UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Breaking the line : integrating poetry, polyphony, & planning practice Hurford, Dianna


Languages currently used by planners to conceptualize, document, and present projects lack expansive imagination and polyphonic literacy. Planning demands new languages to address social and environmental challenges within our increasingly cross-cultural urban environments. Although storytelling theory in planning has expanded contemporary understanding of what constitutes method and practice within the discipline of planning, there has been little work to date explicating what poetry offers to planning education and practice. This thesis examines several opportunities and challenges in adopting poetry into contemporary practice in Vancouver, British Columbia using a multi-method approach. Methods include: a literature review on planning projects collaborating with artists; an ethnomethodological analysis of interviews with four Vancouver poets; a constructionist analysis of a planning text and a re/formation experiment with poetry; and finally, autoethnographic 'poetry as inquiry'. Learnings suggest that a critical approach to poetry offers an alternative language to connect to both 'self as planner' and to the multitude of overlapping voices of 'publics' in process, document, and presentation.

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