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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The development of neighbourhood in Kitsilano : ideas, actors and the landscape Carr, Adriane Janice


Kitsilano, a Vancouver inner-city neighbourhood is an intriguing place which has developed from a middle-class community of single-family homes to an area of apartments and condominiums attracting young singles and childless professionals. In its early years, a number of active resident groups promoted the development and solidarity of a family-oriented place. They appeared, to some degree, to have successfully challenged the activities of City Hall and real estate developers who were encouraging industrial, and high density residential land use. In later years, however, residents seemed to undermine their earlier goals by actively supporting residential upzoning. The primary objective of this thesis is to understand the apparently contradictory behaviour of these resident groups in the community development process. An understanding of behaviour lies, most fruitfully, in the probing of motivations which prompt action. Since these resident groups were intentionally involved with shaping the character of their local area, this thesis focuses its attention on their ideas of neighbourhood. In order to understand both the ideas and actions of residents more fully, a case study of one resident group - the Kitsilano Ratepayers' Association - provides the bulk of data. Extensive reference is made, however, to. other community associations.. The more detailed data sources which expose group ideology and behaviour include private group records and personal interviews. In order to allow the emergence of themes, data is examined inductively using content analysis methods which range from rigorous frequency counts to the more subjective noting of key quotes. Contextual information regarding the general process of community development is provided by archival materials, local newspapers, maps, census and school board records and city directories. The data suggest that two concepts of neighbourhood - communal and private - simultaneously underlay resident action, and that the community groups in Kitsilano appeared to focus the greatest effort on promoting their private ideals.

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