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Women office workers in contrasting suburban centres Challis, Lynda Ann 1991

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WOMEN OFFICE WORKERS IN CONTRASTING SUBURBAN CENTRES By LYNDA ANN CHALLIS B.A., Simon Fraser University, 1972 THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTERS OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES The Department of Geography We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard. THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August 1991 © Lynda Ann C h a l l i s , 1991 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of G? eoc^txpyMj The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT Suburban employment centres have increasingly become major workplaces for suburban women without consideration of the s p e c i f i c requirements of these workers. This thesis examines the a b i l i t y of suburban employment centres to respond to the p a r t i c u l a r needs of women employees by analyzing the rel a t i o n s h i p between the Greater Vancouver Regional D i s t r i c t ' s (GVRD) objectives for suburban centres and the needs of women o f f i c e workers. This thesis includes case studies of female workers at suburban firms located i n Burnaby and Richmond, B r i t i s h Columbia. The research points to the s p e c i f i c considerations that can contribute to providing women with employment opportunities i n a qu a l i t y working environment. The thesis stresses the necessity for including a gender perspective i n urban research, such as the suburbanization of o f f i c e s and employment. Background information on the GVRD's Livable Region Program and Regional Town Centres strategy i s provided, including a descri p t i o n of t h e i r objectives, successes and weaknesses, p a r t i c u l a r l y as they pertain to suburban o f f i c e workers. The growth of suburban o f f i c e s and employment, and s p e c i f i c a l l y , the development and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the Burnaby and Richmond town centres are also presented. The empirical research involved interviews of women working i n suburban o f f i c e s i n Burnaby and Richmond to e s t a b l i s h t h e i r actions, perceptions and expectations regarding t h e i r o f f i c e l o c a t i o n . The interview responses indicated that there i s as much s i m i l a r i t y and difference between the women working i n Burnaby and Richmond, as there i s between those working i n town centre and non-town centre locations. Many of the women placed greater emphasis on the type of work than on the location of the o f f i c e and i t s re l a t i o n s h i p to t r a n s i t , services and amenities. Generally, most women only wanted basic amenities (banking, postal services and a convenience store) and a pleasant, relaxing environment. The findings from the interviews are analyzed i n accordance with the objectives of the GVRD's Livable Region Program and Regional Town Centres strategy. Recommendations are made for ensuring that the GVRD's objectives are more cognizant of the requirements of women o f f i c e workers. i v TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ABSTRACT i i TABLE OF CONTENTS i v LIST OF TABLES v i LIST OF FIGURES v i i APPENDICES v i i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ix CHAPTER 1 WOMEN IN SUBURBAN OFFICES 1 1.1 RESEARCH FOCUS 1 1.2 RESEARCH PROBLEM 1 1.3 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES 4 1.4 RESEARCH OUTLINE 5 CHAPTER 2 SUBURBAN OFFICES AND WOMEN EMPLOYEES: A LITERATURE REVIEW 7 2.1 INTRODUCTION 7 2.2 THEMES IN SUBURBAN OFFICE LITERATURE 7 2.2.1 Theme 1: Understanding Suburban O f f i c e and Employment Growth 8 2.2.2 Theme 2: Suburban Of f i c e Formation and Location 10 2.2.3 Theme 3: Technology and Communications 13 2.2.4 Theme 4: Suburban Transportation and Commuting Patterns 15 2.2.5 Summary 17 2.3 CHARACTERISTICS AND REQUIREMENTS OF FEMALE OFFICE WORKERS 18 2.4 A GENDER PERSPECTIVE 24 2.5 CONCLUSION 26 CHAPTER 3 THE LIVABLE REGION AND REGIONAL TOWN CENTRES 28 3.1 INTRODUCTION 28 3.2 BACKGROUND 28 3.2.1 Livable Region Program and Regional Town Centres 28 3.2.2 Reviews of the Livable Region Program and Regional Town Centres Strategy, 1978-1990 . . •'• 35 3.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE LIVABLE REGION PROGRAM AND THE REGIONAL TOWN CENTRES STRATEGY 41 3.3.1 Balance of Jobs to Population 42 3.3.2 Transit Oriented Transportation System 47 3.3.3 Variety of Services and An Interesting Working Environment 50 3.4 CONCLUSION 53 V Page CHAPTER 4 SUBURBANIZATION OF OFFICES AND EMPLOYMENT: BURNABY AND RICHMOND 55 4.1 INTRODUCTION 55 4.2 GROWTH IN SUBURBAN OFFICES AND EMPLOYMENT 55 4.2.1 Off i c e and Employment Growth i n Burnaby 60 4.2.2 Off i c e and Employment Growth i n Richmond .... 64 4.3 REGIONAL TOWN CENTRES 67 4.3.1 Burnaby's Regional Town Centre (Metrotown) 67 4.3.2 Richmond's Regional Town Centre 72 4.4 CONCLUSION 7 9 CHAPTER 5 PERCEPTIONS OF FEMALE SUBURBAN OFFICE WORKERS 81 5.1 INTRODUCTION 81 5.2 METHODOLOGY 81 5.3 PRESENTATION OF INTERVIEW RESULTS 83 5.3.1 P r o f i l e of the Interviewees 84 5.3.2 Work Context 85 5.3.3 Transportation to Work 88 5.3.4 Workplace Location and Surrounding Area 91 5.4 ANALYSIS OF ACTIONS AND PERCEPTIONS 100 5.4.1 Balance of Jobs to Population 100 5.4.2 Transit Oriented Transportation System 102 5.4.3 Variety of Services and An Interesting Working Environment 103 5.4.6 Summary 108 5.5 CONCLUSIONS 109 CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS I l l 6.1 INTRODUCTION I l l 6.2 RESEARCH CONCLUSIONS 112 6.3 RESEARCH RECOMMENDATIONS 116 6.4 RESEARCH CONTRIBUTIONS 122 FOOTNOTES 124 BIBLIOGRAPHY 125 v i LIST OF TABLES Table 1: Greater Vancouver P a r t i c i p a t i o n Rates 59 Table 2: Percentage D i s t r i b u t i o n by Age Group 84 Table 3: Percentage D i s t r i b u t i o n by Marital Status ... 84 Table 4: Percentage D i s t r i b u t i o n by Family or Liv i n g Arrangement 84 Table 5: Percentage D i s t r i b u t i o n by Type of Work 85 Table 6: Percentage D i s t r i b u t i o n by Length of Employment with Firm 86 Table 7: Percentage D i s t r i b u t i o n by Previous Work Location 87 Table 8: Percentage D i s t r i b u t i o n by Length of Tr i p to Work 89 v i i LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1: Regional Town Centres 34 Figure 2: Ratio of Employed Labour Force to Resident Labour Force 44 Figure 3: Share of Commercial Space 56 Figure 4: Burnaby's Major Of f i c e Locations 63 Figure 5: Metrotown 68 Figure 6: Richmond Town Centre Location 72 Figure 7: Richmond Town Centre 74 v i i i APPENDICES Appendix A: D e f i n i t i o n of Commercial Floorspace Appendix B: Letter Requesting Firm's Cooperation for Employee Interviews Appendix C: Letter Requesting Employee's P a r t i c i p a t i o n Appendix D: Interview Questions Directed to Women Suburban Off i c e Workers ix ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would l i k e to express my appreciation to Walter Hardwick and Gerry Pratt for t h e i r assistance and guidance throughout the development of t h i s thesis. I also want to thank Walter for his recognition of the time-constraints and additional stress faced by a part-time student with a f u l l - t i m e job. I am gra t e f u l to Sonja Leberer and Ian Castle whose technical assistance and advice greatly contributed to the preparation of t h i s f i n a l document. I want to acknowledge my parents who have always i n s t i l l e d i n me the b e l i e f that I could accomplish whatever I r e a l l y wanted. F i n a l l y , I e s p e c i a l l y thank Kari Huhtala for providing me with a ro l e model as well as o f f e r i n g the support and enthusiasm necessary for me to complete t h i s t h e s i s . 1 CHAPTER 1 WOMEN IN SUBURBAN OFFICES 1.1 RESEARCH FOCUS This thesis examines the a b i l i t y of suburban employment centres to respond to the p a r t i c u l a r needs of women employees by analyzing the relat i o n s h i p between the Greater Vancouver Regional D i s t r i c t ' s (GVRD) objectives for suburban centres and the needs and expectations of women o f f i c e workers. Based on case studies of female workers at four suburban firms, t h i s study evaluates the effectiveness of the GVRD's Regional Town Centres strategy and i t s objectives i n improving the qu a l i t y of l i f e for female o f f i c e employees. Some recommendations are suggested for improving the effectiveness of the Regional Town Centres strategy. 1.2 RESEARCH PROBLEM In the early 1970s, the GVRD undertook a "Livable Region Program" with the major objective "to manage growth and change so as to maintain or enhance the l i v a b i l i t y of the Region" (GVRD, 1972/73, p.4). As part of t h i s program, one strategy was to es t a b l i s h regional town centres to at t r a c t much of the incremental employment required to balance the suburban population with 2 suburban jobs. Besides providing jobs, the regional town centres were also expected to provide a "quality working environment". The policy-makers of the day had high expectations about the regional town centres developing as centres of employment located i n a l i v a b l e environment. However, the GVRD's planning process lacked adequate d e f i n i t i o n of the d i f f e r e n t types of people that would work in these new centres. One group i n p a r t i c u l a r i s women who represent the largest component of the employees working i n the suburban centres. Consequently, the GVRD's objectives for regional town centres may not be achieved. Furthermore, by not e x p l i c i t l y recognizing the s p e c i f i c needs of women within the Regional Town Centre strategy, i t i s d i f f i c u l t for the GVRD to ensure that i t i s providing women with the qu a l i t y of working environment that i s required. The l i t e r a t u r e on suburban employment i s quite diverse, and includes suburban centres, transportation, demographics and gender considerations. Research about suburbanizing o f f i c e s and employment tends to focus on understanding t h e i r s i z e , growth and lo c a t i o n a l features. Demographic changes along with concerns about growth management are offered as reasons for the development and expansion of suburban o f f i c e s and employment. Suburban centres have increasingly been featured as a s i g n i f i c a n t component of suburban o f f i c e growth. 3 While the needs and requirements of suburban firms and t h e i r employers are frequently discussed, the implications for employees are often ignored. Such research on suburban employees, that e x i s t s , suggests that, at least for women o f f i c e workers, many jobs o f f e r lower wages and fewer career opportunities. As a consequence, these jobs may not be contributing to an improved q u a l i t y of l i f e . The l i t e r a t u r e on suburban transportation and commuting patterns provides mixed messages for suburban employees. While i t acknowledges that suburban o f f i c e s may be providing work closer to home, i n many instances the transportation networks are unable to adequately cope with the increasing inter-suburb commuting patterns. This s i t u a t i o n has worsened t r a f f i c congestion. The l i t e r a t u r e on women provides some insight into the speci a l needs of women that should be relevant to the development of suburban employment centres. Women are characterized as r e s t r i c t e d by a lower l e v e l of mobility and lim i t e d by the time constraints imposed by the dual roles they are frequently required to perform. In addition, the importance of providing a gender perspective to urban research and p o l i c y i s also stressed i n the l i t e r a t u r e . The conclusion i s that research cannot be gender neutral when i t i s dealing with issues that can a f f e c t men and women d i f f e r e n t l y . 4 T h i s t h e s i s extends p r e v i o u s r e s e a r c h by examining the a t t i t u d e s of female employees about working i n a suburban o f f i c e l o c a t i o n and t h e i r p e r c e p t i o n s about the q u a l i t y of t h e i r working environment. Furthermore, t h i s t h e s i s c o n t r i b u t e s t o the e v a l u a t i o n s of the GVRD's Regiona l Town Centres s t r a t e g y by p r o v i d i n g some i n s i g h t from the p e r s p e c t i v e of women o f f i c e workers. 1.3 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES The o b j e c t i v e s of t h i s study are t o : o I d e n t i f y the p e r c e p t i o n s and e x p e c t a t i o n s of female suburban o f f i c e workers r e g a r d i n g the l o c a t i o n of suburban employment and the q u a l i t y of the working environment; o Determine whether r e g i o n a l town c e n t r e s have been more or l e s s e f f e c t i v e than other suburban l o c a t i o n s a t meeting the needs of female suburban o f f i c e workers; o D e s c r i b e the GVRD's approach t o managing growth and l i v a b i l i t y i n the r e g i o n through the o b j e c t i v e s and p o l i c i e s of the L i v a b l e Region Program; o O u t l i n e the q u a n t i t a t i v e and the q u a l i t a t i v e e x p e c t a t i o n s of the GVRD's Regional Town Centre s t r a t e g y ; and 5 o Recommend changes i n pol i c y at the l o c a l and regional l e v e l which could improve the effectiveness i n matching the objectives of the Regional Town Centre strategy with the requirements of women workers. 1.4 RESEARCH OUTLINE The f i r s t chapter introduces the research focus, the problem, the objectives and the outline of thi s study. Li t e r a t u r e on suburbanizing o f f i c e s and employment, and women workers i s reviewed i n Chapter 2. The purpose of t h i s chapter i s to i d e n t i f y the emphasis and current d i r e c t i o n s i n suburban o f f i c e l i t e r a t u r e ; to determine the sp e c i a l needs of women workers; to re l a t e the needs of women workers to the development of suburban o f f i c e s ; and to provide a context for the gender perspective. Chapter 3 describes the GVRD's Livable Region Program and the Regional Town Centres (RTC) strategy. This chapter i d e n t i f i e s the objectives of the RTC strategy as they pertain to women suburban o f f i c e employees. Chapter 4 provides an overview of the suburbanization of o f f i c e development and employment i n two muni c i p a l i t i e s within the Greater Vancouver region, the Corporation of Burnaby and the Ci t y of Richmond [1]/ including a desc r i p t i o n of each town centre. 6 The empirical research associated with t h i s thesis i s presented i n Chapter 5. This chapter describes the actions and perceptions of the female suburban o f f i c e employees i n Burnaby and Richmond who were interviewed i n the four case studies. The interviews include women working i n town centre and non-town centre o f f i c e locations. Chapter 6 draws conclusions from the study findings by l i n k i n g the female employees actions, perceptions and expectations with the Regional Town Centres objectives, and recommends possible adjustments to the p o l i c i e s and actions of the Region and the two municipalities. 7 CHAPTER 2 SUBURBAN OFFICES AND WOMEN EMPLOYEES: A LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter reviews two f i e l d s of writing, suburban o f f i c e s and o f f i c e employment, and working women. The objective of the l i t e r a t u r e review i s to: o Identify the themes emphasized i n the current l i t e r a t u r e on suburban o f f i c e s , noting t h e i r relevance for women o f f i c e workers; and o Determine special c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and requirements of women workers. The chapter concludes with references to the l i t e r a t u r e supporting the need to include a gender-based analysis i n urban research. 2.2 THEMES IN SUBURBAN OFFICE LITERATURE There are four i d e n t i f i a b l e themes which reoccur i n the l i t e r a t u r e pertinent to the suburbanization of o f f i c e s and o f f i c e employment. This section of the chapter b r i e f l y 8 discusses each of the following themes: o Theme 1: Understanding suburban o f f i c e and employment growth; o Theme 2: Formation and location of suburban o f f i c e s ; o Theme 3: Role of technology and telecommunications; and o Theme 4: Suburban transportation and commuting patterns. 2.2.1 Theme 1: Understanding Suburban O f f i c e and Employment Growth A common theme throughout the l i t e r a t u r e i s seeking an understanding of the growth of o f f i c e s i n the suburbs. Suburban o f f i c e growth has frequently been associated with the expansion of the service sectors of the economy (Daniels, 1985; Dowell, 1987; Kutay, 1986) and related to the development of a p o s t - i n d u s t r i a l society (Hartshorn & Muller, 1986; B e l l , 1974; Gershuny and Miles, 1983). One of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the p o s t - i n d u s t r i a l society has been change i n the structure of industry and employment, with noticeable consequences of t h i s change being an increase i n the amount of o f f i c e space and the movement i n o f f i c e locations to areas away from the t r a d i t i o n a l locations i n the downtown or urban core. The growth of the information society has occurred along with a dramatic s h i f t towards the types of employment which are located predominantly i n o f f i c e s . In p a r t i c u l a r , growth i n the employment sectors including finance, insurance and r e a l estate, and business 9 and personal services, have been accompanied with corresponding increases i n o f f i c e space for accommodating these a c t i v i t i e s . Since the Second World War, North America has experienced s i g n i f i c a n t population growth, with much of that growth occurring i n the suburbs of large c i t i e s . At the same time, there have been s h i f t s i n household siz e and formation, and an increase i n women's p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the paid work force. During the 1970s and 1980s, the suburbs were the focus for new job formation i n both t r a d i t i o n a l blue and white c o l l a r occupations (Hartshorn & Muller, 1986). A l l of these factors have contributed to the increase i n suburban employment and suburban o f f i c e s . Some of the suburban o f f i c e s have appeared or expanded i n response to the needs of an increasing l o c a l population. In addition, the growing number of single person households and the r i s e i n female p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the labour force have helped provide additional employees necessary for the expanding suburban o f f i c e employment. Besides population-related growth and s t r u c t u r a l s h i f t s i n the economy, the development of suburban o f f i c e s has also been encouraged by s p e c i f i c government p o l i c i e s . Decentralization, with e x p l i c i t support for suburban centres, has frequently been adopted as a growth management strategy (Daniels, 1982 & 1986; Ley, 1985). In an e f f o r t to control 10 commercial expansion i n c i t y centres, l o c a l governments have adopted r e s t r i c t i v e p o l i c i e s to l i m i t growth i n the downtown and/or provided incentives to encourage new development to sel e c t a suburban location. Furthermore, some o f f i c e firms have chosen to relocate to suburban areas as a r e s u l t of: c i t y centres becoming more congested with both t r a f f i c and people; increased business leasing and operating costs; and growing commuting distances. Other firms have moved only cer t a i n components of the business, such as the back o f f i c e functions, to the suburbs. 2.2.2 Theme 2: Suburban Of f i c e Formation and Location The l i t e r a t u r e shows that o f f i c e location, as i t pertains to suburban o f f i c e s , has been analyzed from two d i s t i n c t i v e p o s i t i o n s . One body of l i t e r a t u r e discusses the process of o f f i c e suburbanization and the various patterns of suburban o f f i c e development, often based on s p e c i f i c case studies of suburban o f f i c e employment centres. A second group of researchers have concentrated on the s p a t i a l analysis of o f f i c e space and o f f i c e employment. This research has tended to emphasize the c r i t e r i a influencing the s e l e c t i o n of a suburban o f f i c e location and the rationale for o f f i c e s s e l e c t i n g either a central c i t y or a suburban s i t e . Frequently, the focus of th i s work has been i n response to p o l i c y - r e l a t e d issues, such as the decentralization of o f f i c e space. 11 Suburban o f f i c e and employment growth has been described as an evolutionary process (Daniels, 1986; Hartshorn & Muller, 1986; Leinberger, 1990) as well as a consciously planned process (Langdon, 1990). Hartshorn and Muller (1986) see the stages of suburban employment growth as an evolutionary process i n which many of the suburban business centres that appeared during the 1970s emerged from the r e t a i l centres of the 1960s and, up to the present day, are continuing to evolve. Leinberger (1990) includes suburban o f f i c e centres i n his typology of urban cores and observes that urban cores also progress through stages of growth. While Langdon (1990) recognizes that some suburban downtowns emerge, b u i l t without much coordination, he prefers the process of a planned, well-designed suburban centre that can provide the d i v e r s i t y required to serve the entire community. Suburban centres have increasingly been featured as a s i g n i f i c a n t component of suburban o f f i c e growth (Daniels, 1986; Hartshorn & Muller, 1986; Langdon, 1990; Pivo, 1990; Leinberger, 1990). For instance, Daniels (1986) suggests that such "centres o f f e r the prospect of, f i r s t l y , improved access to a range of o f f i c e employment opportunities for suburban residents; secondly, minimizing the number of work t r i p s by private transport because adequate public transport networks are more l i k e l y to be made viable when serving large employment nodes; and, t h i r d l y , improved business e f f i c i e n c y (both private and public sector) as a r e s u l t of agglomeration economies." (p.32) Suburban town centres, as they have frequently been c a l l e d , 12 are also seen as places which o f f e r a mixture of a c t i v i t i e s , including housing, shopping, entertainment, parks and public f a c i l i t i e s , a l l of which are within walking distance of each other and accessible by public transportation. The designation of suburban centres i n c i t i e s such as Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton and Denver, was intended to ensure a d i s t r i b u t i o n of o f f i c e employment and t r a v e l patterns that was balanced within the region, to support the development of an e f f i c i e n t public transportation system, and to minimize the negative impact of growth on the environment (Christy, 1987; C i t y of Toronto, 1986; Regional Municipality of Ottawa, 1977; Denver, 1980). Often presented along with the process of suburban o f f i c e growth are i t s patterns of development. The patterns include o f f i c e corridors along freeways or major a r t e r i a l s (Manners, 1974; Erickson, 1983) and o f f i c e or business clu s t e r s (Hartshorn & Muller, 1986; Leinberger, 1990; Cervero, 1989b; Langdon, 1990). As Pivo (1990) suggests, most metropolitan areas are a c t u a l l y a combination of both patterns as well as some low density o f f i c e development spread randomly throughout the suburbs. The l i t e r a t u r e discussing the s p e c i f i c l o c a t i o n a l features of suburban o f f i c e s i s more extensive. Often t h i s l i t e r a t u r e i s presented i n the context of decentralization and the movement of o f f i c e s out of the CBD (Fernie, 1977; Schwartz, 1979; 13 Daniels, 1982; Armstrong & Milder, 1984; Dowell, 1987). To a large extent, t h i s l i t e r a t u r e emphasizes the push and p u l l factors that influence a firm's decision to locate part or a l l of i t s a c t i v i t i e s i n a suburban rather than a central c i t y l o c a t i o n . A segment of the l i t e r a t u r e emphasizes the implications of o f f i c e l o c ation decisions on workers (Nelson, 1982; Baran, 1985; Erickson, 1983; Dowall, 1987). For instance, Nelson (1982) regards suburban o f f i c e jobs as primarily for suburban workers, therefore o f f i c e employment which moves to the suburbs becomes a l o s t opportunity for inner c i t y residents. Dowell (1987), Baran (1985) and Nelson (1982) comment that although suburban o f f i c e s provide employment close to home, often i t also offers lower wages and fewer career opportunities for suburban employees, e s p e c i a l l y women. 2.2.3 Theme 3: Technology and Telecommunications The technology and telecommunications theme and the fourth theme, suburban transportation and commuting patterns, which i s discussed i n the next section are frequently included i n the l i t e r a t u r e dealing with o f f i c e locations. However, they each have received enough in d i v i d u a l attention that they warrant sp e c i a l reference i n th i s chapter. Technological change and the growth of telecommunications 14 have been i d e n t i f i e d as enabling the d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n of o f f i c e a c t i v i t i e s (Goddard & Pye, 1977; Downs, 1981; Hyde, 1984; Drucker, 1989; Hartshorn & Muller, 1986) because current telecommunication systems "no longer require o f f i c e s to be i n close physical proximity to one another" (Smith & Selwood, 1983, p.304) . There have been divergent opinions, however, about the influence of technology on suburban o f f i c e l o c a t i o n decisions. One major concern has been that the separation of o f f i c e a c t i v i t i e s or the decentralization of an e n t i r e firm, which may be f a c i l i t a t e d by technology, ultimately suffers from the loss of important face-to-face contact (Schwartz, 1984; Gad, 1979; Dowall, 1987; Hutton & Ley, 1987). As a response, Goddard and Pye (1977) and Edgington (1982) suggest that location decisions based on technological change also may require organizational changes. Other researchers foresee technology as increasing i t s impact on the workplaces of the future. Olmstead (Dart, 1990) states that at least one-third of a l l employees w i l l be working at home, at least on a part-time basis, i n the coming century. Drucker (1989), who does not agree that the trend i s toward individuals working at home, expects an increase i n o f f i c e work being contracted out, s i m i l a r to cleaning and maintenance a c t i v i t i e s . Hartshorn (Husted, 1990) predicts that telecommuting w i l l become more popular as transportation systems become overloaded, and commuting distances and times increase. 15 Telecommuting i s also seen to provide pot e n t i a l advantages and disadvantages to both employers and employees. For example, for the employee, telecommuting may reduce commuting time and cost, while at the same time increasing work f l e x i b i l i t y , r e s i d e n t i a l location opportunities and family i n t e r a c t i o n and community t i e s . Conversely, for some employees the i s o l a t i o n and d i s t r a c t i o n of working at home may be overriding negative features (National C a p i t a l Commission, 1989; McQuarrie, 1990). 2.2.4 Theme 4: Suburban Transportation and Commuting Patterns Congested c i t y streets and increasing t r a v e l time to work are regarded as important contributing factors to the movement of o f f i c e s out to the suburbs. For some c i t i e s the creation of suburban o f f i c e centres was part of a growth management strategy that was intended to improve the metropolitan transportation network and to reduce congestion. A few researchers have suggested that the suburbanization of o f f i c e s provides workers with good transportation and shorter commuting times (Dowell, 1987; Richardson & Gordon, 1989). Richardson and Gordon (1989) observe that for work t r i p s i n the U.S. "work t r i p s are not getting longer. Commuters increasingly value commuting-time savings and congestion i s being reliev e d as both firms and households relocate to shorten t h e i r work t r i p s . " (P-7) 16 However, many other researchers are finding that suburban o f f i c e s have created transportation problems of t h e i r own. Daniels' (1972) study of firms moving out of London, found that private transportation was of increased importance for employees at the decentralized o f f i c e s . Cervero (1989b) postulates that the suburban workers' dependence on the private automobile i s related to the design of suburban centres, which are generally low-density, and include an abundance of free parking, poor road f a c i l i t i e s , and inadequate lev e l s of suburban t r a n s i t services. According to Orski (1987), "surveys of suburban o f f i c e complexes indicate that even buildings that are well served by t r a n s i t (those within walking distance of rapid t r a n s i t stations) are over-whelmingly auto-dependent." (p.474) One explanation provided for the u n d e r u t i l i z a t i o n of t r a n s i t by suburban workers i s that many of t h e i r commutes are suburb to suburb (Orski, 1987; Cervero & H a l l , 1989; Richardson & Gordon, 1989; Fox, 1986; Dubin, 1991), while i n most cases t r a n s i t systems have remained oriented to transporting people between the suburbs and the c i t y centre; therefore, the suburbs must r e l y on fewer public t r a n s i t a lternatives and lower lev e l s of service (Daniels, 1972; Manners, 1974; Hartshorn & Muller, 1986). Orski (1987) also suggests that the rapid development of suburban centres often did not allow adequate time for t r a f f i c increases to be accommodated, while Cervero (1989b) 17 adds that the suburb to suburb commuting pattern has resulted i n a saturated suburban road network. Cervero (1989a) proposes that "the balancing of job and housing growth could do as much to improve regional mobility as any mix of t r a f f i c management or roadway expansion programs" (p. 148), although i n order for t h i s strategy to be e f f e c t i v e communities would need to ensure that there i s a d i v e r s i t y of housing opportunities available. 2.2.5 Summary To varying degrees, each of the themes discussed i n t h i s chapter refers to implications of suburban o f f i c e s to the workforce, which are summarized as follows: o The growth of suburban o f f i c e s i s seen as responding to an increasing suburban population which requires ad d i t i o n a l f a c i l i t i e s , services and employment opportunities. o The processes and patterns of suburban o f f i c e development are less concerned about workers, although the l i t e r a t u r e on suburban centres includes references to f u l f i l l i n g residents' employment needs as well as other s o c i a l and economic objectives. o The l i t e r a t u r e on o f f i c e location decisions p r i m a r i l y emphasizes the location requirements of firms, although 18 some writers have considered the implication of loc a t i o n decisions for special groups, such as women and the poor. o Technology and telecommunications provide d i r e c t impacts on the workforce by broadening the range of options for where, how, and by whom work i s done. o The research on transportation and commuting patterns has placed the greatest emphasis on i d e n t i f y i n g and addressing the actions and requirements of workers. The next section i d e n t i f i e s some of the s p e c i f i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of women workers which may be relevant to t h e i r d i s t i n c t requirements as suburban workers. 2.3 CHARACTERISTICS AND REQUIREMENTS OF FEMALE OFFICE WORKERS There i s a deficiency of l i t e r a t u r e dealing s p e c i f i c a l l y with women working i n suburban o f f i c e s . Consequently, most of the comments i n t h i s section are taken from the l i t e r a t u r e about women i n the workforce i n general. The common observation i n t h i s l i t e r a t u r e i s that women have s u b s t a n t i a l l y increased t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the labour force and accordingly altered t h e i r r o l e i n society. Although the majority of women continue to be employed i n t r a d i t i o n a l occupations ( i . e . c l e r i c a l , services, sales, teaching, or health and related occupations) (Shea, 1990), there have been s l i g h t s h i f t s i n the type of jobs (Baran, 1985; Shea, 1990) with noticeable increases i n the number of women i n managerial and administrative positions. However, t h i s trend i s expected to be slow, with additional women p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n professional careers described as a long-term d i r e c t i o n ( L i t t l e , 1988). S t a t i s t i c s indicate that women continue to earn less than male workers and remain over-represented i n low status jobs ( S t a t i s t i c s Canada, 1986). Wekerle and Rutherford (1989) observe that much of the growth i n the white c o l l a r secondary sector [2] employment i n the suburbs i s dominated by female workers. As Nelson's research (1982) i n the San Francisco area reveals, many of the women who are part of the suburban labour market are secondary wage earners, that i s women who are married to primary wage earners. Nelson does not consider t h e i r suburban employment as improving t h e i r p o s i t i o n i n the workforce but rather views many of these women as an exploited resource. A reoccurring theme i n the l i t e r a t u r e about employed women i s the disadvantages they experience due to transportation r e s t r i c t i o n s and time constraints. Working women are seen as having r e s t r i c t e d access to private transportation and consequently have reduced employment opportunities. Access 20 to suburban jobs i s seen as being heavily dependent on automobile ownership (Hartshorn & Muller, 1986; Baran, 1985; Nelson, 1986; Pickup, 1988; L i t t l e , 1988) thereby l i m i t i n g the job search of some women. Studies have shown that women who have access to a car choose suburban work to reduce t h e i r t r a v e l time (Dubin, 1991) or are able to make longer commuting journeys than women without access to a car (Pickup, 1988). Women are usually more t r a n s i t dependent and the women who must use t r a n s i t have t r i p s that are twice as long as car users (Rutherford & Wekerle, 1988a). A d d i t i o n a l l y , public t r a n s i t systems that are not designed and operated to acknowledge women passengers have further l i m i t e d women's job opportunities by not considering t h e i r safety and convenience requirements (Rutherford and Wekerle, 1988b). Married women have been found to have less access to automobiles for t h e i r exclusive use because men usually have the f i r s t choice of car use (Michelson, 1985; Pickup, 1988; Rutherford & Wekerle, 1988b). Married women are also less r e s i d e n t i a l l y mobile because the location of t h e i r home i s often selected with respect to the location of t h e i r husband's job (Madden & Chui, 1990; Fox, 1986; Hanson & Pratt, 1988a). Michelson's (1985) research found that "married women choose work location as a function of r e s i d e n t i a l location, placing l o g i s t i c a l ease higher i n p r i o r i t y than career development" (p.121). Single women can also be less r e s i d e n t i a l l y mobile because they are more l i k e l y to rent t h e i r housing and t h i s form of tenure i s often less available i n the suburbs (Wekerle and Rutherford, 1989). Hanson and Pratt's (1988a) research confirmed that "women's job s i t e s are closer to home than men's, women tend to tr a v e l shorter times and distances to work and are more l i k e l y to work within the l o c a l community" (p.307). Numerous other studies support the findings that women commute a shorter distance than men (Madden, 1981; Rutherford & Wekerle, 1988a; Hanson & Johnston, 1985). Generally women's t r a v e l times are shorter than men's (Hanson & Johnston, 1985; Gordon et a l , 1989), although often the duration of the t r i p s can be longer for women who are dependent on t r a n s i t (Rutherford and Wekerle, 1988a). Nelson (1986), Dubin (1991) and Michelson (1985) a l l consider women as geographically r e s t r i c t e d i n t h e i r search for employment due to t h e i r household r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , although Wekerle and Rutherford (1989) report from a study by Villeneuve and Rose "that household r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s losing ground...in i t s e f f e c t s on work t r i p length" (p.147). The study concludes that women are choosing work close to home because of the type of work available not because t h e i r household r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s require them to work nearby. 22 Dubin (1991) notes that the female single parent has the greatest incentive to economize on commuting because she has the greatest demand on her "non-work" time. Fox (1986) adds that female-headed households are further constrained by low income which l i m i t s t h e i r r e s i d e n t i a l mobility. Many of the time constraints that are referred to i n the discussions about women's journey to work r e s u l t from the "dual r o l e " of many women. Women are often expected to perform at least two jobs - employee and homemaker. Michelson's (1985) research shows that "women, even i f employed, s t i l l do the greatest share of household and childcare a c t i v i t i e s " (p. 62). The employed women that he interviewed spent 3 to 5 times more time on household a c t i v i t i e s , childcare and marketing than t h e i r husbands. Michelson (1985) emphasizes the li m i t a t i o n s placed on women by childcare r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s when he states that "women have to f i t the temporal organization and s p a t i a l location of childcare into everything else they have to do during the day." (p.4) Furthermore, his research found that women i n general made more t r i p s to s a t i s f y a wider range of a c t i v i t i e s and tasks than men. However, some empirical work questions the influence of children on the length of women's work t r i p s (Hanson and Johnston, 1985) and studies have concluded that c h i l d r e n do not s i g n i f i c a n t l y a f f e c t the d i f f e r e n t commuting patterns of 23 men and women (Madden, 1981; Gordon et a l , 1989). Other researchers have observed that women's d a i l y routine has increased i n complexity, and that stress r e s u l t s from women's need to save time i n order to f u l f i l l her dual r o l e ( L i t t l e , 1988; Wekerle, 1985). Women continue to carry the major r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s for childcare and domestic a c t i v i t i e s (Ogle, 1991), and the trend towards the r i s e of more e g a l i t a r i a n families has been described as a long-term process ( L i t t l e , 1988). In other words, women w i l l continue to f u l f i l l two roles for the foreseeable future. Nelson (1986) proposes that women accept lower paid suburban employment to s a t i s f y the demands of t h e i r dual r o l e s . Wekerle (1985) suggests that the c e n t r a l i z a t i o n of a c t i v i t i e s could benefit women who are attempting to accomplish a var i e t y of tasks. For suburban women, stress can be created "by the segregation of land uses i n the suburban environment" (Wekerle, 1985, p.90), therefore women have come to r e l y on t h e i r l o c a l neighbourhood for many of t h e i r s o c i a l and economic needs. Women's l o c a l neighbourhood has been found to play an important role i n t h e i r search for employment and women often r e l y more on t h e i r s o c i a l network, t h e i r family and friends, when they are seeking a job (Hanson and Pratt, 1988a). As the l i t e r a t u r e i n t h i s section demonstrates, there are i d e n t i f i a b l e differences between women and men workers. 24 Besides working i n d i f f e r e n t types of jobs often for lower le v e l s of remuneration and recognition, women workers also tend to carry the primary r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for domestic a c t i v i t i e s , including the care of children and the e l d e r l y . Differences between men and women i n the type of work they do, t h e i r mode and length of t r i p to work, and t h e i r l e v e l s of household r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s suggest that each group should receive more d i s t i n c t consideration by researchers and policy/decision-makers. The f i n a l section i n t h i s chapter presents some additional arguments for applying a gender perspective to t h i s research thesis. 2.4 A GENDER PERSPECTIVE Both academics and pra c t i t i o n e r s have recognized the need for a gender perspective to urban research and p o l i c y (Baran, 1985; L i t t l e , 1988; Pratt, 1990; MacKenzie, 1988; Hapgood, 1977; Strong-Boag, 1991). There have been major changes i n women's aspirations and a c t i v i t i e s but "planners and others involved i n community development decisions have tended to perpetuate t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i a l patterns without questioning them even though many of our assumptions are at variance with the fac t s . " (Hapgood, 1974, p.1-2) There has also been a tendency for public p o l i c y to continue to assume "that women are primarily mothers and housewives who remain i n the r e s i d e n t i a l environment." (Ins t i t u t e of B r i t i s h Geographers, 1984, p.67) One explanation for why gender issues are often ignored i s 25 that the male view has predominated and men tend to view the world d i f f e r e n t l y to women ( L i t t l e , 1988; Andrew & Milroy, 1988). L i t t l e (1988) explains that women's d a i l y l i v e s are q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t from men's, " i . e . women and men perceive and use t h e i r environments d i f f e r e n t l y . " (p.7) As an example, the concept of home and work has been i d e n t i f i e d as d i f f e r e n t to men and woman (Hanson & Pratt, 1988a; MacKenzie, 1988; L i t t l e , 1988). For men the home i s a place away from work, a place of relaxation. Whereas, for women both the home and workplace are t h e i r usual working environments. The dual role of women provides a further explanation for why women's l i v e s are d i f f e r e n t to men. Women are performing a variety of a c t i v i t i e s within a va r i e t y of locations. Because of t h e i r d i f f e r e n t perceptions about t h e i r surroundings, changes to the environment which may meet the needs of men may not be appropriate for women. Research i s often "gender b l i n d " (Baran, 1985, p.147) when i t comes to dealing with topics which may have s p e c i a l implications for women workers (Baran, 1985). For example, issues such as t r a n s i t service and childcare f a c i l i t i e s , have not received the p r i o r i t y that i s required because they are issues that are of p a r t i c u l a r relevance to women (Mackenzie, 1988). However, McLafferty and Preston (1991) remind us of the r a c i a l and ethnic differences between women and stress that gender studies must be careful not to replace a gender b l i n d perspective with one that embraces a concept of 26 "universal womanhood". 2.5 CONCLUSION The preceding l i t e r a t u r e review has shown that there have been a va r i e t y of interests i n the suburbanization of o f f i c e s and o f f i c e employment. To a large degree t h i s l i t e r a t u r e has dealt sparingly with the implications for workers and has almost forgotten the largest share of o f f i c e workers, women. On the other hand, the l i t e r a t u r e on women offers l i m i t e d a dditional information about women o f f i c e workers, although t h i s body of l i t e r a t u r e provides material about women that also applies to women working i n o f f i c e s . A r i s i n g out of t h i s l i t e r a t u r e review are the following questions which t h i s thesis attempts to address: o Do suburban o f f i c e s provided women workers with employment located closer to home? o Do women have a preference for work near home over other features such as career opportunities or salary? o Are suburban transportation systems adequate for women employed i n suburban o f f i c e s ? o Can suburban o f f i c e centres a s s i s t women i n performing 27 dual roles by providing a wide range of f a c i l i t i e s and a c t i v i t i e s ? The next two chapters provide the regional and l o c a l context i n which t h i s study was undertaken. Chapter 3 describes the e f f o r t s by the Greater Vancouver Regional D i s t r i c t to manage growth i n the Vancouver region so as to maintain i t s l i v a b i l i t y , as well as the contributions of the Livable Region Program and the Regional Town Centres strategy to achieving t h i s objective. Chapter 4 outlines the growth of o f f i c e s and o f f i c e employment i n the region with sp e c i a l emphasis on the two municipalities of Burnaby and Richmond. 28 CHAPTER 3 THE LIVABLE REGION AND REGIONAL TOWN CENTRES 3.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter describes the Greater Vancouver Regional D i s t r i c t ' s Livable Region Program and the Regional Town Centres strategy which i s a c r i t i c a l element of that program. The chapter introduces the Livable Region Program and Regional Town Centres, summarizes the reviews of the Program over the past f i f t e e n years, and concludes by hi g h l i g h t i n g the objectives that are of most relevance to the subject of t h i s t h e s i s . 3.2 BACKGROUND 3.2.1 Livable Region Program and Regional Town Centres During the 1960s the annual growth rate i n Greater Vancouver had been over 2.5 percent, and t h i s high l e v e l of growth was expected to continue into the 1970s and 1980s. In 1971, i n response to concerns about rapid population growth i n the region, the GVRD's Board of Directors established as one of the t h e i r major objectives a program "to manage growth and change so as to maintain or enhance the l i v a b i l i t y of the Region" (GVRD, 1972/73, p.4) 29 The Livable Region Program (LRP) was developed as a strategy for growth management in the region and by l a t e 1972 the GVRD Board had endorsed a number of p o l i c y statements on regional planning related to the LRP. The Program's i n i t i a l phase included a series of public meetings held to gain input and insight from the people i n the region's communities. The most common feelings expressed at the meetings were anti-growth sentiments and concerns about q u a l i t y of l i f e . From the public's comments the GVRD recognized that regional development needed additional guidance emphasizing the following two s p e c i f i c p o l i c i e s : o "Provide maximum opportunities for people to l i v e close to where they work, or to work close to where they l i v e . o "Regionally control and develop " o f f i c e centres" or "Regional Town Centres" outside of downtown, and attempt to decentralize some downtown growth to those centres." (GVRD, 1972, p.9) These p o l i c i e s formed the basis for the GVRD's Regional Town Centres (RTC) strategy. Regional Town Centres p o l i c y was also proposed to address concerns about regional transportation and to respond to the growing s o c i a l and economic needs of l o c a l communities. The Regional Town Centres proposal was not new. Ten years e a r l i e r the Lower Mainland Regional Planning Board, as part of the O f f i c i a l Regional Plan for the Lower Mainland (Lower Mainland Regional Planning Board, 1963), had proposed a system of town centres as a means of d i r e c t i n g urban growth. 30 But no s p e c i f i c actions were taken on developing the centres. By 1975 the creation of Regional Town Centres had become one of the following f i v e strategies that the GVRD had proposed for managing growth and achieving l i v a b i l i t y i n the region: 1. Achieve r e s i d e n t i a l growth targets i n each part of the Region. 2. Promote a balance of jobs to population i n each part of the Region. 3. Create Regional Town Centres. 4. Provide a tr a n s i t - o r i e n t e d transportation system l i n k i n g r e s i d e n t i a l areas, regional town centres and other major work areas. 5. Protect and develop regional open space." (GVRD, 1975b, p.l) The p r i n c i p a l objective of the RTC strategy was to decentralize a s i g n i f i c a n t amount of the o f f i c e employment and c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t y that was concentrating i n downtown Vancouver to the regional town centres which would each serve major areas of the Region. The regional town centres were seen as enabling the provision of jobs, l e i s u r e a c t i v i t i e s and educational opportunities closer to people's homes so that residents would not be required to t r a v e l long distances to meet t h e i r various economic and s o c i a l needs. S p e c i f i c a l l y the regional town centres were intended to: o "Bring jobs, shopping and c u l t u r a l opportunities closer to people, so that t r a v e l to these a c t i v i t i e s does not consume as much time, e f f o r t , energy and money. 31 o Create more i n t e r e s t i n g and urban areas t h a t are designed f o r people r a t h e r than s c a t t e r i n g and sprea d i n g a c t i v i t i e s a l l over. o Avoid a g g r a v a t i n g t r a f f i c c o n g e s t i o n , crowding, a i r p o l l u t i o n , and other problems a s s o c i a t e d w i t h over c o n c e n t r a t i n g commercial a c t i v i t i e s i n downtown Vancouver. o Locate l a r g e a c t i v i t y complexes where they can be p r o v i d e d e s s e n t i a l urban s e r v i c e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y p u b l i c t r a n s p o r t a t i o n , more e f f e c t i v e l y and e c o n o m i c a l l y . . . " (GVRD, 1974c, p . l ) To h e l p d e f i n e what a r e g i o n a l town c e n t r e should be, the GVRD r e l e a s e d a p o l i c y r e p o r t i n 1975 (GVRD, 1975b) t h a t p r o v i d e d some q u a n t i t a t i v e and q u a l i t a t i v e c r i t e r i a f o r g u i d i n g the growth of r e g i o n a l town c e n t r e s . The GVRD suggested t h a t a s i z a b l e p r o p o r t i o n of the employment growth between the mid-1970s and the mid-1980s would be " s i t e - f l e x i b l e " . T h e r e f o r e , i t c o u l d be a t t r a c t e d t o the r e g i o n a l town c e n t r e s i n s t e a d of l o c a t i n g i n Vancouver. The GVRD recommended employment t a r g e t s of 7,000-10,000 employees f o r s e l f - s u s t a i n i n g town c e n t r e s but noted t h a t a s i g n i f i c a n t amount of o f f i c e space would be r e q u i r e d t o meet t h a t t a r g e t . I t was estimated t h a t about one m i l l i o n square f e e t of o f f i c e space would c o n t a i n 5,000 employees. Furthermore, 1,500-2,000 r e t a i l jobs and 1,000-2,000 jobs r e l a t e d t o community s e r v i c e s and c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t i e s were a n t i c i p a t e d . There should be 2,000-3,000 d w e l l i n g u n i t s w i t h i n w a l k i n g 32 distance of the Centre, housing between six and nine thousand people who could work i n the Centre or take advantage of i t s various a c t i v i t i e s . The town centres were expected to serve a market of at least 100,000-150,000 people. The GVRD recognized that i t would be impossible to balance jobs and population i n every part of the region. But i t f e l t that promoting a balance at least made an e f f o r t to providing people a greater opportunity to l i v e closer to work. The regional town centres were also envisioned as compact, pedestrian-oriented and well-served by t r a n s i t f a c i l i t i e s . The intention was that the l o c a l population could e a s i l y walk to and around the centre or access the centre through convenient t r a n s i t service. The l i g h t rapid t r a n s i t system of the future was seen as being integrated with the region's town centres. Other features were recommended that would contribute to the each town centre's unique character. The town centres were advised to develop a design which r e f l e c t e d the l o c a l conditions and provided a pedestrian-oriented, human scale to the centre. The GVRD i d e n t i f i e d seven potential locations for regional town centres but r e a l i z e d that i t would be impossible for a l l of the centres to be selected and developed at the same time. 33 Therefore, the GVRD reviewed each locale based on the following two c r i t e r i a : o Areas where regional town centres were most needed because the population/employment imbalance was greatest; and o Areas where the regional town centre would be easiest to develop because of exi s t i n g plans, se r v i c i n g and i n t e r e s t . Based on these c r i t e r i a , Burnaby-Central Park (Metrotown) and New Westminster were chosen because they would be easiest to develop, and Surrey and the Coquitlam area were chosen because they were most necessary due to t h e i r areas' faster population growth. (Figure 1) Downtown New Westminster and Burnaby Metrotown were also i d e n t i f i e d as the f i r s t two regional centres to be developed. New Westminster was an established center. Burnaby Metrotown was already a t t r a c t i n g development, the municipality had prepared a concept plan o u t l i n i n g Metrotown 1s growth as a town centre, the area had the potential for improved t r a n s i t service, and the centre included s u f f i c i e n t vacant land for continued development. The GVRD agreed that New Westminster and Metrotown should be developed as s e l f - s u s t a i n i n g regional town centres by 1980. The GVRD s t a f f recommended against pursuing the development of a regional town centre i n Richmond (Brighouse) because the municipality already had a surplus of jobs, therefore i t was 3 4 Figure 1: R E G I O N A L T O W N C E N T R E S Source: GVRD, 1990d not necessary to seek a balance of population and jobs. Some additional arguments against encouraging a Richmond town centre were the t r a f f i c and noise c o n f l i c t between a town centre and the expansion of the a i r p o r t , and the anticipated high cost of providing a l i g h t rapid t r a n s i t route to Brighouse. In order to accomplish the objectives for encouraging growth i n regional town centres, the GVRD presented an action program which included the following elements: 35 "to reserve Regional Town Centre s i t e s u n t i l plans can be prepared, to provide for j o i n t planning, to acquire land, and to esta b l i s h a development management process that i s capable of a c t u a l l y b u i l d i n g Regional Town Centres according to plan."(GVRD, 1975b, p.34) In conjunction with the action plan, the GVRD also recognized the need to work with the C i t y of Vancouver to control and manage downtown growth. 3.2.2 Reviews of the Livable Region Program and the Regional Town Centres Strategy, 1978-1990 The LRP and RTCs have undergone numerous reviews since the mid-1970s. In t h i s section the reviews are considered i n three time periods r e f l e c t i n g the d i f f e r e n t economic and s o c i a l situations and expectations within the region. 1976-1981 Reviews The Livable Region Program and the Regional Town Centres strategy were developed during a period of increasing population and economic growth. However by the end of the 1970s, both the population and economic growth had slowed considerably r e s u l t i n g i n less commitment and e f f o r t to creating regional town centres as o r i g i n a l l y envisioned. By 1980 the f i r s t p r i o r i t y centres, New Westminster and Burnaby Metrotown, had experienced only modest growth. 36 According to a study by Goldberg and Horwood ( 1978) of the region's commercial development, the s i t u a t i o n was not helped "by the lack of commitment to a po s i t i v e t r a n s i t program for the region and an increasingly protective attitude on the part of the Ci t y of Vancouver to the idea of de f l e c t i n g t h e i r o f f i c e development and p u b l i c l y supporting the regional town centre program of the LRP." (p.14) Goldberg and Horwood saw the changes i n demographics (population growth rates, household size and composition), market conditions and commercials trends as s i g n i f i c a n t l y impacting the success of the Livable Region Program's RTC strategy. Based on t h e i r projections for regional commercial a c t i v i t y up to 1986, Goldberg and Horwood (1978) concluded that the RTCs would benefit from "increased co-ordination among a l l GVRD p o l i c i e s that impinge upon regional development patterns and goals" (p.40) and increased emphasis on including housing, providing recreation and park space to further the qu a l i t y of l i f e of residents and workers, and providing a d i v e r s i t y of access modes. During 1980-81, the GVRD (GVRD, 1980a) undertook a review of the f i r s t f i v e years of the LRP and considered future d i r e c t i o n s for the Program. According to t h i s review, the LRP was experiencing successes and weaknesses. While the Program was making great strides towards the development of an e f f i c i e n t public transportation system, regional town centres were beginning to emerge, and the regional park system was seen as successful, the review concluded that 37 "the most s i g n i f i c a n t aspects of the program, the balancing of population to labour force i n order to reduce t r a f f i c congestion and the need for c o s t l y new f a c i l i t i e s , i s not being r e a l i z e d . " (GVRD, 1980a, p.17) O f f i c e jobs were continuing to concentrate i n downtown Vancouver, thereby contributing to a worse o v e r a l l employment balance i n the region and re i n f o r c i n g the patterns of commuting to the downtown from the suburbs. During the same period, the GVRD undertook a review of commercial development i n the region during the 1970s and found that between 1970 and 1979 the suburban commercial development did not concentrate i n the regional town centres and "despite the e f f o r t s of the GVRD and i t s member municipalities to focus growth i n the Regional Town Centres, the proportion of t o t a l suburban commercial growth i n those centres remained unchanged" (GVRD, 1981, p.13) . Furthermore, whereas o f f i c e growth i n the Ci t y of Vancouver was focussed i n i t s downtown, o f f i c e growth i n the suburban muni c i p a l i t i e s was occurring outside t h e i r major commercial centres. In 1981, a survey of developers (GVRD, 1981) concluded that o f f i c e development i n the suburban centres was considered more r i s k y and that most of the demand remained for new o f f i c e s located i n a prestigious location with a high concentration of other o f f i c e s . 38 1986-1987 Reviews In 1986, a further review of the region's commercial centres (GVRD, 1986) indicated that between 1980 and 1985 the regional town centres' commercial component had grown i n conjunction with the increase i n l o c a l population, not because the RTCs were a t t r a c t i n g development away from Vancouver or t h e i r neighbouring m u n i c i p a l i t i e s . The GVRD's report (GVRD, 1986) offered the following prospects for the regional town centres during the decade from 1986 to 1996 : o Each town centre w i l l evolve at a d i f f e r e n t rate and with a unique character; o There w i l l be limited d e f l e c t i o n of o f f i c e tenants from downtown to the town centres; o The o v e r a l l rate of commercial development w i l l be slower; and o Many businesses w i l l continue.to seek o f f i c e space outside the town centres. By 1987 the GVRD (GVRD, 1987) began to r e a l i z e that the LRP would require adjustments i f i t was to remain relevant into the next century. The GVRD recognized that changes such as slower population and economic growth, increased dispersion of employment and housing locations due to suburban employment 39 growth and additional two-worker households, and an increase i n cross-regional commuting a l l needed to be addressed. Generally, the 1987 review (GVRD, 1987) supported the framework and many of the themes from the o r i g i n a l proposal for the Livable Region Program, with the following exceptions: o The new strategy would need to emphasize support for regional economic development, unlike the o r i g i n a l LRP which emphasized the d i s t r i b u t i o n of job growth; o Increased emphasis would be placed on preserving the environmental and economic well-being of the region; and o The regional town centres concept should be expanded to include Richmond Centre and the Lonsdale area i n North Vancouver (Figure 1). 1989-1990 Reviews By 1989 Greater Vancouver was again experiencing a buoyant economy, a growth i n migration, increased lev e l s of investment and a construction boom. The GVRD renewed i t s e f f o r t s to create a development strategy for a l i v a b l e region which included viable regional town centres. During early 1990 the GVRD commissioned numerous studies to review features of the Livable Region Program, which was now referred to as the Livable Region Strategy (LRS). Two of these 40 studies are of p a r t i c u l a r relevance to the Regional Town Centres. One study (GVRD, 1990c) focused on whether the Region's "Living Close to Work" strategy was achieving i t s objective. The findings of t h i s study are discussed i n more d e t a i l i n the next section of t h i s chapter. The second study (GVRD, 1990b) was s p e c i f i c a l l y directed at reviewing the RTC strategy as one that the GVRD and i t s member munic i p a l i t i e s should continue to support i n the 1990s. Unlike most of the previous reviews, t h i s assessment of Regional Town Centre development up to 1989 attempts to provide a q u a l i t a t i v e as well as a quantitative evaluation. Besides looking at the amount and share of commercial, r e t a i l , o f f i c e and r e s i d e n t i a l development i n each centre, the study also considers aspects such as the mixture of uses and l e v e l of a c t i v i t y , the scale and character of the centre, and the movement patterns and connections. The study r i g h t l y notes that previously most evaluations of the performance of RTCs have emphasized the development of o f f i c e and r e t a i l floorspace and paid l i t t l e attention to assessing the centres' q u a l i t a t i v e elements. According to the study (GVRD, 1990b), the "continued development of the RTC Policy i s one of the most c r i t i c a l elements i n the larger LRS" ( p . i i i ) and the GVRD must give higher p r i o r i t y to RTCs i n the 1990s. After reviewing the various trends which can influence the development of the regional town centres, the study concludes that 41 "an increasing share of commercial development can be expected to occur i n suburban locations" (GVRD,1990b, P-39) but to encourage growth i n the centres the RTC p o l i c y of the future w i l l require a more proactive and visionary strategy. The RTC review (GVRD, 1990b) proposes a p o l i c y framework to support and encourage the development of a network of strong regional centres. Some of the elements considered within t h i s framework include: the pattern and hierarchy of centres, transportation needs, urban design requirements, regional economic strategies, regional government structure, job and housing r e l a t i o n s h i p s , ethnic mix, and marketing. The next section of t h i s chapter examines i n more d e t a i l s p e c i f i c objectives of the LRP and RTC strategy as they pertain to women working i n suburban centres. 3.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE LIVABLE REGION PROGRAM AND REGIONAL TOWN CENTRES STRATEGY Based on the questions raised from some of the l i t e r a t u r e discussed i n Chapter 2 ( i . e . Do suburban o f f i c e s provide women workers with employment located closer to home?), the following three objectives have been chosen because of t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r relevance to women working i n suburban o f f i c e s : o "Promote a balance of jobs to population (Living Close to Work)" (GVRD, 1975b, p . l ) ; 42 o "Provide a trans i t - o r i e n t e d transportation system l i n k i n g r e s i d e n t i a l areas, regional town centres, and other major work areas" (GVRD, 1975b, p . l ) ; and o "Increase the variety of services i n suburban areas, providing a focus for c u l t u r a l , educational, and spe c i a l i z e d f a c i l i t i e s closer to where people l i v e , and more in t e r e s t i n g working environments for suburban employees" (GVRD, 1990b, p . l ) . This section reviews the success of each of these objectives and establishes some of the c r i t e r i a used to measure the l e v e l of s a t i s f a c t i o n of women working i n the town centre versus non-town centre locations. 3.3.1 Balance of Jobs to Population The objective of providing the maximum opportunity for people to l i v e close to work or to work close to home was one of the p r i n c i p a l goals of the LRP. The growing imbalance between employment and population growth i n d i f f e r e n t parts of the region was i d e n t i f i e d as contributing to a reduction i n the l i v a b i l i t y of the region through increased t r a f f i c congestion and automobile-related a i r p o l l u t i o n . Also, the additional time that workers spent t r a v e l l i n g to and from work was seen as having a negative impact on t h e i r q u a l i t y of l i f e . The GVRD sought to address these concerns from two approaches, by increasing the jobs i n the suburbs so fewer workers would have to commute into the c i t y , and by increasing the housing near employment centres. The GVRD (GVRD, 1975b) also acknowledged that the housing near employment centres should be suitable for a mixture of incomes, household types and l i f e s t y l e s . A study by Ley (1985) of employees at B.C. Tel provides support for the GVRD strategy i n i t s findings that there were changes i n the r e s i d e n t i a l d i s t r i b u t i o n of the firm's workforce a f t e r the head o f f i c e moved from downtown Vancouver to Burnaby. A greater number of the employees l i v e d closer to work (almost 20 percent of the employees l i v e d i n the f i v e postal d i s t r i c t s adjacent to the workplace). Further analysis by B.C. Tel i n 1989 found that a f t e r a 60 percent increase i n s t a f f , a s i m i l a r proportion of the s t a f f l i v e d nearby. These re s u l t s suggested that the Region's strategy might be e f f e c t i v e , at lea s t for B.C. Tel employees. The f i r s t evidence that the "Living Close to Work" strategy had not been t o t a l l y e f f e c t i v e came from the re s u l t s of the Region's "Place of Work" study (GVRD, 1985), which indicated a change i n the region's commuting patterns, a s i g n i f i c a n t increase i n suburb to suburb commuting and out-commuting from the c i t y of Vancouver, as well as the emergence of Burnaby and Richmond as net importers of workers. In 1990 the GVRD commissioned a study e n t i r e l y focussed on reviewing the "Living Close to Work" strategy (GVRD, 1990c). It noted that the GVRD Program lacked s p e c i f i e d c r i t e r i a for measuring the success of the objectives of the "Living Close to Work" strategy. The study also noted that the GVRD's strategy focussed on balancing the growth of labour force and employment 44 but f a i l e d to consider the importance of other factors, such as housing prices and transportation costs, i n influencing an indi v i d u a l ' s choice of house location. Based on the following set of measures: r a t i o of jobs to labour force by area, average journey to work t r a v e l time, and housing p r i c e , the study concluded that the "Living Close to Work" strategy had not been e f f e c t i v e . Although some of the suburban areas such as Burnaby, Richmond and New Westminster had a r a t i o of employed labour force to resident labour force above the regional average, other areas, s p e c i f i c a l l y Coquitlam and Delta, had shown v i r t u a l l y no improvement between 1971 and 1986 i n t h e i r low r a t i o (Figure 2). Figure 2: R A T I O S O F E M P L O Y E D L A B O U R F O R C E T O R E S I D E N T L A B O U R F O R C E , 1971-1986 Ratio 1.3 r Van Bby Rmd NW Del Coq Source: GVRD, 1990c 45 "On the whole, there have been only minor improvements i n the balance of employment to labour force within the GVRD." (GVRD, 1990c, p.S-3) The study found that the average t r a v e l time for work t r i p s i n the region has continued to be between 20 and 24 minutes since the mid-1970s and there has been an increase i n the number of the region's work t r i p s that occur between m u n i c i p a l i t i e s . Consistent with the 1985 "Place of Work" study (GVRD, 1985), the "Living Close to Work" study explains t h i s increase as due to more suburb to suburb t r i p s and more reverse commuting from Vancouver. Furthermore, the 1990 study found that between 1971 and 1986 there was a decrease i n the proportion of the labour force l i v i n g and working i n the same suburb. F i n a l l y the study's research indicated that the areas with the greatest concentration of jobs (Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond) were also the areas where housing costs have been increasing the fastest and housing a f f o r d a b i l i t y has f a l l e n s i g n i f i c a n t l y . Conversely, the areas with the greatest growth i n housing and where housing i s most affordable are the areas with the lowest increases i n employment. The study noted that households i n the outer suburbs tend to be larger than those l i v i n g i n Vancouver and the inner suburbs, suggesting there may be l i f e s t y l e choices by larger households that preclude l i v i n g close to work. The "Living Close to Work" study concluded by reaffirming the GVRD's p o l i c y of encouraging a balance of jobs to labour force and recommending that: 46 o The p o l i c y be broadened to include c r i t e r i a for measuring i t s effectiveness and to recognize that variations i n households w i l l require d i f f e r e n t interpretations; o Affordable housing be encouraged i n areas of high employment opportunities; o Development of a transportation system that i s both accessible and affordable be encouraged; and o The GVRD's neighbouring regional d i s t r i c t s be encouraged to adopt a "Living Close to Work" strategy. Although t h i s study includes a gender reference when i t explains that the growth i n resident labour force over the population growth i n the C i t y of Vancouver i s pri m a r i l y the r e s u l t of an increase i n female labour force p a r t i c i p a t i o n rates, i t does not include any other s p e c i f i c references to variation s i n the workforce's composition or e x p l i c i t l y address the implications of the changing labour force composition for the "Living Close to Work" strategy. Some features of the "Living Close to Work" strategy are p a r t i c u l a r l y relevant to women workers. As indicated i n Chapter 2, women's time constraints and transportation r e s t r i c t i o n s suggest they would benefit s i g n i f i c a n t l y from t h i s strategy. However, the findings that housing a f f o r d a b i l i t y i s mismatched with employment opportunities i s e s p e c i a l l y relevant to female single parents who are more susceptible to high housing costs. 47 Although there i s agreement that i t may be d i f f i c u l t to achieve a balance of jobs to population, e s p e c i a l l y with the increased number of two-income households and variable house prices i n the Vancouver region, the objective remains c r i t i c a l to the GVRD's Livable Region Strategy. 3.3.2 Transit Oriented Transportation System An underlying rationale for the objective of providing a t r a n s i t oriented transportation system was the GVRD's intention to reduce the region's dependence on the private automobile. Two of the early p o l i c i e s proposed for the Livable Region Program i l l u s t r a t e t h i s intention: o "More e f f o r t should be directed to control automobile usage i n urban areas. o Discourage autos entering downtown and provide better public transportation alternatives."(GVRD, 1972, p.28) The GVRD r e a l i z e d that besides requiring c o s t l y additions to the road network, an increasing use of automobiles would contribute to worsening a i r q u a l i t y and noise p o l l u t i o n , and would be a major consumer of energy resources. Furthermore, the increased t r a f f i c caused by the automobile-dependent commuters was reducing the l i v a b i l i t y of many suburban as well as c i t y neighbourhoods as more commuters used r e s i d e n t i a l streets as alternatives to the crowded a r t e r i a l s . The GVRD expected that a transportation system that was more heavily oriented towards t r a n s i t would provide the people i n the region with a reasonable a l t e r n a t i v e . 48 A GVRD p o l i c y report on the Regional Town Centres (GVRD, 1975b) s p e c i f i c a l l y i d e n t i f i e d Light Rapid Transit (LRT) as an important feature for regional town centres. The report said that LRT was required to at t r a c t firms [3], workers and customers to the centres. To encourage the use of public t r a n s i t , the report recommended that automobile parking should be l i m i t e d to discourage long term parking i n the town centres. A 1980 survey of developers, active i n the region, (GVRD, 1981) confirmed that a rapid t r a n s i t system would be c r u c i a l to the development of suburban commercial centres because i t would allow businesses to take advantage of the lower lease rates i n the suburbs while maintaining t h e i r face to face contact with downtown business people. For the developers the advantages of rapid t r a n s i t were based s o l e l y on the contribution i t would make to the operation of businesses. By 1987 the GVRD was suggesting that for a va r i e t y of reasons t h e i r emphasis on public t r a n s i t had sh i f t e d since the LRP was formed. The GVRD f e l t that a s i g n i f i c a n t s h i f t towards increased use of t r a n s i t had become less l i k e l y because a pattern of increasing dispersion of resident locations and workplaces made i t more d i f f i c u l t to serve the region by t r a n s i t . Also, middle-aged people, who are the region's fastest growing age group, already had high car ownership and use t r a n s i t infrequently. Furthermore, the GVRD saw the high costs associated with 49 extending the Skytrain system and the increasing operating d e f i c i t associated with the bus service as strong deterents to improving the public t r a n s i t system. The GVRD concluded, however, that some emphasis should remain on developing the t r a n s i t system to provide transportation to ri d e r s with no al t e r n a t i v e , the young, the el d e r l y and the poor. The e l d e r l y were seen as being a growing segment of the region's population who were more r e l i a n t on t r a n s i t . The poor included the growing number of workers i n low paying service jobs who are also dependent on t r a n s i t for a c c e s s i b i l i t y . Transit was s t i l l i d e n t i f i e d as a necessary component for developing the regional town centres. Although the l i t e r a t u r e i n Chapter 2 i d e n t i f i e d women as a group that i s more highly dependent on t r a n s i t , i t i s notable that none of the GVRD's published work recognizes women as one of the disadvantaged groups with special transportation needs and requirements. Unless she i s poor or e l d e r l y , a woman's needs are not recognized, although there are, for example, women i n two worker households that require a l t e r n a t i v e transportation because the household only has one car. The findings of the "Living Close to Work" study, that there has been a growth i n suburb to suburb commuting as well as increased out-commuting from the c i t y , confirms the GVRD's conclusions that i t i s becoming more d i f f i c u l t to serve the region's t r a n s i t needs. The expanding va r i e t y of t r i p s are 50 becoming more d i f f i c u l t to service with t r a d i t i o n a l t r a n s i t solutions. 3.3.3 Variety of Services and An Interesting Working Environment At the time that the RTC strategy was being developed, the GVRD recognized that the character of the Town Centres was an important element for t h e i r development and t h e i r acceptance by the community. The GVRD also r e a l i z e d that character can include "many q u a l i t i e s that are not measurable, including a sense of history, or newness; views; the bustle of a c t i v i t y , or lack of i t ; sounds, smells and tastes; and whether the place i s fun, or dangerous, or exc i t i n g to be in."(GVRD, 1974b, p.20) As the GVRD's description i l l u s t r a t e s , "variety of services and an i n t e r e s t i n g working environment" a c t u a l l y encompasses an assortment of objectives for the RTCs. The following are some examples of how th i s objective has been described and reinforced over the past f i f t e e n years. In 1975, proposed p o l i c i e s for the RTCs included the following statements: o "Regional town centres w i l l be large complexes with a var i e t y of a c t i v i t i e s , including large o f f i c e s , department stores and specialty shops, restaurants, l i b r a r i e s and exhibits, meeting h a l l s and theatres, health f a c i l i t i e s , education and "clo s e - i n " housing. o Each regional town centre should be unique, responding i n character and qu a l i t y to i t s natural s e t t i n g and the needs of the communities i t serves. 51 o Regional town centres should be in t e r e s t i n g and urbane areas for people. Intrusion of t r a f f i c , large areas without a c t i v i t y and other detractions from i n t e r e s t and urbanity have no place i n regional town centres." (GVRD, 1974c, p.4) The GVRD report presenting the Livable Region Proposals i n 1975, included c r i t e r i a for the "design perspectives" for the RTCs: o A strong pedestrian orientation - a c t i v i t i e s and f a c i l i t i e s should be within comfortable walking distance of one another along a pleasant and in t e r e s t i n g s t r e e t - l e v e l environment. o A widely varied but balanced mixture of a c t i v i t i e s - a regional town centre should be a l i v e with many d i f f e r e n t a c t i v i t i e s from morning to midnight (or l a t e r , depending on l o c a l preference). It should not be dominated by one a c t i v i t y l i k e o f f i c e parks or shopping centres. o A human scale - buildings should not give people a "boxed i n " f e e l i n g and should not block the sun or views. (GVRD, 1975c, p.19) A promotional brochure prepared by the GVRD i n 1982 included the following comments i n i t s description of the a t t r a c t i v e features of the regional town centres: "Stores, restaurants and service outlets w i l l a t t r a c t customers from nearby o f f i c e s and homes... People employed i n regional town centres w i l l benefit from a smaller scale, convenience oriented environment...The range of shopping, dining and recreational a c t i v i t i e s e a s i l y accessible during lunchtime and a f t e r work..." (GVRD, 1982c) A 1987 GVRD report i d e n t i f i e d the RTCs challenges for the 1990s as "continuing to increase the l e v e l and mix of uses...and improving the physical design to provide a 52 more cohesive town centre atmosphere." (GVRD, 1987, p.51) And f i n a l l y , the most recent review of the RTCs reaffirms the need "to adopt high q u a l i t y design guidelines i n terms of use, a c t i v i t y , s i z e , movement, variety, and character." (GVRD, 1990b, p.45) The recognition that the RTCs should provide a v a r i e t y of services and an i n t e r e s t i n g working environment are further confirmed by r e s u l t s from two additional studies. A review of the region's commercial centres by Goldberg and Horwood (1978) concluded that the RTCs must be supported by recreation and park space i n order to further the q u a l i t y of l i f e of t h e i r residents and workers. Ley's (1985) research of B.C. Tel employees found that the firm selected a suburban location with high amenities to which i t could a t t r a c t i t s employees. Although, his study also discovered that B.C. Tel's management s t a f f were c r i t i c a l of the low l e v e l of services that were available around t h e i r suburban o f f i c e location. The GVRD's explanation for creating RTCs that o f f e r v a r i e t y and i n t e r e s t i s that the centre w i l l be more a t t r a c t i v e to firms, residents and workers. Also the mixture of a c t i v i t i e s w i l l help to complement each other. However, d i f f e r e n t groups have various needs and the GVRD has provided very few d e t a i l s on how the RTCs w i l l benefit s p e c i f i c groups. Some of the academic 53 research on women workers suggests that due to the multiple tasks that women must perform, women could benefit from the concentration of a c t i v i t i e s that an RTC can o f f e r i f the a c t i v i t y patterns i n the urban environment are suit a b l y organized. 3.4 CONCLUSION The LRP and RTCs have been progressing through changing times, with the r e s u l t being a mixture of successes and weaknesses. Their major success has been t h e i r a b i l i t y to survive, with there continuing to be a commitment by the region's m u n i c i p a l i t i e s to both the LRP and RTCs. There are three objectives of the LRP and RTCs that may be of p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t to women working i n suburban o f f i c e s ; however, each of these objectives are struggling to be met. For the f i r s t objective (balancing jobs to population), there remains an imbalance between resident workers and jobs i n most communities. For the second objective (providing a tr a n s i t - o r i e n t e d transportation system), suburban transportation has remained automobile-oriented and the journey to work has not declined. For the t h i r d objective (providing a var i e t y of services and an int e r e s t i n g work environment), the town centres have been struggling to provide a well designed environment that includes a wide range of services and a c t i v i t i e s . Furthermore, women have not been recognized as an important component of each objective. 54 Although most studies and reports from the GVRD have not s p e c i f i c a l l y addressed or i d e n t i f i e d gender-related issues, the GVRD has sponsored two surveys of regional residents ( i n 1973 and 1990) that provide insight into t h e i r attitudes toward a range of economic, s o c i a l , mobility and l i f e s t y l e issues. The 1990 Vancouver Urban Futures survey (Hardwick et a l , 1990), which i s part of the GVRD's "Choosing Our Futures" Program, includes information on the gender differences evident i n the answers. Before considering the responses from women working i n Burnaby and Richmond about t h e i r working environment, Chapter 4 looks i n d e t a i l at the trends toward suburbanizing o f f i c e s and employment i n the municipalities of Burnaby and Richmond and the development of t h e i r town centres. 55 CHAPTER 4 SUBURBANIZATION OF OFFICES AND EMPLOYMENT: BURNABY AND RICHMOND 4.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter examines the suburbanization of o f f i c e s and employment i n two Vancouver region m u n i c i p a l i t i e s . The munic i p a l i t i e s of Burnaby and Richmond were selected for t h i s study because they provide the region's major amount of o f f i c e space and employment outside the Ci t y of Vancouver, and because they both have designated regional town centres. The chapter begins by providing a regional context before focussing on the growth of o f f i c e s and employment i n Burnaby and Richmond. Following some general observations about o f f i c e s and employment i n both town centres, the discussion concentrates on t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l development and at t r i b u t e s . 4.2 GROWTH IN SUBURBAN OFFICES AND EMPLOYMENT Region's Commercial Floorspace The region's commercial floorspace ( d e f i n i t i o n i n Appendix A), of which o f f i c e s are a major component, has increased s i g n i f i c a n t l y during the past two decades. Between 1970 and 56 1979 the region's commercial floorspace grew from 36 to 74 m i l l i o n square feet (GVRD, 1981). By 1989 there were over 111 m i l l i o n square feet of commercial space i n the region (GVRD, 1990a) . More than half of that growth occurred outside the C i t y of Vancouver. Between 1971 and 1986 commercial floorspace was growing faster than population i n every c i t y and municipality i n the region. From 1980 to 1985 the region's population grew by 1.4 percent, while i t s commercial floorspace grew by 6.2 percent. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the suburban municipalities also saw an increase i n t h e i r share of the region's commercial floorspace (Figure 3). Figure 3: S H A R E O F C O M M E R C I A L S P A C E Vancouver-61.0% Vancouver-53.5% 'Suburbs--39.0% Suburbs--46.5% 1979 1989 Source: G V R E B & GVRD, 1979 and GVRD, 1990b 57 However, most of the region's additional commercial space was for o f f i c e uses and the majority of t h i s space was added i n the C i t y of Vancouver, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the downtown. Between 1971 and 1981 almost 70 percent of the o f f i c e space b u i l t i n the region was located i n the c i t y . (City of Vancouver, 1984) Outside the C i t y of Vancouver, most of the commercial growth during the 1970s was i n r e t a i l uses and shopping centres. During the 1980s the suburbs began increasing t h e i r share of the region's new o f f i c e development. D i s t r i b u t i o n of Of f i c e Space Inconsistency i n the data available has prevented a precise analysis of changes i n the d i s t r i b u t i o n of o f f i c e space i n the Greater Vancouver Region. Therefore, any conclusions about the growth i n suburban o f f i c e s have been developed from a v a r i e t y of sources. In 1971, 33 percent of the o f f i c e space i n the Vancouver CMA [4] was located outside the C i t y of Vancouver (City of Vancouver, 1984). According to the GVRD's inventory of o f f i c e space i n 1989, the region's suburban share was 36 percent. (GVRD, 1990a) Although these figures are not d i r e c t l y comparable, they o f f e r an in d i c a t i o n that the suburbs' share of the region's o f f i c e space has increased but not d r a s t i c a l l y . 58 C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Suburban Firms In the early 1980s, a survey of suburban o f f i c e firms (GVRD, 1982c) i d e n t i f i e d the following c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s for the firms who were located i n the suburbs. The firms that were highly concentrated i n the inner suburbs (Burnaby, Richmond, North Shore) required access to the entire region and included firms such as manufacturing agents, transportation and communications., and consulting services. Many of these firms were serving a metropolitan or province wide area. The o f f i c e s that located i n the outer suburbs tended to be more population-serving firms, such as medical o f f i c e s or construction and development firms. Most of the firms surveyed did not specify a preference for a town centre location, although some of t h e i r reasons for choosing a suburban location, such as a c c e s s i b i l i t y , could be f u l f i l l e d by o f f i c e space i n a variety of suburban locations. Consequently, the majority of the new o f f i c e space b u i l t outside the C i t y of Vancouver during the 1970s and 1980s, was b u i l t scattered throughout the suburban municipalities rather than concentrating i n the suburban centres. Regional Changes i n Labour Force and P a r t i c i p a t i o n Rates The Censuses of Canada ( S t a t i s t i c s Canada, 1971, 1981, 1986) provide the following information about the labour force and 59 employment changes that have occurred i n the region. Between 1971 and 1986 the labour force grew throughout the region, although most of the growth occurred outside the C i t y of Vancouver. Over 85 percent of the increase i n the region's labour force occurred i n the suburban m u n i c i p a l i t i e s . Also during that period, the increase i n the Vancouver CMA's labour force (56%) was greater than the increase i n population (28%). Besides there being more workers, there was also a change i n the composition of those workers. By the mid-1980s women had assumed a more predominant position i n the region's workforce. Whereas there were no s i g n i f i c a n t changes i n the male p a r t i c i p a t i o n rates between 1971 and 1986, there were substantial changes i n the female rates (Table 1). Region-wide the female p a r t i c i p a t i o n rate increased from 43.3 to 59.6 percent between 1971 and 1986. The greatest increases occurred i n the outer suburbs. Surrey, for example, had the largest increase i n female p a r t i c i p a t i o n rates which went from 35.3 to 55.7 percent, an increase of over 50 percent i n f i f t e e n years. Table 1: GREATER VANCOUVER PARTICIPATION RATES Male Male Female Female 1971 1986 1971 1986 Vancouver, City 75.2 75.0 47.6 60.1 Burnaby - 80.3 78.1 43.9 59.6 Richmond 84.2 82.0 44.1 63.0 Surrey 77.7 78.1 35.3 55.7 North Vancouver 89.1 82.3 45.0 64.9 Rest of CMA 77.0 79.0 37.0 57.0 Vancouver, CMA 77.7 77.9 43.3 59.6 Source: Statistics Canada, 1971 and 1986 60 Changes i n Employment Between 1971 and 1986, changes i n the type of work became more evident. More people were working i n white c o l l a r and service sector jobs. In 1971, less than three-quarters of the workers i n the region were employed i n the t e r t i a r y sector, however, by 1986, t h i s figure had increased to four of every f i v e workers. Ninety percent of the new jobs created between 1971 and 1986 were i n the t e r t i a r y sector. Furthermore, most of t h i s growth i n new jobs was i n services; finance, insurance and r e a l estate; and government services. During t h i s same period, there was a 90 percent increase i n white c o l l a r jobs. The largest share of t h i s increase was i n the managerial and administrative occupations. Between 1971 and 1986, women went from holding 15 percent to 32 percent of the region's managerial/administrative jobs. However, i n 1986, women continued to dominate four of the region's white c o l l a r occupations: teaching, medical and health, c l e r i c a l , and services. Also during the same time period, women had increased t h e i r share of c l e r i c a l occupations from 73.4 to 79.1 percent. 4.2.1 O f f i c e and Employment Growth i n Burnaby In the mid-1970s, when the GVRD was developing i t s Livable Region Program, there was minimal o f f i c e development outside 61 the C i t y of Vancouver. In 1971, Burnaby had only 322,000 square feet of o f f i c e space i n buildings over 5,000 square feet [5] (Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, 1971). The remainder of the o f f i c e uses i n Burnaby was located ei t h e r i n conjunction with other uses, such as industry, or i n very small o f f i c e developments along major a r t e r i a l s . During the 1970s, although the amount of suburban o f f i c e growth remained low, Burnaby was one of the two mu n i c i p a l i t i e s (Burnaby and Richmond) to receive the majority of new suburban o f f i c e development. Between 1971 and 1979, the amount of o f f i c e space, i n buildings larger than 5,000 square feet, grew by 500 percent i n Burnaby to almost 2 m i l l i o n square feet (Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, 1979). This amount represented 7 percent of the region's t o t a l o f f i c e space and provided Burnaby with the second largest amount i n the region. Burnaby's o v e r a l l growth i n commercial floorspace was even greater. From 2.25 m i l l i o n square feet of commercial space i n 1974, Burnaby grew to 9.7 m i l l i o n square feet of space by 1986. The municipality's share of the region's commercial space increased accordingly from 3 percent i n 1974 to 9 percent i n 1986 (Corporation of Burnaby, 1987). By 1986, 48 percent (4.7 m i l l i o n square feet) of Burnaby's commercial f l o o r space was for o f f i c e use. Between 1983 and 1987, over 800,000 square feet of o f f i c e space was b u i l t i n Burnaby (Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, 1987) and by the end of the 1980s there were 62 over 6 m i l l i o n square feet of o f f i c e space located i n Burnaby (GVRD, 1989). During the 1970s and 1980s, much of the o f f i c e development i n Burnaby was spread among several locations throughout the municipality. The l o c a l municipal government supported o f f i c e and commercial development i n a number of d i f f e r e n t areas because i t saw each area as serving an important and useful function. Besides Metrotown, Burnaby permitted and encouraged o f f i c e development i n two suburban business centres (Central Administrative Area and Willingdon/Freeway Centre) (Figure 4), numerous commercial a r t e r i a l s , such as Hastings Street, and the i n d u s t r i a l areas. By 1986, 32 percent of Burnaby's o f f i c e floorspace was located i n i n d u s t r i a l areas (Corporation of Burnaby, 1987). However, the Municipality expected that the emphasis would begin to move to Metrotown and the two suburban o f f i c e centres because Burnaby's o f f i c e and commercial services were expected to take on a region-serving role as t h e i r growth exceeded the requirements of the l o c a l population. Although Burnaby's population grew by 16 percent and i t s labour force increased by 42 percent between 1971 and 1986, the municipality's share of the region's population and labour force declined. Meanwhile, Burnaby saw an increase i n employment and an increase i n i t s share as the place of work 63 Figure 4: B U R N A B Y ' S M A J O R O F F I C E L O C A T I O N S for the region's residents. Whereas, 9 percent of the region's residents worked i n Burnaby i n 1971, by 1981 Burnaby firms employed 10.5 percent of the region's workers (GVRD, 1985). In 1981, over 60 percent of the jobs i n Burnaby were held by commuters, that i s workers who l i v e d i n another municipality. 64 In 1986, Burnaby had 69,000 jobs within the municipality but there were over 73,000 employed residents (GVRD, 1990a). C l e a r l y with a large number of Burnaby's jobs being held by people l i v i n g i n other municipalities many of Burnaby's residents were required to go outside the municipality to work. 4.2.2 O f f i c e and Employment Growth i n Richmond Richmond has been described as "well-favoured for a variety of o f f i c e a c t i v i t i e s , both a n c i l l a r y to i n d u s t r i a l operations, and also "independent" and free-standing, due to such factors as i t s r e l a t i v e proximity to the C i t y of Vancouver and i t s CBD, the substantial growth i n population and i n d u s t r i a l a c t i v i t y . . . over the l a s t decade, and the location of Vancouver International Airport within Richmond's municipal boundaries." (Ley & Hutton, 1983, p.12) In 1971, Richmond had 115,000 square feet of o f f i c e space i n buildings over 5,000 square feet (Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, 1971). However, between 1971 and 197 9, the amount of o f f i c e space, i n buildings greater than 5,000 square feet, grew by over 600 percent i n Richmond to almost 900,000 square feet. Also, between 1971 and 1981, Richmond quadrupled i t s share of the region's o f f i c e s from .9 to 4.1 percent. As i n Burnaby, a large share of Richmond's o f f i c e development during the 1970s and 1980s was focused outside i t s town centre. The o f f i c e development outside the town centre has located p r i m a r i l y i n the municipality's numerous i n d u s t r i a l areas and business parks or near the a i r p o r t . Between 1985 and 1989, 65 more than 50 percent of Richmond's new o f f i c e space was located i n i n d u s t r i a l zones because the municipality permits 100 percent o f f i c e use i n some i n d u s t r i a l d i s t r i c t s . By the end of the 1980s, there were about 4.8 m i l l i o n square feet of o f f i c e space i n Richmond (GVRD, 1989), providing the region's t h i r d largest stock of o f f i c e floorspace. From 1971 to 1986 Richmond underwent substantial growth i n i t s population and resident labour force. The population grew by 75 percent, while the labour force grew by 129 percent (GVRD, 1990c). Richmond also increased i t s share of the region's employed labour force, from 6 percent i n 1971 to 8.8 percent i n 1986, as well as i t s share of the region's population, from 6 to 7.6 percent (GVRD, 1985 & 1990c). At the same time, the increase i n employment opportunities located i n the municipality kept pace with the growth i n resident labour force. During the decade from 1971 to 1981, 32,000 new jobs were added i n Richmond and during the 1980s business establishments increased by over 250 percent (Corporation of Richmond, 1989). A 1985 ori g i n - d e s t i n a t i o n study undertaken by the GVRD (GVRD, 1985) indicated that Richmond was the only municipality where the proportion of labour force l i v i n g and working i n the same municipality did not decrease between 1971 and 1985. Furthermore, t h i s study revealed Richmond as a net importer of workers, that i s more workers were commuting into Richmond to 66 work than were commuting out to jobs elsewhere i n the region. Over 55 percent of Richmond's jobs were held by commuters i n 1981. In 1986, the municipality's resident employed labour force included 56,000 workers, and i n 1987, the municipality had jobs for 58,000 employees (GVRD, 1990a). By 1989, the number of jobs had increased to 65,000 (Corporation of Richmond, 1989). The majority, over two-thirds, of the jobs were i n the following industries: Services; Trade; Finance, Insurance and Real Estate; and Public Administration. By the mid-1980s, women had sub s t a n t i a l l y increased t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the Richmond workforce. Their p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the labour force had grown from 44.1 percent i n 1971 to 63 percent i n 1986. More importantly, Richmond's women were more strongly represented among the residents holding jobs located i n the municipality [6]. Whereas women formed 43 percent of Richmond's resident labour force, they occupied 48.6 percent of the l o c a l jobs held by residents (GVRD, 1985). Seventy-eight percent of Richmond's female resident labour force were i n c l e r i c a l occupations, but 81 percent of the c l e r i c a l jobs i n Richmond were held by women who l i v e d i n the municipality. The c o r o l l a r y of these observations i s that fewer women l i v i n g i n Richmond were commuting out of the municipality to work than men. 67 4.3 REGIONAL TOWN CENTRES As discussed i n Chapter 3, i n the mid-1970s the GVRD's Livable Region Program (LRP) i d e n t i f i e d four regional town centres: Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, and Surrey. By the mid-1980s two more centres had been added, one on the North Shore and one i n Richmond. The development of the regional town centres did not occur as ra p i d l y as the GVRD had anticipated. A GVRD report concluded that by the end of the 1970s "suburban o f f i c e growth has yet to produce the concentrations of o f f i c e employment required to stimulate growth i n the associated service, r e t a i l or shopping centre f a c i l i t i e s . Nor has i t been concentrated enough to create s i g n i f i c a n t municipal transportation f o c i . " (GVRD, 1981, p.18) 4.3.1 Burnaby's Regional Town Centre (Metrotown) At the same time as the GVRD's LRP was being developed, Burnaby's Municipal Council was designating the Kingsway/Central Park area as a major development centre c a l l e d Metrotown (Figure 5). The designated area covers 735 acres (293 hectares), of which 238 acres are park, and i s located 6 miles (9.5 kilometres) from downtown Vancouver. As Figure 1 i n Chapter 3 i l l u s t r a t e s Burnaby's Metrotown i s c e n t r a l l y located i n r e l a t i o n to the rest of the region. 68 Figure 5: M E T R O T O W N As mentioned i n Chapter 3, Metrotown was chosen by the GVRD as a designated town centre primarily because i t would be easy to develop. It had been designated municipally as an urban centre and was already a t t r a c t i n g o f f i c e s and other development. In 1973, the Central Park area had over half a m i l l i o n square feet of commercial space. A further argument for Metrotown's se l e c t i o n as a designated town centre was i t s l o c a t i o n along the proposed LRT route. 69 The GVRD anticipated that Metrotown would be s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t , including more than one m i l l i o n square feet of o f f i c e space, by 1980. However, by the end of the 1970s, Burnaby's Metrotown had only reached s l i g h t l y more than half a m i l l i o n square feet of o f f i c e space. During the period from 1971 to 1979, almost 62 percent of the o f f i c e growth i n Burnaby was located outside Metrotown (GVRD, 1981). Even so, the o f f i c e growth i n the town centre was equal to more than twice the t o t a l amount of o f f i c e space that existed i n the municipality at the beginning of the 1970s. In 1985, Metrotown contained 21 percent of Burnaby's o f f i c e space, and by the end of the 1980s, Metrotown's share had increased to 25 percent, or 1.6 m i l l i o n square feet (GVRD, 1990b). The largest burst i n commercial development has occurred since the opening of the ALRT (Advanced Light Rapid Transit) i n 1986, with almost 3.3 m i l l i o n square feet of commercial development added. By early 1991, Metrotown had grown to include almost 1.7 m i l l i o n square feet of o f f i c e s and, although t h i s figure i s projected to reach over 2.6 m i l l i o n by the year 2006, there are currently over 835,000 square feet e i t h e r under construction or being proposed (Corporation of Burnaby, 1991). The largest single amount of o f f i c e space i n Metrotown i s at the B.C. Telephone Company headquarters (644,000 s q . f t . ) . Other s i g n i f i c a n t o f f i c e developments include Metrotown Place 70 (293,700 sq.ft.) and Metrotower (308,000 sq.ft.) (Corporation of Burnaby, 1991) . Metrotown i s estimated to be home to almost 17,000 people, with a population of approximately 150,000 to 200,000 l i v i n g within 3 miles of the centre. The majority of the housing within the town centre i s multiple family housing, over 10,000 units. Based on the current zoning, the municipality anticipates that there w i l l be an additional 4,000 people l i v i n g i n the area by 2006. There are two ALRT stations located within the Metrotown area, as well as over 10,000 parking spaces associated with the centre's three shopping malls. Metrotown also contains some major public i n i t i a t i v e s , including a recreation complex, a major reference l i b r a r y , a c i v i c square and a municipal parking f a c i l i t y . Besides these public f a c i l i t i e s , there are additional public amenities provided by the private sector within Metrotown's core commercial developments. These include daycare f a c i l i t i e s (for 148 children), community meeting spaces, information kiosks, and plazas accentuated with sculptures and water features. Guiding the development of Metrotown i s Burnaby's O f f i c i a l Community Plan (Corporation of Burnaby, 1987) that i d e n t i f i e s the town centre as a focal point for o f f i c e development within the municipality. Within t h i s plan, the municipality has 71 incorporated the objective of the GVRD's Livable Region Program, that i s to balance jobs and population. Similar to the GVRD's objectives for Regional Town Centres, Burnaby also sees Metrotown as providing more to the community than simply employment opportunities. To t h i s regard, Burnaby's O f f i c i a l Community Plan i d e n t i f i e s the development of Metrotown as providing some of the following benefits: o "Development of an integrated and i d e n t i f i a b l e focus of commercial, s o c i a l , and r e s i d e n t i a l components that w i l l form the basis of the primary urban core for the Municipality o I n t e n s i f i e d urban character of Metrotown w i l l broaden the range of r e s i d e n t i a l , commercial, employment, entertainment and c u l t u r a l opportunities within the Municipality o Provision of substantial employment opportunities within Metrotown w i l l a s s i s t i n the maintenance of a balanced employment/population r a t i o . . . o Produce r e c i p r o c a l benefits with Skytrain providing e f f i c i e n t transportation for users of Metrotown who i n turn provide additional r i d e r s h i p for the Skytrain system". (Corporation of Burnaby, 1987, p.38) Based on the current development proposals for Metrotown, the 1990s should see an increase i n the mixture of uses included i n the centre. Future plans for the c i v i c centre, for example, c a l l for the development of other c i v i c f a c i l i t i e s such as an art g a l l e r y or performing arts centre. Future Municipal plans also include further upgrading to Metrotown's pedestrian network. Up to t h i s point, the majority of the pedestrian improvements have been focused on the south side of the centre's major commercial developments and adjacent 72 to the t r a n s i t system, and to the i n t e r i o r of the commercial developments. However, municipal s t a f f hope to include improvements to the pedestrian f a c i l i t i e s along Kingsway i n the future development proposals for the area. 4.3.2 Richmond's Regional Town Centre Figure 6: R I C H M O N D T O W N C E N T R E L O C A T I O N Richmond's town centre development was o r i g i n a l l y set out during the mid-1970s i n the Brighouse Core Area Study. P r i o r to the completion of t h i s study, two major shopping centres had 73 been developed, the Richmond Centre, b u i l t i n the mid-1960s, and the Lansdowne Centre, constructed i n the mid-1970s. The dispersed development of these two centres was i d e n t i f i e d as a problem which has continually hindered the cohesive development of the Richmond Town Centre. However as Figure 6 i l l u s t r a t e s , the Richmond Town Centre i s c e n t r a l l y located i n the urban portion of the municipality, serving a population of over 120,000 people i n the Richmond municipality alone. During the early 1980s the municipality refined i t s concepts for the town centre. Richmond recognized that the o r i g i n a l town centre was too large (1,100 acres) and designated a "downtown" subarea of 215 acres and within that a "downtown core" of 43 acres (Figure 7). As mentioned i n Chapter 3, Richmond was not one of the o r i g i n a l four areas designated by the GVRD as a town centre i n the mid-1970s. The Richmond Town Centre was not chosen because: o It was already developing without designation; o It would be too expensive to provide rapid t r a n s i t to Richmond; o There would be t r a f f i c and noise c o n f l i c t between a developing town centre and an expanding a i r p o r t ; and o The competition between commercial development and the preservation of a g r i c u l t u r a l land and the floodplain would be contrary to regional p o l i c y (GVRD, 1974c & 1987). 74 However, the GVRD formally added the Richmond Town Centre to i t s l i s t of RTCs i n 1987 i n recognition of the centre's strong commercial p o s i t i o n i n the region. Figure 7: R I C H M O N D T O W N C E N T R E S e a Island Way — 7 Cambie Rd B Town Centre t l j Downtown Downtown Core Westminster Hwy Granville Ave Blundell Rd Source: Richmond, 1989a and 1991 "Certainly, from the perspective of r e l a t i v e market performance i n the years subsequent to the publi c a t i o n of the Livable Region Plan, Richmond might have presented a better choice as a designated RTC than Burnaby or New Westminster" (Ley & Hutton, 1983, p.7). When Ley and Hutton ( 1983) wrote t h i s statement i n the early 1980s, t h e i r comments were based primarily on Richmond's strong population growth rates during the 1970s and i t s increasing share of the metropolitan o f f i c e stock. Over 38 percent of the o f f i c e space growth i n Richmond, between 1971 and 1979, was located i n the Brighouse area (280,000 square f e e t ) . By the end of the 1970s, the Brighouse area had more than 500,000 square feet of o f f i c e space (GVRD, 1981). This was double the amount of space i n the entire municipality ten years previously. By the end of the 1980s, the Richmond town centre contained 1.4 m i l l i o n square feet or almost 30 percent of the municipality's o f f i c e space (GVRD, 1990b). O f f i c e development i n Richmond has been less dramatic than i n Burnaby because highrise type o f f i c e developments have been r e s t r i c t e d by the municipality's requirement that a l l parking be above grade and by the height r e s t r i c t i o n s imposed by the municipality's proximity to the Vancouver International A i r p o r t . Whereas Burnaby's Metrotown accommodates some ten to twenty storey o f f i c e buildings, Richmond's town centre i s comprised of mainly two and three storey buildings. It has only been during the l a s t few years that Richmond has begun to see t a l l e r (six to nine storey) o f f i c e buildings appear on i t s skyline as developers begin to use more creative designs to accommodate the municipality's parking requirements. In December 1989, there were 23 applications for 12 to 15 storey o f f i c e towers awaiting approval by the municipality (Godley, 1990). The municipality expects that high-rise commercial and 76 r e s i d e n t i a l towers w i l l become common additions to the Richmond skyline as the municipality's population densities continue to increase. Based on the current development proposals for the Richmond town centre, the 1990s w i l l see an increase i n mixed-use developments which include an o f f i c e component. For example, i n July 1989, four out of eleven development applications i n the Richmond town centre proposed a mixture of uses which included o f f i c e , r e t a i l , r e s i d e n t i a l and hotel a c t i v i t i e s . Depending on the type of o f f i c e space provided, the mixed-use developments o f f e r a combination of a c t i v i t i e s which are supportive of the objectives of the Regional Town Centre Program. The Richmond O f f i c i a l Community Plan (Richmond, 1986) recognizes the town centre as a focal point for o f f i c e development within the municipality. More recently, the municipality has i d e n t i f i e d the town centre as the location for increased r e s i d e n t i a l and population growth as well. They expect that the majority of the municipality's future growth w i l l be focussed on the centre. Like Burnaby, Richmond adopted the objectives of the GVRD's Livable Region Program and Regional Town Centre strategy, to balance jobs and population, and to create a town centre that provides a var i e t y of a c t i v i t i e s and opportunities for a wide range of people. The emphasis of Richmond's f i r s t "Town Centre 77 Area Plan" (Corporation of Richmond, 1989b) was on o f f i c e development, although i t recognized that there are other e s s e n t i a l elements as indicated i n the goals below: "To create, i n Richmond, an accessible central location for urban a c t i v i t i e s , i n order to develop high q u a l i t y working and l i v i n g environments, s a t i s f y i n g both economic and s o c i a l objectives of the community and the region. To create a downtown within the Town Centre that increases employment opportunities; increases shopping, recreational, c u l t u r a l , educational, community, and s o c i a l opportunities; promotes housing opportunities; stimulates an increase i n the use of public t r a n s i t ; and develops an active and v i t a l pedestrian-oriented centre for Richmond." (p.7) When the Town Centre's O f f i c i a l Community Plan was being prepared i n the mid-1980s, there were over 12,000 people working i n the Town Centre and a population of 10,000 people l i v i n g i n 6,300 dwelling units (Corporation of Richmond, 1989b). By 1991, there were 22,000 people l i v i n g and 13,000 working i n the Town Centre area (City of Richmond, 1991). The majority of the dwellings i n the town centre are i n multiple unit developments. In 1985, the municipality estimated that the t o t a l r e s i d e n t i a l capacity i n the town centre was 10,000 units. The municipality i s currently reviewing the r e s i d e n t i a l capacity for the Town Centre and anticipates that the Centre's r e s i d e n t i a l population could t r i p l e within the next 20 years to over 60,000 people. The Richmond Town Centre has tended to include a strong r e t a i l component. In 1989, the Town Centre contained 40 percent of Richmond's r e t a i l space, and i n 1990, an additional 160,000 78 square feet of commercial space was added to the Richmond Square/Richmond Centre Malls. The Town Centre also o f f e r s a va r i e t y of other f a c i l i t i e s , including a hos p i t a l , a community college, a r e c r e a t i o n / a c t i v i t y centre, the municipal h a l l , a l i v e theatre and two group daycare centres. The Town Centre Plan also i d e n t i f i e s a number of features that have yet to be f u l l y incorporated into the development of the centre. Consistent with the GVRD's pre s c r i p t i o n for regional town centres, the Richmond Town Centre w i l l be included i n the region's rapid t r a n s i t system. Rapid t r a n s i t to the Town Centre i s currently i n the planning phase. I n i t i a l l y , construction was expected to begin i n 1992 with completion by 1995. Delays i n the planning phase have now pushed the anticipated completion date back to 1997. Richmond recognizes that as the Town Centre develops i t should become less dependent on automobile transportation. To further t h i s objective, the municipality has relaxed the parking requirements for higher density development i n the Town Centre's downtown core. Richmond has also set a target of 10 percent for the t r a n s i t modal s p l i t into the Town Centre's downtown subarea, and has recognized that the Town Centre's l o c a l employment opportunities require an improved l e v e l of l o c a l service. Another area of emphasis for the future development of Richmond's Town Centre, as noted e a r l i e r with Burnaby, i s 79 improvement to the centre's human scale and urban design. To t h i s end, the municipality has been preparing design p r i n c i p l e s and guidelines for the centre. Future plans also stress: the development of a comprehensive pedestrian system l i n k i n g various a c t i v i t i e s i n the centre including parks and open space, such as miniparks and plazas; the creation of b i c y c l e routes; and the reduction of through t r a f f i c from the Centre. F i n a l l y , Richmond has e x p l i c i t l y recognized that future development i n the Town Centre must allow for a d i v e r s i t y of c u l t u r a l and income groups. 4.4 CONCLUSION The majority of the Greater Vancouver Region's suburban employment and o f f i c e space i s located i n the municipalities of Burnaby and Richmond. However, the two municipalities o f f e r d i f f e r e n t p r o f i l e s . Burnaby i s a more mature municipality and i s experiencing less population growth than Richmond. Burnaby's employment i s serving a more regional labour market. The town centres i n the two municipalities contain almost 50 percent of the o f f i c e space located i n the six regional town centres. Both town centres have been experiencing s i g n i f i c a n t growth i n employment and population. In the quantitative features, such as o f f i c e floorspace and employment, the two centres have become established town centres; however, they each require further improvements before they w i l l become v i t a l centres o f f e r i n g the complete range of f a c i l i t i e s and 8 0 a c t i v i t i e s necessary to compete with downtown Vancouver. To determine the qu a l i t y of working environment that Burnaby's Metrotown and the Richmond Town Centre are providing for women o f f i c e workers and to estab l i s h whether town centres are preferred work locations, interviews were conducted with women working at both town centre and non-town centre firms i n Burnaby and Richmond. The next chapter presents the re s u l t s from these interviews and provides some insight into the requirements and expectations of women working i n suburban o f f i c e locations. 81 CHAPTER 5 PERCEPTIONS OF FEMALE SUBURBAN OFFICE WORKERS 5.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter presents the responses of female suburban o f f i c e employees i n Burnaby and Richmond to interviews conducted during the f a l l and winter of 1990/91. Following a presentation of the interview r e s u l t s , the responses are analyzed i n accordance with the three objectives of the GVRD's Livable Region Program and Regional Town Centres strategy, as discussed i n Chapter 3. 5.2 METHODOLOGY The semi-structured interview format was used to examine the importance of work location and s e t t i n g to female o f f i c e workers i n four suburban locations. The two suburban muni c i p a l i t i e s of Burnaby and Richmond were selected because they provide the largest share of suburban o f f i c e employment i n the Vancouver area and they each include a regional town centre. A sample of four firms was randomly selected from a cross-referencing of a GVRD inventory of a l l o f f i c e locations within the municipalities of Burnaby and Richmond and the 82 publication "Contacts Target Marketing" (1990) which i d e n t i f i e s firms by type of a c t i v i t y and si z e , as well as by loc a t i o n . To ensure c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y , only firms with more than s i x employees were selected i n the sample. Selection was based on a random number table. One o f f i c e firm was selected i n the Burnaby regional town centre (Metrotown), one was chosen i n the Richmond town centre, and the other two o f f i c e firms were located i n Burnaby and Richmond outside t h e i r designated town centres. The four firms that were selected included: a union head o f f i c e , a funeral home operator, an insurance company, and a research and development centre. The four firms ranged i n si z e from 50 to over 150 employees, and women workers formed more than 50 percent of the employees at a l l of the firms, except at the research and development company. The firm i n Burnaby's Metrotown had been at the same loc a t i o n for t h i r t y - f i v e years. The other Burnaby firm had been i n the municipality, at the same location since the firm was formed i n the early 1980s. The two Richmond firms had been at t h e i r present location for less than f i v e years but both previously had been located elsewhere i n Richmond. The o f f i c e manager or administrator for each firm was contacted by l e t t e r to request the firm's cooperation and to obtain a l i s t i n g of t h e i r female employees. Only firms with more than s i x female employees were asked to p a r t i c i p a t e . A sample of 83 female employees was randomly selected from each firm's l i s t and each woman was sent a l e t t e r of introduction and requested to p a r t i c i p a t e i n an interview. Six women were interviewed from each firm. To ensure c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y , the firms were not n o t i f i e d as to which employees were chosen or who had agreed to pa r t i c i p a t e . The interview topics covered: the type of work, basic work history, the method of transportation to and from work, and the l e v e l of s a t i s f a c t i o n with the o f f i c e location, i t s surrounding area and the l o c a l f a c i l i t i e s and amenities. Each interview followed a general discussion format that focused on the s p e c i f i c topics l i s t e d i n the questionnaire. The same questions were presented to each participant i n the same order. At no time during the interviews were the names of other p a r t i c i p a t i n g employees or firms mentioned. 5.3 PRESENTATION OF INTERVIEW RESULTS This section presents a summary of the interview r e s u l t s , with some in t e r p r e t a t i o n by the author. The resu l t s are presented under the following sub-headings: o P r o f i l e of the Interviewees; o Work Context; o Transportation to Work; and o Workplace Location and Surrounding Area. 84 5 . 3 . 1 P r o f i l e of the Interviewees The majority (almost 50 percent) of the participants were between 25 and 34 years of' age (Table 2 ) . Two-thirds of the women were either married or l i v i n g i n a common-law re l a t i o n s h i p (Table 3) and almost one-half of those couples did not have children. Fewer than 20 percent of the women were single parents (one lone parent per workplace). Only s l i g h t l y more than 15 percent of the participants had preschool age children (Table 4 ) . Table 2: PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION BY AGE GROUP Age Burnaby Burnaby Richmond Richmond Total Group Town Centre Non-Town Centre Town Centre Non-Town Centre 15-24 yrs 16.7 16.7 8.3 25-34 yrs 33.3 50.0 66.6 , 33.3 45.8 35-44 yrs 33.3 33.3 50.0 29.2 45-54 yrs 33.3 16.7 16.7 16.7 55-64 yrs Table 3: PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION BY MARITAL STATUS Marital Burnaby Burnaby Richmond Richmond Total Status Town Centre Non-Town Centre Town Centre Non-Town Centre Single 33.3 8.3 Married 50.0 50.0 83.3 83.3 66.7 Other 50.0 16.7 16.7 16.7 25.0 Table 4: PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION BY FAMILY OR LIVING ARRANGEMENT Living Burnaby Burnaby Richmond Richmond Total Arrangement Town Centre Non-Town Centre Town Centre Non-Town Centre Alone 33.3 16.7 12.5 With Parents 16.7 4.2 Couple, No Child 16.7 33.3 50.0 50.0 37.5 Couple with: Child < 6 yrs old 16.7 33.3 16.7 16.7 Child > 6 yrs old 16.7 16.7 16.7 12.5 Lone parent with: Child < 6 yrs old Child > 6 yrs old 16.7 16.7 16.7 16.7 16.7 85 The respondents p r o v i d e d no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s between the p r o f i l e s of the women working i n Burnaby and those working i n Richmond, except a l l of the s i n g l e women were working i n Burnaby and the m a j o r i t y of the married women without c h i l d r e n were working i n Richmond. There were no n o t i c e a b l e d i f f e r e n c e s between the p e r s o n a l p r o f i l e s of the women working i n town c e n t r e s and those working i n the non-town c e n t r e l o c a t i o n s . 5.3.2 Work Context Type of Work The p a r t i c i p a n t s r e p r e s e n t e d women o f f i c e workers from two major types of i n d u s t r y : Finance, Insurance and Real E s t a t e ; and Other S e r v i c e s . T h e i r occupations were c o n c e n t r a t e d i n the Managerial and A d m i n i s t r a t i v e ; and the C l e r i c a l c a t e g o r i e s (Table 5 ) . Almost 50 percent of the p a r t i c i p a n t s h e l d c l e r i c a l jobs and a l a r g e p o r t i o n of the c l e r i c a l jobs were w i t h the f i r m l o c a t e d i n the Burnaby town c e n t r e . Table 5: PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION BY TYPE OF WORK Type of Burnaby Burnaby Richmond Richmond Total Work Town Centre Non-Town Centre Town Centre Non-Town Centre Clerical 100.0 33.3 33.3. 33.3 45.8 Technical 66.7 16.7 . 20.6 Prof'l/Mgr'l 66.7 - 50.0 33.3 The women working a t the union headquarters were a l l i n v o l v e d i n c l e r i c a l a c t i v i t i e s . The women employed a t the f i r m o p e r a t i n g f u n e r a l homes were p r i m a r i l y i n v o l v e d i n a c c o u n t i n g 86 and bookkeeping work, while the women at the insurance company held positions as clerks and claims adjusters. Those women who worked at the research and development firm represented the widest range of jobs, including computer s p e c i a l i s t s , administrative managers and clerks. Length of Employment The employees* length of employment with the firms ranged from three months to t h i r t y years; however, the median for a l l the firms was three years. The length of employment varied s u b s t a n t i a l l y between the four firms (Table 6 ) . The median at the firm located outside the Burnaby town centre was one year, while Richmond's non-town centre firm had the most long-term employees, with the median being seven and a half years. The median length of employment at both town centre firms c l o s e l y corresponded with the median for a l l firms, three years. The recent expansion of Burnaby's non-town centre firm may explain the short length of employment for many of i t s employees. While, the prestige of working for Richmond's non-town centre firm may account for i t long-term employees. Table 6: PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION BY LENGTH OF EMPLOYMENT WITH FIRM Length of Burnaby Burnaby Richmond Richmond Total Employment Town Centre Non-Town Centre Town Centre Non-Town Centre Less than 1 yr 50.0 33.3 20.8 1-3 yrs 33.3 50.0 33.3 29.2 3-5 yrs 33.3 16.7 33.3 20.8 5-10 yrs 16.7' 33.3 12.5 More than 10 yrs 16.7 16.7 33.3 16.7 87 Previous Employment A l l of the women interviewed had worked outside the home p r i o r to receiving t h e i r current job, and a l l but two of the women had moved d i r e c t l y from one job to the next. The two exceptions noted, were a woman who had taken a maternity leave between jobs, and a woman who had returned to school to further her education. S l i g h t l y more than half of the women were a c t i v e l y seeking a new job when they acquired t h e i r current employment. The remainder of the women found t h e i r jobs through other means, primarily through personal and professional contacts. Of a l l the women interviewed, about 50 percent had been working previously i n Vancouver and over 20 percent had worked previously i n Richmond (Table 7 ) . In Burnaby, a t h i r d of the workers had previously worked i n the same municipality, one-third had worked i n Vancouver, and the rest had worked i n other municipalities or outside the region. In Richmond, over half of the employees interviewed had previously worked i n Vancouver and one t h i r d had worked i n Richmond. Table 7: PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION BY PREVIOUS WORK LOCATION Previous Burnaby Burnaby Richmond Richmond Total Work Location Town Centre Non-Town Centre Town Centre Non-Town Centre Vancouver 33.3 33.3 50.0 66.7 45.8 Burnaby 33.3 33.3 16.7 Richmond 16.7 50.0 16.7 20.8 North Shore 16.7 4.2 New West 16.7 4.2 Other 16.7 16.7 8.3 88 Work Location Preference Whereas only 25 percent of the Burnaby employees sought work which was preferably located i n Burnaby, half of the Richmond employees stated a preference for finding work i n Richmond. A l l of the Burnaby workers who preferred work i n Burnaby worked at the firm i n the non-town centre location. Almost a l l of the workers, who had also considered working i n Vancouver when l a s t seeking work, now worked i n Burnaby. None of the women interviewed looked s p e c i f i c a l l y for work i n a town centre l o c a t i o n . The most common reason given for accepting t h e i r current job was the type of work. The second reason was the salary. Although the location of the job, e s p e c i a l l y i n r e l a t i o n s h i p to t h e i r home, was of less importance, i t was the t h i r d most common reason given for accepting t h e i r current job. The only other reasons that were frequently stated were the hours of work and e x i s t i n g contacts with the firm. 5.3.3 Transportation to Work Car Usage For a l l employees the p r i n c i p a l means of transportation to work was by car. Two-thirds drove themselves and one-third carpooled or shared a ride with someone else. Only 25 percent 89 of the women who shared a ride worked i n Burnaby. Most of the women who shared a ride worked i n Richmond. The firm with the greatest number of carpoolers was located i n the Richmond town centre, where two-thirds of the women interviewed shared a ri d e to work. The employees at the non-town centre firm i n Richmond noted that t h e i r employer encouraged carpooling by providing a rid e sharing notice board. T r i p Time The length of t r i p s to work for a l l the women interviewed ranged from 5 to 60 minutes, with the median length of t r a v e l time being 20 minutes (Table 8 ) . The women employed i n Burnaby t r a v e l l e d longer than those i n Richmond. The median length of time for the Burnaby employees was over 25 minutes, while for Richmond i t was less than 15 minutes. The women working at Burnaby's non-town centre location had the longest t r i p s with a median t r a v e l time of 30 minutes. The women at the firm i n Richmond's town centre had the most consistent t r a v e l times with a l l but one employee t r a v e l l i n g for 15 minutes or less to work. Table 8: PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION BY LENGTH OF TRIP TO WORK Travel Burnaby Burnaby Richmond Richmond Total Time Town Centre Non-Town Centre Town Centre Non-Town Centre < 15 min. 33.3 16.7 83.3 66.7 50.0 15-30 min. 66.7 33.3 16.7 16.7 33.3 30-45 min. 33.3 16.7 12.5 45-60 min. .16.7 4.2 90 Two of the women working i n Burnaby and one working i n Richmond noted that t h e i r t r i p could sometimes take longer due to the rushhour t r a f f i c going into the Vancouver. The two Burnaby women said that they came to work early to avoid the heavier t r a f f i c . A l l but one of the firms had either flex-time or a compressed work week which helped reduce employees t r a v e l l i n g time. Almost a l l of the women's t r i p home was by the same method and of the same length as i t was to work. Only three women, two i n Burnaby and one i n Richmond, s p e c i f i e d that they sometimes made stops on t h e i r way home from work. One Richmond woman said she usually stopped at the babysitters to pick up her c h i l d . T ransit Less than 50 percent of the interviewees ever used an alt e r n a t i v e method of transportation to work. Of those who occasionally used another method most used t r a n s i t , but that was fewer than 25 percent of the women interviewed. The women who occasionally used t r a n s i t a l l worked i n either the Burnaby or Richmond town centres. Their t r a n s i t use was usually r e s t r i c t e d to bad weather (snow) and they complained that the t r i p was at least two or more times longer than t r a v e l l i n g by car. In a l l cases, t r a n s i t as the alt e r n a t i v e method of transportation resulted i n a longer t r a v e l time to work or to home. The t r a n s i t t r i p lengths ranged from 30 minutes to 2 91 hours. The median t r a n s i t t r i p lengths were 30 minutes for the Richmond women and 60 minutes for the Burnaby woman. None of the women working i n either of the non-town centre locations ever used t r a n s i t because i n most cases i t was not availa b l e or the t r i p was too long. Most of the women said that car was t h e i r preferred method of t r a v e l l i n g to work, however, on further consideration many of the women (almost 50 percent) admitted that they might consider t r a n s i t i f the system was more convenient (better connections, fewer transfers) and the t r i p was shorter. Other Transportation Alternatives Fewer than 10 percent of the women occasionaly walked to work (one woman i n Burnaby and one i n Richmond) and less than 10 percent sometimes t r a v e l l e d to work by b i c y c l e . The b i c y c l e r i d e r s both worked i n Richmond and complained about the poor f a c i l i t i e s for cyclers ( i . e . i n s u f f i c i e n t road allowance for safe t r a v e l ) . 5.3.4 Workplace Location and Surrounding Area Location S a t i s f a c t i o n The f i n a l series of questions concentrated on each employee's s a t i s f a c t i o n or d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with the location of t h e i r 92 workplace. Overall, the majority of the women (75 percent) said they were either s a t i s f i e d or very s a t i s f i e d with the loca t i o n of t h e i r place of work. The Burnaby women were s l i g h t l y more s a t i s f i e d than the Richmond women, but the difference was marginal. The ov e r a l l l e v e l of s a t i s f a c t i o n was e s s e n t i a l l y the same for the women working i n town centre and non-town centre locations. Each woman was asked to i d e n t i f y the features that could contribute to her s a t i s f a c t i o n with the location of her workplace. The features that were i d e n t i f i e d by almost a l l of the interviewees as being important were the amount of free parking ava i l a b l e , the tr a v e l time between home and work, a park or open space, lunchtime eating f a c i l i t i e s , and a surrounding area that feels safe and secure. The features that were regarded as least or not important included dinnertime eating f a c i l i t i e s , entertainment a c t i v i t i e s , education f a c i l i t i e s for either the employee or her family, and daycare. Parking and Travel Time Almost a l l of the women were s a t i s f i e d with the parking that was available to them. A l l of the firms provided free parking to t h e i r employees. Most of the women were s a t i s f i e d with the time i t takes them to tra v e l between t h e i r home and t h e i r work i r r e s p e c t i v e of the length of t h e i r journey. The few employees who were d i s s a t i s f i e d a l l worked i n Burnaby and were commuting the longest distance. 93 Parks and Open Space Most of the women who were s a t i s f i e d with t h e i r access to park and open space worked i n Burnaby. Most of the Richmond workers were d i s s a t i s f i e d , p a r t i c u l a r l y the women working outside the town centre. A l l but one of the women at Richmond's non-town centre location were d i s s a t i s f i e d with the open space av a i l a b l e . Lunch F a c i l i t i e s For almost a l l firms the majority of the women were not s a t i s f i e d with the lunchtime eating f a c i l i t i e s a v a i l a b l e to them. The greatest d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n was i n the two non-town centre locations where a l l of the women were d i s s a t i s f i e d , although there was also some d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n i n both of the town centre locations as well (one-third of the Burnaby and Richmond town centre employees were d i s s a t i s f i e d ) . Safety and Security Over half of the women were s a t i s f i e d with the f e e l i n g of safety and security i n the area around t h e i r workplace. Of the women who were not s a t i s f i e d , a l l but one worked for the firm i n Richmond's non-town centre location. These women did not l i k e the i s o l a t i o n of the workplace, e s p e c i a l l y at night and f e l t that the truck t r a f f i c made the area dangerous for pedestrians. 94 Contributing Features The only feature about t h e i r workplace that some women f e l t may have contributed to t h e i r decision to accept t h e i r current job was "the time that i t takes them to t r a v e l between t h e i r work and t h e i r home", although as mentioned previously t h i s was not a primary consideration for the majority of the women when seeking employment. Workplace Area Descriptions As an indicator of t h e i r s a t i s f a c t i o n with the area i n which t h e i r workplace was located, each woman was asked to describe the area. The women's descriptions a l l tended to emphasized the physical character of the areas, however, some of the descriptions were more subjective than others. For example, some women said that "the area i s pleasant and peaceful", while others commented that "the area has lo t s of trees". The descriptions given by the women working i n Burnaby were more p o s i t i v e than those given by the Richmond women. The women working i n Metrotown commented on the nice park, the peace and quiet of the park and the neighbouring r e s i d e n t i a l area, and the t r a f f i c and noise of Kingsway. The women working i n Burnaby's non-town centre location appreciated the area's natural s e t t i n g but also saw the area as non-descript and as being located i n the middle of nowhere. 95 The women working i n the Richmond town centre and non-town centre locations described the surrounding areas as i n d u s t r i a l business d i s t r i c t s . Both areas were also described as having poor pedestrian f a c i l i t i e s and heavy truck t r a f f i c . A v a i l a b i l i t y of Services and F a c i l i t i e s The women were asked to i d e n t i f y the f a c i l i t i e s that were presently available to them (within a ten minute walking distance from t h e i r o f f i c e ) and how often they used them. The women were also asked to i d e n t i f y the a c t i v i t i e s that were unavailable but that they would l i k e access to. As expected the women working i n the two town centre locations i d e n t i f i e d the most f a c i l i t i e s as being available to them. However, i n both town centres there were some women workers who did not recognize some of the exi s t i n g f a c i l i t i e s as being a v a i l a b l e to them. In the Burnaby town centre everyone agreed that there were restaurants, medical and dental f a c i l i t i e s , parks and open space, and outdoor seating areas nearby. Most of these women also recognized that they had access to stores for groceries, stores for t h e i r own clothing and personal needs, banking, daycare and postal service. However, more than 50 percent of the women did not think they had access to stores for children's needs, stores for browsing, theatres, l i b r a r y , h a i r salon, drycleaning, educational f a c i l i t i e s , f i t n e s s , indoor 96 seating areas or other business a c t i v i t i e s , although some of these f a c i l i t i e s were within a ten minute walk of t h e i r o f f i c e . Six of the f a c i l i t i e s i d e n t i f i e d as being available were used by more than half of the women interviewed at the Burnaby town centre firm. These included stores for groceries, stores for clothing, restaurants, banking, the park, and outdoor seating. Because the women working for the firm i n Burnaby's town centre only had t h i r t y minutes for lunch, and yet most women said that t h e i r use of l o c a l f a c i l i t i e s would occur p r i m a r i l y during t h e i r lunch hour, may have limited t h e i r awareness and use of the f a c i l i t i e s that were available to them. The women working i n the Richmond town centre had a s i m i l a r l e v e l of awareness, although there was only one item that a l l of the women agreed was accessible, a nearby park. The other f a c i l i t i e s that were i d e n t i f i e d by the majority of the women as being located nearby were stores for children's needs, restaurants, a l i b r a r y , medical and dental services, educational f a c i l i t i e s (a community college i s nearby), f i t n e s s f a c i l i t i e s , and indoor and outdoor seating areas. Very few of these f a c i l i t i e s are used by any of the women interviewed at Richmond's town centre firm. The only f a c i l i t i e s that were used by at least 50 percent of the women were medical and dental services and the park. Some of the women noted that the area's poor pedestrian environment was not conducive to walking to places during t h e i r lunch hour. 97 The women working at the firms i n the non-town centre locations i d e n t i f i e d very few f a c i l i t i e s as being available but a l l used what they i d e n t i f i e d . In Burnaby everyone used the nearby park and the outdoor seating areas around t h e i r b uilding, although t h i s use was seasonal. Only one woman i d e n t i f i e d and used the fit n e s s f a c i l i t i e s at the nearby YMCA. Most of the other women seemed unaware of the existence of t h i s f a c i l i t y . There was only one a c t i v i t y that the women working at Richmond's non-town centre firm i d e n t i f i e d as avail a b l e and used and that was the fitness f a c i l i t y that were provided by the firm for i t s employees. Half of the women also used outdoor seating that was provided by the employer, but the women complained that the area was noisy due to airplane t r a f f i c and smelly because of the l o c a l farms. Services and F a c i l i t i e s Required The number of f a c i l i t i e s that the women i d e n t i f i e d as required related inversely to the number they saw as already a v a i l a b l e . The women working outside the Burnaby and Richmond town centres i d e n t i f i e d the greatest number of a c t i v i t i e s as being required. The majority of the women i n Burnaby's non-town centre l o c a t i o n wanted stores for groceries, stores for browsing, restaurants, drycleaning, banking, and a post o f f i c e . Everyone wanted banking f a c i l i t i e s , even i f i t was only a bank machine. Almost everyone wanted a post o f f i c e . 98 The women working i n Richmond's non-town centre location i d e n t i f i e d the most f a c i l i t i e s that they would l i k e to see near t h e i r workplace. Like the women i n Burnaby, everyone wanted banking f a c i l i t i e s . Everyone also said they would use a l i b r a r y . Some added that access to a l i b r a r y would benefit t h e i r work. The other f a c i l i t i e s requested by the majority of the women included stores for groceries, stores for clothing and other personal needs, stores for browsing, restaurants, medical and dental services, daycare, a post o f f i c e and a park or other accessible open space. The women working i n Burnaby's town centre required almost no additio n a l f a c i l i t i e s . On the other hand, a few of the women working i n Richmond's town centre i d e n t i f i e d f a c i l i t i e s that they wanted to see available that already existed. For example, half of the women requested banking although there are a number of f i n a n c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s located at the Richmond Centre Mall about a ten minute walking distance. Overall the f a c i l i t i e s which were most often i d e n t i f i e d as lacking by a l l of the women interviewed were banking f a c i l i t i e s , a post o f f i c e and stores for groceries and other household nece s s i t i e s . More than 50 percent of the women interviewed said they required these f a c i l i t i e s and, except for the post o f f i c e , they said they would use these f a c i l i t i e s on a regular basis. 9 9 Other f a c i l i t i e s which were requested by almost half of the women interviewed were stores catering to women's clothing or other personal needs, stores for browsing or window shopping, a l i b r a r y and a drycleaners. However, most of the women who requested these f a c i l i t i e s said they would use them only on an occasional basis. Almost a l l of the women said t h e i r use of f a c i l i t i e s near work would occur primarily during work hours, such as t h e i r lunch break. Pedestrian Environment Because the preceding questions concentrated on the f a c i l i t i e s that the women could walk to, i t was important to e s t a b l i s h how the women perceived the pedestrian environment around t h e i r workplace. In almost a l l situations, the pedestrian experience was described as a negative one. The women at Burnaby's non-town centre firm were the most s a t i s f i e d with t h e i r pedestrian experience, although most of these women admitted that they did not do very much walking i n the area because there was nowhere to go. The women working i n Burnaby's town centre described walking along Kingsway as very unpleasant but appreciated the nearby r e s i d e n t i a l areas that offered a more relaxing pedestrian experience. Of course, walking through the r e s i d e n t i a l areas would not get them to most of the l o c a l f a c i l i t i e s . 100 At both Richmond firms the women had no po s i t i v e comments about walking around the adjacent area. They noted that the lack of sidewalks and t r a f f i c conditions discouraged them from walking around the areas. The women at Richmond's non-town centre firm also commented that the lack of any destinations also prevented them from walking i n the area. 5.4 ANALYSIS OF ACTIONS AND PERCEPTIONS The following analysis i s presented under sub-headings which correspond to the categories used to analyze the objectives of the GVRD's Regional Town Centres Program. o Balance of jobs to population (Living Close to Work); o Transit-oriented transportation system; o Variety of services and a more i n t e r e s t i n g working environment for suburban employees. 5.4.1 Balance of Jobs to Population (Living Close to Work) Only 25 percent of the Burnaby workers were l i v i n g i n Burnaby. More Burnaby employees l i v e d i n Coquitlam than i n Burnaby. Meanwhile, 66 percent of the Richmond women employees l i v e d as well as worked i n the municipality. Almost 80 percent of the women interviewed thought i t was important to work near home. But most of the women indicated 101 that when seeking t h e i r current job t h e i r main concerns were the type of work and the salary offered and that finding work close to home was a lower p r i o r i t y . For most of the women the location of the job was a secondary consideration. A l l of the women had worked at previous jobs, the majority of which had been located i n Vancouver. However, the women who had worked previously i n either Burnaby or Richmond had remained i n those municipalities. Although some of the women s t i l l are commuting i n to work from the outer suburbs (eg. Surrey, Coquitlam), o v e r a l l most of the women are commuting less distance. The increase i n the number and range of employment opportunities i n both Burnaby and Richmond i s allowing more women to work closer to home. The interview r e s u l t s also confirm the s h i f t i n employment from the C i t y of Vancouver to the suburbs, as well as supporting the GVRD's findings (GVRD, 1985) that Burnaby i s increasingly becoming an alt e r n a t i v e to Vancouver as a place of work for some of the region's residents. The o v e r a l l d i s t r i b u t i o n of t r i p times for the Burnaby and Richmond women was si m i l a r to the d i s t r i b u t i o n for the women surveyed by the Vancouver Urban Futures project (Hardwick et a l , 1990). Furthermore, the median length of journey to work for the women interviewed i n Burnaby and Richmond was consistent with the tr a v e l times reported i n the study "Living Close to Work", averaging at 23 minutes. However, the majority 102 of the Burnaby women interviewed had t r i p s longer than 23 minutes and the majority of the Richmond workers had t r i p s that were s u b s t a n t i a l l y shorter than 23 minutes. Although the t o t a l sample r e f l e c t s the regional patterns, the i n d i v i d u a l m u n i cipalities provide two very d i f f e r e n t examples. The women working i n Richmond are l i v i n g close to work but most of the women working i n Burnaby are not. 5.4.2 Transit Oriented Transportation System As the interviews indicated, none of the women use t r a n s i t r e g u l a r l y to t r a v e l to work. For the Richmond workers outside the town centre, t r a n s i t was not available. Even the women working i n the Richmond and Burnaby town centres, which are better served by t r a n s i t , would only consider using t r a n s i t under l i m i t e d (emergency) conditions. A l l of the women regarded t r a n s i t as inconvenient. The women i n Richmond who l i v e d close to work (within a 15 minute drive) described the t r a n s i t service as inadequate. These responses are consistent with the central (downtown) focus of Greater Vancouver's t r a n s i t service, including routes and scheduling, and confirms the increased need for i n t e r / i n t r a suburban t r a n s i t service. When f i r s t questioned about t r a n s i t most of the women said they would not consider using t r a n s i t but further enquiry indicated that t h e i r response was based on t h e i r experience with the ex i s t i n g service. Some of the women said they would consider 103 t r a n s i t as an alte r n a t i v e i f the service improved s u b s t a n t i a l l y . Women at the Richmond non-town centre firm suggested that a shuttle-type service, for example, could be an improvement. 5.4.3 Variety of Services and A More Interesting Working Environment As noted i n Chapter 3, the GVRD's objective that town centres provide "a vari e t y of services and a more i n t e r e s t i n g working environment" encompasses an assortment of features and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . Therefore, for the purpose of t h i s section, t h i s objective i s analyzed within the following three subcategories: o A v a i l a b i l i t y of Services and Amenities; o A t t r a c t i v e Location; and o Pedestrian Environment. A v a i l a b i l i t y of Services and Amenities The range of services and amenities available to the women at town centre and non-town centre locations varied a great deal. The women i n the town centre locations had almost any service or amenity that they might require, although the women were not always aware of what was available. Many of these women d i d not use regula r l y most of the services and amenities. Women 104 working i n Metrotown were the most s a t i s f i e d with the f a c i l i t i e s and services available but they also i d e n t i f i e d fewer items as d i r e c t l y contributing to t h e i r l e v e l of s a t i s f a c t i o n with the location of t h e i r workplace. The women at the non-town centre firms had almost nothing avai l a b l e i n the way of services or amenities. Women i n Richmond's non-town centre location were the most d i s s a t i s f i e d with what was available and i d e n t i f i e d the most items as pote n t i a l contributors to improving t h e i r s a t i s f a c t i o n with the loca t i o n of t h e i r workplace. The women who had the services and amenities available often did not use them. Whereas, the women who had few services avai l a b l e had higher expectations about using the service i f i t was provided. The following are the four common explanations for why the services near work were not used: o Prefer to use services and amenities located closer to t h e i r home. For example, late night shopping has provided women with additional opportunity to f u l f i l l t h e i r multiple r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s or dual ro l e s . o Pedestrian f a c i l i t i e s l i m i t t h e i r access to services because the route i s noisy, dangerous or incomplete. o Short lunch breaks l i m i t the distance the employee could go 105 or r e s t r i c t the number of a c t i v i t i e s that could be accommodated. o Lunch break only used for eating t h e i r lunch and personal relaxation (eg. going for a walk). There were, however, a core group of services and amenities that most of the women f e l t would be b e n e f i c i a l near the workplace. These included banking, a post o f f i c e and a convenience/grocery store. Consistent with some of the women's desire not to spend t h e i r lunch breaks running errands, many of the women also s p e c i f i e d that a variety of lunchtime eating places and parks or outdoor open space are also very desirable near the workplace. Noticeable by i t s absence was an expressed need for daycare f a c i l i t i e s near any of the workplaces. The women without children or with older children regarded daycare as unnecessary. A couple of women said i t might be useful although none, including the few women who had children, expressed a concern about the absence of daycare f a c i l i t i e s near the workplace. Few of the women r e a l i z e d that there was any daycare available, although Burnaby's Metrotown and the Richmond Town Centre each include at least two group daycare centres, and childcare was available at the YMCA near the o f f i c e s i n Burnaby's non-town centre location. 106 The women who did have young children either used daycare near home or had childcare provided by other family members. Some women noted that they did not want an i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d form of daycare but preferred the more personalized daycare offered i n a family's home within r e s i d e n t i a l areas. Although none of the women s p e c i f i c a l l y mentioned the cost of childcare, i t i s important to note that many of the women interviewed l i k e l y did not earn s a l a r i e s s u f f i c i e n t to support licensed group daycare which can cost as much as $12,000 per year i n the Greater Vancouver area (Ward, 1991). A t t r a c t i v e Location The women were a l l asked to describe the area around t h e i r workplace. As mentioned previously, the Burnaby descriptions tended to be p o s i t i v e and i n Richmond they tended to be more negative. The descriptions varied by municipality and not according to whether the workplace was i n a town centre or non-town centre location. The Burnaby workers' descriptions placed more emphasis on the general q u a l i t y of the area e.g. pleasant or non-descript, while the Richmond workers tended to emphasis the s p e c i f i c a t t r i b u t e s e.g. i n d u s t r i a l , poor pedestrian f a c i l i t i e s , near highway. It was apparent by some of the responses that some of the women had previously not given much thought to the appearance of the area around t h e i r o f f i c e , while other women 107 were very aware of t h e i r surrounding area. The descriptions of the Metrotown area stressed the p o s i t i v e contribution of Central Park and the negative impacts of Kingsway. The descriptions of the Richmond town centre did not include any words that could be vaguely interpreted as describing an a t t r a c t i v e location. The area was described as f l a t , boring and ugly. Pedestrian Environment The women were asked to describe the experience of walking i n the area near t h e i r workplace. The pedestrian experience was described negatively for every area except for Burnaby's non-town centre location. The pedestrian f a c i l i t i e s at t h i s l o c a t i o n included a pedestrian overpass which f a c i l i t a t e d the women worker's access to nearby open space. Some of the comments of the women working i n the other locations highlighted t h e i r concerns about the poor pedestrian environments, and the experience of going for a walk was frequently described as busy, noisy, dangerous and uninteresting. Kingsway was described as a problem by the women working i n the Burnaby town centre. Besides the noise and t r a f f i c , there was the added problem of harassment by passing d r i v e r s . 108 For the women at the firm i n Richmond which was within the town centre, i t was almost impossible to walk around the area because of the heavy t r a f f i c and the lack of sidewalks. Even Richmond's non-town centre firm, which was located i n a new business park, lacked basic pedestrian f a c i l i t i e s , such as sidewalks. 5.4.4 Summary Based on the responses of the women interviewed, i n most cases the town centres have been no more successful at achieving t h e i r stated objections as they apply to employees than have the non-town centre locations. The objective of providing jobs close to home has been more e f f e c t i v e i n Richmond than i n Burnaby irregardless of whether the jobs are located i n a town centre or a non-town centre location. Transit i s more accessible to the women working i n the town centre o f f i c e s but i s s t i l l used very infrequently and i s not highly regarded. In fact the women i n the town centre o f f i c e s may be less o p t i m i s t i c about t r a n s i t than the women i n the non-town centre o f f i c e s because they have had more negative experiences using the system. There are c e r t a i n l y more services and amenities available to the women i n the town centre o f f i c e s , however, many of the f a c i l i t i e s are used infrequently and often there i s a lack of awareness about what services and amenities are ava i l a b l e . The 109 women i n the non-town centre o f f i c e s may be more op t i m i s t i c about the services they would use, i f available, because they are looking at an i d e a l , rather than an actual, s i t u a t i o n . There are some services and amenities however that the majority of the women at a l l locations consider as necessary. Some women do not require an a t t r a c t i v e location for work. For other women th i s i s an important feature although not required. The attractiveness of a location may be i t s physical character or i t s atmosphere. Town centres were not seen as more a t t r a c t i v e than other locations. Almost a l l of the women at a l l locations were interested i n an area with some pedestrian features. Passive a c t i v i t y , such as going for a walk, was highly regarded by many of the women, much more so than a c t i v i t i e s such as shopping. The pedestrian environment must be safe and accessible. Neither of the town centres were highly regarded for t h e i r pedestrian f a c i l i t i e s . 5.5 CONCLUSION The interview responses show that there i s as much s i m i l a r i t y and difference between the women working i n Burnaby and Richmond, as there i s between those working i n town centre and non-town centre locations. None of the women s p e c i f i c a l l y sought work with a town centre 110 rather than a non-town centre firm, whereas some of the women d e f i n i t e l y had a preference for work i n a s p e c i f i c municipality. Contrary to what some of the l i t e r a t u r e suggests, many women place greater emphasis on the type of work and i t s related features than they do on the location of the work and i t s rel a t i o n s h i p to t r a n s i t , services or amenities. However, the location of t h e i r workplace i s important as a secondary consideration and should contribute to t h e i r working l i f e . The f i n a l chapter recommends p o l i c i e s and actions that the GVRD and the l o c a l municipalities should s t r i v e towards i n order to improve the qu a l i t y of l i f e for the workforce i n general, and in p a r t i c u l a r women working i n suburban o f f i c e s i n Greater Vancouver and i t s Regional Town Centres. I l l CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 6.1 INTRODUCTION The research on women workers i n suburban o f f i c e s located i n Burnaby and Richmond has revealed that women employed i n o f f i c e s located i n the town centres are no more or no less s a t i s f i e d with the location of t h e i r workplace than women working i n other suburban o f f i c e locations. There are four objectives to the f i n a l chapter. F i r s t , i t responds to the four questions raised i n the l i t e r a t u r e review i n Chapter 2: o Do suburban o f f i c e s provide women workers with employment located closer to home? o Do women have a preference for work near home over other features, such as career opportunities or salary? o Are suburban transportation systems adequate for women employed i n suburban o f f i c e s ? o Can suburban o f f i c e centres a s s i s t women i n performing dual roles by providing a wide range of f a c i l i t i e s and a c t i v i t i e s ? 112 Second, t h i s chapter addresses e x i s t i n g assumptions from the academic l i t e r a t u r e about women workers needs and requirements. Third, i t recommends adjustments to the GVRD's RTC strategy, as well as l o c a l m u n i c ipalities' implementation of that strategy, to meet the s p e c i f i c needs of women o f f i c e workers. F i n a l l y , Chapter 6 suggests the contributions of t h i s thesis to the l i t e r a t u r e on suburban o f f i c e s , women workers and gender research. 6.2 RESEARCH CONCLUSIONS The p r i n c i p a l i n t e r e s t of t h i s thesis has been whether regional town centres provide women o f f i c e workers with a working environment that i s more responsive to t h e i r needs than other less c e n t r a l i z e d o f f i c e locations. Some of the l i t e r a t u r e suggests that suburban o f f i c e s provide workers employment opportunities closer to home. Furthermore, suburban centres are seen to provide a variety of other services and f a c i l i t i e s to workers. The l i t e r a t u r e suggests that a s p a t i a l concentration of a c t i v i t i e s w i l l benefit women by allowing them to perform multiple tasks within a shorter period of time. However, there i s no guarantee that women w i l l take advantage of these opportunities, or even seek the concentration of f a c i l i t i e s that a town centre may o f f e r . 113 This thesis shows that suburban o f f i c e s are providing women increased employment opportunities closer to t h e i r homes i n the suburbs, thereby reducing the need to commute to jobs located i n the c i t y centre. The research indicates that, at lea s t for the women working i n Burnaby, the jobs may be closer but they are not close to home. The research also concludes that for many women the location of t h e i r work i s less important than the features of the job i t s e l f . Women want jobs that are in t e r e s t i n g or challenging, provide advancement opportunities, o f f e r a reasonable salary and include s u f f i c i e n t benefits. Although t h i s thesis has not dealt s p e c i f i c a l l y with the qu a l i t y of the work being done by women working i n suburban o f f i c e s , t h e i r expressed i n t e r e s t i n the features of t h e i r work indicates that they may not be w i l l i n g to accept lower q u a l i t y jobs i n order to work closer to home. According to the research, the region's public transportation system has proven inadequate for women working i n suburban o f f i c e s . Offices located outside the town centres are usually poorly served, i f at a l l , by public t r a n s i t . Even the women working i n the town centres f i n d the t r a n s i t system inconvenient because of the system's routing and frequency. Consequently, women i n the region who are t r a n s i t dependent may be r e s t r i c t e d i n the range and location of jobs a v a i l a b l e to them. 114 Although the town centres provide a variety of services and a c t i v i t i e s , the research found that i n most cases the women who had access to the town centres did not take advantages of the f a c i l i t i e s to f u l f i l l t h e i r multiple tasks. Some women seemed interested i n keeping t h e i r dual roles separate by not performing t h e i r domestic tasks during working hours. Many of whom preferred to use t h e i r breaks for rest and relaxation, perhaps because for some of them t h i s time was t h e i r only opportunity for such a personal a c t i v i t y . There are assumptions about working women that the re s u l t s of t h i s research seem to contradict. A tendency for the requirements of women's dual roles to overlap and consume t h e i r d a i l y routines i s not confirmed. Many of the women want to keep t h e i r two roles separate and do not want to f u l f i l l t h e i r household r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s during t h e i r lunch or coffee breaks. The low number of women with children i n the research sample may have adversely affected the results by underrepresenting the women who have the greatest number of r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . No outstanding need for daycare or concerns about i t s a v a i l a b i l i t y are reported. Again, the shortage of women i n the sample with preschool age children may have negatively influenced these r e s u l t s . Fewer than 20 percent of the women interviewed had children under 6 years of age. Meanwhile, s t a t i s t i c s indicate that i n 1989, 62 percent of the working women i n B.C. had preschool age children, and estimates of B.C. 115 preschool children requiring daycare show that over 80 percent of these children currently receive non-licensed care (Ward, 1991) . A further assumption that women place higher p r i o r i t y on the location of t h e i r work over the features of the job i t s e l f also i s not borne out by thi s research. Perhaps, as women are becoming more firmly established i n the paid workforce, they also are becoming more concerned about t h e i r p o s i t i o n as employees. The conclusion that women l i v e closer to work than men i s neither confirmed nor contradicted. Because no men were interviewed there i s no comparable data available for male employees, although the results from the Vancouver Urban Futures project reveal that men who tr a v e l to work by car tend to have longer t r i p times than women (Hardwick et a l , 1990). If 1985's average journey time for a l l workers (GVRD, 1990c) i s used for comparison, women working i n Burnaby l i v e further away than the average worker and women working i n Richmond l i v e c l oser to work than the region's average. In the family situations where there was only one car avai l a b l e , the research v e r i f i e d that the husband was the p r i n c i p a l user and these women usually r e l i e d on sharing a ride or using other means of transportation to work. 116 Many women referred to the stress that they have to cope with because of the increased complexity of t h e i r l i v e s . 6.3 RESEARCH RECOMMENDATIONS Underlying many of the regional p o l i c i e s , such as those associated with the Regional Town Centres strategy, i s the i m p l i c i t expectation that these p o l i c i e s w i l l provide the residents of the Greater Vancouver Region with a more l i v a b l e environment i n a l l aspects of t h e i r d a i l y l i v e s . However, these p o l i c i e s often f a i l to recognize the v a r i a t i o n that exists within the members of every community. In order for these p o l i c i e s to be e f f e c t i v e for a l l people, there should be increased recognition of the variety of needs that must be addressed. Rutherford and Wekerle (1988b) emphasized the need for greater public p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the c i t y by women when they wrote that "the extraordinary increase i n the labor force p a r t i c i p a t i o n of women over the past decade... creates demands and requirements on the urban system that have scarcely been considered." (p.6) At both the regional and l o c a l l e v e l there should be further e f f o r t s to ensure that p o l i c y and decision-making include consideration for the d i f f e r e n t requirements of women and men, as well as the other sub-groups within the community. One method of broadening the awareness of women's needs and ensuring that t h e i r input i s provided i s to include them i n 117 p o l i c y and decision-making a c t i v i t i e s . To t h i s end, there should be equal representation provided on l o c a l commissions and advisory bodies throughout the region. To oversee the effectiveness of providing equal representation and ensuring that women's issues are adequately dealt with on the public agenda, t h i s thesis recommends that there should be a regionally-focussed women's advocacy body, such as a Greater Vancouver Commission on Women. Sp e c i f i c issues that t h i s Commission should focus on include the following p o l i c y recommendations: o Provide a t r a n s i t service that i s more responsive to the needs of women. Although the research did not i d e n t i f y a strong desire for t r a n s i t as an alte r n a t i v e method of transportation, as Michelson (1985) states "The fact that some segments of the population do not now use public t r a n s i t i s no reason for t h e i r needs to be ignored i n t r a n s i t planning." (Michelson, 1985, p.162) Women require a system that i s safe and secure and ad d i t i o n a l l y , as t h i s research suggests, they require t r a n s i t service that i s dependable, affordable and f l e x i b l e . Because women have t r a d i t i o n a l l y been more dependent on alternative means of transportation, t h e i r s p e c i f i c needs should receive more consideration i n any future t r a n s i t planning exercises. Transit planning i s one 118 area that c e r t a i n l y requires more input and involvement by the major c l i e n t group, women. Increase the range of daycare opportunities available at an affordable p r i c e . The group daycare centres that are being provided more frequently with major commercial developments are not necessarily the preferred type of childcare that women require or available at a cost that women can af f o r d . At the same time private home care may not be providing child r e n with the qu a l i t y of care that they require. These concerns require increased i n t e r e s t and further emphasis at a regional l e v e l . Although th i s study did not reveal a strong demand for daycare opportunities, other research (Ward, 1991) indicates that further emphasis i s necessary i n i d e n t i f y i n g what the region's women require to adequately meet t h e i r childcare needs. Expand the d i v e r s i t y and choice of housing types ava i l a b l e  near employment centres, to allow women of d i f f e r i n g  incomes, l i f e s t y l e s and household composition to secure  affordable housing that i s suitable for t h e i r purposes. Besides providing women with more work opportunities c l o s e r to home there should also be further i n t e r e s t i n providing more varied housing opportunities closer to the jobs. As 119 the research indicated, women do not want to f o r f e i t the qu a l i t y of t h e i r jobs for a better workplace l o c a t i o n . Therefore, increasing the range of housing opportunities near employment centres would allow more women the p o s s i b i l i t y to l i v e closer to work. o Ensure that basic services and f a c i l i t i e s are provided at  locations and a scale that i s best suited to women's  requirements. The women interviewed tended to prefer using services and f a c i l i t i e s located closer to home. Therefore, regional and l o c a l plans should recognize that c e n t r a l i z i n g services and f a c i l i t i e s may not be an appropriate action f or women. Increased e f f o r t s should go to i d e n t i f y i n g the urban forms that are best suited to women's a c t i v i t i e s . The previous recommendations present issues that require addressing at a broad regional l e v e l with coordination between the i n d i v i d u a l c i t i e s and municipalities. There are also more locally-based concerns that require further attention at the l o c a l l e v e l . To t h i s regard, t h i s thesis also proposes the following recommendations for the consideration of the c i t i e s and m u n i c i p a l i t i e s : o Develop a promotional program to increase the awareness of  town centre residents and workers of the wide range of services and a c t i v i t i e s available. Information should be dispersed to l o c a l businesses as well as l o c a l firms. Information kiosks could be located at areas where workers tend to frequent. Many of the women interviewed were not aware of the f a c i l i t i e s and services that were already available. This recommendation enables women with time constraints, such as a short lunch break, to be made aware of what i s available and reduces the e f f o r t required to search out th i s information. Encourage developers and employers i n remote o f f i c e centres  to provide employees with transportation a l t e r n a t i v e s , such  as shuttle service between the centre and public t r a n s i t  f a c i l i t i e s . This action could increase the employment opportunities for t r a n s i t dependent women as well as contribute to the GVRD's objective for a t r a n s i t oriented transportation system. Encourage developers of remote o f f i c e centres to include  a n c i l l a r y services and f a c i l i t i e s , such as a banking  machine, postal substation, and small convenience out l e t . A s i g n i f i c a n t share of the region's suburban o f f i c e employment continues to exis t outside the Regional Town Centres, therefore some basic f a c i l i t i e s are required to serve the women and other workers at these locations. 121 o Require a t t r a c t i v e pedestrian f a c i l i t i e s and usable open  space with a l l major o f f i c e centres, whether i n town  centres or elsewhere. According to the research, women at a l l work locations want outdoor areas and pedestrian routes for relaxation purposes. o Provide a v a r i e t y of destinations by l i n k i n g centres or  a c t i v i t i e s with pedestrian f a c i l i t i e s . Many of the women interviewed suggested that they preferred walking when they had a destination. Furthermore, an improved pedestrian network could encourage and allow more women to walk to work. o Include affordable housing and a range of housing types as  an i n t e g r a l component of regional town centre development. Although already discussed as a regional issue, t h i s recommendation i s also included here because of the s i g n i f i c a n t role that l o c a l governments play i n providing support for t h i s objective within t h e i r municipality. The thesis recognizes that to some extent many of these recommendations are currently being pursued by the Region and i t s member communities. However, the research has found that 122 further emphasis i s s t i l l required i n a l l of the areas mentioned above. It i s also recognized that the findings of t h i s research and the conclusions and recommendations presented are based on interviews of small groups of female suburban o f f i c e workers. Therefore, a further recommendation of t h i s thesis i s that more attention should be focussed within the region on i d e n t i f y i n g the s p e c i f i c needs and requirements of i t s women workers. Although t h i s research has t r i e d to discover women's s a t i s f a c t i o n with t h e i r current position as well as to i d e n t i f y t h e i r i d e a l s i t u a t i o n , i t has been more successful with the former than the l a t t e r . Consequently, further research should be undertaken to i d e n t i f y the form and elements of an urban environment that are best suited to women's a c t i v i t y patterns, personal needs and s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , and can provide them with a working environment that contributes to an improved q u a l i t y of l i f e and increased l i v a b i l i t y . 6.4 RESEARCH CONTRIBUTIONS Although there has been growing recognition of the need for including a gender perspective i n urban research and po l i c y , to a large extent the o f f i c e l i t e r a t u r e has f a i l e d to adequately address t h i s issue. To t h i s regard, the findings of t h i s research contribute to the l i t e r a t u r e on suburban o f f i c e s and employment by: 123 o Identifying reason's for women choosing suburban o f f i c e employment; o Offering insight into employee's attitudes about suburban o f f i c e locations; and o Complimenting e x i s t i n g l i t e r a t u r e on the transportation and commuting patterns of women working i n suburban o f f i c e s ; By l i n k i n g the requirements of women with the features and ch a r a c t e r i s t i c s of suburban employment centres, t h i s thesis also attempts to provide a bridge between two f i e l d s of research - suburban o f f i c e s and employment, and working women. This thesis has st r i v e d to increase awareness for including gender considerations i n studies about suburban o f f i c e s and employment. Contributions are made to the academic l i t e r a t u r e supporting a gender perspective by confirming that the GVRD's objectives for town centres could be more e f f e c t i v e , as well as more relevant to women workers, i f they included a gender component. 124 FOOTNOTES [1] Richmond was designated as a City i n December 1990. It was previously The Corporation of the Township of Richmond. [2] Secondary sector - unski l l e d blue and white c o l l a r jobs having low wages and fringe benefits, poor working conditions, high labour turnover and l i t t l e chance for advancement. (Wekerle and Rutherford, 1989, p.142) [3] A GVRD survey of public and private corporations' future l o c a t i o n a l plans i d e n t i f i e d rapid t r a n s i t as a precondition for relocation. (GVRD, 1974c) [4] The Vancouver CMA covers a larger area than the GVRD (the region). 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OFFICE includes: FINANCE - Banks, c r e d i t unions, security brokers, investment companies INSURANCE REAL ESTATE MEDICAL/DENTAL - Doctors' o f f i c e s , health services ACCOUNTANT/LAWYERS GOVERNMENT OTHER B. RETAIL & SHOPPING CENTRES include: FOOD GENERAL MERCHANDISE - Department and vari e t y stores AUTO RELATED CLOTHING & DRY GOODS HARDWARE - Building materials, paint, wallpaper, etc. LUMBER SALES HOUSEHOLD FURNATURE & APPLIANCES DRUG STORES OTHER RETAIL - Secondhand, antiques, art dealers and supplies, r e t a i l nurseries, shoe sales, books and stationary, f l o r i s t , jewellery, l i q u o r , tobacco, sporting goods, photography shops. SHOPPING CENTRES - Includes a l l commercial a c t i v i t i e s located i n shopping centres ( r e t a i l , o f f i c e and serv i c e ) . They are is o l a t e d from other r e t a i l uses because they often include services and o f f i c e s i n a primarily r e t a i l environment, and par t l y because of t h e i r 'lumpiness' or tendency to develop i n large blocks over a short period of time. C. PERSONAL SERVICE includes: REPAIR SHOPS RESTAURANTS HOTELS, MOTELS TRAILER COURTS RENTAL SERVICES - Furniture, T.V., appliance, car, truck, machinery and equipment. 137 RECREATION - Theatres, bowling, b i l l i a r d s , golf clubs, tennis clubs, health spas, marinas, etc. PERSONAL SERVICES - Barbers, beauty salons, laundaries, cleaners, t a i l e r s OTHER SERVICES - Radio, T.V. and e l e c t r i c a l appliance repair, watch and jewellery repair, shoe repair, funeral services, caterers, building and dwelling services, clubs and lodges. 138 APPENDIX B LETTER REQUESTING FIRM'S COOPERATION FOR EMPLOYEE INTERVIEWS 139 January 15, 1991 Name Positio n Firm Street C i t y , Province Postal Code Dear: SUBJECT: INTERVIEW ON THE IMPORTANCE OF WORK LOCATION AND SETTING FOR FEMALE OFFICE EMPLOYEES IN THE VANCOUVER REGION My name i s Lynda C h a l l i s , a graduate student at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, working under the d i r e c t i o n of Dr. Walter Hardwick. I am presently conducting research for a thesis assessing female o f f i c e employees' s a t i s f a c t i o n with the l o c a t i o n of t h e i r suburban work place. The s p e c i f i c purpose of t h i s research i s to evaluate the effectiveness of the objectives of the Greater Vancouver Regional D i s t r i c t ' s Regional Town Centres Program. In order to determine the s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences between how o f f i c e employees i n town centres and i n other suburban locations perceive the l o c a t i o n of t h e i r work place, I w i l l be interviewing employees who work in d i f f e r e n t locations within Richmond and Burnaby. As a firm with o f f i c e employees working i n Richmond's town centre, I am requesting an opportunity to interview some of your female employees. I w i l l need to interview six employees and the interview should not take more than twenty minutes. I am w i l l i n g to schedule the interviews within whatever timetable you f e e l would be appropriate. Because University of B r i t i s h Columbia policy requires written subject consent for p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n interviews, a sample consent form has been attached for your information. As the consent form indicates, individual survey responses w i l l be kept c o n f i d e n t i a l and your employees have the right to refuse to p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h i s interview or to withdraw at any time. APPENDIX C LETTER REQUESTING EMPLOYEE'S PARTICIPATION 142 January 28, 1991 Firm Name Street C i t y , Province Postal Code Attention: Dear: SUBJECT: INTERVIEW ON THE IMPORTANCE OF WORK LOCATION AND SETTING FOR FEMALE OFFICE EMPLOYEES IN THE VANCOUVER REGION My name i s Lynda C h a l l i s , a graduate student at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, working under the d i r e c t i o n of Dr. Walter Hardwick. I am presently conducting research for a thesis assessing female employees' s a t i s f a c t i o n with the l o c a t i o n of t h e i r suburban work place. The s p e c i f i c purpose of t h i s research i s to evaluate the effectiveness of the objectives of the Greater Vancouver Regional D i s t r i c t ' s Regional Town Centres Program. As a female employee of a firm located in Richmond, you are inv i t e d to p a r t i c i p a t e i n an interview. Your name has been randomly selected from your employer's l i s t of s t a f f . It i s expected that the interview w i l l not take more than twenty minutes of your time and your employer has agreed to allow the interview to occur during your work hours. Because University of B r i t i s h Columbia policy requires written subject consent for p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n interviews, a written consent form has been attached. I f you agree to the interview, please f i l l i n t h i s form. I w i l l telephone you during the week of January 21-25 to determine your inter e s t i n p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n t h i s study. The individual survey responses w i l l be kept c o n f i d e n t i a l and you have the right to refuse to p a r t i c i p a t e i n th i s interview or to withdraw at any time. A summary of the findings (not individual responses) w i l l be made available to you upon request. Thank you for your time and p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h i s study. Your t r u l y , Lynda C h a l l i s 144 APPENDIX D INTERVIEW QUESTIONS DIRECTED TO WOMEN SUBURBAN OFFICE WORKERS 145 INTERVIEW ON FEMALE OFFICE EMPLOYEES' PERCEPTIONS OF WORK PLACE ACCESSIBILITY AND SETTING (THE IMPORTANCE OF WORK LOCATION FOR EMPLOYEES') EMPLOYEE'S WORK CONTEXT The first group of questions are interested in what type of work you are doing, how long you have worked for this firm and why you chose this company. Some of my questions will ask for specific answers and others will be phrased as statements that I'd like you to complete. 1. Please tell me your present occupation or job title? 2 . Now, briefly describe your job. 3. How long have you worked at "name of firm" 4. Please tell me your reasons for accepting your job with this firm and please start with the most important reason. 146 5. When you obtained this job, had you also been looking for work elsewhere? 6. Please tell me where else you had looked for work. I would like to know which municipalities you considered working in? 1 Vancouver 2 Burnaby 3 Richmond 4 Surrey 5 Delta 6 the North Shore 7 New Westminster 8 Port Coquitlam/Coquitlara/Port Moody 9 Lower Mainland (all of the above) 10 other areas, such as... 7. Did you look for work in a town centre (such as Metrotown, Richmond Town Centre)? Which town centres did you consider? 8. Before this job did you work outside the home? 9. If you worked in the Vancouver region, please give me the nearest street intersection to your previous place of work. 147 10. How important is it for you to work near each of the following places or activities? Please tell me if it is important (1), not important (2), or neither important nor not important (3). home buses or Skytrain shopping daycare entertainment activities 11. What other activities do you think are important near work? TRANSPORTATION TO WORK The next set of questions are interested in how you travel to work and how long it takes for you to go from your home to the office. 1. Please tell me how you usually travel to work and how many minutes the trip usually takes. When you travel by car do you usually travel alone? Do you drive directly to work or do you make any stops along the way? Minutes 1 car 2 carpool or shared ride 3 transit (bus or skytrain) 4 taxi 5 motorcycle 6 bicycle 7 walking 8 other... 148 Is your trip home the same? If you use a different method of travel home or if the trip is longer or shorter, please tell me how do you usually travel home and how many minutes does that trip normally take? Minutes 1 car 2 carpool or shared ride 3 transit (bus or skytrain) 4 taxi 5 motorcycle 6 bicycle 7 walking 8 other... If at least once a week you use a different means of travelling to work, please tell me how you travel and how long that trip usually takes. Minutes 1 car 2 carpool or shared ride 3 transit (bus or skytrain) 4 taxi 5 motorcycle 6 bicycle 7 walking 8 other... 5. Are you using your preferred method of transportation? If you are not using your preferred method for travelling to work, how would you rather travel? 1 car 2 carpool or shared ride 3 transit (bus or skytrain) 4 taxi 5 motorcycle 6 bicycle 7 walking 8 other... 6. Why don't you use this method of transportation? WORK LOCATION AND SURROUNDING AREA Now I would like to ask you about the location of your office and the area around it. 1. Please tell me your general level of satisfaction with the location of your current place of work. Would you say you are: Very Satisfied (1) Satisfied (2) Neither Satisfied Nor Dissatisfied (3) Dissatisfied (4) Very Dissatisfied (5) 150 2. The following is a list of things that could contribute to your satisfaction with where you work. For each item please tell me if you think it contributes to your workplace satisfaction and how satisfied you are now. Contribute Satisfaction 1 The time that it takes you to travel between your work and home. 2 The amount of parking available near work. 3 Access to free parking. 4 Frequent bus service to work. 5 A variety of types of stores for shopping. 6 Fitness facilities. 7 Entertainment activities. 8 Daycare opportunities for my children. 9 Educational facilities for myself. 10 Educational facilities for other members of my family. 11 A park or other outdoor open space. 12 A variety of restaurants to use at lunchtime. 13 A variety of restaurants for going to dinner after work. 14 Access to personal services, such as banks, a post office, drycleaners, or hair salons. 15 Medical or dental services. 16 Interesting places to go for a walk. 17 A surrounding area that feels safe and secure. Did any of these things contribute to your decision to accept your current job? 3. I would use the following words to describe the area around the building that I work in: 151 4. I have a list of activities which may be located within walking distance to your office. If any of these activities are near your office please tell me how often and when you use them. You may use them before work, during work hours such as lunchtime or coffeebreaks, after work or during other times of the week, such as weekends. Daily(1) Before Work (A) At Least Once A Week (2) During Work (B) Occasionally (3) After Work (C) Never (4) Other Times (D) Not Available (-) stores selling groceries and other household necessities stores catering to childrens's needs stores catering to your clothing or other personal needs stores for browsing or window shopping restaurants QueS-4 Ques.5 theatres library hair salon drycleaning banking medical or dental offices educational facilities daycare post office fitness centre or facilities parks or outdoor open space indoor seating areas outdoor seating areas business activities related to your work 5. Some of these activities are not located near your office. Ideally, would you like these activities located within walking distance of your place of work? If they were, how often and when you would use them? 152 6 . If you walk to activities near your office, what words would you use to describe the walk and the area that you walk through. 7. Given your experience with working in your present location (or Metrotown/Richmond Town Centre), if you changed jobs would an area with similar amenities (or a town centre location) be an important requirement? 8. Please mention any additional concerns or comments that you have about the area around your office. PERSONAL HISTORY These final few questions will provide me with some basic information about you and your family. 1. Which age group are you in? 1 15-24 years 2 25-34 years 3 35-44 years 4 45-54 years 5 55-64 years 6 65 years and over 2. Your marital status is: 1 Single 2 Married or Common-law 3 Other (which includes separated, divorced, widowed) 3. How would you describe your present family or living arrangement? Do you live alone or do you live with other people? Do you live with other adults besides your husband? Are they related or not related to you? Do you have children? How old are your children? 1 Live alone 2 Live with my parent 3 Live with others who are related to me 4 Live with others who are not related to me 5 Couple with no children at home 6 Couple with at least one child under six years 7 Couple with children all over six years old 8 Lone parent with at least 1 child 6 years or under 9 Lone parent with children all over 6 years old 4. What is your postal code? 5. Do you have any other comments or questions about this survey? 

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