UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

East Richmond, a proposal for heritage conservation of a rural landscape Jackson, Brian John


In recent years, the conservation of rural landscapes has become an important concern, However, this concern usually takes the form of conserving the productive capabilities of the rural landscape. The conservation of Intangible values which rural landscapes also possess has largely been ignored. The fundamental concern of this paper is to identify and analyze a series of intangible values, specifically heritage values, within a rural landscape. The major purpose, herein, is to devise a heritage inventory of all the widely scattered and diverse scenic, cultural and historical heritage values of a specific rural landscape. Once the inventory is complete, the secondary purpose is to determine how the heritage can be conserved and enhanced while allowing necessary urban and rural development to continue. I chose the rural landscape of East Richmond as my case study. East Richmond, located on the urban-rural fringe of Greater Vancouver, is at a critical point in its agricultural development. Richmond's urban development, which had primarily been confined to West Richmond, is now encroaching on the fringes of the study area and reaching such a magnitude that the remaining scenic, cultural and historical heritage values of the rural landscape are now rapidly diminishing. Before the rural landscape's heritage values are inventoried, I examine the case study area in terms of its prehistory, location, natural features, development patterns, planning and land uses. This last characteristic of the landscape is integral to heritage conservation of rural landscapes, where agricultural land uses, which give the landscape much, of its heritage values, are generally encouraged, while land uses which are aesthetically or functionally incompatible with the rural landscape are discouraged. I based the method of this thesis on a scenic descriptive analysis method in order to inventory the landscape's scenic heritage values,, altering the method to reflect land uses, as well,as significant historical and cultural features, I subdivided the landscape into nine sub-areas or 'sensitivity zones,' based primarily on vegetation and present and future land uses in each zone, which are analyzed for their scenic, cultural or historical heritage values. I then determined landscape quality objectives for each sensitivity zone, ranging from preservation to modification, in order to re-emphasize the rural or natural landscape of East Richmond, conserving and enhancing the existing heritage. As a result of this research, I am convinced of the importance of suburban communities such as Richmond developing a sound heritage conservation program. The cultural, historical and scenic aspects of heritage must be addressed by the local government in order to achieve the greatest public benefit from planning in the rural environment. In order that this benefit is assured, I have outlined fourteen recommendations, which, if implemented, would not only help to conserve and enhance the existing rural landscape, but would also creates a more informed public and administration, together which form a more complete basis for the decision-making process. I conclude the thesis by examining the prospects for heritage conservation of rural landscapes, the planner's role in heritage conservation, and the need for further research.

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