Tag Archives: urban planning

Our Researchers – Will Langford

Originally from Calgary, Will Langford has been pursuing his post-secondary education at UBC, where he completed a B.A. in history and is currently working on his M.A. thesis, the working title of which reads, “Is Sutton Brown God?” Planning, Expertise, and the Local State in Vancouver.” (Gerald Sutton Brown was Vancouver’s first Director of Planning.)

Will Langford

Ever interested in all things urban (as opposed to outdoorsy things like camping. . . ), Will became intrigued with the concept of urban planning during an undergraduate course on the history of Vancouver, taught by Professor Robert A. J. McDonald, where he was introduced to the notion of the relationship between the built environment and society. Curious about the underlying assumptions behind the claims of planners that only their expertise could result in better societies, and driven by his observation that things turned out quite differently, Will began to investigate. Continue reading

How did Harland Bartholomew’s Ideas Shape Vancouver?

Few cities possess such a combination of nearby natural resources, a splendid harbour, a terrain ideally suited for urban use, an equable climate and a setting of great natural beauty.

Vancouver is the most important Pacific port of a great country. Here, if anywhere, should develop a great city. Circumstances of such character call for a city plan of substantial scale.

A Plan for the City of Vancouver, Harland Bartholomew & Associates, 1928, p. 10

Detail from "Vancouver Town Planning Commission 1926, Ex-Officio Members and Town Planning Consultants, 1926, Item # LP 290

Founding his urban planning firm in 1919, Bartholomew was an experienced and respected planner by the time he was hired by the Vancouver Town Planning Commission in 1926.

Vancouver’s first comprehensive town plan was prepared by Harland Bartholomew and Associates in 1928 and revised in 1929 to include the newly added municipalities of South Vancouver and Point Grey.

Bartholomew’s firm wrote follow-up planning reports between 1944 and 1948.

We’d like to thank Bing Thom Architects for this 125th birthday gift to the City. The firm sponsored the digitization of all of the Harland Bartholomew reports held at the Archives. The reports are available now on the Internet Archive. Continue reading