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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Transportation planning as if the neighbourhood mattered : Part II a case study of the Broadway Skytrain Station in Vancouver, BC, Canada Hurmuses, April Dea

Abstract

Although the region has acquired expertise in the physical dimensions of rapid transit implementation, that expertise has not translated into a better understanding of social impacts on communities which host this regional amenity. The Broadway Station area is such a community. Although the City of Vancouver is responsible for planning the Broadway Station area community, many provincial decisions have had far-reaching consequences and do not correspond with municipal policy for the community. The province has introduced region-serving programs and facilities into the community despite municipal policy that the Broadway Station area would not serve a regional role. As a consequence, the community is becoming increasingly unlivable. There is a de facto policy vacuum. Moreover, there is a lack of coordination and an absence of protocols for managing and sharing data. There is little, if any, coordination of senior government actions, and the actions of various levels of government and their agencies have resulted in the Broadway Station Area failing to achieve the goal of community livability, for the resident community. The City of Vancouver, within which the case study station resides, has so far been unable to respond to the challenge that the station poses. The degree to which the station area is becoming dysfunctional is not known to the city. Consequently, the thesis question "Is the Broadway Station Area worse off than before SkyTrain" posed a significant challenge. In addition to a review of the case study planning process, which was conducted by the thesis researcher in the latter half of 1996, this thesis adds interviews with professional planners and a limited empirical study to answer the thesis question. By looking at a limited number of key census indicators, and cross comparing that with other data sources, the thesis found that the community's perception has merit, although a great deal more data must be compiled. To better understand what works in the Canadian context of transit-oriented planning, we need to support ongoing qualitative community planning with the empirical work that would assist in monitoring the effect of policies and program implementation and can address the dynamism of this regional transit node.

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