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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Reinventing spaces/reoccuring places : a re-examination of Grand Boulevard at Boulevard Park, North Vancouver Suen, Jennie

Abstract

This thesis explores the design issues of place making within the context of a growing city that has a confined/restricted urban boundary. The challenge is to re-utilize urban space (such as existing roads, lot lines and open areas) to design significant spaces for the community at large. These spaces need to meld together existing layout with new and often more densified programs. This multilayering is a cost effective way for the city to grow and provides a richer, more sustainable environment for its inhabitants. New programs, at the same time, need to recognize the old, historical, and sometime sentimental significance of a place that reverberates within the existing population. The goal is to revitalize the fabric of city-to create vibrant, livable spaces that recognize and enhance the social, historic, sustainable, and economic welfare of a growing city and its inhabitants. Grand Boulevard and Boulevard Park, North Vancouver, British Columbia is one such challenge. Site inventory and analysis provide a platform for evaluating interventions into the cityscape that can maintain the unique and historical infrastructure of Grand Boulevard. A theoretical review of place making, through the ideas of memory and space, defines a design methodology based upon flexible reiterative social spaces for public interaction. The analysis and methodology come together in the design proposal for Grand Boulevard and the adjacent Boulevard Park. The proposal maintains the physical structure of the boulevard and park, while increasing program uses through the incorporation of a community complex and two major promenades. One promenade corresponds to the historic greenway of the Green Necklace which, at this time, the City of North Vancouver is reworking into its city fabric. The other promenade links the civic node of City Hall and Library to the community node of the Grand Boulevard neighbourhood. This design thesis brings together the physical and program structure of Grand Boulevard into a cohesive whole that provides rich spaces that not only can be utilized by the nearby neighbourhood inhabitants but also by the growing population of the City of North Vancouver.

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