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 Featured Title
The Vancouver Achievement
Urban Planning and Design
John Punter  

$41.95 Paperback
Release Date: 1/1/2004
ISBN: 9780774809726    

480 Pages


About the Book

ē Award of Recognition, 2004 City of Vancouver Heritage Award, City of Vancouver
ē Honourable Mention, 2004 Vancouver Book Award, City of Vancouver

This book examines the development of Vancouverís unique approach to zoning, planning, and urban design from its inception in the early 1970s to its maturity in the management of urban change at the beginning of the twenty-first century. By the late 1990s, Vancouver had established a reputation in North America for its planning achievement, especially for its creation of a participative, responsive, and design-led approach to urban regeneration and redevelopment. This system has other important features: an innovative approach to megaproject planning, a system of cost and amenity levies on major schemes, a participative CityPlan process to underpin active neighbourhood planning, and a sophisticated panoply of design guidelines. These systems, processes, and their achievements place Vancouver at the forefront of international planning practice.

The Vancouver Achievement explains the evolution and evaluates the outcomes of Vancouverís unique system of discretionary zoning. The introductory chapters set the context for the study: they cover the invention and refinement of this system in the reform movement, its development of policies, guidelines, and control processes, and its translation into official development plans and neighbourhood design in the 1970s. Subsequent chapters focus upon the downtown, waterfront megaprojects, single-family neighbourhoods, the city-wide strategic planning programme (CityPlan), pressures for reform of control processes, and current downtown and inner city developments, especially issues of affordable housing, social exclusion, and multiple deprivation. The concluding chapter summarizes The Vancouver Achievement, explains the keys to its success, and evaluates its design success against internationally accepted criteria.

Heavily illustrated with over 160 photos and figures, this book -- the first comprehensive account of contemporary planning and urban design practice in any Canadian city -- will appeal to academic and professional audiences, as well as the general public.

About the Author(s)

John Punter is Professor of Urban Design in the Department of City and Regional Planning, Cardiff University, Wales.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Urban Design as Public Policy in North America

1. Introducing Vancouver

Part 1: Setting a New Planning Agenda
2. TEAM and the Reform of Planning, 1972-80
3. Creating a Livable Central Area, 1975-91

Part 2: Designing Neighbourhoods
4. Single-Family Neighbourhoods, 1980-2000
5. CityPlan, 1992-2000
6. Megaprojects on the Waterfront, 1987-2000
7. Downtown Vancouver, 1991-2000

Part 3: Regulating Development and Improving Design
8. Reforming Permit Processing and Development Levies, 1980-2000
9. Discretionary Control and Design Quality, 1997-2000
10. Conclusion: Assessing Vancouverís Achievement


1. Awards for planning and design in Vancouver
2. Chronology of key planning initiatives, policy documents, government policies, and politics in the City of Vancouver, 1965-2001
3. Organization charts for the city planning function, 1975-2001

Figure Credits


Admirably organized and readable.
-- New Urban News, December 2003

Recognizing that urbanists all over North America and even further afield have started to identify Vancouver as a model city for the future and have attributed this in part to the sustained planning efforts of the local government, this book could become a seminal guide to ongoing study and evaluation of the city.
-- Larry Beasley, Co-Director, Planning, City of Vancouver, and Adjunct Professor, School of Community and Regional Planning, UBC

The Vancouver Achievement represents the most substantial evaluation to date on the role of planning and local policy concerning the reformation of land use and landscapes in Vancouver, including treatments of the planning record in suburban as well as in central city settings.
The Vancouver Achievement, in the comprehensiveness and depth of its analysis, supported by an extensive fieldwork program entailing interviews and documentary review, is itself a considerable achievement.
-- Tom Hutton, BC Studies, Spring 2005

The Vancouver Achievement is a solid book, promising a long shelf life for anyone wishing to learn about the history of planning and architecture in British Columbia.
-- Jill Wade, Canadian Literature 184, Spring 2005

Sample Chapter


Related Topics

Urban Studies
BC Studies
BC Studies > Urban Studies

Other Ways To Order

In Canada, order your copy of The Vancouver Achievement from UTP Distribution at:

UTP Distribution
5201 Dufferin Street
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 5T8

Phone orders: 1(800)565-9523 or (416)667-7791
Fax orders: 1(800)221-9985 or (416)667-7832

Ordering information for customers outside Canada

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