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Residential development in the City of North Vancouver. Amissah, Samuel Bentsi

Abstract

This study examines the relationships between the residential density and prices of residential land in the Lonsdale Area of the City of North Vancouver during the period 1967-1970. Specifically it investigates the nature of the pattern of spatial relationship between the distribution of residential density and the distribution of land prices. It also identifies the extent to which the form of the relationship is associated with the nature of change in the residential density, and the distance from Lonsdale Avenue. The study area is divided into three sectors (Upper, Central and Lower Lonsdale) to facilitate identification of patterns in locations having distinct characteristics and unique site attributes. Similarly, the three blocks east and west of Lonsdale Avenue are included in the study area to enhance the identification of the effects of distance from Lonsdale Avenue. The technique used consists of a format, which is essentially a matrix-cum-grid, and which coincides with the cadastral map of the City in terms of streets, blocks and sectors. This format is the main vehicle used in organising and analysing the data for both density and price. The potential in the technique enhances an easy identification of changes, trends, and movement in both density and price, and the spatial relationship between them. The units of measurement are so selected that they aid measurability and comparability within each variable, and between them, thus helping in locating relationships. Due to wide margins of prices and fluctuations, the method of aggregation, or grouping averages, is used. The investigation establishes that there is a pattern of spatial relationship between the distribution of residential density and the distribution of land prices, and that this relationship is associated with the nature of change in the residential density, and the distance from Lonsdale Avenue. It concludes that: a) economic and social factors underly the increases in density and price, as well as the relationships between them; b) the period 1967-1970 was favourable for investment in apartment development, and fertile for speculation; c) the 1967 Zoning By-Laws, and the financial capacities of developers, direct and control residential densities to a large extent; d) depending on location and other attributes, land characteristics are both homogeneous and heterogeneous. The implications of these conclusions are evaluated in terms of apartment development policy for the City of North Vancouver, and in terms of the present state of our theoretical understanding of the subject of density and price. Areas for further research are suggested, and observations made on the methodology and technique applied in the study.

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