossip, stories and innuendo. I found that being attentive to this kind of information helped to reveal topics or issues that may be sensitive or contentious and warrant further investigation or elaboration with other types of data gathering. Document analysis In addition to interviews and participant observation, I also conducted a document analysis of City of Vancouver publications related to CityPlan and Community Visioning, public involvement, and city wide policies as they relate to the thesis topic. Emails posted to the KCC CityPlan Committee listserve were another data source as were the minutes of the KCC CityPlan Committee meetings, which are posted on the City of Vancouver's website. Stories in the media, particularly local newspapers such as the Vancouver Sun and the Vancouver Courier were also useful 7 for enhancing my understanding of citizen's concerns and happenings in the neighbourhood. Historical documents from the City of Vancouver have also been a rich source of information on the history of planning in Vancouver. Articles from the Quarterly Review, a publication produced by the planning department until the 1 980's were invaluable. Research as a process of social learning My research was neither inductive nor deductive. It has been an inherently iterative process of social learning. The practise of planning in this case of the KCC CityPlan Community Vision Implementation process is full of complexity and ambiguity. It has challenged my understanding of the ideals of inclusion and democracy and what is possible in practise, while my readings in political philosophy and multicultural planning have shaped my normative understanding of what an ethical, responsive and inclusive planning practise should be. In the time between the intensive research for this project and the final writing and analysis, my work 'in the real world' at SPARC BC3 provided a critical [in both senses of the 3 The Social Planning and Research Council of BC [SPARC BC] is a non-profit organization whose mission is to work with communities to build a just and healthy society for all. SPARC BC conducts research, provides public education and engages in community development activities related to three strategic areas: income security, community capacity building and accessibility. Also of relevance to this thesis is my work on the Inclusive Cities Canada project. This is a unique collaboration between community social planning councils in five Canadian cities, municipal politician from those cities, and community leaders involved in fostering social inclusion from various sectors. 8 word] space in which I had first hand experience with the challenges of working with time and funding limitations, and the possibilities for an ethical and inclusive practise of planning. Scope The KCC CityPlan Committee, its members and other neighbourhood groups or organizations which are directly linked with the Community Visions process in KCC were the focal point for this research. The implementation phase of the Community Visioning process is the most relevant to the work of the Committee and focusing on this phase of the process was one means by which I was able to create a manageable thesis topic. Joyce Lee's thesis [2002], a comparative analysis of the visioning phase of the CityPlan Community Visions process had already covered the early stage of the process, and was invaluable in informing my understanding of the historic nature of the challenges of implementation in KCC. Studying an ongoing implementation process presents some challenges because there is no natural end date upon which to set a time frame for the research. I conducted the intensive research for this project in 2002 and 2003, including participant observations of KCC CityPlan Committee meetings and interviews. Both before and after that period, beginning in 2001 and up to the present, I continued to track the activities of the KCC 9 Committee through printed materials available on the City of Vancouver's website, the KCC email list-serve, and relevant stories in local news media. My interviews with citizens were conducted with people who had direct involvement in the KCC CityPlan Committee. I do not take their views to be representative of the more than 44,000 who live in KCC. My interest in inclusive participation refers broadly to the inclusion of groups that have historically been excluded by virtue of their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical or intellectual ability, health status, housing status, income level, and/or age. Ethno-cultural groups and youth have received the most attention in terms of a stated desire for their inclusion in the KCC CityPlan Community Visions process by municipal planners and community members who are involved in the process. For this reason the results of my research focus most closely on these groups. Inclusive participation occurs when the spaces of democracy are expanded to include these groups. Organization Chapter Two lays out the philosophical framework which informs my research and analysis, defines some key concepts, and outlines the implications of these ideas for community planning. 10 Chapter Three locates KCC geographically, and outlines a social history of this fascinating area of Vancouver. I close this chapter with a description of the social conditions and extraordinary diversity of KCC today. Chapter Four provides an overview of the history of planning in Vancouver in general and the local area Kensington-Cedar Cottage in particular. This sets the stage for the emergence of CityPlan, the city-wide visioning process of the early 1990's and subsequent local area level Community Visions process that resulted in the formation of the KCC CityPlan Committee. Chapter Five is devoted to an analysis of the KCC CityPlan Committee, through an examination of its history, roles, membership, mandate, structure and activities. Chapter Six contains my analysis of the factors which both facilitate and limit inclusive citizen participation in decision making about the future of Kensington Cedar Cottage. C h a p t e r S e v e n discusses the implications of these findings, answers research question I have posed, and reflects on the possibilities for a more inclusive planning practise. 2. PHILOSOPHICAL FRAMEWORK The Seductive Tango Of Consumer Cit izenship I had an interesting piece of mail delivered to my home while I was conducting the research for this thesis. It was an 1 V square heavy-weight brochure, folded in three. The colours, font and graphic design were contemporary and eye catching. The front page read "[b]ecause we live in a democracy, not a dictatorship". Given the subject of my thesis, you could forgive me for being intrigued. What could this be I thought, a new, savvy attempt by the City of Vancouver to have citizens participate in civic business? I opened the brochure and read "[y]ou have the right to choose your credit card features. Choose the options you prefer. Get the card you actually want". It was an advertisement for a credit card. I wondered how we have ended up in a society that has things so backwards, in which we are viewed by governments more as consumer-clients rather than as citizens, and corporations are the institutions which invoke democracy and rights in order to sell us credit cards. There are three key issues related to this notion of consumer citizenship. The first is the extent to which citizens become privatized when they are conceived as consumers rather than citizens or members of a polity. Young argues that "welfare capitalist society restricts conflict and policy discussions to distributive issues and defines the citizen primarily as a 13 client-consumer" [Young 1990: 71-72]. This orientation toward citizenship privatizes the citizen, rendering goals of popular control or participation difficult or meaningless. The second issue is the economically based exclusion that a 'delivering services to clients' approach to local government can create. This is manifest when citizens demand services from a municipal government commensurate with their level of property tax payment. We shall see that this has been a historical problem in Vancouver, with more affluent neighbourhoods on the Westside of the city demanding and historically receiving more services than those in lower income areas of the city such as Kensington-Cedar Cottage. The third issue is the extent to which citizenship in cities is enacted increasingly in non-public spaces. Engin Isin asserts that "without being dramatic it is possible to suggest that the new symbol of politics and citizenship is neither the agora nor the council chambers nor the commons; it is the convention centre" [Isin 1999:280]. He makes this claim within a wider discussion of an ascendant elite of professionals who control knowledge production, shifting the discursive location of power and debate from public to semi-public spaces such as mass media production and symposia. The citizen becomes a consumer of knowledge products. The danger of this shift is that others outside of this 14 professional class are mere passive spectators, without direct access to these discursive spaces of knowledge production. I attended one such symposium during the course of my research. The 2 n d Annual Urban Summit in 2002, held at the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre no less, brought together a collection of Vancouver's power brokers; CEOs, economists, senior municipal planners, developers, and municipal politicians. The Urban Summit was mainly an event in which those gathered congratulated themselves on their success in making Vancouver a "world-class city", and proffered suggestions on how to ensure its continued berth as the premier destination for global capital flows to Canada. Chuck Brook, a Vancouver based development consultant, former senior development planner at the City of Vancouver, and NPA fundraiser, used his time at the podium to bring to the attention - of those gathered that CityPlan was not turning out to be an apolitical and neutral process as was intended. According to Brook, things were especially bad in Kensington-Cedar Cottage [KCC], where the CityPlan process had been co-opted by "activist" political forces. Anne Roberts, then the chair of the CityPlan citizens committee, and now a member of city council with the centre-left COPE party, was the chair of the Building Better Neighbourhoods coalition, a group organizing to stop the construction of a Wal-Mart in South East 1 5 Vancouver. Other members of the KCC CityPlan Committee were also active in the Building Better Neighbourhoods Coalition. A petition being circulated by Building Better Neighbourhoods stated that the Coalition included the "KCC CityPlan, SPEC [Society for the Promotion of Environmental Conservation], COPE [Vancouver's leftist civic political party], BEST[Better Environmentally Sound Transportation], VDLC [Vancouver District Labour Council], Business Owners and Concerned Residents". These accusations Brook laid against the citizens of KCC are especially interesting given that he was not a disinterested party in the matter. Brook had been hired by Wal-Mart to serve as the applicant for the development permit!. Chuck Brook spoke about the intrusion of politics into neighbourhood planning as if it was unintended and indeed, undesirable. Brook could have meant two things, either that this process of community planning was too political per se or that it was becoming too partisan. And yet, he did this with no sense of irony or recognition that his presentation at this event was itself profoundly political and partisan. The possibility that CityPlan is a political process needs to be addressed. But first, I want to ask a more theoretical question: should community planning be political? 16 Should Community Planning Be Political? Political philosophers concerned with understanding democracy from Aristotle and Hannah Arendt to Sheldon Wolin and John Friedmann have argued that we are political beings. Aristotle wrote that we are, by nature, political animals [1 989]. Arendt locates the political in the realm of action. She argues that the plurality of the human condition is "specifically the condition - not only the conditio sine qua non, but the conditio per quam - of all political life" [Arendt 1958:7]. Drawing on the work of Montesquieu, Arendt understands tyranny to be the isolation of the tyrant from his subjects and the subjects from one another through mutual fear and suspicion. Tyranny, therefore, directly contradicts the "essential human condition of plurality, the acting and speaking together, which is the condition of all forms of political organization" [ibid:202]. For Arendt, it is tyranny that is apolitical, not democracy. From this starting point of understanding the relational nature of our co-existence, I argue that democracy, justice, difference, and citizenship are also most fruitfully conceived in terms of our relationships with each other. Theorists of radical democracy such as Sheldon Wolin and John Friedmann also take the relationship between humans - our coexistence -as the starting point of political life. Sheldon Wolin, who was influenced by Arendt's ideas, provides a powerful conception of democracy as a "project concerned with the political potentialities of ordinary citizens, 1 7 that is, with their possibilities for becoming political beings through the self-discovery of common concerns and of modes of action for realizing them" [1996:32]. For Wolin, political beings should not be understood in the liberal conception as individuals with a bundle of rights and privileges but as persons whose relationships and location in a particular place are the source of sustenance, and political power that enable them to act together. From a democratic perspective, Wolin understands that power and the potential for change resides in "experience, sensibility, wisdom, even melancholy distilled from the diverse relations and circles we move within" [1 992:252]. For Wolin, the challenge of democracy is to establish practices that do not destroy politics and the relational origins of power. Friedmann argues that to do this we must recentre power in political community which he defines as the public face of civil society organized for the common good [1 987,1 992, 2002]. His starting point is the social nature of our existence as humans and our continued reliance on the family and the moral economy of the household for the reproduction of life. This is in opposition to the liberal conception of people as individual consumers, competing to maximize their private interests. For Friedmann, political empowerment implies a focus on the politics of inclusion. 18 The Never-ending Slam Dance Of Democracy Young proposes a form of radical pluralistic democracy that both "acknowledges and affirms the public and political significance of social group differences as a means of ensuring the participation and inclusion of everyone in social and political institutions" [1 990:1 68]. She offers this as an alternative to the assimilationist ideal that conceives of liberation as the transcendence of difference [1996]. Will Kymlicka's [1 995] well known theory of citizenship does not offer a positive or enabling view of group difference. He argues that group specific rights are only a means to achieving individual rights of autonomy and freedom. His theory is not based on the premise that rights are vested relationally. Young argues on the other hand that rights are not fruitfully conceived as possessions or things. They are institutionally defined rules that specify actions people can take in relation to one another. Rights therefore refer to "social relationships that enable or constrain action" [Young 1 990:25]. In her view difference is not a marker of the attributes of a certain group, it is a function of the relationship between groups. Chantal Mouffe [2000] proposes a theory of agonistic democracy that seeks to preserve difference in the context of democracy. She argues "j that deliberative democracy is ultimately apolitical, and for that reason 19 constitutes a threat to an inclusive form of democracy. Theories of deliberative democracy, while paying close attention to the empirical fact of diversity, conceptually seeks to eliminate difference through their quest for a universal normative rationality. At the centre of her conception is the distinction between antagonism as it exists between enemies and agonism which occurs between adversaries or 'friendly enemies' [2000]. Friends, because they share a common symbolic space, but enemies in the sense that they have different notions of how best to organize this shared space. Mouffe argues that what is specific to the project of radical and plural democracy is the existence of relations of power within this common symbolic space and the acknowledgment of the "need to transform them, while renouncing the illusion that we could free ourselves completely from power" [1 996: 248]. The task is not to theorize into oblivion the existence of domination and violence but to conceive institutions in which they can be limited and contested. One of Mouffe's most perceptive arguments is.that "perfect democracy would indeed destroy itself and that is why she contends it should "be conceived as a good that exists only as long as it cannot be reached" [2000:137]. And so democracy is a perpetually unfinished project because it is not an abstract construct or evolutionary end point of any society's 20 development, but profoundly tied up in the new sets of relationship and ways of organizing our co-existence each new generation creates. In the proximity created by life in the city, we find the never-ending slam dance of democracy. I have presented a philosophical framework, derived from readings in radical democracy and multicultural planning, that understands our existence to be fundamentally political and that democracy, citizenship, justice and difference are all most fruitfully conceived in relational terms. Given this understanding, community planning cannot help but be political. From these theoretical and relatively abstract premises, I move to a discussion of the meanings of community and the political nature of community planning. The Meanings Of Community Community is a widely used, but often loosely defined concept. Three types of community are most commonly referred to. The first are communities of interest, or subcultures. These are groups of people bound together through shared common identity or interest (of ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, gender, profession, faith, hobby etc.). Stuart Hall defines identity as "the names we give to the different ways we are positioned by, and position ourselves within, the narratives of the 21 past" (1 990:225). I first encountered this definition while conducting a research project on the role Hindi films play in Indo-Canadian women's construction of their cultural identity. Hall's definition resonated at the time and continues to be the most eloquent and useful explanation I have found. Hall rejects the notion that identity or culture is fixed, recoverable, and shared. He reminds us that history, culture, and power swirl around the formation of identity. Hall's definition of identity leaves room for similarity and deep difference within cultural or ethnic groups. Communities of place are geographically defined. They are localities --neighbourhoods, local areas, cities, and regions. But questions of who defines these areas and for what purposes are important for understanding the ways in which they can exclude those who live outside of the boundaries of their physical spaces. For the purposes of this research, I understand neighbourhoods to be defined by the people who live in them. Local areas are planning districts, created by officials to facilitate official planning activities. In Vancouver there are many smaller neighbourhoods within each local area. Communities of action are less commonly recognized. These are groups of people who come together through the discovery of common concerns and who take action to address them. Urban social movements are a prime example of these types of communities [Castells 1 996]. 22 Communities of action are often formed through or because of the existence of communities of interest/identity and communities of place. Where Communities Of Place And Action Meet Planning can be conceived in the widest sense as the guidance of future action. For the purposes of this research, community planning occurs where and when communities of place and communities of action intersect. There are three implications inherent in this definition. The first is that professional, municipal planners are not the only people doing planning. Community leaders and staff of community based organizations are among the planners in our midst. The second is that community planning implies a delineation of physical space and a proximity of those who live within that area. The third is that there is some impetus for collective action. A final point with respect to this definition is that within a community of place, many subcultures co-exist. The Paradox of Community We seek to create communities of action in planning practise when we want to bring groups of people together and strengthen their relationships and connections with each. And yet, there is an inherent tendency to exclude in this process. Building community has historically been linked to the desire for homogeneity. This is a tremendous challenge for planning practise, especially in the cities of difference in 23 which we live today [Burayidi 2000, Fincher and Jacobs 1 998, Qadeer 1 997]. The potential for the creation of communities to exclude those who are marked as different or threatening exerts tremendous pressure on those who are conceived as being different to "make themselves as invisible as possible" [Sandercockl 998:1 91 ]. This is true of all the forms of community I have outlined: of interest or identity, of place, and of action. The paradox of building community in these contexts is that it is the only way to bring people together, a necessary precursor for collective action, but always has a tendency to exclude. Acknowledging this paradox, and working to address and transform it is the most important thing that community planners can do to nurture inclusion, rather than facilitate exclusion. Community planning can be exclusionary through the forced segregation of marginalized groups to less desirable areas of the city for economic reasons, or opposition to forms of housing, retailing, or worshiping that newcomers practise. Homeless people, sex-trade workers, people with drug addictions or mental illness are also those not deemed fit to be neighbours, denying them not only a place to live or work, but a sense of home and belonging. The danger is that planning can become an "outlet for the fears and conflict between neighbours" [Sandercock 2003]. 24 A Persistence Of Hope For Inclusive Communities Ken Lum, an artist whose recollections of growing up in KCC I draw on in the next chapter, uses his experiences of living in Vancouver to challenge our notions of belonging. His work "There is no place like home" [see Figure 1 ] is a examination of the inexorable link between belonging and exclusion and presents a challenge to us to create more inclusive cities. 25 Figure 1. Ken Lum's "There is no place like home" cn Our neighbourhoods are the shared living spaces for the diversity of people who call Vancouver home. The most fundamental basis for commonality is that shared space, and it is here that I believe we can find the starting point for relationships across differences to flourish. This is not an easy task, because the nostalgia for sameness that has historically defined notions of community is a powerful and emotional force that must be acknowledge in order to transform it [Sandercock 2003]. Drawing on readings in the political philosophy of radical democracy, I have argued that our very existence as humans is fundamentally political in the sense that we coexist and act together in shared physical and symbolic space. Community planning is one of the many ways we attempt to organize our co-existence in shared physical space, and if it is to be at all democratic it must be political. If the best hope for inclusive participation is based, not on formal national citizenship but on "shared public space and a common life world" [Castlesl 998: 242 ] then the spaces of community planning provide windows of understanding about the possibilities and challenges of such a practise. This thesis investigates the possibilities for inclusive citizen participation in decision making about the future of Kensington-Cedar Cottage. But first, I provide an overview of the history of the area and the incredible social diversity that characterizes its neighbourhoods today. 27 3. LOCATING KENSINGTON-CEDAR COTTAGE Kensington-Cedar Cottage [KCC] is one of 23 local areas in the City of Vancouver. It is bounded roughly by Fraser Street, Broadway, 41 "Avenue, and Nanaimo Street [see Figure 2]. Kingsway is a predominant feature of the physical and social geography of the area. It is the line that sometimes joins, and sometimes divides the neighbourhoods of Cedar Cottage to the North and Kensington to the South. It is a roadway on an angle, creating triangular shaped parcels of land scattered along its length, vestiges from its articulation with classic north/south and east/west corridors. The site bounded by Kingsway, Knight Street and King Edward Avenue is a good example of these parcels [see Figure 3]. Many area residents call the site Kingcrest, after one of the historical names for the area. 28 29 •--CC m .tc , 61--fe 5-AVE 41ST A V E ; TJ ' i i Figure 3. Kensington-Cedar Cottage Local Area [Source: City of Vancouver] A Brief History Most history books record that in 1861 the British Royal Corps of Engineers created what they called "Moody trail" to connect Vancouver and the town of New Westminster located south west of Vancouver. Long before this, First Nations people used a trail that ran on an angle from the eastern boundary of what we now call False Creek to the Fraser River at the trading post town of New Westminster [Carlson 2001 ]. Kingsway is the straightened and paved inheritor of that trail. In 1 892 the interurban electric railway was built just north and parallel to Kingsway and spurred settlement and growth in the area. The early 1 900's were a period of intense land speculation in Vancouver, and 30 Cedar-Cottage was no exception. Areas of Vancouver's east side were hastily subdivided into 33 foot lots. The property market was so inflated that land prices could increase five-fold in one year. In 1913 Kingsway was resurfaced from gravel to asphalt. Granville Street was the only other paved street at the time. The explosion of automobile use in the late 1 920's led to much more commercial development along Kingsway, culminating in the 1950's culture of cruising streets and recreation oriented around the automobile. Kingsway became one of the main strips in Vancouver. You could find bowling alleys, car washes, gas stations, drive-ins, drive-thrus, takeouts, motor courts and motels. At the time Vancouver had more neon signs than any other city in the world except for Shanghai, and much of the glow could be found on Kingsway [Christy 2003]. Ken Lum is a visual artist who grew up in Vancouver. His family moved from the working class neighbourhood of Strathcona to the slightly more middle class Kingsway area in the sixties. In an interview with Sarah Milroy of the Globe and Mail, Lum recounts how he noticed, even as a boy of nine, the social differences between the two neighbourhoods. At Jean's Grill, a local diner on Kingsway, the 'waitresses were wearing uniforms...There was some idea there of being classy. The old guys wore hats' [Milroy 2002: V8]. 31 It wasn't until after World War II that the area south of Kingsway was developed and there are a large number of bungalows that were built in Kensington to accommodate returning war veterans in this area. By the 1 970's new commercial developments like Oakridge Mall on Cambie St. sucked life and vibrancy out of strips such as Kingsway as young people found new places to hang out. This form of strip retail area was considered outdated at the time. It was assumed most people could now drive to where they wanted to shop. Oakridge Mall was conceived as a regional shopping destination. Retail activity along Kingsway may have declined in this era, but the area's ethnic diversity and vitality certainly did not. Michael Turner is an author who lives in Kensington-Cedar Cottage. His daily experiences are the inspiration for an entire volume of poetry entitled Kingsway. The poem "(iv)" in this collection [See Figure 4] is an incisive and unsanitized social history of "Vancouver's oldest, longest, and most-maligned thoroughfare: the multicultural, working-class Kingsway" [Turner 2001: 1 7]. 32 (iv) this row(ed), the sway: the first way the short-cut the clear-cut the back door the quick route the mud bath the milk-run the boardwalk the bored walk the low-rise the highway the line-up the gateway the safe way the drive-in the drag-strip the strip-tease the hand hold the back-hand the cheap rent the one-stop the car:wash the drive-by the get-awa the stagecoach another stage the pit-stop the piss-stop the piss-up the get-a-hie the Tuck-up the low-down the no way trie low way Figure 4. Michael Turner's poem (iv) from Kingsway Into The New Millennium The City of Vancouver's Portrait V2K Millennium Project gathered stories from Vancouverites about their city leading up to the Year 2000. A number of the stories people shared are set in Kensington-Cedar Cottage. Viola Funk provides a vivid picture of what life was like for her in KCC in the 1990's. She writes, For years Vancouver was a shining beacon to me in the dark wastes of Surrey. In 1 989 Carla, Julie and I rented a dingy apartment on the top floor of a three-story walkup at 1 7 , h and Fraser, a couple of miles northeast of the house my parents lived in when I was born 21 years earlier. At last here I was in Surrey girl's Mecca: scrubbing the last tenant's puke off the toilet; lugging loads of wash across Kingsway to My Beautiful Laundry; walking in Mountainview Cemetery where my older brother is buried; riding home on the last stinky, lurching #8 Fraser Bus, crazily exhilarated with love I didn't yet know was unrequited; gazing out my bedroom's sliding glass doors into the shadows of the plumbing supply store across the street, and stepping in the fresh blood tracked from the cash desk to the exit of the 7-Eleven store at 25 t h and Fraser as an ambulance flashed in the parking lot. This was living! [Constantine 2000: 26] Another story of unrequited love set in KCC, brings us to the Kensington-Cedar Cottage of today. A woman who spends time along with her neighbours trying to make the area around Kingsway less dingy and dirty, through activities such as garbage cleanup and greening projects in public areas, was recounting with pride their recent guerrilla gardening efforts at a KCC CityPlan Committee meeting. As she came to the end of her story she sighed and said "we're doing our best, but Kingsway is a street that is hard to love". 3 4 Moving from the historical and personal level to some statistics for the whole of KCC will round out and conclude my description of Kensington-Cedar Cottage as it is today. There are more than 44,000 people living in KCC, an area of 7.23 km 2 [City of Vancouver 2002a]. The 2001 census figures [Table 3] show an increased number of people living in KCC who speak languages other than English. Only about 1 in 3 people in KCC have Table 3. 2001 Census Data Kensington Cedar Cottage Vancouver Language [Mother Tongue] Chinese 38% 26% English 33% 49% Vietnamese 6% 2% Tagalog 5% 2% Punjabi 4% 3% Housing Rented dwellings 45% 56% Single-detached house 47% 28% Detached duplex 29% 12% Apartment, under 19% 34% 5 storeys Apartment, over 0.5% 22% 5 storeys Income Average household $52,340 $57,916 income [in 2000$] Population in low 28% 27% income households [Source: City of Vancouver website] English as their mother tongue. There are more people who live in KCC that speak Chinese as a first language compared to those whose first language is English. The remaining third of the population speaks a stunning mix of about twenty other languages including Tagalog, Vietnamese, Punjabi, Korean, and Khmer to name just a few. There are four census tract areas in the City of 35 Vancouver in which more than 20% of the population does not have a working knowledge of English or French [City of Vancouver 2003a]. One of those census tract areas is in KCC. Single-detached homes, many built in the post World War II housing boom, are the most common dwelling type in Kensington-Cedar Cottage. Many people who live in KCC are renters. The number of rental units for KCC as a whole is close to the Vancouver average, however an examination of the percent of rental stock by smaller census tract area reveals large differences between Cedar Cottage and Kensington. The housing stock in the North-West corner of the area is 70% rental. The lowest percentage of rental housing is found in the South-West corner of the area at 27%. All the areas in between have between 40 and 50% rental housing. [City of Vancouver 2002b]. Non-market housing in KCC is highly concentrated south of Kingsway in Cedar Cottage with 21 locations. There is only one instance of non-market housing in Kensington. It is located just one block north of Kingsway. [City of Vancouver 2003b]. KCC continues to be a neighbourhood with a mix of people who have mainly low and middle incomes. With more than one quarter of the population living on a low-income, and a majority of people with first 36 languages other than English, KCC is an example of the remarkable diversity characteristic of Canadian cities today. Any planning that occurs in KCC must account for and incorporate the needs and aspirations of the diversity of people who call this place home if it is to be at all responsive to the lived realities of this particular space in the city. / 37 4. PLANNING IN VANCOUVER AND THE EMERGENCE OF VISIONING History Of Planning In Vancouver, Kensington & Cedar Cottage In the early history of the area that is now the City of Vancouver, the Municipality of Point Grey was located south of 1 6 t h Ave and west of Cambie Street. It was a middle to upper class residential area. A significant portion of the land in this area was owned by the Canadian Pacific Railroad. Point Grey had its own master plan completed by Harland Bartholomew, an American consultant. The residents of this municipality, and the railway company, were concerned with ensuring that adequate infrastructure existed in their community. In the early 1 900's roads were paved, sidewalks and lighting were installed, and trees were planted, [insert map of Vancouver, Point Grey, and South Vancouver in 1 929] The Municipality of South Vancouver, comprised of land south of 1 6 t h and east of Cambie Street was less affluent than Point Grey. Residents wanted to ensure taxes were kept low, and residential zoning was not a priority for the municipality. Low levels of infrastructure investment in this area in the first three decades of the 1 900's is one of the factors "contributing to service deficiencies on Vancouver's east side" today [Gordon and Whitlock 1986:3]. 38 In 1 929 the Municipalities of Point Grey and South Vancouver amalgamated with the City of Vancouver. A year later a zoning by-law and major streets plan was extended to South Vancouver. According to Ann McAfee, the Co-Director of Planning at the City of Vancouver, the 1920's Bartholomew Plan was the last city-wide master plan completed prior to CityPlan [2002]. I would argue that due to the exclusion of South Vancouver from the Bartholomew Plan, CityPlan is actually the first time the city has initiated a broad planning process to examine the city as it is constituted today. Of course there have been many other plans, policies, and reviews that have kept city planners busy in the intervening years including streets, transportation, zoning and by-laws, major projects, and secondary suites to name a few. Two processes, Coreplan [1 980-1 985] and Central Area Planning [1 987-1 991 ] occupied the attention of planners and the resources of the planning department for a great deal of time in the 1 980's. Both were focused on the downtown business district and the immediately surrounding residential and industrial areas. Local areas in Vancouver were first conceived in 1 966 in a study prepared by Barry Mayhew of the United Community Services of the Greater Vancouver Area's Research Department. The local areas were proposed to 39 act as social and physical planning units, administrative units, and citizen organization units [Mayhew 1 967]. Mayhew cites the following factors for consideration in his attempt to ensure the local areas he proposed were meaningful: • population clusters of not more than 40,000 people, • socio-economic similarity to facilitate "community solidarity" [1 967: 7], • location of existing institutions and services (schools, community centres, district shopping centres, parks and libraries), • administrative boundaries (secondary school catchment areas, census tract areas, community centre assessment areas, and social service department units), • physical boundaries (water bodies, change in slope), • similarity in housing characteristics, • land use and zoning regulations, and • major traffic arteries. Residents' own perceptions of their local area were cited as an important consideration that was riot able to be addressed due to time and resource constraints. Mayhew took the frequency of use of local area names by businesses listed in the Vancouver Telephone Directory as an indication of the level of "local area consciousness". The terms "Kensington" and "Cedar Cottage" ranked the lowest on this scale, with 3 and 2 entries respectively. 40 The 21 local areas plus the Central Business District as delineated in this report are with a few exceptions the local areas still in use by the City of Vancouver today. Kensington-Cedar Cottage is one of those exceptions. Cedar Cottage was originally a separate local area in Mayhew's scheme and Kensington was combined with Riley Park to the west. By 1 975 local area maps of Vancouver show Kensington and Cedar Cottage combined into one local area as they are today. This historical information regarding the creation of local areas demonstrates that the boundaries were not decided upon by residents, based on their perceptions of their lived space. They were created mainly to facilitate bureaucratic intervention in order to address social problems in a specified area and were inspired by already existing administrative subdivision in the city. The desire to achieve some measure of homogeneity in each of the local areas is a practical example of the belief that community cohesion is best achieved through the exclusion of difference. Christopher Silver's work [1 985] is an excellent analysis of the historical roots of neighbourhood level planning since 1 880. It traces the influence of an explicitly exclusionary model of neighbourhood units that was conceived in the twentieth century to preserve and enhance social homogeneity. Silver demonstrates that this orientation to exclusion persists today, mainly in 41 the guise of middle class "protective and improvement associations" [1985:1 72]. Local areas in Vancouver should be understood to be administrative districts useful for facilitating more timely planning processes, rather than neighbourhoods which are defined by the people who live in them and around which they are more likely to organize collective action. In 1 966-1 967 the City Planning Department carried out a study of Cedar Cottage and Renfrew4. The planners of the day envisioned that in 10-1 5 years Cedar Cottage-Renfrew would see no major increase in population and that there would be no "further indiscriminate scattering of apartments, industries and stores, so the area's single-family homes should be safe from intrusion by these land uses" [1 968: 5]. The 1 970's ushered in a new era of community activism throughout Canada, including Vancouver. The election of progressive, reformist centre-left political parties at the national (the Trudeau Liberals), provincial (Dave Barrett and the NDP) and municipal levels (Art Phillips' TEAM council) created a context of strong political support for a new vision of urban planning and citizen participation (Hutton 2002). The Neighbourhood Improvement Program was a Federal government cost-share initiative that provided 50% of the funding for community planning 4 R e n f r e w is the a r e a t o t h e n o r t h o f the c u r r e n t loca l a r e a ca l l ed R e n f r e w C o l l i n g w o o d . See F igure 2 for local a rea m a p . 42 and implementation in neighbourhoods, with the condition that local residents be involved in the process. Local area planning under this program began in Cedar Cottage in 1 974 and in Kensington in 1 977. This was an era of planning in Vancouver in which planners were encouraged to spend time supporting local neighbourhood councils, composed of area residents. Planners worked out of store front offices located within neighbourhoods and built relationships in these communities. In 1 977 the City of Vancouver Planning Department's "A Review of Local Area Planning-Report for Discussion" noted that the positive aspects of local area planning activities, including those funded by the Neighbourhood Improvement Program, were the ability to involve citizens, promote community identity, increase neighbourhood diversity, and stimulate privately initiated improvements. Problem areas identified in local area planning included "unclear political accountability, inadequate financial support for both the administration of the programs and for recommended physical improvements to the neighbourhood, co-ordination among civic departments, the non-resolution of certain social issues such as concern for personal safety and crime, racial tension, housing, and the unequal burden placed on some neighbourhoods for dealing with city issues like population growth, and the unclear overall 43 policy context for certain critical issues like housing and transportation" [Cornejo 1 978]. This list of problems in many ways outweighs the benefits identified. I find the similarity in both the strengths and weaknesses of this 1970's era planning program to those of the current CityPlan Community Visions program quite striking. Apart from addressing the creation of an overall policy context for housing and transportation, the problems identified in the 1 970's are either so pernicious they cannot be fixed or the necessary actions to address them have been beyond the ability and will of politicians and planners. The Politics Of CityPlan: City Council's Role The pace, scale and increasingly globalized redevelopment of Vancouver's physical landscape during the 1 980's was the impetus for amplified opposition by many middle-class residents to change in their established neighbourhoods and to the city at large [Gutstein 1 990, Hutton 2002, Ley 1 996, Mitchell 1 993]. Higher density housing in the form of apartment buildings were being built in older residential neighbourhoods. A number of mega-projects were also being developed in the Central Area, with significant impacts on Vancouver's skyline, including the massive Concord Pacific Place erected on the former Expo lands, sold to Hong Kong-based businessman Li Ka-Shing. 44 Many conflicts over development in the city during this period were charged with unresolved issues of race and class. Capital and immigrants from Hong Kong were streaming into the city in the lead-up to China's takeover of Hong Kong. The business and political elites of BC and Vancouver welcomed these flows and used the language of multiculturalism to bathe their ventures in a warm glow of openness to diversity. Meanwhile in the streets and neighbourhoods of Vancouver, things were beginning to look different, and longer-term residents of established neighbourhoods were not happy with the changes. Openly racist comments bubbled to the surface in letters to the editor and to city council. There were no effective processes in place to deal with people's fears about the rapid change in their city, including swiftly skyrocketing housing prices. The increasing claims to preserve the status quo in older residential neighbourhoods put political pressure on the NPA5 council of the day. Citizens were becoming more and more opposed to reviewing draft plans created in offices at City Hall [McAfee 1997, 2002]. Gordon Campbell, now Premier of BC, was the Mayor from 1 986 - 1 993. McAfee credits the council of the day, and Campbell in particular with instigating the 5 T h e Non-Par t i san A s s o c i a t i o n [NPA] is a cent re - r ight pol i t ical party that has d o m i n a t e d city c o u n c i l in V a n c o u v e r fo r d e c a d e s . 45 concept of CityPlan [1 997, 2002]. Inviting participation on such a large scale was a gamble, both for the politicians, but also the planners, who were promised by Campbell that if the "outcomes [of CityPlan] were unworkable, the staff would then formulate an alternative plan" [Punter 2003: 1 55]. r In 1992, the City of Vancouver launched the CityPlan process. The NPA continued to hold a majority on council for another decade. In the most recent municipal election in 2002, the centre-left COPE party won the majority of seats and the mayor's race, ousting the NPA from their majority position for the first time since 1 986. This change in the status quo caused some speculation about the extent to which this coalition would subscribe, to the same vision of facilitating growth in the city. Larry Campbell, the COPE mayor, put some of this speculation publicly to rest at an address to the Urban Development Institute shortly after he was elected. He assured the crowd that COPE would "endorse the 'neighbourhood centres' approach, outside the inner city....for careful and gentle intensification to achieve balanced neighbourhoods.... We will be looking for the 'quid-pro-quo's' that offer the neighbourhood improvements as they accept a degree of intensification" [2003]. 46 CityPlan And The Changing Role Of The Planner Reflecting larger changes in the profession of planning related to the role and function of planners, there was an expectation that when dealing with the public during the CityPlan process, planners would be more like facilitators rather than policy experts or analysts. CityPlan was conceived as a "citizen as planner" type of public process [McAffee 1 997]. Involving more people in decision making in new ways, and responding to the increasing cultural diversity of the city were considerations in the way the process was structured. From 1 993 to 1 995, 20,000 citizens of Vancouver participated at varying levels in defining a broad vision for the city. City planners created Ideas Books, Ideas Fairs, and Toolkits to creatively engage people. They encouraged kitchen table discussions so neighbours could talk to each other about the issues. There were 'City Circles', small discussion groups of citizens and planners, with some held in people's first languages. Artists were hired to render people's ideas into images on the spot. Materials were translated into seven different languages. Planners were surprised when 80% of the votes received were for a vision of the city called the Neighbourhood Centres approach. Planners had brought this idea of increasing housing density in specific locations throughout the cities' single-family zoned neighbourhoods to council 47 previously. The NPA council had rejected the idea because of concerns that it would incense constituents in Westside neighbourhoods [Punter 2003]. CityPlan: Directions for Vancouver The end result of the three year, $4 million dollar exercise in visioning was a document called CityPlan: Directions for Vancouver. It provides a "shared vision" and broad framework for decision making about the future of the city [City of Vancouver 1 995]. CityPlan is not a legally binding plan, nor was it adopted as an Official Development Plan or a by-law. It was adopted as a policy document by council in 1 995. Table 4 provides a summary of CityPlan directions. 48 Table 4. CityPlan: Directions For Vancouver • A City of Neighbourhoods • Neighbourhoods that are distinctive and diverse with neighbourhood centres where people can find shops, jobs, neighbourhood based services and public places. • Higher density housing would be clustered around these centres to accommodate population growth, and older people who want to 'age in place' by moving from single family homes in their neighbourhood to higher density housing nearby. • A Sense of Community • A city where all people regardless of their age, income, culture, or abilities can feel a sense of belonging, caring, and safety through • accessible, community-based services • crime prevention • ensuring affordable housing • encouraging arts and culture • creating new and more diverse public places • A Healthy Economy and a Healthy Environment • A diverse economy with jobs that are close to where people live. • Transit, walking and biking as a priority with reduced reliance on the car as a form of transportation. • Clean air and water. • Making CityPlan Happen • People will be involved in decision making that shapes their city and neighbourhood. • Financial accountability means that the city will generally only increase taxes at the level of annual cost of living increases. City spending will be incrementally re-directed toward achieving CityPlan directions. [Source: City of Vancouver 1 995] From CityPlan To Community Visions Specifics were in very short supply in the CityPlan document. The Community Visions process was launched to flesh out the details of CityPlan and implement it at the 'neighbourhood' level over the following 49 twenty years. City staff cite limited resources as the key reason for recommending that each neighbourhood complete a more general Community Vision, rather than a detailed local area plan in order to implement CityPlan at the local area level [City of Vancouver 1 996]. They estimated that local area planning would take 3 years for each area, with the staff capacity to work with two areas at a time, for a total of 20 years to complete the whole city, by which time the CityPlan Vision would be nearing its expiry date. At the time, city staff estimated that in comparison, community vision planning would take 6-8 months for each local area, enabling them to complete Community Visions for each local area in approximately five years. Council's decision to fund CityPlan implementation by incrementally shifting spending over a number of years, in order to maintain their policy of keeping tax rates in line with annual cost of living increases was a significant limiting factor in this regard. Staff wanted the first two areas to participate in the Community Visioning process to be predominantly single family neighbourhoods, one on the west side and one on the east side of Vancouver. Communities that had recently undergone local area planning were exempted. There also had to be some expression of interest from the community itself in participating. It is here that Kensington-Cedar Cottage enters the story as one of two local areas that was chosen to begin this experiment in 50 Community Visioning in Vancouver. Dunbar was the west side pilot project area. The City prepared a very detailed Terms of Reference for the Community Visions Program which included information on the ground rules, product, process and roles of participants. A summary is attached in Appendix B. Over an 1 8 month period, beginning in 1 997, the City of Vancouver and KCC residents went Table 5. Community Visions Process Step 1 Get in Touch Step 2 Share Ideas Step 3 Develop Options Step 4 Create Alternative Visions Step 5 Review Alternative Visions Step 6 Focus on a Vision Step 7 Confirm the Vision through a seven step process to produce a Community Vision 6 [Table 5]. The cost was approximately $595,000 for the two pilot areas, KCC and Dunbar [City of Vancouver 1 998a]. Ideas Fairs and open houses at the beginning of the process were followed by more intensive 'creative workshops' focusing on topics such as: • Housing • Economy & Jobs • Transportation 6 T h e V i s i o n i n g p r o c e s s w a s s u b s e q u e n t l y s h o r t e n e d to f o u r s teps . 51 • Services • Environment • Character & Public Places Throughout the process a Community Liaison Group of 29 local area residents worked with city staff. The city conceived of this group as serving in an advisory and 'watchdog' role. These KCC residents were volunteers and participated on the Liaison Group without pay. By the end of the Visions process, the issue of volunteer burnout in sustained and intensive processes such as this was evident7. Despite the best intentions and awareness of the need to involve ethno-cultural groups in the Community Visions process, there was limited success in this regard in KCC compared to visioning processes in subsequent neighbourhoods of Sunset and Victoria-Fraserview Killarney [Lee 2002]. Ideas for Vision directions that came out of workshops were selected by city staff, with some input from the Community Liaison Group, and sent in a large format, 30 page Community Visions Choices Survey to the households, businesses and property owners of Kensington-Cedar 7 T h e re l iance o n v o l u n t e e r i s m in th is p l a n n i n g p r o c e s s is a barr ier b o t h to inc lus ive par t ic ipa t ion a n d to the c o n t i n u i t y that a l lows fu ture ac t ion to be g u i d e d by l e s s o n s f r o m the past . I f u r the r d i s c u s s this issue o f the re l iance on v o l u n t e e r s in the i m p l e m e n t a t i o n p h a s e in the next chapte r . 52 Cottage. The city uses a guideline of translating materials into languages which 10% of the population speaks. Using this criteria, Choices Surveys were printed in English and Chinese. Each Vis ion Direction had a comment from a city wide panel of 'experts' on how well it fit with overall the city-wide CityPlan v is ion. Communi ty members pointed out in the interviews I conducted that all the directions that were included in the Choices Survey were geared to get a yes vote [C6]. People were not asked to make trade-offs, and there was no information about the financial implications of their choices [C6, C8]. 1,200 surveys were returned and suggest ions for Vis ion Directions which had majority support were adopted by counci l . The KCC Communi ty Vis ion calls for: • More community involvement in decision making • Paid community development staff and support • More community based crime prevention • Locally based, well integrated city and social services, including mini city halls and council meetings in the community • A new Kensington Library and improvements to Communi ty Centres • Cleaner and greener neighbourhoods • Safer, more pedestrian friendly streets 53 • More greenways and bikeways • Improvements to public transit • Neighbourhood centres at Kingsway and Knight, Victoria and 41 s t and Broadway and Commercial to provide a range of shops, services, jobs and housing close to public transit routes. • Increased housing choice and density in neighbourhood centres. Figure 5 maps some of the changes proposed in the KCC Vision. Based on the directions approved in the Community Vision, staff prepared a KCC Community Vision Action Plan. This plan identifies actions required to implement the directions in the Vision, the status of the action and the lead department responsible for implementing the policy or program [City of Vancouver 1 999a]. 54 Kensington-Cedar Cottage Vision Area Boundary Existing apartment and duplex zones Existing commercial zones Improved community shopping areas (neighbourhood centres) Potential for new housing choices (rowhouses, four- & sixplexes & duplexes) Streets with safer pedestrian crossings, better bus shelters, more greenery Single family areas; more retention of older "character" houses; rental suites more feasible Parks - Improved, more useable, more trees SkyTrain - existing line and planned Broadway line Figure 5. Kensington-Cedar Cottage Vision Highlight Map [Source: City of Vancouver] 55 5. THE KENSINGTON-CEDAR COTTAGE CITYPLAN COMMITTEE In this chapter, I present an analysis of the Kensington Cedar Cottage CityPlan Committee through an examination of its history, roles, membership, mandate, structure and activities. History & Role When the KCC Community Vision was completed, city staff wanted residents to volunteer to continue to be involved in the process of implementation. During the visioning phase of the process, City staff had already identified the possibility of having the Community Liaison Group continue in an ongoing capacity during the implementation phase. My review of the members of the Community Liaison Group and the people who attend KCC CityPlan Committee meetings indicates that there is very little overlap between the two groups. There were two implementation workshops held after the Vision was complete with 30 - 50 people in attendance who had been involved in the Visions process to discuss how to proceed. There were diverse ideas about what the membership and roles of an Implementation Committee should be [C7, KCC CityPlan Committee 1999]. Residents and planners decided that to begin, the KCC CityPlan Committee would consist of 1 2-1 5 volunteers who would make a one-year commitment, identify the goals of the committee and top priorities for immediate action, and 56 report back to the community in one year. It was agreed that the activities had to be consistent with Vision directions and that there needed to be some immediate tangible results. The role of the new KCC CityPlan Implementation Committee that was agreed upon when it was formed was to provide a place where city staff and community members could network and share information. There was no consensus on the idea that it was also to be a representative body for the local area as a whole [ibid]. The City of Vancouver describes the KCC CityPlan Committee as "an independent committee set up by the community in 1 999 to monitor the implementation of the Community Vision and to facilitate ongoing community involvement. The committee meets monthly to share information and discuss the status of implementation actions as they relate to the Vision" [City of Vancouver 2003c]. My interviews revealed that people involved in the committee conceived that it could play a much richer set of roles, such as providing a political voice for citizens [C8, C4, C2, C3], providing opportunities to participate in decision making about the future of the area [C8, C l ,C2, C3, C4, C5], and righting historical inequities between Eastside and Westside areas of the city in terms of access to city resources and services [C8, C4]. 57 To the extent that citizens use the KCC CityPlan Committee as a forum for making claims that are in keeping with the professional and political goals of the CityPlan program and the interests of the planners involved, these roles are not contested by the city. One interview revealed that the citizens of the Committee are keenly aware of the complex dynamics at play when citizens make claims to politicians related to the implementation of the KCC Vision. These claims then provide fodder for planners to request budget increases in order to achieve their departmental objectives [C8]. And yet, this is a delicate balancing act that planners must play. The work of the KCC Committee is supported by planning staff. Their roles and responsibilities with respect to Vision implementation, as described by staff in a report to Council, include: o Developing and monitoring action plans o Working with staff from other City departments to implement Vision directions o Monitoring re-zoning and development applications o Meeting with community implementation committees and sub-committees o Developing communication materials o Supporting community initiatives such as special events and greening projects 58 o Facilitating problem-solving on local issues o Translation and community support [City of Vancouver 2003d]. The explicit roles and expectations of the KCC CityPlan Committee as described by the City of Vancouver are rather banal. There are, however, much more complex expectations and roles at play for both citizens and planners involved in the KCC CityPlan Vision implementation. In reference to the political nature of local area planning, Wilson wryly observed that the "field abounds with mines and is no place for either fools or angels unaware" [Wilson 1983:80]. Membership & Mandate The founding members of the committee are described by the former chair, Anne Roberts as "a group of survivors... 1 5 people with a high tolerance for meetings who had lasted through the Vision process" [2001: 4]. These original members who volunteered to create the new Implementation Committee were almost all explicitly associated with other neighbourhood-based groups in the minutes for that meeting. These groups included the "Grandview Community Centre Association, Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood Association, Glen Park Neighbours, Gray's Park Neighbours, Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood House, Cedar Cottage Community Policing Centre, Kensington Community Centre, the 59 Community Visions Liaison Group, and two interested residents" [KCC CityPlan Committee 1999]. It was originally conceived that voting members of the committee would be elected at an Annual Meeting to which residents of the area would be invited. This did not occur in any kind of official way at the Annual Meetings I attended in 2001 and 2002. Rather, people informally volunteered to join the committee for the coming year. There were also people who joined the committee throughout the year and new members were always welcomed. The election of the chair was somewhat more formal, with a name being put forward and a show of hands to indicate support for the candidate. At the 2002 Annual Meeting, the chair of the committee was not officially re-elected. To sum up, membership in the KCC CityPlan Committee is informal, with the chair having the most formalized position. All KCC meetings are open to the public. Attendance at the meetings is usually in the order of 1 0 - 20 residents, with 1 - 5 city staff present depending on the agenda topics. The strongest mandate for this group comes from its association with the CityPlan process. It was conceived by, and is administratively and financially supported by the City. The community based mandate for the 60 KCC CityPlan Committee is weaker, and only exists to the extent that the committee reports to the community as a whole yearly in the form of a brochure, and has some discussion at the Annual Meeting with the 50 -100 people who attend about activities and priorities for the coming year. KCC CityPlan Committee members I interviewed acknowledged the relative lack of diversity and limited ability to involve ethno-cultural groups and youth in the activities of the KCC CityPlan Committee, subcommittees and neighbourhood groups associated with the CityPlan process [Cl , C4, C5, C7, C8]. There was certainly a stated willingness and desire to change this. Overall it is a problem many felt it would be difficult to overcome. However, one respondent [C7] noted that she had heard [from people involved in the CityPlan process] that getting people involved was difficult. She pointed out that in order to participate in the KCC CityPlan Committee you have to speak English, be literate, and have the resources to get to the meetings. She indicated that because these capacities are requirements for participation, and given the structure of the KCC CityPlan Committee, many people don't have a choice about whether they can participate or not. She also noted that topics that are addressed at CityPlan meetings may not be meaningful enough to people who have immediate concerns of affordable childcare, enough food to eat, means of transportation to meetings, or secure and affordable housing. [C7] This analysis is a concrete example of the ways in which 61 nautonomic forces, or the "asymmetrical production and distribution of life-chances which limit and erode the possibilities of political participation" [Held 1995: 171 as quoted in Friedmann 2002: 82] are at play in the membership of the KCC CityPlan Committee. I was interested to discover that a number of the active participants in the KCC CityPlan Committee either have an educational background in the city building professions, or are professionals employed in the fields of architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture, and urban design. Artists.and those who employed in the media are also involved in the KCC CityPlan Committee. Ley's work [1 996] on the 'new middle class' and the remaking of the central city in Vancouver has interesting insights for how planning processes outside the central area, including those in KCC, that involve the same demographic of educated, politically active professionals, might hasten processes of gentrification in these neighbourhoods. An attention to this possibility would suggest that a concern for addressing the social impacts of changes to a neighbourhood is in order. In this regard, the activities of the KCC CityPlan Committee are rather limited to actions that prime gentrification such as large-scale residential and commercial development, improvements to public amenities and environmental beautification projects. 62 Structure & Activities The monthly KCC Committee meetings are held in the evening for two hours at the Trout Lake Community Centre, and more recently at the Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood Pub occasionally. These meetings provide a space for residents and planners who attend to share information with each other and make decisions. The city planner assigned to the committee consults with the chair in setting the agenda for the meeting. Meetings are facilitated by the chair. Residents take turns taking minutes and pass them on to the planning department for posting on the City of Vancouver's website. The KCC CityPlan Committee is structured so that smaller sub-committees are created for specific purposes and activities related to implementation of directions in the Community Vision. Each sub-committee has at least one person who reports back to the larger group about their activities and progress. Some residents have historic knowledge and long standing involvement in certain issues but experienced volunteer burnout after the Visions process, and chose not to be involved in the KCC CityPlan Committee. However, the subcommittee structure allows them to contribute their expertise in specific areas over shorter periods of time [C8]. It also allows people to get involved who like to do things, but don't like to sit through two hour evening meetings. 63 The KCC CityPlan Committee operates a listserve which is used by residents and city staff to share information about community and city events. The Committee also recently began to publish a newspaper called the KCC Neighbour to be distributed to all households in the area. The main KCC Vision implementation priorities during the period in which I was conducting research were: o The development of a neighbourhood centre in the area surrounding Knight and Kingsway, including the formation of a Kingsway Business Improvement Association, o Traffic calming at Selkirk and Dickens schools o Greening and public art projects o Litter clean-up o Improvements to public spaces in the Broadway and Commercial Skytrain area. Creating a Neighbourhood Centre at Kingsway and Knight The Neighbourhood Centre Delivery Program warrants some further explanation, not only because of its liberal use of planning jargon, but also because it is the initiative that has received the largest injection of funding for the implementation of the KCC Community Vision. 64 The vision that Vancouverites chose for their future in the city-wide CityPlan process was called the 'neighbourhood centres' option. Neighbourhood centres are specific locations within each local area of the city that will accommodate increased housing densities in mixed use developments, with shops and services. These neighbourhood centres are located on public transit routes. The KCC Community Vision calls for neighbourhood centres at Broadway and Commercial/Victoria and 41 s t, and Kingsway and Knight8. One of the most sustained criticisms from the very beginning of the CityPlan process has been the notion that Community Visions could be implemented with no new money committed, but only through the incremental re-allocation of existing city resources to fund required projects [Context Research & Communications 1999, KCC CityPlan Committee 2001, Roberts 2001, C8]. Just before the municipal election in November 2002, city council approved $350,000 to launch the Neighbourhood Centre Delivery Program at Knight and Kingsway. The most significant budget allocation to the implementation of the KCC Vision occurred afterthe election of the COPE council, with $1.6 million approved from city budgets, and another $823,000 to be requested from TransLink for the Neighbourhood Centre Delivery Program. See F igure 5, K C C V i s i o n m a p for the locat ion o f t h e s e n e i g h b o u r h o o d cen t res . 65 Kingsway and Knight is the pilot site for the City of Vancouver's Neighbourhood Centre Delivery Program. There are two main elements to the program which encompasses an area centred on Knight and Kingsway [see Figure 6]. Figure 6. Kingsway and Knight Neighbourhood Centre Delivery Program Area [Source: City of Vancouver] The first is the development of a housing plan and new zoning by-law to encourage ground-oriented housing like row-houses, cottages, duplexes, fourplexes and sixplexes aimed at young families and empty nesters. Action plans for parks, traffic, parking and community facilities are also incorporated into this program. 66 The second focus of the Neighbourhood Centre Delivery Program is related to shopping area improvements in the study area. These include physical improvements such as new sidewalks, landscaping, street banners, public art and safer street crossings. The creation of a business improvement association and the development of a retail strategy that is intended to identify the kinds of goods and services the area needs are also part of this program. The redevelopment of the Kingcrest site bounded by Kingsway, Knight and King Edward Avenue will be the anchor for this program. The site is being transformed from a sea of cracking asphalt with a ramshackle Flea Market into a mixed use complex incorporating housing, retail shops, services, and a new Kensington library. Plans for Phase 1 include 206 units of housing in a 7 storey and 1 2 storey tower, with provision of space for the library. In Phase 2 of the project, an additional 185 residential units will be built in a 16 storey tower with retail incorporated at grade. This mixed use development has been named "King Edward Village" and Vancouver's condo Liber-marketer Bob Rennie is on board to sell the units. The sales brochure for King Edward Village exclaims "IT'S A BIG FIRST FOR THE NEIGHBOURHOOD. This exciting project is the catalyst that will revitalize Vancouver's East Side". To say that the height and density of these buildings is extraordinary is an understatement, given 67 that the Community Vision direction related to "extra height" in mixed use developments that would allow "one or two additional storeys beyond four storeys...on higher points of land....or in return for providing some public open space or other amenity" was not approved by area residents [City of Vancouver 1998b:23]. The major community amenity contribution provided by this redevelopment is the provision of a new space for the Kensington Library branch, which is currently located across the street. The developer will provide a no-cost lease of the space for a period often years. City staff value this contribution at $1.2 million dollars, which is significantly above the $250,000 Community Amenity Contribution required for this rezoning [City of Vancouver 2003e]. There is a long history of resident involvement in the future of this site which used to house a Safeway grocery store. When Safeway sold the property they incensed local residents by putting in place a restrictive covenant that prevented any grocery store or pharmacy from operating on the site. Residents of KCC had been actively involved through the years in trying to remove this restrictive covenant and opposing the development of a gas station and a drive-thru McDonalds restaurant on the site. They also were involved in trying to ensure that a large regional church that was at one point interested in buying the property, would 68 provide amenity space available to the residents of the neighbourhood. This development eventually failed as well, and in 2003 the sale of the property to local developer and businessman Francesco Aquilini was completed. The existence of the KCC CityPlan Committee facilitated the involvement of its active members in discussions with the architect, developer and the city about the form the development on this site would take. The participation on the committee of the very people in the community who could have been its most vocal and effective opponents also facilitated the perception that the residents of KCC were in support of the plans for the site. There was some opposition to the density of the development at the public hearing for its approval, but the support of the KCC CityPlan Committee was one of the critical factors in ensuring its relatively smooth acceptance by city council. In their report to council, city staff cite widespread community support and desire for the project to proceed in their reasons for recommending the approval and fast-tracking of the project [City of Vancouver 2003e]. The staff report also evaluates the proposed development in terms of its ability to meet directions approved in the KCC Community Vision. There is no reference in the staff report to the direction in the KCC Community Vision that demonstrates a lack of support for housing above four storeys. The residents of KCC opposed to the development who spoke at the public hearing cited the lack of 69 consistency between the KCC Community Vision and the proposed height of the residential towers [City of Vancouver 2003f]. The developer and city staff negotiated with KCC CityPlan Committee members ensuring that there was an informed, vocal group of residents in the community who would support the development proposal. My review of recent KCC CityPlan Committee meeting minutes for 2004 indicates that support for high density housing in the,form of purpose built housing for seniors at Victoria and 33 r d that would also incorporate some subsidized affordable housing units is weak to neutral. Some individual members of the Committee are supportive, but overall the comments reflect a concern about the massing and height of the building. The Committee also appears to be neutral on the issue of a special needs residential facility on Fraser Street for which Triage Emergency Services9 is currently attempting to gain approval. This proposal was met with vociferous opposition from some residents in the area, who actively worked to exclude people from living in the area who were deemed to be unfit neighbours because of their drug addiction and mental illness. Triage wants to provide a home for people who have mental illnesses and are recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. The facility is classified 9 T r i a g e C o m m u n i t y Serv ices is a n o n - p r o f i t o r g a n i z a t i o n that p r o v i d e s she l ter b e d s , s u b s i d i z e d h o u s i n g , a n d serv ices to t h o s e w h o are h o m e l e s s or at-r isk o f h o m e l e s s n e s s . 70 as dry housing, meaning that to qualify for acceptance, residents must be clean and sober. If they use drugs or alcohol they are evicted within two days. One member of the KCC Committee is on record as supporting this type of development, but there is no demonstration of support either in the minutes of the meeting, or in the email sent to the KCC list-serv notifying people about the public hearing scheduled to consider the proposal. City planners involved in the redevelopment of the Kingcrest site claim that there are "no major positive or negative social implications to this proposal" [City of Vancouver 2003e]. The KCC CityPlan Committee's support for the project, which incorporates no affordable housing, childcare space, or other social amenity other than a new Kensington Library is in contrast to the Committee's lack of support for other housing types that address pressing social issues facing the community including homelessness, drug addiction, and affordable housing for seniors. The provision of secure housing or addictions rehabilitation could provide some of the fundamental material bases necessary for participation in the political life of a community [Friedmann 2002]. While individual members of the KCC CityPlan Committee may be in support of these initiatives that could enhance inclusion in the neighbourhoods of KCC, the Committee as a whole has not taken action to actively support these projects that explicitly address social needs. 71 Conclusion My findings certainly correspond to those of Lee who found that for community members involved in the Visioning phase of the process, tangible results arising from the implementation of the Vision would be the most significant determinant of the success of CityPlan in their area [2002: 106]. My interviews revealed that people felt if they hadn't been involved in CityPlan, they might not have noticed any significant physical changes in the neighbourhood, other than the relatively small-scale greening projects around two local schools and on public boulevards on Windsor Way. Respondents suggested that because these were community instigated initiatives, they would probably have happened regardless of the CityPlan process. I found that both citizens and planners [Cl , C8, PI ] were aware that the distinction between CityPlan projects and community projects was somewhat blurred. Planners would use community initiatives to demonstrate their progress in implementing the vision. Citizens were willing to allow planners to incorporate the projects initiated by community members into the CityPlan fold if the residents perceived it would enhance their ability to received continued assistance from the City. One respondent pointed to the residents' willingness to leverage city 72 funding through in-kind contributions of labour and community organizing, and even perceived that planners enjoyed working with them more than their counterparts in Dunbar whom they characterized as being more demanding of city resources, with no corresponding willingness to provide in-kind contributions [Cl]. The physical changes in the neighbourhood during the period in which I conducted my interviews were fairly small-scale. The Neighbourhood Centre Delivery Program had just received start-up funding, and the optimism of some of those I spoke to about the impact the development of the Kingcrest site would have in terms of tangible changes in the area was quite strong. My analysis of the history, roles, membership, mandate, organizational structure and activities of the KCC CityPlan Committee reveals a complex set of problems which ensure vastly increased opportunities for participation in decision making about the future of Kensington-Cedar Cottage for the few who are active members of the Committee. This is not to say that each and every resident of KCC should be actively involved in the KCC CityPlan Committee. This is an impractical and unreasonable proposition. There should, however, be structures in place to ensure that the KCC CityPlan Committee is more representative of and accountable to the residents of KCC and at the least that its positions on issues related 73 to the development of the neighbourhood would support the economic and social empowerment of those who lack the basic material resources necessary for active and sustained participation in the political life of this community. In polities the size of Vancouver, forms of representative democracy are required and the KCC CityPlan Committee cannot be the only solution to the problems of inclusive participation in local planning in KCC. Even theorists of radical democracy such as Jean Cohen agree that no single type of public space could conceivably involve a] the continual open-ended discursive process of critical reflection on norms, procedures, and meta principles, while simultaneously b] making legally and politically binding s; c] serving as the arena for the agonistic formation and enactment of individual and social identities; and d] equalizing de facto substantive inequalities among members of the communication community [1 996:1 90]. The importance and potential impact of the actions taken to implement KCC's Community Vision requires that participation in the committee be broader in order to ensure those activities do not disproportionately favour those who have the resources and capacities to participate. And by participation, I mean active involvement in priority setting and decision making. Involving youth in gardening projects or holding multicultural street parties have a necessary, but not sufficient role to play. These are activities that create conviviality, a necessary source of hope and celebration that can, but does not always, provide openings for more 7 4 active participation in the decisions which affect the future of the neighbourhood [Peattie 1998]. I want to be clear that the responsibility for the lack of accountability and representativeness of the KCC CityPlan Committee is not the sole responsibility of the dedicated volunteers who spend significant amounts of their time for no pay in hopes of making their neighbourhoods a better place to live. They do, however, as a collective have some power to at least attempt changes that would enhance the legitimacy and inclusiveness of the KCC CityPlan Committee. Both the City of Vancouver, and more specifically the CityPlan department, have a number of opportunities in this regard, and indeed a responsibility to address these issues given that it is the CityPlan process for which the KCC CityPlan Committee was created. The structure and functioning of the committee is due in no small part to the ways in which the CityPlan Community Visions process has been structured from the beginning. In the next chapter I analyse some of the factors that limit and may facilitate inclusive citizen participation in decision making in the Kensington-Cedar Cottage CityPlan Committee. 75 6. LIMITING AND FACILITATING INCLUSIVE PARTICIPATION The limiting and facilitating factors that I include here are the ones that emerged from my interviews and other research as being most salient in this particular case. They are not an exhaustive inventory, or a set of criteria conceived by a roundtable of experts and imposed on the KCC CityPlan Community Visions process. There are three categories of factors. The first deals with those structures at the provincial, regional, or city-wide scale that limit citizen's participation in decision making. The second set of factors relates to the planning approach employed in the CityPlan Community Visions process. The third category is associated with the relationships created between neighbours, and amongst the citizens of KCC and the planners with whom they work to implement the KCC Community Vision. Structural Factors There are a number of ways that claims to participation in decision making by citizens are contained or challenged. The first three factors I discuss are related to macro structures at the city, regional, or provincial level. 76 The Vancouver Charter Municipalities are creatures of the province within Canada. All municipalities in BC except the City of Vancouver are governed by the Community Charter and its predecessor, the Municipal Act. The Vancouver Charter is the act that both constitutes the City of Vancouver as a legal entity and sets out the jurisdiction within which city employees and officials can act. It provides a greater degree of latitude than the Community Charter allows, delegating all the power of the Provincial Government to City Council to regulate business and commercial activity within its territory. It also allows the City discretionary zoning power. One other important distinction is that it does not compel the City of Vancouver, as the Community Charter does other municipalities, to have in place an Official Development Plan for the city as a whole as a precondition for assessing development cost levies, community amenity contributions, and other fees related to the development or rezoning of land. Legal structures which set out the decision making authorities are also very significant in limiting citizens' claims to active participation in decision making. In 1980 the Hastings-Sunrise Citizens' Planning Committee discussed the inclusion of a clause in the Terms of Reference for the Committee that would indicate that city council delegate its decision making responsibility back to the planning committee on issues 77 of purely local concern. The fact that this would be contrary to the City Charter was cited by planners as the reason it was not included in the terms of reference [City of Vancouver 1 980]. In this case legislation was the means by which the insurgent claim that "bureaucratic services make possible, instead of replace, local decision making" (Walzer 1 982:1 52) was limited and contained. This is an important consideration. If Council did delegate its decision-making authority improperly it would be grounds for an administrative review of any decision made under those terms. The importance of having a legal structure that supports decentralized decision making and the ability to make binding decisions cannot be underestimated. Vancouver is in the enviable position in BC of having a specialized piece of legislation that could enable these conditions. Changes to this legislation are relatively easy, requiring an order in council. The City of Vancouver has historically used this legislative flexibility very effectively to accomplish goals set out by municipal staff and politicians [Punter 2003]. Livable Region Strategic Plan All municipalities in BC, including Vancouver, must adopt a Regional Context Statement which sets out how their plans and policies contribute to implementing the regional strategic plan. The Greater Vancouver Regional District's Livable Region Strategic Plan was drafted by Gordon 78 Campbell when he was Mayor of Vancouver in 1 994 [Punter 2003]. While it provides a strategic growth management strategy for the region, it follows very closely the Vancouver planning model of creating a livable city through housing intensification, mixed land uses and strong transit policies championed by planners at the City of Vancouver [ibid]. The GVRD's Livable Region Strategic Plan has four broad objectives related to growth management in the region: • Protect the Green Zone • Build complete communities o in areas identified as regional and municipal town centres o provide transit, shops, services and jobs closer to where people live o offer wider choice of housing types • Achieve a compact metropolitan region o by focusing a significant proportion of population growth within the "growth concentration area" in the central part of the region • Increase transportation choice As its mandated response, the City of Vancouver adopted its Regional Context Statement as an Official Development Plan in 1 999. Other than the Regional Context Statement, the city does not have a comprehensive 79 development plan applicable to the city as a whole. The Regional Context Statement lists six land use and transportation policy plans which provide a "planning framework equivalent in scope to a city-wide development plan" [City of Vancouver 1999b: 2] • CityPlan [May 1 995] • Central Area Plan [December 1 991 ] • Industrial Lands Policy [March 1995] • Greenways Plan [July 1 995] • Transportation Plan [May 1 997] • Housing policies [various dates] CityPlan and Community Visions are cited in the Regional Context Statement in terms of contributing to the implementation of the 'Build Complete Communities' and 'Achieve a compact metropolitan region' objectives by encouraging a greater range of market housing types and the creation of 'neighbourhood centres' where shops, services, higher density housing, and modes of public transportation are located close together. The densification of housing in identified neighbourhood centres is the primary goal of the CityPlan process from the perspective of city planners [Punter 2003]. This constrains citizens' ability to make decisions that may fall outside of those imperatives to increase housing stock. This is a 80 case where the notion of differential benefits is critical. Increasing the supply of housing is a market driven approach to managing housing prices by ensuring that demand does not overwhelmingly outstrip supply. This is a goal that would benefit those with lower incomes, or who have not yet entered the housing market as owners. Larger environmental benefits are achieved through the reduction of sprawl in outer-lying areas of the region. In some cases, limits to citizens' participation in decision making are a result of implementing policies that may have wider social or environmental benefits. At-large electoral system The City of Vancouver elects city councillors and Park Board commissioners at-large rather than on a ward-based system. Since 1 935 when the City of Vancouver moved to an at-large system, there have been 6 votes on whether to return to a ward based system. All have resulted in a maintenance of the at large system. The latest vote was in 2004, with 54% of people voting in favour of electing councillors at-large and 46% voting in favour of wards. An entire thesis could be devoted to this topic, but for the purposes of this research two points are most salient. First, there is effectively no official political representation or political accountability at the level of the local area in Vancouver. KCC CityPlan Committee members are reduced to sending letters en masse to mayor 81 and council, with the hope that one of the twelve, preferably of the party with a majority of seats on council, will take an interest and champion the idea. Or, there may be some informal personal connection to a councillor through acquaintance or through shared residence in a neighbourhood of the city. These informal connections, rather than formal representational relationships are an important aspect of the second factor which makes the electoral system a limiting factor in inclusive participation in decision making about local issues. Secondly, electoral participation both in terms of voter turnout and those who run for municipal office, has historically been higher in the more affluent and less ethnically diverse neighbourhoods in the Westside of Vancouver. Much of the impetus for electoral reform has come from the historical preponderance of councillors elected who are white, middle class men, oriented toward an ideology of growth and development. David Ley argues that the attempt to address the parochialism of ward politics by replacing it with an at-large system actually aided this single minded pursuit and only served to make the "sources of bias and exclusion less visible, but no less real" [Ley 1996: 21] One person I interviewed commented that in the absence of a ward system, the CityPlan Community Visions program was the most effective way to get the attention of those with decision-making power at city hall 82 [C4]. In some ways the KCC CityPlan Committee may serve as a mini-city hall temporarily produced on the first Thursday of every month. And yet the planners assigned to the CityPlan Committee are not senior staff, and in the vast hierarchy that is the City of Vancouver, this limits their ability to take or recommend action based on decisions made by citizens [C8]. With the election of Anne Roberts, the former chair of the KCC CityPlan Committee to council under the COPE banner in the 2003 election, this local area currently has an informal link to a politician. But the implosion of COPE, with three councillors and the mayor forming a break-away independent caucus, and the possibility that COPE may be voted out of office in the next election, makes this a temporary and insufficient alternative to institutionalized political accountability and representation at the local level. City of Vancouver organizational structure Like other Canadian cities, the City of Vancouver is a highly bureaucratized organization, with a City Manager form of administration. In any organization of this size, interdepartmental coordination and communication is likely to be a challenge. The City of Vancouver is no exception. Organization charts for the City as a whole [Appendix B] and for policy and planning related departments in the Community Services 83 Group [Table 6] give an overview of the way in which City departments are organized, and their jurisdictions. Table 6. City of Vancouver Community Services Departments [policy and planning related] Planning • Guides growth and developm form CityPlans Division City wide policy Neighbourhood Policy (outside of the Central Area) Regional matters Transportat ion/ land use (outside of the central area) Housing/ employment capacity Financing growth Business improvement Neighbourhood capital plan and service improvements ent with emphasis on land-use and built Current Planning Division • Heritage • Urban Design • Development Policy * • Central Area Planning (neighbourhood and project planning for the downtown peninsula and adjacent residential and commercial areas) *the Director of Current Planning has statutory authority to authorize all forms of development in the City. Social Planning • Responsible for policies and action plans relating to the social development of the city; makes recommendations on financial support for community service organizations and childcare; and identifies and helps address social issues in the City including: Aboriginal community Alcohol and Drugs Civic Youth Strategy Childcare Community Policing Downtown Eastside Food policy Gambling Multiculturalism Seniors Quality of Life Cultural Affa irs • Responsible for issues, policies and strategies related to arts and culture in the city • Administers civic grants and public art program Housing Centre • Housing programs, policy and research with a focus on social housing • Delivers social housing projects • Operates the Tenant Assistance Program which offers direct assistance to displaced tenants and the homeless. [Source: City of Vancouver] 84 The Planning Department at the City of Vancouver has two divisions, City Plans and Current Planning. The City also has a separate Social Planning department. The segmentation of these functions is an important factor in understanding some of the limitations and preoccupations of the CityPlan Community Visioning program. While planners at the City of Vancouver receive acclaim and recognition, particularly for the planning of the downtown peninsula, a concomitant lack of attention to social issues and implications by the planning department has been noted [Hutton 2002, Olds 2001]. The social planning department at the City of Vancouver was created in 1968. It is charged with creating policies and action plans that address social issues in the City. It is also responsible for reviewing and recommending $4.1 million dollars worth of grants to community based organizations that address social issues. Engineering, which is not in the Community Services Group, also has a prominent role as the lead department for many of the actions required to implement KCC's Community Vision. Engineering is responsible for typical public works functions including solid waste management and garbage pails, as well as litter in alleys and streets. Garbage collection is a perpetual item of concern for KCC residents. Engineering's 85 Neighbourhood Greenways program responds to neighbourhood initiated environmental beautification initiatives, some of which have occurred in KCC. The Neighbourhood Integrated Services Team is an initiative that was started out of the City Manager's office with the goal of enhancing inter-departmental coordination to address issues in Vancouver's local areas. It has received awards from professional bodies, but neither residents nor staff I spoke to about the initiative felt it was particularly useful in the KCC implementation process [Cl , P2]. Planning department coordination with Engineering is facilitated in some respects by the cross appointment of one of the CityPlan Implementation Planners to the Engineering Greenways department. However, partnership and coordination between the social planning department and the CityPlan department is not strong [C7]. Departmental jurisdictions and inter-departmental competition for funding in an organization the size of Vancouver makes it difficult to implement a vision that requires actions related to many different city departments. Approach To Planning The next three factors I discuss are related to the planning approach employed in the CityPlan Community Visions program in Kensington-86 Cedar Cottage. 1 0 I analyse the ways information sharing, partnerships with community based organizations, and planners attendance at regular meetings in the community contribute to the facilitation and limitation of inclusive decision making by citizens about the future of KCC. Information sharing In order to make good decision, citizens need access to relevant information about their community, city initiatives, and the resources available to achieve their goals. Decision making about the future of the neighbourhood is often about prioritizing actions based on available resources. Concentrating information and decision making in a small elite of planners and politicians seems to be a natural tendency that is addressed only through concerted effort and explicit commitment to broader participation. In the short term, managing consensus, minimizing conflict and making binding decisions may seem easier in a smaller group; however, groups that operate on this model without robust accountability to the wider community will find their legitimacy questioned by those who are excluded and those to whom they represent themselves as speaking for the community. 1 0 I want to emphasize that my research was related specifically to KCC. I encountered some research that indicates that city planners modified their approach in subsequent local areas based on their experiences in the two pilot communities of KCC and Dunbar. 87 The existence of the KCC CityPlan Committee provides outstanding access to information relevant to major land-use planning initiatives and resources for smaller scale environmental projects such as park improvements and boulevard greening. The information is available to the residents of KCC who attend the meetings and participate in its activities. Information is available to KCC CityPlan Committee members not only in written format, but also in oral reports from planners and other city staff who attend KCC CityPlan Committee meetings. Representatives from the KCC CityPlan Committee also participate in meetings between the City and developers of the Knight and Kingsway property, providing them insider information on the processes involved in deal-making for large development projects. Partnerships to enhance community development The planning department has not partnered in any significant or meaningful way with community-based organizations that could assist in enhancing the inclusive participation of citizens in the implementation of the KCC Community Vision. There are areas in this part of the city in which at least 1 in 5 people have no knowledge of English. This statistic includes only those who were counted in the 2001 census. Given that the questions in the census are posed in English, it is very likely that the actual number of people who have no knowledge of English is much higher. At the time of this writing, 88 KCC is also home to the largest concentration of Vietnamese speakers and retail shops in the entire city. In addition to the important efforts to include Chinese speakers through translation of materials and workshops, concerted outreach to the Vietnamese communities in this area is in order. This can only be achieved successfully through a partnership with community-based organizations operating in the area who have an understanding of effective means of engagement with these communities and who have built relationships of trust over time. Community-based organizations were not permitted to have formal representatives involved in the visioning phase of the process in their capacity as staff people [C7]. This stance has softened somewhat in the implementation stage and was rethought in subsequent Community Visions areas [C7]. The planning department's unwillingness to partner in meaningful ways with community-based organizations such as the Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood House is a very significant factor in the extent to which participation in decision making about the future of KCC is exclusionary. The Neighbourhood House is one of the key players in KCC with connections to immigrant, aboriginal, youth, and lower income community members. Neighbourhood House staff have expertise in community development and using creative means to engage groups that are excluded from processes like the KCC Community Vision implementation. 89 A planning presence In the community The importance of holding the monthly KCC CityPlan Committee meetings in the community cannot be underestimated. With the demise of storefront planning in Vancouver in the late 1 980's, planners no longer had an established physical presence in local areas. While monthly two hour meetings are no replacement for an open door, and accessible planning office located in the neighbourhood, the monthly meetings are better than no continuing presence at all. In this model of local area planning, city staff have a continued presence and have stronger relationships based on the proximity the regular KCC CityPlan Committee meetings afford. James Wilson interviewed a number of planners from Greater Vancouver who worked in storefront planning offices physically located in local areas during-the earlyl 980's. In summing up his assessment of storefront planning, including the experiences of Vancouver planners, White argues that in its "sensitivity to what the citizens feel and its engagement with them in threshing out locally-sensitive policies, storefront planning hews closer to the basic concept of democracy than the centralized form of planning based on City Hall. But in addition to producing sensitive policies it does two other things: it nurtures civically competent citizens 90 and provides it [sic] practitioners with the recipients' view of planning, politics and department administration" [Wilson 1983: 81]. Residents who are not aware of, nor interested in, or otherwise excluded from participating in the KCC CityPlan Committee meetings due to barriers such as lack of childcare, lack of surplus time for volunteering, lack of available transportation, or proficiency in languages other than English do not benefit in the same way from this planning presence in the local area. We must presume that it is invisible to them. They do not have access to the same level of information and are not able to participate in decisions that affect the future of their neighbourhoods. Measures that would ensure the KCC CityPlan Committee is more representative of and accountable to members of the wider community have not been implemented, including a Community Vision direction to hire paid community development staff and provide funding to community groups for translation of materials. In fact, these specific measures are not even included in the KCC Community Vision Action Plan [City of Vancouver 1999a]. 91 Relationships Of Proximity The most significant changes respondents noted were not physical but social, in the relationships developed both among neighbours and between residents of KCC involved in the CityPlan Committee and planners [Cl , C2, C3, C5, C8]. Relationships between citizens and planners To a large degree access to relevant information is facilitated through the establishment of relationships between residents and city planners who work with the committee. These relationships also serve a number of other purposes as identified by the people I interviewed including: 1. An ongoing liaison between the city and the community, which provides a person to call, help in navigating the system, and away to get the attention of city hall [Cl ,C4] 2. The interaction with the city is also more coordinated, less individualized because of the existence of the KCC CityPlan committee [C4]. Relationships among neighbours Relationships forged between citizens also facilitate participation in decision making. As people connect, they have an opportunity to discover and share common concerns, and act together to address them. They 92 build communities of action. The extent to which participation is inclusive has much to do With the nature of relationships that are created. The scale and structure of the KCC CityPlan Committee meetings is somewhat conducive to relationship building; however, respondents emphasized that this aspect of the process was not always necessarily directly related to the CityPlan process. The KCC CityPlan Committee is in some senses a place where people from neighbourhood level groups come together, and can learn from one another about activities in the parts of the larger local area with which they are not as familiar. The KCC CityPlan Committee is the location for the creation of communities of action to address policy issues or projects that are larger in scale than the neighbourhood level. The KCC CityPlan Committee also provides a place for people involved in neighbourhood initiatives to build broader support for their projects, in order to receive assistance and/or funding from the City. At a public meeting to discuss Capital Plan projects for the coming year, the woman leading the initiative to secure funds for an upgrade of Kingcrest Park mobilized the support of other members of the KCC CityPlan committee, who were not directly involved in this initiative. When she gave her presentation to Park Board staff at this meeting, she asked the people who were there to support this initiative to stand. When half the people in the room got on there feet, it sent a powerful message of broad and active support from the community for this project, and helped 93 to secure the Kingcrest Park upgrade a place on the list of projects that received funding . In my interviews, people spoke most passionately about their involvement in and connection to their community when they spoke about the smaller neighbourhood-based groups in which they are involved. I recount the story of the Mountainview Neighbourhood Group here because it provides an example of relationships that were transformative in creating communities of action that build inclusion. Mountainview Neighbourhood Group started out as a group mobilized around issues of street crime and the garbage that littered their neighbourhood. The group was originally named Fraser Street Block Out Crime. Mountainview's geographic focus is from 25 t h Avenue to 33 r d Avenue and two blocks on either side of Fraser Street. The group began by organizing marches along Fraser Street to demonstrate their frustration with drug dealing and prostitution near their homes. They were frustrated and angry that they had to walk their children to school past used condoms and needles. As the group evolved they began to use more positive and proactive activities to help change their neighbourhood. They started with changing their name to the Mountainview Neighbourhood Group. They have worked with a local artist and neighbours to create colourful banners for Fraser Street with the 94 Mountainview name, in order to create a sense of identity for the neighbourhood. They have built and installed community bulletin boards to enhance information sharing, and have initiated street reclaiming projects with BEST, a local non-profit organization committed to pedestrian, cycling and transit-oriented neighbourhoods. One summer evening, they blocked off a street in the neighbourhood and turned it into an outdoor movie theatre. Due to the advocacy work of the Mountainview Group, a laneway in the block just east of Fraser between 27 t h and 28 t h Avenue was chosen as the pilot demonstration site for a new 'country lane' treatment the City of Vancouver is developing to provide a more attractive and permeable surface than traditional asphalt lanes. One of my interviews [C5] yielded an extraordinary story of relationships that facilitated the transformation from Fraser Street Block Out Crime to the Mountainview Neighbourhood Group. In stories published in local newspapers, Fraser Street Block Out Crime members learned that the Executive Director of an advocacy group for sex-trade workers called PACE [Prostitution Alternatives Counselling and Education] was accusing their group of using vigilante tactics to confront sex-trade workers in their efforts to 'block out crime'. Members of the group decided that this wasn't their goal and that they did not want to be perceived this way. A few members of the group met face to face with 95 PACE a number of times, to talk and find out how their actions could be more productive. Through these meetings, Mountainview became involved in providing clothes and other items for a house that PACE was renovating in the area to provide a home for young girls involved in the sex-trade who wanted to get off the street. These relationships with PACE forged through face to face meetings and a willingness to be a part of the solution yielded a transformation in understanding and action. First, in helping with the house renovation, they met girls as young as thirteen who were involved in the sex-trade. The problem of prostitution became one riot just of protecting their own children from exposure to the detritus of the sex and drug trade, but the awareness that there were other children who needed protection who were actually involved in the problem and impacted much more profoundly. Secondly, they realized that the root causes of prostitution were social and economic and that interventions in the lives of young children were critical to ensuring that they did not end up on the streets. They realized the ping- pong effect of marching in crime patrols would only shove the problem from one area to another, and would not provide a long-term solution. 96 And third, a few members of the group realized there were things they could do to help address root causes by taking collective political action. When PACE needed support for a request to city council to fund a field worker, people from Mountainview approached the Little Mountain Neighbourhood House and the church of one of the Mountainview members to write letters in support of PACE'S request for funding. The Mountainview members and the president of Little Mountain attended the council meeting and helped to secure funding that would provide alternatives and support to women involved in the sex-trade. This is a story of transformation that occurred because of face to face meetings and relationship building. It is a story of community building that began as exclusionary, but became inclusive. It is also a story of what happens when "[d]emocracy comes to life" and a group of people "take a stand in the public space of appearance" [Friedmann 2002: 79]. Community members went from seeking to block out the faceless, nameless people involved in the sex and drug trades, to actually welcoming the young women who are most victimized by them, through the furnishing of a home in their neighbourhood and acting together to make claims at city hall for actions that would create more long-term solutions. 97 It is in stories of transformation like these of relationships built on proximity that I see the best hope for sustained and meaningful practises of inclusion. The story of the Mountainview Neighbourhood Group is but one of the "thousand tiny empowerments" [Sandercock 1998] needed to counterbalance the exclusionary tendencies that are the paradox and challenge of the intensely political process that is community planning. 98 7. TOWARD A MORE INCLUSIVE PRACTISE OF PLANNING The Mountainview story is not unique in Vancouver. These are many similar stories of actions that are often unplanned in any official kind of way, often unheralded, and yet profoundly important to the creation of inclusive communities of place. What does the Mountainview story teach us about inclusive planning practise? The first thing is that planning that fosters inclusion in Kensington-Cedar Cottage is occurring at the level of the neighbourhood. The Community Visions program acknowledges this and does support these neighbourhood level initiatives, although mainly in the areas of environmental beautification. This story also teaches us the importance of recognizing and celebrating change that happens on the margins. The neighbourhoods in KCC are the localities that people who live in them define for themselves - their boundaries are fluid, they are autonomously created, and most importantly, activities that occur at this scale are much more meaningful to the lived realities of the people who reside there. The Mountainvew neighbourhood is on the boundary of KCC, half in [to the east of Fraser 99 Street] and half out [to the west of Fraser street] of the local area as defined by the City. This thesis started out as an investigation of the KCC CityPlan Committee proper. I quickly realized that being attentive to smaller neighbourhood initiatives as well would enrich my understanding of the actions that result in lived realities of exclusion and inclusion in KCC. In my interviews, the stories of people's involvement in their neighbourhoods were the places I found deep commitment, passion, and also emotions of fear and helplessness. Fear of bringing up children exposed to crime, and helplessness in the face of the scale of dealing with problems like the drug and sex trades. Even in the Mountainview story, I heard that the solutions must go far beyond the actions just of this group in helping to create a home, and secure some funds in support of young women in the sex trade. The KCC CityPlan Committee is structured to accommodate the interests of neighbourhood groups, and one of its roles is to provide a place for people to coordinate, build support, and find resources for their initiatives at this scale. Broadening the participation in the KCC CityPlan Committee to include groups in the community that address social needs would help mitigate the extent to which people who are living on the margins in KCC already, will be further impacted by the land-use changes and development activities that are at the core of the CityPlan Community Vision implementation process. 1 0 0 The title of this thesis suggests that the business of implementing a vision is where the real work of planning begins. Visions are an articulation of a desired future. They require concrete plans, with actions and commitments of resources like people, time, funding and tools identified in order to achieve tangible results. This is why the implementation stage of the Community Visions process is so critical - it is actually the action plan making and action taking stage. The ideas in the KCC Community Vision are being prioritized, and negotiated right now. Some are being planned and still others are actually being articulated in the physical and social spaces of Kensington - Cedar Cottage. This is the messy bit - dealing with the complexity of lived reality with its stew of constraints: histories of planning practise, legislation, regional imperatives, organizational structures that limit coordination, council politics, departmental funding allocations, the emergence of opposition and questions of legitimacy posed because there are people who weren't included or choose not to participate in the process. Given the importance of this implementation stage, the question of whether the KCC CityPlan Committee facilitates inclusive participation by citizens in decision making about the future of their neighbourhood is critical. The existence of the KCC CityPlan committee strengthens 101 community planning by providing opportunities for decision making about the future of the local area to the small group of people who are actively involved. They are not representative of or accountable to the community in any meaningful kind of way. They have enhanced access to information, the opportunity to create face to face relationships with city planners, and coordinate with other residents to build support for neighbourhood initiatives. Participation in implementation activities such as greening projects is broader and the KCC Community Vision Annual Meetings are an opportunity to update a somewhat larger number of people in Kensington-Cedar Cottage about activities undertaken in that year. The City uses surveys and questionnaires to garner the opinions of a wider range of residents, but these are not sites of active decision making about the choices and tradeoffs that are an inherent part of the nitty-gritty work of implementing a vision. The existence of the Kensington-Cedar Cottage CityPlan Committee does not facilitate inclusive citizen participation in decision making about the future of the area. The structure of the committee is not welcoming to participation by the majority of people who live in KCC that do not speak English as a first language, or who do not have an interest or background in land-use planning. The discussions and preoccupations of the KCC CityPlan Committee may not be meaningful to people who struggle to secure 102 stable affordable housing, or accessible childcare so they can earn a living, or a place to heal from a drug addiction and find ways to cope with mental illness. I came to planning from anthropology, in part to escape its tendency, expressed in the guise of cultural relativism, to paralysis and moral retreat in the face of everyday realities of injustice. But I found that my adopted home was not the paradise I imagined it might be. The privileging of lived reality, of the social, and of the local that are the hallmarks of anthropology are sometimes hard to find in planning research and practise. I take comfort in the fact that there are others who have made this journey before me. Lisa Peattie's story of her experience as an anthropologist working on a master planning project saved me from yet another search for a new academic home. She said, [m]y world was full of continuing stories of people's lives which interlinked with each other to make larger stories: about social mobility and the transformation of traditional social groupings into a new class structure, and the development of the political system, and the social functions of planning. Out of these stories I made written contributions to the work of the planning team back in Caracas...In all of these communications or written representations there seems to have been a single underlying theme: This in not 'the site' of planning, but a city in embryo; the inhabitants are not dependent on outside intervention to enter a process of development but are themselves making history via individual and collective struggle.... (1 990: 1 35-1 50) I too have found that the local area Kensington-Cedar Cottage may be 'the site' of planning, but that within it, and sometimes spilling out of its boundaries, are a collection of communities of action, formed in self 103 defined neighbourhoods that make up the City of Vancouver in embryo. The citizens who live in these neighbourhoods are not dependent on the interventions of the Community Visions program or the implementation planners from the City of Vancouver to enter a process of development, but are themselves making history via individual and collective struggle to improve their living space. The extent to which these actions foster inclusion or exclusion will have an impact on the future of Kensington-Cedar Cottage. The existence of the Kensington-Cedar Cottage CityPlan Committee has the potential to strengthen neighbourhood initiatives, coordinate them at a larger scale, and build a wider base of political support for directing the implementation of the Kensington-Cedar Cottage Community Vision toward the creation of a place in which all its residents feel they belong and have the opportunity to participate in deciding the future of their area. The processes of change occurring in Kensington-Cedar Cottage will lead to further exclusion unless actions are taken to identify and address the social impacts of decisions that are being made in the Vision implementation process. As housing and commercial rents become more and more unaffordable, people and businesses who are already existing on the margins will be forced to leave the area. 104 An ethical planning practise in KCC must respond to the lived realities of all the people who are residents of the area. Social impacts of land-use planning decisions and other interventions that result from the implementation of the KCC Community Vision must be acknowledged and addressed. This can be accomplished by supporting initiatives at the neighbourhood level that foster inclusion, and partnering with community based organizations that work with marginalized communities in the area. Exclusion and growing disparity will be a reality in Kensington-Cedar Cottage, unless there is a sustained and active commitment to the goal of inclusion by citizens, community groups, city planners, and politicians. 105 8. EPILOGUE The Kensington-Cedar Cottage CityPlan Committee is nearing its sixth anniversary. This would be an excellent time for the members of the Committee to look back on their accomplishments and use an assessment of the group's/strengths as well as the challenges they face to inform actions and decisions in the years to come. The Committee has tremendous potential, and could become a much more accountable and representative group. Decisions about the future of the Committee should be open to all interested residents of KCC. This would require identifying barriers to participation and ways to address them. One of the directions in the KCC Community Vision calls for paid community development staff and support. Taking action on this Vision direction would be an excellent starting point for broadening participation in KCC. A community development approach would begin with an identification of the assets and resources that already exist in, and are available to, the citizens of Kensington-Cedar Cottage. The Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood House and the Civic Youth Strategy at the City of Vancouver are just two examples of existing assets that could provide resources and knowledge about ways to broaden participation in decision making to include ethno-cultural communities and youth. 106 The Planning Department has now completed four Community Visions, for Kensington-Cedar Cottage, Dunbar, Sunset, and Victoria-Fraserview Killarney. Each of these areas is now in the implementation stage of the Community Visions process. There are four areas currently in the process of creating Community Visions: Renfrew Collingwood, Hastings Sunrise, Riley Park/South Cambie, and Arbutus Ridge/Shaugnessy/Kerrisdale. It is clear from the implementation stage of the Community Vision program, and in particular the Neighbourhood Centre Delivery Program, that action plans, detailed zoning and housing plans, and funding allocations beyond the incremental shifting of existing city resources are required to translate Community Visions into reality. Given these requirements, an assessment of this new approach to local area planning is required. A broad mid-program evaluation by the Planning Department would provide ideas for city planners about how to improve the Community Visioning and implementation processes throughout the City. This research has touched only briefly on the difference between the approach to local area planning employed by the City of Vancouver Planning Department in the 1970's and 1980's and the current Community Visions Program. Further research is needed that provides a comparative analysis of the relative strengths and weaknesses of the two 107 approaches in terms of their respective costs, ability to foster inclusive participation in planning at this scale, effectiveness in achieving results, and the distribution of benefits both across the city and among groups within the local areas. 1 0 8 APPENDIX A: CITYPLAN COMMUNITY VISIONS PROGRAM TERMS OF REFERENCE SUMMARY Purpose The purpose of this program is to have communities, assisted by staff, develop visions that incorporate a wide range of community interests and describe common ground for moving in CityPlan directions. The program asks each community to implement CityPlan directions in a way and at a scale and pace that suits the community. Ground rules A set of principles underlie the program which require that each community vision address CityPlan directions and that the process involve the broad community. Product . Each vision will be a document which uses words, drawings, pictures, and maps to show how the community proposes to meet its needs and move forward on CityPlan directions over the coming decades. A vision will identify what people value and want to protect as well as those things that will change. Process Two streams: a community visioning process and a city-wide process. Community visioning is an eight-month, seven-step process that leads from the identification of community needs, ideas, issues, and opportunities on all the CityPlan topics, to the creation of vision options, and then to the selection of a preferred vision. Each step provides a variety of ways for people in the community to be involved in creating, reviewing, and deciding on their vision including kitchen table meetings, workshops and discussion groups, community events and festivals, brochures and surveys. The process also provides for an on-going Liaison Group made up of people from the community. Within the general framework of the seven steps, a communications and outreach strategy is tailor-made for each community. In an eighth step, the community works on setting priorities for vision implementation. Two communities prepare visions simultaneously. A concurrent city-wide process helps link communities across the city with each other and with city-wide interests, using a number of formats, from City Forums, to media, to events and activities that bring a city-wide commentary into each community's visioning process. 109 Roles The community, which includes residents, property owners, workers, business owners, and community organizations, generates the ideas, issues, and solutions that create the vision options; they also select a preferred vision. CityPlan staff organize and facilitate the community process, undertake outreach and communications, help explore vision possibilities, and document and illustrate material generated by the process. They provide information on community, city, and regional needs and CityPlan directions, ensure that vision options move in CityPlan directions, and advise on the relationship between vision options and CityPlan. CityPlan staff do not invent or delete vision options, or select or advocate a preferred vision. ' The Liaison Group, with representatives from a wide-range of community interests, brings continuity and a "watch-dog" perspective to the process and provides a core group of participants and contacts. This group may also take on priority-setting, monitoring, and action roles after completion of the vision. "City Hats" are a small group of respected and knowledgeable individuals drawn from across the city who comment on how far each vision option moves toward achieving CityPlan directions and the consequences of each option. Their review is a part of each community vision process and it is incorporated into the community's consideration of the vision options. City Council approves the resources required to undertake the vision program, endorses the visions, and approves City initiatives to implement the visions. Pilot project review and program timing This program was developed to be able to reach the whole city, for the first time, in a systematic way, within several years. However, because this is a major City initiative that can set new ways of planning with communities, the first two visions will be considered a pilot project. The first two communities will start their visioning process in January 1997,to be completed in September. The completed visions will be submitted to City Council for endorsation within the context of the review. Approved by City Council July 30, 1996 http://www.city.vancouver.bc.ca/commsvcs/planning/cityplan/termsre.htm Accessed Dec 1 7, 2001 n o APPENDIX B: CITY OF VANCOUVER ORGANIZATION CHART MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL CITY MANAGER'S OFFICE VANCOUVER LIBRARY BOARD VANCOUVER POLICE BOARD BOARD OF PARKS & RECREATION Olympic Operations Special Projects Equal Employment Opportunity Program BOARDS Library Police Parks Community Services SERVICE GROUPS Human Resource Services Engineering Services Fire & Rescue Services Corporate Services Law DEPARTMENTS City Clerk's Department Civic Theatres! WORKS CITED Arendt, Hannah [1958] The Human Condition. 2 n d Ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Aristotle [1 989] "The City and the Regime" Classics in Political Philosophy. Jene M. Porter [Ed.] Scarborough: Prentice Hall Canada. Reprinted from Aristotle: The Politics. Translated by Carnes Lord [1984] Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 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