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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Residential environs in the urban area Watty, Anthony John

Abstract

This thesis is part of a larger continuous study which deals with the concept of "Life Style" as a force mapping segments of the urban society into reasonably distinct areas within a metropolitan district. This paper then uses the concept of the "Life Style" as a starting point. The life style chosen here for study is connected with those people who select to live in the dense residential environments associated with the urban core. By examining such an area, its context within the metropolis is found, and the elements constituting it and their interconnections are identified. From the form giving forces generated by this information, a residential system is developed that reflects and reinforces the life style of the population under study. The system is evolved in a “model' abstract area that exhibits characteristics and constraints common to many metropoli, and later applied to a real situation in a particular city to test the efficacy of the system under typical conditions. For the sake of the thesis, I have called the model "Intropolis". It is suggested that new skills and new methods will need to be devised to describe the specific segments of the metropolitan area. To describe Intropolis I have asked a number of questions. The necessary information to answer these questions has been found from census data, from our own observations, and from a sample attitude test undertaken in the West End of Vancouver. The questions are as follows: 1. Who are the people that congregate in a specific area and what are their characteristics and attitudes? Here I have described families in the model area, the households, and the attitudes of members of the household to each other. I was also concerned with household economics and its influence on choices; the sources of family income and the kind of work that procured it seemed to have an influence on values and choices made. 2. How is time used? Observation of activities and their position in space and time becomes as important to the environmental designers as the more normal census data. 3. What are the important forms and tools of communication between people? The urban area is often defined as a system of contacts, and it is suggested that the pattern of place and space may influence the nature of contacts, and vice versa that the nature of the contacts will influence the needs of space. New forms of communication have been a great influence on urban form. I found that these tools must however not be taken for granted as they are not equally available to all groups within the community. After completing the description of the model area, information was perceived as a form giving force from which some of the factors which determine the character of the area can be deduced. These are described in the second part of the thesis. They include a) A basic movement system b) A system of relationships of housing to institutions such as schools, hospitals, churches, public and social services, and commercial and business needs. c) A system of contacts and separations within the area, including open and enclosed spaces. d) A range of choice and a range of densities of housing types. The thesis concludes by integrating these forces into a diagrammatic whole on the model area.

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