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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The validity of citizen attitudes as conveyed to politicians and planners through participation and representation McKeen, Kenneth James


Information conveyed to city planners and politicians for use in decision making may not reflect the full range of opinions found in an urban population. People who convey the feelings of the Vancouver population - the participators - hold significantly different ideas about the relative importance of various urban issues than non- participators. People from different local areas of Vancouver also hold differing ideas about the importance of some urban issues. A reliable ten-variable scale of participation developed as part of the study was used to measure the level of participation for each of 779 Vancouver respondents and to determine the means of participation for each of twenty-two Vancouver Local Areas and Point Grey-U.B.C. in which the respondents lived. The comparative usefulness of participation and local neighbourhood areas as predictors of the perceived importance of thirty-five urban issues was tested. Both predictors are statistically significant, but with low prediction coefficients. The differences among local areas in level of participation and in "within area" range of participation have implications for civic administration and planning in Vancouver. A ward system of city government may facilitate an election of members to council which is more spatially representative yet equally efficient than the present at-large system. The existing local area planning system appears to be generally well suited for responding to differences among the local areas in both level and range of participation.

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