UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Administrative response to the social aspects of community planning in Vancouver, B.C., 1965-1971 Jackson, Solomon


The primary objective of this thesis was to achieve some understanding of the relationships which exist between the community planners and social planners in the planning process. The author studied the municipal planning system in Vancouver, British Columbia, giving particular attention to the interrelationships or linkages between the groups within the planning system; the differing attitudes and conceptions between members of the two groups, and the extent to which these concepts generate functional and dysfunctional conflict. The secondary objective was to examine the evolving role of the social planner within the planning process in some depth, giving particular consideration to the historical evolution of social planning and some contemporary theoretical concepts of social planning; and to make a comparison of the 1971 practice of social planning with the original objectives of establishing a social planning agency in 1968. The research methodology was presented in detail so that the limitations of the data would be revealed. A historical survey was made, beginning with the mid-Nineteenth Century when planning and social planning were considered one, through to the two distinct emphases noticeable around the turn of the Century and on to the current social milieu. Organizational theorists suggest that an organizational structure may affect the attitudes of personnel in the system, and that these attitudes may result in functional or dysfunctional conflict. For these reasons the author examined the interrelationships between Social and Physical Planners. Using theoretical concepts of organization and conflict, the writer reviewed the social aspects of planning and the role Social Planners play in the planning process. The data revealed minimal organizational links and little but increasing inter-action between the two planning groups. The information also showed that both functional and dysfunctional conflict existed in the system. The Social Planning/Community Development Department's Terms of Reference appeared to define social planning theory in Vancouver in 1968. This was compared with social planning practice in 1971, as perceived by the Social Planners and others. The perceptions Social Planners had of social planning in 1971 differed from the stated "ideal" of 1968. In turn, the non-Social Planners perceived social planning differently from the Social Planners. The data did not indicate categorically that conflicts resulted from the differing viewpoints but the writer was able to postulate that the conflict was the result of differing attitudes and conceptions held by the two groups of planners in the system. An analysis and evaluation was made using the historical antecedents and contemporary theoretical concepts of planning. The evaluation indicated that the public planning process in Vancouver may not be organized in a manner which would result in the most effective planning. Nor does the system assure that the social aspects of planning are most energetically pursued. Among the conclusions drawn was one that consideration might be given to the re-integration of physical and social planning into one civic unit where numerous disciplinary skills are involved, including that of social analysis, so that "the totality of the whole of the planning process" might be emphasized to bring about desired urban change.

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