Heritage preservation : the case of downtown New Westminster

Eleanor Catherine Sleath
Planning, by its nature, involves the management of change, but often that change occurs so rapidly or in such a way that people begin to fear that their community is losing its sense of place, that everything familiar or characteristic is diappearing. Preservation of a community's heritage offers a way to maintain continuity of the past into the future. This thesis focuses on planning for preservation at the local level using the case of Downtown New Westminster. The City of New Westminster is
more » ... currently undergoing a massive redevelopment of its downtown area which will place tremendous pressure on the existing character of the City. New Westminster has a history of 125 years which traces back to its beginnings as the first incorporated city north of San Francisco and west of the Great Lakes. The Downtown's urban pattern was deliberately planned by Colonel Moody and has remained almost intact. The Downtown still contains many turn of the century buildings and its historic sense of place is highly valued by its citizens; however, the core has experienced a decline in its regional importance as a commercial centre and its built space is deteriorating. The redevelopment proposed for the area is a result of its designation as a Regional Town Centre to be serviced by the ALRT line. Because of the plans for redevelopment, it is important that New Westminster act quickly to ensure that its historic sense of place is preserved and helps in the revitalization of the area. The Downtown is identifiable as a district within the larger city due to its concentration of commercial uses, unique geography, and historic buildings, but within this district are nodes or concentrations of particular uses which possess a distinctive physical and historic character. These nodes provide the basis for heritage areas or precincts within the district. The heritage precincts establish a framework for effective planning due to their consistency and limited size. The case study of planning for preservation in Downtown New Westminster [...]
doi:10.14288/1.0096315 fatcat:ir637tmnnfdm3bzrbuabyq37xq