UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Closer to home: complete communities from a local perspective : a case study of the Lynn Valley community planning process in the District of North Vancouver Grant, Charlene Marie Barabash


The Greater Vancouver Region is in an era of growth, fundamental change, and reexamination of regional and local quality of life. Within this context, the complete community policies of the Livable Region Strategic Plan have been developed to help achieve a region where human community flourishes within the built and natural environment. At the same time as these policies respond to change, they also demand significant alterations to community and regional priorities and practices. Accepting and pursuing complete community objectives of compactness, diversity and choice in existing suburban communities represents particular challenges. While regional policy reflects a general appreciation of this fact, understanding these challenges from a local perspective is essential to successfully weaving complete community goals into the existing regional fabric, and is the problem addressed by this thesis. Through both a literature review and case study approach, the research sought to identify the factors which support and constrain progress towards more complete communities through local planning in established neighbourhoods. The thesis focuses on the case study of the Lynn Valley community planning process in order to explore how the local perspective might modify inherently regional complete community goals and expectations. The study concludes that achieving a balance between regional goals and local interests is most critical in the Greater Vancouver metropolitan setting. The Lynn Valley case suggests that factors affecting community planning outlined in the literature are realistic and valid in practice. It further suggests that the prospects for achieving complete communities in established neighbourhoods will be influenced by local perspectives on: growth, change, aging in place, and a spirit of fairness in accepting change among local communities. The complete community vision resonates at the local level. Complete community objectives and strategies may be accepted locally to the degree they are seen as a means to achieve community aspirations and improve the quality of life of residents over their life cycle.

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