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A comparision of land use changes in Richmond, British Columbia; a study of urban expansion upon an agricultural area in a rural-urban fringe. Ulmer, Arno Leopold

Abstract

As a metropolitan area expands, fringe areas are influenced by the growing number of people and urban functions. Agricultural and vacant areas are converted into residential, industrial, commercial and institutional sites. In recent years a greater concern has arisen over the manner in which land is converted and the effects of such conversion upon an agricultural region. This study describes and analyses the land use pattern of one such region, Richmond, British Columbia, for the years 1930, 1949 and 1958. The land use data is represented cartographically and statistically. Changes which occurred during the intervening years and after 1958 are noted and reasons for them either explained or suggested, depending upon the availability of information. The major emphasis is on the effect of increasing urban expansion upon the character of the agricultural land use pattern, and upon Richmond's role as an agricultural and suburban area within the Greater Vancouver region. Since the 1958 analysis is based upon a detailed land use survey conducted by the author, more specific information is given on the character of land use than for any other period. Regional differences in field crops, amounts of agriculture per section and problems resulting from wastage of land in subdivisions are examples of the factors considered in the thesis. The effect of the past haphazard manner of urban development, especially residential, has created a jumbled land use pattern with large, unproductive or unused areas. Little consideration has been given to the consequences of this increased sporadic urbanization upon agriculture and the municipality. In the future an ever-growing population in the Greater Vancouver area will create further demands for more urban land in the fringe areas, such as Richmond. Sound planning will be needed to ensure a more orderly and less wasteful development of the region's valuable land resources.

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