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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Regional planning in British Columbia : 50 years of vision, process and practice Chadwick, Narissa Ann


Through the use of oral and written history, this thesis examines forces and factors contributing to key events and defining phases in the history of regional planning in British Columbia. Regional planning, which emerged in BC in the late 1940s in response to the need to address problems related to urban growth in the Lower Mainland, has taken on a number of forms over the past half-century. During this time the regional approach to planning has been introduced as a means of addressing land-use questions and servicing challenges in rural and urban areas, addressing conflicts over resource use and implementing sustainability objectives. This thesis divides regional planning in the province into three main phases. The first phase (1940s to 1970s) is characterized by the introduction of regional planning legislation, regional planning bodies and processes in response to rapid growth and development. The second phase (late 1970s to 1980s) is marked by the rescinding of regional district planning powers and other setbacks to the regional planning system imposed by the government of the day. The third phase (1990s) is a time of rebirth and redefinition of regional planning priorities and processes in the face of increasing challenges related to urban growth and resource management. While some links to exogenous influences are identified, analysis of key themes and trends in BC's regional planning history reveals the major roles the province's geography, economy, system of governance, politics, and the people involved in regional planning processes have played in shaping regional planning policy, process, and practice. Based on this historical review a number of recommendations for future research and direction are proposed.

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