Vancouver Annotated Bibliography
Adderson, Caroline, and Zsuzsi Gartner, editors. Vancouver Vanishes: Narratives of Demolition and Revival. Anvil Press, 2015.
This collection of essays by creative writers explores the themes associated with Vancouver’s redevelopment (which often entails the destruction of older homes in favour of new, larger houses that remain unaffordable for the majority of people living in Vancouver). Michael Kluckner, in his introduction, lambastes the city’s lack of concern for the environment and adherence to the ideology of “new is good” (11). He worries about the effects of continual rebuilding, of the cutting down of trees alongside buildings, and argues that Vancouver has not “found value in a more holistic view of the planet,” a value he sees adopted elsewhere on the West Coast (11). Caroline Adderson, in the opening essay, echoes Kluckner’s sentiments when discussing how desires for larger houses has lead to destruction of gardens, many of which become overgrown or die when the houses get marked for demolition and sit empty for years (17). This points to the impact of human involvement in curating nature within the city, and the growing tendency for people to forgo gardens in favour of square footage. The book is illustrated throughout with black and white photographs of character homes with prominent gardens juxtaposed with later photographs of the destruction of those lots and pictures of people who owned the houses before they were sold for demolition.
Key Words: Gentrification, Gardens, Housing, Construction
Bednar, Michael. The Fraser, Living River, 9 April 2017 – 25 June 2017, Photography, Richmond Art Gallery, Vancouver.
Bednar’s collection of photography, displayed at the Richmond Art Gallery in mid-2017, focuses on the Fraser River, which winds through central British Colombia (BC) and empties through Vancouver and into the Pacific Ocean. Bednar’s pieces emphasise the human industry the river supports, from settler logging, shipping, fishing, and tourism, to the importance of the river as a source of sustenance, both physical and spiritual, to the First Nations communities in the area. The Fraser River connects Vancouver to BC’s interior, and Bednar’s work serves as a reminder of the interconnectedness of nature and development, especially in this region.
Genre: Visual Art (Photography)
Key Words: Water, Industry, First Nations, Multiplicity
Braid, Kate. “‘Girl’ on the Crew.” East of Main: An Anthology of Poems from East Vancouver, edited by Calvin Wharton and Tom Wayman, Pulp Press, 1989, pp. 67-68.
Though never stated as set in Vancouver, Braid’s poem is included in an anthology by and about East Vancouver, so we can assume that the ideas presented by the poem are applicable to Vancouver, if not explicitly set there. Braid’s poem tells a story of a woman working on a construction site who is, presumably, the only woman in a male-dominated workplace. Throughout, Braid associates femininity with the ‘natural’ (“my breasts grow two cherry trees that depart my chest/ and offer me shade, cool juices”) in opposition to the men’s connection to tools (“they think if the leather is tough enough / if the hammer handle piercing it is long enough”) (ll. 33-34, 5-6). This culminates when the female narrator remarks that after work the men “fall at my feet and beg for a body like mine. / I am too busy dancing to notice” (ll. 38-39). Braid’s work plays off traditional gender binaries that women’s bodies are more connected to nature, though she attempts to subvert the preconceptions that this connection necessitates weakness by emphasising the strength of nature. This poem conflates the two dichotomies of ‘nature vs man’ and ‘woman vs man’ into ‘nature & woman vs man,’ resulting in the conclusion that ‘nature & woman’ are stronger (better) than men. Instead of dismantling the harmful ideas behind either of the original ideological constructions, the poem reinforces the socialised distinctions between the factions. The poem argues in favour of inviting nature into human (male) constructed sites, though indicates this is only possible through female intervention.
Key Words: Construction, Ecofeminism
Clements, Marie. The Unnatural and Accidental Women. Talonbooks. 2005.
Clements documents the ‘accidental’ deaths of multiple First Nations women in Vancouver through the reconstruction of their forgotten lives. The women, murdered by the same man by alcohol overdoses, suffered from systemic racism that alienated them from their cultural practices and connections to families and their land. This play draws attention to the difference between settler/colonial views of the land as something to dominate and First Nations reciprocal relationship with the land.
Key Words: First Nations, Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women, DTES,
Compton, Wayde, and Renée Sarojini Saklikar, eds. The Revolving City: 51 Poems and the Stories Behind Them. Anvil Press, 2015.
This collection features poetry from writers who participated at the Simon Fraser University Lunch Poems readings from 2012-2014. The poems included grapple with conceptions of “the city as ecosphere” regarding human relationships to each other and the environment in Vancouver (13). The poems are accompanied by a one-paragraph to one-page critical commentary by the authors of the poems, sometimes to explain the context of the poems creation or to more directly approach the subject matter introduced in the poems. As Renée Sarojini Saklikar notes in her introduction, the poems and commentary each attempt to provide answers for “how to live without destroying ourselves or this planet” (13). Daphne Marlatt responds with ruminations on the gentrification of Vancouver in the face of “the continuing presence of mountains, sea, rain,” while Christine Leclerc focuses on the effects of pipelines on Vancouver, despite the distance between the tar sands and the city (15, 124-25). The collection seeks to close the perceived gap between humans and non-human environmental elements. It also criticizes city planners in Vancouver and the propulsion toward gentrification that reintroduces domesticized nature at the expense of humans not considered people (ie: impoverished people in East Vancouver). The poets call for an acknowledgement of the simultaneity of nature and city that would recognise nature (and those people considered more animalistic) as a vibrant aspect of the city, to be helped when needed but not pruned.
Key Words: Gentrification, DTES, Multiplicity, Environmental Degradation
D’Acres, Lilia. Lions Gate. Talonbooks. 1999.
D’Acres documents the building, reception, and restoration of Vancouver’s Lions Gate bridge through consideration of AJT Taylor, the man who conceived of the bridge and schemed to finance it yet remained unrecognised at the unveiling ceremonies. She also questions the impact of the bridge on the Aboriginal peoples (because Vancouver is built on unceded land), its creation during the recession of the 1930s, and the influence of the bridge as an image of the city itself. Always contentious, yet protected, the bridge was considered for demolition, yet with no alternative design suggested, the provincial government agreed to fund restoration instead of replacement. D’Acres delves into social responses regarding the Lions Gate bridge at its inception and present day.
Key Words: Construction, First Nations, Lions Gate Bridge
Derksen, Jeff. “The Vestiges,” The Vestiges, Talonbooks, 2013, pp. 1-51.
Derksen’s long poem establishes the ‘city-ness’ of Vancouver and places Vancouvers as a city in dialogue with other global cities (ie: Vienna, Miami, London, Toronto, etc). He writes of the specificity of Vancouver as place, but links social and environmental issues to other cities through capitalist interests that inevitably exploit human and non-human elements. The effects of capitalism are highlighted in the continual tracing of environment to commodity to profit. For example: “sheep to wool to cotton to / bananas to coffee to oil to gold / to land, to space / even in the abstract,” starts with an animal and the products made from that animal, but quickly progresses to other commodities, all of which have a fraught history of production, he then acknowledges that all physical land and space are also claimed for profit, and finally asserts that mental spaces are also capital (25, page numbers listed because the poem is long and lines are not numbered). While Derksen blames capitalism for the commodification and exploitation of nature and humans, he squarely places the blame of this reality on people, asking “Nature / what have you done / for me / (that I could not do to you)?” insinuating that people have let down their environment that provides all the resources necessary for capitalism (13). Derksen also takes capitalism to task for incorporating the ‘green’ movement in it’s ideology (“Urban regeneration? How / organic!”) because this approach only addresses environmental concerns as far as doing so can produce a profit (15). And yet, nature permeates the entire poem, emphasising the resilience of nature in the face of human destruction.
Key Words: Capitalism, Industry, Multiplicity, Environmental Degradation
Fawcett, Brian. “East Van Uber Alles?” Unusual Circumstances, Interesting Times, and Other Impolite Interventions. New Star Books, 1991, pp. 91-102.
This chapter focuses on an anthology of poetry published in 1989, East of Main: An Anthology of Poems from East Vancouver, and takes the editors (and numerous poets) to task for overstating the importance of the collection, but more importantly, for the collection’s refusal to say anything at all. Fawcett argues that most of the poems included come from the ‘language centered writing’ school of poetry, and which necessarily produces work that possesses “no specific meaning” (97). This results in an “uncommunicativeness” that breaks the relationship between the poet and reader, a relationship where the poet should convey important ideas to the reader (101). Fawcett argues (much like this project presupposes) that poets—and, by extrapolation other writers and artists—should engage with valuable social and environmental criticism in their work so that those ideas can be accessed and assessed by readers, but that East Vancouver poets of the late 1980s and early 1990s fail readers by refusing to communicate through their artwork.
Genre: Opinion/ Essay
Key Words: Communication
Frangione, Lucia. Paradise Garden. Talonbooks. 2011.
Frangione, a Vancouver writer, sets this play on an island just off the coast of her home city, where two families (one of English descent, one of Turkish) negotiate how to live together in an old manor house turned duplex. The semi-shared garden, grown wild and unkempt from lack of attention, acts as the central metaphor for relationships, and concludes both love and gardens need nurturing. While this play doesn’t comment on Vancouver, the ideas presented consider cultural differences and the way nature can shape how people negotiate these differences, ideas which can be applicable to Vancouver. This play also offers the interesting commentary that wilderness must be tamed (regarding the garden and emotions).
Key Words: Garden, Multiplicity
Janes, Mariner. The Monument Cycles, Talonbooks, 2013.
Janes’s collection draws attention to the forgotten stories of Vancouver, though simultaneously emphasises ephemerality over collected and collated histories. While Jane links nature to First Nations peoples and women, he refuses a simple binary of white men against all that is good by situating history as feminine. Jane grants history, nature, women, and Aboriginals agency within his poems, and allows their voices to speak against the tyranny of collection and definition by creating a space inside each of those distinctions, such that they overlap and spill into one another. These poems are angry at the destructive acts in the name of capitalism, but they also celebrate the memory and nature within and about Vancouver as a place. Jane constructs the city as vibrant and contradictory, with the untold stories he brings forward alongside the overlooked or overgrown nature that official channels choose to ignore reside in the city.
Key Words: Capitalism, First Nations, Multiplicity, Environmental Degradation
Letwin, Hilary. Curator. Beyond the Horizon, 8 July 2017 – 20 August 2017, Paintings, Richmond Art Gallery, Vancouver.
Curated by Dr. Hilary Letwin, Beyond the Horizon is a compilation of landscape paintings from 1932- 1994 and new works created in direct response to the older pieces. The older paintings are by Irene Hoffar Reid, William P. Weston, Alan Wood, Toni Onely, Susan Gransby, Leslie Poole, and Susan Point. The new landscapes were created by Marisse Cheung, Ayal Heinrichs, Anthea Kwong, Megan Lane, Lucy Li, Mickey Morgan, Angel Pan, Atheana Picha, Lily Wang, and Many Xu, all students who participated in an eight-month youth mentorship program facilitated by the Richmond Art Gallery and coordinated by Melanie Devoy. This exhibition sought to draw attention to the changing depictions of Canadian landscapes since colonialism and was featured during Canada’s 150th confederation celebrations. The students acknowledged in their pieces the erasure of indigenous peoples in the earlier works and the lack of accountability for human impacts on landscapes. They included images of how people have impacted the environment, often in negative ways, and pointed to the fallacy of the idea of Canada was ever uninhabited and empty. Though the pieces are not specific representation of Vancouver, that the student-produced art was made in Vancouver is important because it demonstrates that concerns about the environment and acknowledgement of indigenous land claims are at the forefront of artistic thought in Vancouver, as artists, curators, and students highlight these elements in works collected and created.
Genre: Visual Art (Paintings)
Key Words: Landscape, First Nations, Environmental Degradation, Students
Macdonald, Bruce. Vancouver: A Visual History. Talonbooks. 1992.
Macdonald’s historical atlas sets the stage for this project by first showing in visual maps the changes of Vancouver’s landscape and land use, and second by providing key events and descriptions, all delineated into decade long periods. The book features Vancouver before the scope of our project—from the 1850s when Vancouver was established to the 1980s. Although the maps do not cover more recent environmental or political changes to the city, they do establish the context from which the Vancouver we explore arises.
Key Words: Map, Landscape, Historical Context
Marlatt, Daphne. Liquidities: Vancouver Poems Then and Now, Talonbooks, 2013.
In this collection, Marlatt returns to a series of poems she wrote as a young woman and which were published by Coach House Books in 1972. She revitalises some of these poems, the ones she feels remain relevant to Vancouver today, and adds to them with concerns that did not exist in the late 60s/ early 70s. All these poems are extremely rooted in Vancouver and the influence the city has on its environment and the environment on the city. Marlatt prefaces her poems by explaining her choice of the new title: “Liquidities (from liquid assets, cash, and increasingly from the incessant rain of global warming)” which points to the connections between development, profit, and the environment within the city (xii). The collection begins with the rewritten versions of previous poems that draw on images of the ocean and logging and emphasize multiculturality and the bond between commerce and nature. In the new poems, Marlatt again returns to images of water, though now bridges and other human projects become prominent, pointing to the persistence of nature in the face of human development that seeks to control and stifle the environment. Between the sections are black and white photographs of Vancouver from the different times the poems were written; the earlier poems are prefaced by resource reliance in the form of logs and dams, while the later poems are introduced by images of skyscrapers and apartment buildings.
Key Words: Water, Construction, Industry, Capitalism, Environmental Degradation
Morse, Garry Thomas. Death in Vancouver. Talonbooks, 2009.
Morse uses this collection of stories to investigate the ‘necropolis’ Vancouver has become. As intertextual speculative fiction, these short stories occupy a not-quite Vancouver, a future version of the city that resonates with its contemporary model and global literature. Morse highlights social anxieties about inabilities to communicate with others and the destruction of the natural environment in favour of progress. He includes indigenous concerns in his story “Two Scoops,” in which a research doctor is given funding from the Indian Affairs office for a project that promotes capitalist impulses and total assimilation of First Nations peoples. His story “Salt Chip Boy” follows a roboticised human who experiences ‘archaic’ interactions through a computer simulation that depicts contemporary Vancouver. Only through this simulation can the character, K, experience physical interactions, as the outside world has become hostile to human bodies through environmental deterioration.
Genre: Fiction (Dystopia)
Key Words: Communication, First Nations, Industry, Environmental Degradation
Murakami, Sachiko. The Invisibility Exhibit, Talonbooks, 2008.
Murakami displays the personal side of Vancouver in a series of short poems set in and about the people of the downtown east side. Though the focus of the piece is the missing women, the poems suggest a connection between the disappearance of the women and the removal of the natural environment—not because of traditional gender constructions of nature as feminine, but because of masculine consumption of both. Murakami gives the missing and murdered women bodies so that their disappearance has weight (“you imagine her skin as fragile eggshell”) and so that the connection between the women and environment is heightened (“fallen eggs crack beneath your feet— / sparrows brought to earth before / their time”) (“Two Women,” ll. 1, 13-15). Another way the environment is brought into the poems is through the continual references to food, a metaphor for the lack of nutrition and comfort the women face(d).
Key Words: DTES, Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women, Ecofeminism
Nicholson, Cecily. From the Poplars, Talonbooks, 2014.
Nicholson’s poems circle the topic of the industrialisation of land in and surrounding Vancouver, with the ever-present and yet absent reminder that those lands are unceded / stolen. She links the settlers to the “steel that completes the union,” in reference to the railway, showing that the only way the settlers can occupy the land is through modifying it and ignoring the presence of the First Nations peoples (22). She further draws attention to the settler’s fastidious adherence to laws and lawfulness in blocky stanzas that relay the ‘laws of the land’ and punishments for disobedience. Adding to these sections are Nicholson’s ruminations on how laws can only exist (in a colonial context) within a written language, or as she writes: “recursive language about language / productivity: use of language to create language” (75). Grounding these larger themes is Nicholson’s continual return to Vancouver as the place where these events occurred. She calls attention to the repurposing of nature for profit as the foundation on which Vancouver was established throughout her book (though see page 30 for a list of all resources-based companies that took from the land and built Vancouver).
Key Words: First Nations, Industry, Capitalism
Rankin, Pauline. “Blackberries.” East of Main: An Anthology of Poems from East Vancouver, edited by Calvin Wharton and Tom Wayman, Pulp Press, 1989, pp. 17-18.
Rankin uses the imagery of blackberries to represent artists living in East Vancouver in the late 1980s. She begins with blackberries “in a barbed tangle / in unguarded spaces,” speaking to the way outsiders view East Vancouver as run-down and wild (ll. 3-4). However, Rankin views the unkempt nature of her space as something sacred, to be protected from “bulldozers / contractors” who want to tame the area for profit and to gloss East Vancouver with a veneer of “neat shops” (ll. 42-43, 46). This poem neglects to mention the consumers of art, but instead focuses on the tenacity of the artists in East Vancouver, ending with “we won’t be transplanted” (l. 52). Comparing the artists to blackberries endows the artists with ‘natural’ connotations; they will not be wooed by franchises or tamed by blank windows, instead, the artists will continue to sprout, regardless of the efforts of city planners to prevent and stifle this tendency. Rankin’s poem is the first poem in the anthology, and the section in which it appears is also named “blackberries,” after her poem’s title. This placement sets the tone for the entire book, and shows that the editors want all the poems to be considered as natural acts of rebellion against commodified society.
Key Words: Gentrification, Capitalism, DTES, Construction
Robertson, Leslie, and Dara Culhane, eds. In Plain Sight: Reflections of Life in Downtown Eastside Vancouver, Talonbooks, 2005.
Robertson and Culhane compile seven stories from women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside; stories often buried by statistics of the area as a crime centre riddled with violence. The editors seek to showcase the diversity of peoples living in this region and to define people as individuals, not commodities or consumers. The editors argue the women depicted in this collection are visible everyday on the street, but their stories remain hidden by people who do not want to know them. This attention to the individuals of the region also invites consideration of Vancouver’s Eastside as a particular place, one either invisible to the rest of Vancouver, or as a site needing renovation.
Key Words: DTES,
Waqif, Asim. Salvage. 10 November 2017- 15 April 2018, mixed media site-specific installation, Vancouver Art Gallery (Offsite).
Waqif’s site-specific installation is created from discarded building materials from demolition sites in Vancouver. Displayed as part of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Offsite collection, this piece is located outside the main building of the gallery on West Georgia Street (between Thurlow and Bute Street) for public passerbys to see. His installation is a condemnation of the waste produced during the demolition of old buildings that are often torn down in favour of new houses and development, regardless of the state of the older building. Waqif’s use of disposed materials highlights the amount of useable materials relegated to the city landfill or incinerators. His artwork questions why development occurs this way, and asks developers to recycle materials.
Genre: Visual Art (mixed-media installation)
Key Words: Construction, Environmental Degradation, Gentrification
Wharton, Calvin. “The Natural World.” East of Main: An Anthology of Poems from East Vancouver, edited by Calvin Wharton and Tom Wayman, Pulp Press, 1989, p. 112.
Wharton emphasises the perseverance of nature, and the fluidity (and impossibility) of the boundary between the human and natural worlds. For the first half of the poem, Wharton muses on human-made elements within the city (asphalt, streets, handles, computers) (ll. 2, 5, 6, 12). Then, in the middle stanza, he asks: “if a bridge is well-lit / does that subtract light from some other place?” which, when thinking in terms of human-made objects seems like an obvious ‘no’ (ll. 14-15). However, the bridge he joins the human-made with the nature-made, as city light pollution dims—or at least seems to dim—stars. After this point, Wharton’s poem introduces birds, insects, grass and “a century-old fir tree” in a move that mimics the opposition of ‘man vs nature,’ which he upends in the last stanza (ll. 16, 23, 24). He ends the poem by implicating humans and human-made sites as part of nature by linking the iron from blood to “photosynthesis and architecture” (l. 27). This conclusion demonstrates that the desire to separate humans and human-made sites from nature is futile; the poem reminds the reader that nature encompasses all, and should therefore be taken into consideration, not viewed as an external force that stops at the municipality borders of cities.
Key Words: Multiplicity, Industry
Wyss, T’uy’t’tanat Cease. “The Strathcona Herbarium,” A New Path to the Waterfall, Fall 2017, pressed flowers and hand-stitched cloth, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver.
Vancouver’s Contemporary Art Gallery has partnered with Lord Strathcona Elementary School (located in Chinatown) to introduce students in Maryann Persoon’s grade 6/7 class to new approaches to topics in their curriculum. The program was designed and is lead by Harrell Fletcher, an American artist known for his collaborative works. T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss, a Coast Salish ethnobotanist and interdisciplinary artist, is the first artist to partner with the students and helped them create individual herbarium books with pressed plants. She took the students on foraging trips around Vancouver (the Capilano River, Harmony Garden, Trillium Park, and Stanley Park) to find the plants, and shared with them the Latin and Skwxwu7mesh (Squamish) names for the various plants while the students pressed them. This project teaches the students about the interconnectedness of the environment and landscape within the city and produced artistic representations of the biodiversity that were then put on display for public viewing.
Genre: Visual Art (mixed-media pressed flowers on cloth)
Key Words: First Nations, Multiplicity, Students
A Park for NEFC, Map, City of Vancouver, 2017, http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/nefc-park-draft-concept-plan-map.pdf
This map was created as part of the Stage two concept planning for Northeast False Creek. It shows the specific sites for planned activities and areas for multi-use.
Creekside Park Concept Plan: Draft, City of Vancouver, 2006, http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/creekside-park-concept-plan-draft-200603.pdf.
This concept map is one of the original documents detailing the redesign of False Creek.
Creekside Park Facilitated Public Process: Summary and Products, City of Vancouver, 2010.
This document details how the developer Concord put forward the idea of reconfiguring Northeast False Creek after the initial plans for development were put forward by the City in 2009. This document then details in two appendices the City’s findings regarding what residents, the developer, and the City wants accomplished with the redesigned park, and mentions that these three parties had difficulties coming to an agreement and a facilitator was hired to organize a compromise. Appendix A lists the primary objectives all parties want from the redevelopment of the park. Many of these bullet points have been condensed into the ‘goals’ listed in the Northeast False Creek Park Design documents (annotated below). Appendix B expands on certain objectives with the intent behind each explicitly stated. This document does not plan any part of the park design, but includes elements for consideration in the creation of the design plans for the park space. Concept maps are provided that identify distinct areas and neighbourhoods within the proposed park area with specific activities or sites located in each, depending on the desires of the residents.
Dobrovolny, J. and B. Toderian. Administrative Report, City of Vancouver, 2011.
This report contains initial research regarding transportation needs, specifically the Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaducts, and includes suggestions for how to address each of these concerns. This report concludes that removal of the viaducts will not have a detrimental effect on transportation, provided that the City continues investing in sustainable transportation methods. However, the report is concerned about how the downtown core will be affected by removal of the viaducts, and recommends more analysis of how to provide alternative or improved roadways to keep the downtown core connected to the larger city. Alternatively, the report provides various ways to update the viaducts, should the City choose to keep the structures. In the case of removing the viaducts, the report recommends completely implementing and strengthening three transit lines before removing the viaducts (the Hastings B-Line, Evergreen Line, and UBC Line). Appendix A documents the current use of the viaducts on a daily-basis, a structural review of the infrastructure, and the historical context in which they were built. Appendix B is concerned with the downtown core and how the viaducts impact transportation to and from that section of the city.
False Creek North Official Development Plan, (Adopted by By-law No. 6650, 10 April 1990), City of Vancouver, October 2008-May 2013.
This planning document outlines the official guidelines that all development (and redevelopment) plans must adhere to in the North False Creek area inside Vancouver. These plans were first considered in 1988, made into bylaw in 1990, and amended into this document between 2008 and 2013. While strict guidelines exist (such as new park space being a multi-use area and neighbourhoods designed into identifiable compartments) the development plan also allows for the guidelines to be reconfigured according to changing community needs. One focus of the document is to maintain the shoreline and access to the waterfront for existing residents of False Creek, and detailed maximums for additional residential, office, and retail spaces are included (these maximums are for additional buildings, not pre-existing buildings, as of 1990). To aid in maintaining the shoreline, buildings cannot be more than 91 metres tall so that existing buildings can still have an ocean view. The stadium is also considered an important feature and all services it provides as of October 2008 are to be retained. Sustainability considerations have been added to this planning document that are intentionally vague so as to utilize new technologies, though sewage heat recovery, solar hot water, and waste heat recovery are specifically mentioned (15). The viaducts are only mentioned insofar as to designate where warehouse-type buildings are permitted. Accompanying the written requirements and land uses are charts and maps that correspond to the written document to provide a visual representation of the allowable changes to the region.
Gordon, Michael. Policy Report Urban Structure, City of Vancouver, 2007.
This report discusses the redevelopment of North False Creek with reference to earlier City bylaws and guidelines to be followed during the redevelopment. This is the committee results of public research combined with reviews of existing planning guidelines and documents. The committee found that original documents wanted a balance of residential and commercial, the developers had all proposed residential-only plans, and the residents wanted more park space with multi-use sites. The committee recommends a design which can combine residential with commercial (as the downtown core commercial businesses cannot support a total influx of exclusively residential) and multi-use park space, and proposes another committee of planners to gather opinions from current residents and developers about how to best integrate these three elements. This report also identifies areas from the Official Development Plan 1990 that should be reconsidered or adjusted to fit the new needs of the community and larger city. Rezoning is an element considered here to better fit the contemporary needs of the region. This report also lists who should be contacted and considered regarding future land use, including engineers, urban planners, the public, and developmental economists. It projects the first official design to launch in the following year.
Gordon, Michael and Matthew Bourke. Policy Report Development and Building, City of Vancouver, 2010.
This report identifies potential noise complaints and necessary amendments to the Noise Control bylaw to accommodate the influx of residents, retailers, and events expected in the redevelopment of Northeast False Creek. The report recommends reclassifying Northeast False Creek as an event area and extending noise allowances until 11pm to that area as well as BC Stadium and Rogers Arena. The report also suggests that considerations in building designs be taken into account to mitigate the future event noise so that residents are unaffected (ie: sound-proofing new buildings and ensuring the way new buildings interact with each other do not funnel noise toward residential areas). The report identifies current noise-levels in the area and contrasts those with projected noise-levels to ascertain building standards for noise mitigation. Maps are provided to demonstrate how noise travels in the area and where most problems will arise. The report is followed by specific proposed amendments to the existing bylaw.
Gordon, Michael and Paula Huber. Administrative Report, City of Vancouver, 2010.
This report is a request that the City of Vancouver instruct landowners in the Northeast False Creek area to fund City rezoning efforts. All landowners in the area have requested rezoning so that their land can be used for purposes other than those specified in the Official Development Plan 1990, and to then be considered under different bylaws (ie: event zones vs residential). The report indicates that the City does not have sufficient funds to staff a rezoning project of this size and asks that the landowners pay the costs associated with studying the areas under question. The report indicates how costs should be allocated. These funds will support City planners as they finalise what areas should be used for what purposes in the final park, and how those sites should be appropriately zoned. The report argues that it has been City practice to require landowners to contribute to similar costs for other projects. A budget is provided that breaks down all projected expenses for the project.
Greenest City 2020 Action Plan, City of Vancouver, 2012.
This document is freely available on the City of Vancouver’s website and details ten goals for how to make Vancouver the ‘greenest’ city in the world by 2020. Paper copies of this eighty-two page document were printed by a zero-waste printer on recycled paper to minimize the impact of the physical document. This action plan begins by stating that “Vancouver residents have an ecological footprint three times larger than the Earth can sustain” as a justification for why everyone in the city should contribute to achieving the City’s goal (5). Although the action plan aims for 2020, that year is not the end point, and all the smaller goals within the larger plan have initiatives aimed at completion in 2020 and 2050. Rife with hyperbolic rhetoric such as “mecca of green enterprise” the action plan nonetheless contains grounded ideas and achievable steps for how to attain the small and large goals (10). These goals are delivered through clear explanations with many charts and graphs in bright colours. The first goal listed is to encourage ‘green jobs’ (both new jobs and increasing environmental consciousness in existing jobs), the second is the elimination of reliance on fossil fuels (which results in lowering greenhouse gas emissions). The third goal combines the first two by focusing on ‘green design and building,’ meaning that all new buildings and infrastructure be made of recycled materials or environmentally-ethically sourced materials and made in such a way so as to limit negative environmental impacts throughout construction and once the building is completed. One example of this type of building is a seniors’ multi-unit residential building in Southeast False Creek—built in 2010, it produces as much energy as residents use through solar panels and design that allows for maximized natural light and ventilation (26). The fourth goal is to encourage people to use alternative transportation (ie: not cars) through better maintained bike paths and public transit routes. Fifth, is the bold goal of producing a zero-waste society, which means a zero-net-waste and is attainable through aggressive composting and recycling and conscientious consumption of non-renewable resources. Sixth is the commitment to increasing tree-planting and access to greenspace for people living in Vancouver, as the increase in ‘natural’ space is not only good for the animals and plants, but also exposes people to the environment and is a tangible argument for the protection of these ecological spaces. The seventh goal is a reiteration of the earlier goals, but says it aims to bring Vancouver’s ecological footprint to a more sustainable level. The eighth goal is for Vancouver to have the best drinking water in the world, which will encourage people to use tap water instead of bottled water and be cleaner going into sewage pipes after use. Similar to step eight, the ninth goal is for Vancouver to have the best air quality of any major city, a goal that is closely linked to the fourth goal. The final goal is for Vancouver to be a leader in urban food production, which includes a focus on how to provide healthy and locally sourced food to low-income peoples.
Greenest City 2020 Action Plan: Part Two 2015-2020, City of Vancouver, 2016.
This follow-up to the original action plan details in jot notes some of the environmental accomplishments from 2011-2015 and restates the original goals with some additions to the enactment of plans. Among these accomplishments are the increase of sustainable walking paths and the use of sustainable transportation for half of all trips within the city. This action plan also has ten goals that are the same as the original ten (but delivered in a different order). The first goal is the elimination of reliance on fossil fuels (originally goal 2). This section reiterates the original goal and its importance to Vancouver and the planet while recapping in more detail how Vancouver has already implemented techniques and practices to aid in reducing reliance on fossil fuels. Emphasis is placed on people walking and biking to work, traditional cars being replaced with electric cars, and self-powering buildings (all of which are again covered under other goals). The second goal discusses ‘green buildings’ with a focus on programs to encourage ‘greenness’ in existing buildings with business incentives given to compliant landlords and homeowners. Third is the push for sustainable transportation. The original goal was half of all trips being made sustainably (bike, walk, public transit), but as that goal has been reached, it has now been extended to two-thirds of all transportation and their plan is to stay the course regarding updating existing infrastructure and prioritising sustainable transportation routes in new development projects. Fourth is the zero-waste initiative, which has been promoted with city bylaws declare organic waste from restaurants illegal unless composted. Fifth is now the access to natural spaces, which has only increased by 0.1%, but will increase substantially with the development of the False Creek park. Sixth is the clean water initiative, which means continual testing of water quality but does not detail how to make cleaner water (ie: a new treatment plant). This initiative also includes creating programs that encourage people to use less water in both corporate and personal settings. Seventh is the local and sustainable urban food for which a table that breaks down types of urban food sources with 2010 and 2015 actual amounts listed and projections for 2020. Eighth is the clean air initiative, which ties closely to the sustainable transportation and clean buildings initiatives that seek to lower emissions into the atmosphere. Ninth is maintaining Vancouver’s position as a ‘green’ economic force through a focus on digital jobs and attracting ‘green’ employers in the global market. The tenth goal is to minimize Vancouver’s ecological footprint (and as with the original plan) this goal is a simple reiteration of the previous goals with arguments for why this is necessary (ie: people use too many resources and it is unsustainable). After the goals are listed, this follow-up plan details more initiatives and accomplishments that the City has undertaken to meet their larger goal of ‘greenest city.’ This section of the plan shows Vancouver implementing policies and strategies it expects other companies and individuals to adopt. Following this are appendixes that detail exactly what the City has thus-far accomplished in colour-coded graphs.
Huber, Paula and Michael Gordon. Policy Report Information, City of Vancouver, June 2009.
This is the first of two reports to the City that document directions for the future development of Northeast False Creek. The report emphasises that no decisions on the development plans be made until the second report is finalized, and instead offers an overview of how the space currently functions and what uses should be fostered in future plans. This report indicates that development of Northeast False Creek has been fast-tracked because of a new BC Stadium proposal and the desire that the Vancouver Art Gallery obtain a site in Northeast False Creek. This report documents how land-use allocations align with the standards given in the Official Development Plan 1990 and how the original figures do not align with current community needs (ie: undeveloped land owned by BC Place that cannot be developed because they have reached their allowable development levels according to the Official document). This report depicts who owns which sections of land in Northeast False Creek and how these developers wish to develop their lands and how this intersects with the Official document. Overall, this report endorses amending the Official document to allow the area to accommodate the changing needs of the community and Metro Core.
Huber, Paula and Michael Gordon. Policy Report Information, City of Vancouver, October 2009.
This is the second report that accompanies the above report for adjusting the land use guidelines for Northeast False Creek. This report builds on the earlier one (which considered historical guidelines for the site and various desires for how to develop the area) by considering more specifically what type of spaces should be included in the development and situates environmental concerns and development as a priority. Affordable housing is also a primary concern. This report presents the guiding vision the City should pursue in the development of Northeast False Creek, informed by a focus on sustainability (regarding culture, heritage, ecology, and economy). This report also recommends how and where to extend the boundaries of the park (as compared with the Official Development Plan 1990) and documents how public input was acquired when polling how to best utilise the space.
Jackson, Brian J. Policy Report Urban Structure, City of Vancouver, 2013.
This report is the detailed analysis of the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts that was recommended in 2011. This report indicates that the removal of the viaducts is desirable and obtainable if a sufficient network of replacement roadways be implemented. A budget is given with amounts allocated from various sources and over a few years. However, this report stresses that it is not the final report on the issue, but is in favour of the removal of the viaducts. It argues that removing the viaducts provides a unique opportunity for Vancouver to reshape how it looks and operates, as a city, with other cities listed as examples. The benefits and risks associated with removal of the viaducts are also listed, with key benefits being the ability to reconnect historic and culturally significant communities (Chinatown, Gastown, False Creek, DTES) to the larger city. The report includes traffic studies with potential alternatives provided in writing and concept maps. Residential and commercial concerns are taken into account, and the removal of the viaducts is projected to have a positive impact on many neighbourhoods, including False Creek. Various construction approaches are considered, with the removal of both viaducts simultaneously being the most efficient, and potentially contributing to early development of the Northeast False Creek park in that area (if Concord, the developer, allows some traffic to be redirected over their land during the construction period).
Jackson, Brian and Jerry Dobrovolny. Policy Report Development and Building, City of Vancouver, 2015.
This report asks the City to officially approve the removal of the Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaducts and to approve—generally—the concept map of the proposed Northeast False Creek Park plan that relies on the removal of the viaducts. This report builds on the 2013 report with the benefits of viaduct removal stressed. It proposes a budget alongside a strategy for the removal of the viaducts and concept maps for the suggested new street system. The presented budget is compared to the one produced in 2013 to show the increase in costs associated with delaying the removal of the viaducts. The unsoundness of the viaducts is also stressed as a motivating factor for their quick removal.
McNaney, Kevin. Policy Report Urban Structure, City of Vancouver, 2007.
This report details the projected issues with the lack of job opportunities if the Metro Core was developed for additional residential housing and what measures could be taken to stimulate job creation. North False Creek is included as a small area in the Metro Core. This report considers the supply and demand for commercial spaces, and projects that demand will outweigh supply if growth continues at its current rate. North False Creek is slated as a space for developing a commercial and entertainment district to better serve the rest of the Metro Core. This is a slight contrast to other plans that seek to incorporate commercial and entertainment sites with residential and park sites in the area. The appendices provide directions for policy changes regarding all areas of the Metro Core. Northeast False Creek is identified as being under review by additional committees, so suggestions are prefaced with consideration for ulterior goals and plans. This region is identified only as potentially playing “a significant commercial role in the Metro Core” (20).
North East False Creek Civic Gathering, Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg, 2008.
This report is a compilation of community input regarding the proposed redesign of Northeast False Creek, specifically the Plaza of Nations area. Key elements of this study found that residents want a multi-use site that can accommodate large groups of people but also function for individual activities and appear as an extension of the Downtown core. Residents also want a focus on water-based activities and many pathways with multiple access points and increased accessibility to the Skytrain. This document then proposes 3 potential sites that can encompass the public suggestions with accompanying concept maps provided. The first is directly on the existing Plaza of Nations site, the second is near Georgia street, and the third is on the more Eastern side. This last potential site is where the main development is occurring based on more recent planning documents. This report then identifies essential features of well-utilised public spaces, including: consideration for how to connect the outside edges of the space to the outside communities, structure of activities within the proposed sites, seating, and the main focuses of the space (ie: artwork, fountains, commercial businesses). The report ends with a selection of various precedents of parks from around the world and how certain features shape the use of park space.
Northeast False Creek Park Design: Early Directions and Guiding Principles, City of Vancouver, March 2017.
This document explains the original thoughts and designs of and for the Northeast False Creek redevelopment. It provides colour-coded maps to show existing sites and proposed projects. Input from the three traditional First Nations groups (the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh) is prioritised, as is integration of culture and heritage in the design and use of the future park space. This document details the historical uses and changes of the Northeast False Creek region, environmental considerations and constraints, and existing transportation infrastructure and how the park design plans to accommodate each of these aspects. This document shows how the City aims to synthesise development plans laid for land-use and community building in the Official Development Plan and the ‘green’ initiatives in the Greenest City 2020 action plan with written explanations and colour-coded maps and charts. It includes the information garnered during the “engagement” section of stage one planning (also released as a separate document and annotated below) before detailing the outlines of the next two stages of the project. The seven areas of interest as detailed in Northeast False Creek Park Design: Stage 1 Engagement annotation are further expanded with examples pulled from existing parks in North America that provide models for how to implement the desired outcomes. Attention is given to how the edges of the proposed park will connect the surrounding communities to the outside communities by utilising the existing infrastructure (skytrain, roads, bike paths) and is delivered with a strategy for each road/area on the edge of the park. The waterfront is considered regarding cleanup of the water and how to mitigate the rising sea-level and direct water runoff into the main body of water without polluting that body. This document also debates how to integrate the Dunsmuir area (a pre-existing, raised portion that could be sloped downwards or used as a raised promenade). The single-use areas are detailed, along with multi-use sites, though neither type of space are given specific locations.
Northeast False Creek Park Design: Stage 1 Engagement, City of Vancouver, March 2017.
This document summarises the first stage of the development plans for North False Creek. The first stage was the initial design plan which focused on the City’s decision to remove the viaducts. No official plans were released, but lots of community engagement occurred to establish what residents in False Creek and the rest of Vancouver wanted to see happen in the park. The initial plans informed residents and interested parties of what types of spaces the City wants incorporated (ie: multi-use areas and environmental restoration for wildlife and plants). This document details all the open houses and online sources that the City used to communicate with stakeholders and residents. This document compiles the feedback from these polls and interactions into seven main points (A distinct destination, authentically Vancouver, focus on inclusivity, flexibility in park use, stewardship, healthy waterfront, and ecologically rich). These points are then elaborated on to explain what is meant by each and how the City envisions incorporating each into the final park plan.
NEFC Park Design, City of Vancouver, 2017.
This two-page document is a graphical representation of feedback the City received regarding their stage two park concept. It is the first part of stage three and was displayed in November at an open house to show community members how people have responded to the concept and how they are incorporating new feedback into the final designs.
NEFC Park Design Stage Two: Concept Design Report, City of Vancouver, October 2017.
This report reiterates the earlier report’s community engagement and feedback from stage one and introduces new concept maps of how the proposed park will link the existing park spaces into one greenspace oriented toward the waterfront. It contains a concept map and legend with exact locations of specific use sites, such as a plaza, dog park, skate plaza, seasonal garden, playgrounds, and wetland gardens. The sites are then explained in more detail with other maps and reasoning for inclusion in the Northeast False Creek area. The Dunsmuir elevated park plan is given in detail (it will have steps to connect it to the main-level park and provide a connection to the skytrain with a water view). Future buildings are presented in concept art of the park in use as ghosts, as this report is concerned with the park space not the incoming buildings. Structures featured here include pavilions and canopies that provide shade for specific areas of the park.
NEFC Park Design Stage Two: Summary Report, City of Vancouver, October 2017.
This report summarises the engagement actions from stage one and the conceptual work from stage two (both annotated above) and outlines how stage three will proceed. The main feedback planners received during stage two was the importance of natural habitats and encouragement of biodiversity within the new park, and concerns about the accessibility of the proposed Dunsmuir elevated park. This report does not explain any design choices, but instead presents the findings of further community engagement after the release of the stage two concept art, maps, and written descriptions. This report includes charts that rank responses on a five-point scale from “strongly disagree to strongly agree” to many questions regarding park use, safety, and environmentally conscious designs, along with anonymous verbatim responses from community members that explain their reasonings to their responses.
Northeast False Creek Directions for the Future, City of Vancouver, 2009, amended 2013.
This document was produced by the Planning Department based on recommendations from policy reports produced in 2009 and the amendments made to the Official Development Plan. This document was further amended when the Official Development Plan was again amended in 2013. This document synthesises the efforts of planning documents into one source regarding rezoning and the cohesive vision the City desires for the area. This vision aims to connect the downtown core to the waterfront at False Creek and to use the space surrounding the waterfront as an open and multi-use public space, with buildings for retail and residential purposes. Nine principles are identified as being key to the success of the area: creating the park as a distinct location and destination, multi-use areas, sustainable community development, completion of the False Creek Basin (to make a continuous waterfront), development of a sense of place, innovative architecture, connection to downtown, vibrant waterfront, and an active public space. Many of these principles have been integrated into the official plans after further consultation with residents. These principles are then expanded on in detail to explain what is meant by each and how to implement them in the future park plans.
Parks in the Northeast False Creek Plan, City of Vancouver, 2018.
This webpage provides bullet-points that summarize the more in-depth planning documents for North False Creek. It broadly communicates what the City hopes to accomplish in terms of area use (connecting of new and existing communities to downtown and False Creek) and environmental restoration (inclusion of saltmarsh habitats for wildlife). It provides links to additional park planning policies and designs which are included and annotated in this document. This webpage also reassures people that the City has taken into consideration input from open-houses and stakeholder meetings.
Park Policy in the Northeast False Creek Area Plan, City of Vancouver, 2018.
This webpage synthesises the guiding policies for the development of North False Creek, of which considerations for First Nations peoples are prioritised. This page lists the key items from the Official Development Plan (above) that are being incorporated in the redevelopment plans, including: indigenous plants being reintroduced; a focus on multi-use areas; connections between neighbourhoods with each other, downtown, and the False Creek waterfront; and providing space for non-motorised boating, with particular attention to First Nations canoes. This page also documents the feedback the City received for earlier development proposals and what/how the plans and policies have changed to accommodate that feedback.
Parsons, Colette. Northeast False Creek Waterfront Park Background Study, Studio Parsons for City of Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, 2016.
This report summarises how Northeast False Creek is currently used and the future vision of the redeveloped park. It documents all other reports consulted in the design of the new park, alongside the guiding themes that inform the planning of the new park. Charts, graphs, and maps are provided to showcase the demographics of people currently using the area and as suggestions for how best to tailor the park to their needs. The report shows how park spaces are currently being used in the area, and how they fail to meet community needs, which leads into how the new design can improve upon existing park space. The report then breaks down the area into smaller parks and details what each small park will contain and how these parks interconnect with each other and the larger City.
Plaza Design Guidelines, City of Vancouver, 1992.
These guidelines were drawn up in 1992 and adopted by City council in November of the same year for how to proceed with building new plazas within the city of Vancouver. This document aims to ensure all plaza spaces are useable areas within communities, not “leftover areas between buildings” and therefore stresses the importance of multi-use spaces, though in a vague enough manner to allow spaces to integrate new technologies and architectural techniques (1). The conceptual maps included in the document are hand-drawn sketches that seem unclear when compared with computer-animated renderings from later documents. Guidelines included are general, such as maintaining street view of the ocean or links to the rest of the community through pathways, and are prefaced with “whenever possible” to accommodate any scenario (2). More particular specifics include the degree of angle for ramps and the inclusion of handrails at any ramp or stairs (3). Plants are also given consideration in that they should be incorporated in such as way as to encourage their growth and longevity (10).
Project Summary Report for “False Creek Flats Rail Corridor Strategy.” City of Vancouver, 2008.
This report identifies Vancouver as “Canada’s gateway for Asia Pacific Trade” and situates railroads as important infrastructure for transporting Asian commodities to the rest of Canada (1). The area of False Creek Flats is located adjacent to Northeast False Creek, where Northeast False Creek is on the waterfront and False Creek Flats is two kilometres to the East. Though the specifics of the importance of the railroad are irrelevant to this project, it is important to note that the redevelopment of Northeast False Creek not interfere detrimentally to the railroad operations in False Creek Flats.
Re:Connect Ideas Competition: Summary of Key Themes: The Viaducts, City of Vancouver, 2011.
In 2011, the City of Vancouver held an Open Ideas Competition to crowdsource potential reconfigurations of the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts (anywhere from updating the structures to complete removal). This document summarises the primary themes that emerged throughout this process. The city was surprised to see that most suggestions included keeping the viaducts, but only for transportation purposes (meaning that, if the City could provide alternative transportation, then the structures could be removed, and the general public would be satisfied). Other suggestions included: enhancing the surrounding park space, development of water-use areas (ie: swimming pools), multi-use public spaces in the ground area below the viaducts, and increased and streamlined bike pathways. Many of these ideas have been incorporated in the final park plans, despite the City’s decision to remove the viaducts.
Rezoning Policy for Sustainable Large Developments, City of Vancouver, 2010, amended 2013 and 2014.
This bylaw articulates the requirements developers must meet when constructing large projects within Vancouver. This bylaw details how developers must compile their rezoning applications, and was created at the same time as many developers were requesting rezoning of their land in Northeast False Creek. Sustainability is the primary focus of this bylaw, meaning that all new buildings must comply with sustainable designs, including construction and maintenance (ie: future heating, cooling, and lighting systems), incorporation of nature/nature-access, sustainable food systems (ie: community gardens or kitchens), green mobility (encouraged bike- and walk-paths to businesses and places of work), and rainwater management to redirect rainwater away from sewage lines. This bylaw brings into law the City’s Greenest City Action Plan with specific details about how and what policies and practices developers should implement to be in accordance with the Plan.
Toderian, Brent. Policy Report Development and Building, City of Vancouver, 2011.
This report outlines the general issues future development of Northeast False Creek park will face (such as contaminated soil) and how to best solve these issues. The report includes concept maps in the appendices that indicate problem areas and potential solutions, that the report says the City supports “in principle” if not to the letter (1). This report is designed to help with the rezoning efforts (regarding event space, which impacts allowable noise-levels) and the responsibility of cleaning contaminated soil and water, and for creating new park entrances. This report also documents that consultations with the Province and Concord (the main developer) were helpful in rezoning efforts so that the construction of certain areas of the park can be expedited (ie: the groups with the most immediate access to money should have access to the areas being developed first). The report states that the primary focus of the development should now be a finalised park plan, so that construction can begin for some areas, even while sites such as the Rogers Arena are still under consideration. The report outlines that a twenty-year development plan is best for beginning the project while still finalising certain specifics of the park and for obtaining sufficient funds. Concerns about how this park will serve the overall City and contribute positively to the Greenest City Action Plan are forefront. The need to rezone Rogers Arena and the Plaza of Nations is stressed, as those sites are heavily moderated by the Official Development Plan and cannot, at the time the report was written, be added to or modified. The report gestures toward the incoming Vancouver Housing and Homelessness Strategy 2012-2021 that seeks to address housing needs and states that the park must also comply with this new plan. The appendices include letters from the False Creek Residents Association that highlight the concerns of the residents regarding the redevelopment.
Key Words Index: Capitalism, Communication, Construction, DTES, Ecofeminism, Environmental Degradation, First Nations, Gardens, Gentrification, Historical Context, Housing, Industry, Landscape, Lions Gate Bridge, Map, Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women, Multiplicity, Students, Water