Over 90 years ago Vancouver hired Harland Bartholomew & Associates to create Vancouver’s first city-wide plan. Highly influential in the first half of the twentieth century, Bartholomew’s firm emerged as leading American urban planners starting in 1911 and pioneered methodologies for plans in many cities. The 332-page A Plan for the City of Vancouver saw several iterations completed in 1927-30 for the Vancouver Town Planning Commission. It provided an ambitious vision and specific concepts for the young city at the time when Vancouver amalgamated with two neighbouring municipalities to become the modern City of Vancouver, with automobile-oriented transportation demands and planning for industrial growth as priority considerations.
Bartholomew’s plans left a lasting legacy in how the city developed over the decades to come, including the Burrard Bridge and strict separations between apartment and detached home areas. Author Michael Kluckner will explore what was implemented, what worked and what did not, and track more recent changes in legislation and development, such as the vision for False Creek, condominium living and the push for compact communities in both the city and the region. As Vancouver enters a new phase of city-wide planning and an expanded regional context, a look back over the past century can provide insights on many aspects of the city today.