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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Opportunities along Vancouver's waterfront : a gateway to False Creek at Hadden Park Whittaker, Anne-Marie


Local and regional patterns and qualities of form and topos are central to placemaking and imageability of a city. These qualities can support, enrich and dictate the functions, events and experience of place that are expressive and appropriate to that region. This idea is from both critical regionalism and the general notion that in great places, form and activities share a logical symbiosis with the landscape. The current planning approach for future development and design at Vancouver's waterfront does not fully capitalize on the qualities of landscape and its tremendous inherent opportunities for programming and design. As an alternate approach to locating future development, this project examines the regional landscape patterns and qualities of form and topos along the waterfront as a framework for locating new development opportunities along the waterfront. The landscape framework identifies six key landforms along the waterfront: the promontory, peninsula, escarpment, bay, narrows and inlet. Each landform is described through the use of the preposition and its 'role' in the City determined from this description. For example, a promontory and peninsula are prominent, locative features, described as out, above, and in front of. Located along a passage, its role is a landmark for navigation, a transportation node, lookout, historic marker, place for public art, etc. A concept design for a gateway to False Creek in Hadden Park is generated to demonstrate how the landscape framework is applied. Positioned at the entrance to False Creek and on a promontory, the park's strong association with the water and role as a 'gateway' within the City is a great place for a Boater Community and Welcome Centre. The concept design builds on the promontory as a main axis, extends public activities outward onto, the water, marks the gateway and creates a major public water transportation node. The landform and its landscape appropriate design becomes an imageable reference point within the City, hosts new public activities and generates additional meaning along the waterfront. Landscape based framework as a planning approach to future waterfront development ensures that key places within the City (for instance, viewpoints, landmarks, gateways, etc.) are marked and recognized. It provides a stronger link to Vancouver's regional identity, imageability within the urban fabric, and sense of place with exciting and meaningful opportunities.

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