UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Complete communitites: moving from academic rhetoric to action Brueton, Lea Anne


The suburb is not a modern concept. Although many authors tend to begin the history of the suburb after World War II, the suburb actually dates back to the 1800s. The rapid growth of the suburb following World War II resulted in many problems. By the late 1980s and the early 1990s new planning and development models were presented as solutions to the problems of the conventional homogeneous suburb. One solution was complete communities. Advocates of complete communities argue that their design and planning principles alleviate most of the problems created by the suburb. The past 50 decades, however, have been dedicated to the development of the single family suburb. This practice has resulted in several barriers to the development and implementation of complete communities. This paper outlines the barriers faced by complete community projects in the Southeast portion of Vancouver Island and some communities in the Lower Mainland. These barriers can be overcome. The objective of this thesis is to illustrate the practices that can be applied to complete community projects in order to minimize or overcome the barriers they face. The practices that aid in overcoming these barriers are drawn from interviews with the key players in the complete community development project of the Straiton Neighbourhood in the City of Abbotsford. The key practices are: • to educate the key players about the planning and design principles of complete communities; • to develop long term relationships amongst the key players and; • to illustrate the long term commitment made by the developer of a complete community. As more complete community projects come through the process and are built, more and more innovative approaches to addressing these barriers may be found. Ideally, the approval and development process for complete communities will become more efficient and less time consuming for all those involved.

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