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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Goals and their realization in planning and building an instant town : Gold River Lozovsky, Nicolas

Abstract

The development of resources has always been one of the important factors of Canadian economy. As Canada's resource and industrial frontier extends further to the north, lasting and self-sufficient communities have become increasingly difficult to create. The first settlements were not permanent and the inhabitants' needs and demands were limited. With time needs and demands evolved and became more complex in nature. The evolution of such settlements from camps, through company towns, to incorporated towns can be traced in terms of these demands and needs. Instant resource towns, unlike, camps or company towns, are the result of a rather complicated planning process. The goal formulation of this process is much more complex, involving many external factors. Goal specification, especially where explicit goals are concerned, becomes not only a function of the criteria set, or the needs of the inhabitants, but also of the different needs and interests of each of the individual planning and policy making bodies. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the process involved in the creation of Gold River, an instant town. The planning and building processes will be examined in order to determine the discrepancies between the goals specified, both, explicit and implicit, in the planning process and the final product. The aim of the study is, therefore, to analyse the different circumstances and factors that lead to the creation of Gold River and the philosophy of the different people who contributed to it. The planning process, concerned specifically with Gold River, is analysed. An attempt is made to differenciate between the different explicit and implicit goals of each of the individual planning bodies involved. Through the analysis of this process, both, positive and negative results are studied. The method of study consists of a comparison of goals expressed in the planning process, by the different bodies interested, with the results achieved. Such comparison will allow the author to determine to what extent some of the goals have been achieved and will show how the performance of the physical environment relates to the expectations. The study is based on the results of a questionnaire gathered on a field trip to the town. The goals of the different planning bodies were determined by interviewing the parties concerned and by analysing published pamphlets concerning Gold River development. The study also describes Gold River in its different aspects as the author saw it from direct observation and from information obtained from other sources. Furthermore, an evaluation of the physical, economic and social aspects of the town in terms of user satisfaction or dissatisfaction was derived from the questionnaire. The analysis and evaluation of achievements reveals some of the causes of user dissatisfaction, high population turnover and instability to be inherent in the planning process. Achievements are considered from the point of view of both: the different planning bodies and the inhabitants. The conclusions support the hypotheses that: - Discrepancies between the inhabitants' expectations of the town and the actual reality have profound social implications. - Goal misinterpretation and partial realization is due to lack of communication between the different bodies involved in the planning process. - In the planning process goals should be expressed explicitly and clearly. The study has also shown that the problem of isolation, lack of diversity, population turnover and, lack of growth, which plagued resource towns in the past, still are major problems in the incorporated, ultramodern, instant town of Gold River. This indicates that in the planning for such towns: - The size and density of the community should be taken into consideration. - Growth and diversification of industries, as factors necessary to make a place lasting and livable, should be kept in mind. - It should be emphasized that the stability of a community is a function of the population turnover. - It is necessary to provide for substantial recreational facilities. The phenomenon of Instant towns is a recent innovation in this province and should be better understood and thus improved. This study is an attempt to contribute to a better understanding of the factors involved in the creation of such a town and therefore may be instrumental in the creation of other, better towns.

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