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Ports and public access : developing an approach for recognizing the opportunities for public access to the port-oriented urban waterfront. Burke, D. Leslie

Abstract

This study is concerned with developing an approach by which the impact of changing technology and land use can be viewed as an opportunity to increase public access to the port-oriented urban waterfront. Like most, this study represents the fruition of an idea developed over many months. In part, the idea was spawned during the summer of 1970 when both authors, under the direction of Dr. V.S. Pendakur, were engaged in a series of studies concerned with developmental activities which directly and indirectly involved the Port of Vancouver. Through what was initially a personal but rather casual concern for recreational use of the downtown water-front emerged the larger issue of the port's changing profile and the opportunities which it provided. In the early conceptualization and development of a study, one is host to numerous ideas, approaches, and perspectives. When two people collaborate to write a study -- as in this case -- the number of ideas and their subsequent interactions can prove sufficiently formidable as to make a task unworkable. Happily, this rather unproductive situation did not emerge in the instance of this paper because of the many similar views shared by the authors and because of early agreement on several basic issues. Initially, a decision was made that the study must be both exploratory and explanatory. The research experience gained during the summer of 1970 indicated that great quantities of information regarding the topic to be considered were already available, albeit in many scattered and sometimes obscure places. While acknowledging the academic significance of generating original data, it was felt that an appropriate aggregation of existing data coupled with a presentation and analysis of current trends was both sorely needed and of infinitely greater practical value. For it was in the proper combination of the available data that trends could be perceived and planning opportunities appreciated. It was then decided that a general explication of the issue was insufficient; rather, that the study must specifically examine a single area in order to provide an opportunity for the nuances of the problem to emerge. Thus the form and approach were, set: a broadly based but detailed consideration of the changing port-oriented urban water-front, followed by an in-depth study of a single such water-front — Vancouver, British Columbia. In an undertaking such as this one -- concerned as it is with many cities and many waterfront developments -- generalizations are sometimes inescapable. However, in that part of the study dealing specifically with Vancouver, it must be assumed that the conclusions drawn in that section relate only to that city. The parallels from the study of Vancouver that are of general application are discussed in the concluding chapter. As in any instance of joint development and authorship, it can become extraordinarily difficult to identify chapters or divisions of the total piece as the work of one or the other author. Such is the case with this study. Nonetheless, as it is necessary to individually ascribe authorship, it can be said that both authors shared fully in the development of Chapters IV and V, that D. Leslie Burke was primarily responsible for Chapter II and the Appendix, and that Stephen H. Silverman was primarily responsible for Chapters I and III.

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