UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A study of image: Maillardville British Columbia Goddard, Charles R.


This study is the result of my curiosity about what makes urban places special and memorable. I believe that if the various physical components distinguishing urban places are identified and analyzed, we can develop principles and policies to preserve and enhance them. I chose Maillardville as the study area because of my familiarity with area, its historical and cultural significance, and because Maillardville is currently undergoing a physical transformation. Although place images may be an intangible urban quality, they are not difficult to study. Careful observation and resident interviews are efficient and economical tools to discover the various components of the urban image. From there it is possible to develop a visual plan for the preservation and enhancement of a particular place's image. In the course of this investigation I discovered that a direct relationship exists between Maillardville's physical components and the public image and that this public image focuses almost exclusively on the early settlement located in the Laval Square area. Recent changes outside this area are not significant to the residents' perception of the public image. Yet changes, such as the new commercial and multi-family redevelopments, when undertaken in a fashion which reflects Maillardville's cultural and historical context, are recognized by residents as supportive elements and with time will likely become significant to the public image. From this it appears that residents prefer to live in a unique environment that reflects a sense of continuity with the past. It is my hope that this study will contribute to the continuation of Maillardville as a unique place by identifying the image elements and illustrating their importance to the existing place image.

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