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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Role of the time element in the urban renewal process : part of a group thesis "The nodular metropolitan concept." Mann, Ronald Edward

Abstract

This thesis reviews and analyzes the importance of the element of time in the process of urban renewal. With the rapid growth of our cities and the increasing number of problems accompanying such growth, the process of urban renewal is an issue of national concern. In order to investigate such a gigantic subject as the city, requires the combined forces of many individuals, groups and organizations. For the investigation of this thesis, a group of five individuals collaborated in the initial stages to develop a framework for the city and its parts. The group approach is outlined in the initial chapter as Section I of the thesis. The hypothesis developed by the group, stated that in North American metropolitan regions, there are many similar problems to contend with, all associated with the present urban form and structure of our cities. To improve the environment and way of life of the inhabitants in the city of metropolitan size, may best be achieved through the application of a new macrostructure to the older central areas. One possible system is that of high density nodes of mixed land use, connected by a rapid system of mass transportation which the group has called the "Nodular Metropolitan Concept". After outlining the problems of the city and developing a matrix of inter-related variables, the individual members of the group persued a subject of their own preference within the scope of the matrix of variables. The topic of this thesis deals with the importance and effect of the time element in the urban renewal process. To stress this importance, a survey of the past and present renewal programs in Canada and the United States is developed in the first two chapters. Then a detailed case study of Vancouver's urban renewal program follows to complete the analysis of present practice. From these studies there emerged certain recurring problems in renewal to which the time element was obviously relevant in varying degrees. Other factors will of course have their effect upon the urban renewal process, but in many of the steps in renewal, such as the acquisition of land, the approval of agreements by three levels of government, and the provision of relocation housing, the element of time is a major factor involved in the determination of the success or failure of the activity. The planning process must involve three components: enabling legislation, satisfactory financial resources, and a program of phased development before it can take place. A fourth component, that of public acceptance and involvement, is necessary to make the planning process not only happen, but be successful. After reviewing the phasing techniques of the Bar Chart and the Critical Path Method, an examination of two methods of comprehensive planning was undertaken: the Community Renewal Program, and Reginald Isaacs' Comprehensive Plan method of phased development. Such an investigation into the techniques and methods of planned programming, was intended to provide some perspective of the means available for harnessing the time element. Only by placing restrictions upon the element of time, can its effect on the urban renewal process be used in a positive manner. In the final section, the use of the Comprehensive Plan as a tool for applying the Nodular Metropolitan Concept as put forward by the group, attempts to portray the degree to which a program of phased development may stimulate and influence the renewal process. In conclusion, it must be affirmed that the time element does play a major role in the success of the urban renewal process as was originally hypothesized.

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