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Open 24 hours : a case study of Vancouver and the twenty-four hour city concept Johnston, Jennifer Lee

Abstract

Vancouver has been experiencing a new phase of change that is associated with globalization, the convergence of technology, culture and urban development and demographic factors. In recent years Vancouver's economic base has undergone transformation with a shift in capital and labour from mass production and manufacturing ("Fordist" production), to high-technology productions and producer services. More recently, Vancouver's 'new economy' has become increasingly focussed on the tourist, film and television industry. Market forces and social processes have transformed Vancouver's urban core while planning and local policy initiatives have also been influential agents of change. The City of Vancouver's Central Area Plan (1991) successfully placed emphasis on the importance of downtown residential living. Consequently, Vancouver's downtown has evolved into a place to work, live and socialize creating new social conflicts and tensions. The time has arrived for a new plan to guide the future of Vancouver's Central Area that shifts the focus of policy from 'hard' physical spatial planning to encompass and address 'softer' social and behavioural issues that are increasingly important for future planning endeavours. Vancouver is a dynamic and diverse transnational city with a growing urban population and vibrant central area. As a result, planners are faced with the ongoing challenge of providing livable urban communities while still responding to how people both live and socialize through new and innovative planning schemes. The Twenty-Four Hour City concept offers an opportunity to inform new policy and planning strategy through experimentation and innovation.

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