Life in Poblenou

Observing Spaces in Transition

Role: Field Research, Urban Design, Graphic Design
Team: Deniz Irem Akaltin, Jackson Chen, Wonjun Cho, Wonjun Cho, Ian Flock, Stephanie Grondin, Alejandro Guzman, Suzanne Faye King, Alexis Kinman, , Stephen McCausland, Emilia Oscilowivz, Halina Rachelson, Jean Roe, Jorge Soler Cruz, Karen Kang, Julia Zhu, Zaida Muxi, Jordi Honey-Roses
Partners: UBC School of Community and Regional Planning, ETSAB International, Taula Eix Pere IV, Col.lectiu Punt 6
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Date: Summer 2019

This research was design and implemented by a team of 16 students and two faculty members from the UBC School of Community and Regional Planning and the Escola Tecnica Superior d’Arquitectura de Barcelona (ETSAB). We observed public life in four locations of the Poblenou neighbourhood, and collected data including: pedestrian flow, stationary behaviour, social cohesion indicators and public space indicators. Each team of students then proposed design interventions for the specific area. Alongside Ian Flock, Stephen McCausland and Julia Zhu, we studied La Rambla, the “pulse of Poblenou”.

Read the report here.

Spaces That Connect Us

Key considerations for delivering social infrastructure

Role: Research, Writing, Graphic Design
Team: Individual Research Project
Partners: Catalyst Community Developments Society, UBC School of Community and Regional Planning, Mitacs Accelerate, Housing Research Collaborative
Date: Summer 2019

This report provides a set of key considerations for the creation, design and maintenance of activated, welcoming and useful spaces of social infrastructure in new mixed-use developments.

Read the report here.

Appropriate Neighbourliness

A Study of Combined or Clearly Defined Amenity Spaces in Mixed Tenure Buildings

Role: Research, Writing, Graphic Design
Team: Maureen Solmundson, Jean Roe
Partners: City of Vancouver, UBC School of Community and Regional Planning
Date: Spring 2019

The City of Vancouver’s inclusionary zoning policy has resulted in the production of many residential buildings that include both non-market housing, which may include supportive housing, and market units. In most cases, the two types of units are under separate management and feature separate spaces, such as entrances, utility rooms, elevators and outdoor spaces. This separation has been the focus of criticism as reflecting a practice of social exclusion and segregation. This report examines the issue of shared versus separate spaces from the perspectives of City staff and non-profit housing operators who operate the non-market housing on behalf of the City and concludes with a set of recommendations and next steps.

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Shaping the Heart

A Commercial Strategy for 22nd Street Station Area

Partners: UBC School of Community and Regional Planning, City of New Westminster
Supervisors: Maged Senbel (UBC SCARP), Lynn Roxborough (City of New Westminster)
Team: Laura Chow, Alexandra Heinen, Tru Taylor, Jean Roe
Location: New Westminster, BC
Date: September – March 2020

The future of 22nd Street Station Area looks nothing like the present. Vibrant commercial spaces, pedestrianized streets and apartment towers will define the area currently established as a SkyTrain pass-through surrounded by single detached homes. While preparing for a high density mixed use community, it is critical to understand commercial use. The 22nd Street Station Area Commercial Strategy provides research, analysis and recommendations for commercial opportunities around 22nd Street Station in New Westminster and will inform the future area Master Plan. This strategy is intended for the City of New Westminster but is relevant to future and current residents, transit riders, business owners, developers and local organizations in the area.

Read the report here.

Planning by Design

Applying design thinking to municipal planning

Capstone Graduating Project
Role: Researcher
Partners: Intelligent Futures, UBC School of Community and Regional Planning, Mitacs Accelerate
Supervisors: John Lewis (Intelligent Futures), Jordi Honey-Roses (UBC SCARP)
Date: March – August 2020

This research explores how design thinking can generally be applied to municipal policymaking. More specifically, it explores how a sprint methodology—a three to five day intensive workshop that employs design thinking—may be applied to the municipal planning process. As the challenges facing our cities become more uncertain and complex, local governments must respond to urgent and ever-adapting demands. The recent onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically increased the uncertainty and complexity of the modern world. The structure of bureaucratic organizations—which were built for a different reality in past centuries—inhibits the ability for municipal planners to keep up with complex, ever-changing challenges. Design thinking offers a set of processes, tools and methods that can help public servants respond to such problems. It can also help maintain a focus on empathizing with citizens, which can easily get lost in the ‘churn’ of typical planning processes. Through an extensive literature review and interviews with 27 planners and designers, the research revealed four key insights.

Read the report here.