UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The changing social and political issues and their impact on the community design of the False Creek south development Qiu, Jiang


False Creek is a distinctive neighbourhood in the centre of Vancouver where you would expect to see high density, perhaps high rise development; instead you can see a low and medium rise and low density development with large public open space. It contrasts to the nearby Fairview Slopes and the West End. This thesis tries to investigate and explain what made this land development so different from others. In the 1960s, liberal ideology emerged in Canada. Its influence was felt here in Vancouver. It was embraced by the upcoming new "class" of professional, technical and administrative workers. This new liberal ideology gave new meanings to the ideas of "growth" and "progress". It promoted social equity and livability in urban development; its priority was placed on people not property.Vancouver was transforming from an industrial city to a service oriented post-industrial city. A political party founded at this time, The Elector's Action Movement (TEAM), was liberal-oriented and won the municipal election in 1972. Its election co-incided with the False Creek south development. TEAM innovatively administered the development. It broke away from the former administration, the NPA, and innovatively implemented measures to secure a livable and socially mixed community. The implementation of False Creek south in the first two phases was achieved with the commitment of the TEAM City Council and with the blessings from the federal and provincial government. The result is an innovatively designed and socially mixed neighbourhood in downtown Vancouver. What we can see today in False Creek south shore phase I and II is a legacy of what this party achieved in urban development. With the deterioration of economic situation and the return of a conservative movement in the late 70s and early 80s, TEAM faded away from the municipal politics. Conservative NPA was back to the municipal administration. Urban development was left to the private sector to manipulate.The later two phases became profit driven development with very little concern of social issues. To provide a socially mixed community was not an objective in the later phases in False Creek south. The result is high density, high rise development of the later two phases. This thesis investigates the False Creek south shore development in and after TEAM administration; compares the policies of the two administrations, and the perception of the role of the administration during and after TEAM control; examines the demographic and physical design differences in the same development between different phases. This helps to reveal the inter-relationship between urban development and civic politics and provides a valuable insight into the effects of policy and ideology on the nature of urban development.

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