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The evolution of heritage conservation planning in theory and practice : a case study of Victoria, British Columbia Fox, Chloe M.


This research explores in the intersection of theory and practice in heritage conservation planning and its connections to broader urban planning considerations. In doing so, this research presents a case study of the evolution of heritage conservation projects, policies and implementation programs in the area of Old Town and Chinatown in the downtown core of Victoria, British Columbia. Community plans, policy documents and implementation tools concerning heritage conservation and planning for the Old Town and Chinatown area are analyzed in addition to newspaper articles, online discussion forums and books on the subject of such efforts. In addition, an analysis of how particular policies and implementation tools play out at the level of an individual conservation project is presented through an examination of the Morley’s Soda Factory, a recent rehabilitation and adaptive reuse project within Old Town. The research demonstrates that in both conservation theory and conservation practice there has been a broadening in the justifications for conservation, in its subject matter and in the range of social groups involved since its effective beginnings in the mid- to late-18th century. Once a narrowly defined discipline concerned with preserving a restricted set of supposedly architecturally beautiful or historically significant buildings, as defined by elite values, conservation is now recognized as having linkages to the property market, economic development, cultural values, social capital, land use planning, waste management and urban design. In addition, the case study suggests that, at the level of an individual city and district, the particular trajectory of heritage conservation policy is highly dependent on the social, political and economic context of the locality. In particular, it considers the roles of the public and private sectors as well as the general public in the conservation process and the implications of these roles on conservation and urban planning goals.

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