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Urban Design and Planning Course Studies Vancouver Models

May 31, 2008

By Daniel Abramson

Above:¬†Vancouver city planners and community leaders take their Seattle counterparts and UW students in the Urban Design and Planning course on a tour of Vancouver’s historic Chinatown.

The activity was the latest in a series of exchanges Professor Abramson has coordinated between the Chinatown communities of Seattle and Vancouver, and groups of students from the UW. The exchanges have focused on how preservation and revitalization planning and policy for historic Chinatowns in North America can better include the perspectives and experience of ethnic Chinese immigrant associations.

On this exchange, UW and Seattle visitors toured a number of Vancouver’s historic Chinatown Society Buildings, heard presentations by the Society owners, by the Vancouver city planning staff on policy for Chinatown, and by Canadian architects Sandra Moore and Inge Roecker on preservation and rehabilitation design strategies for the buildings. The Canadians completed this round of the exchange by visiting Seattle in early June and making presentations to a larger Seattle audience.

Dan Abramson, Assistant Professor in Urban Design and Planning, led his class in Urban Design and Planning 470: “Introduction to Urban Design,” to the Historic Chinatown of Vancouver, BC, on Friday-Saturday, April 25-26. Sixteen out of 20 enrolled students in the course attended, most of them at the Masters level. The class was accompanied by representatives from the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, the Seattle Chinatown-International District Preservation and Development Authority, and the International District Housing Alliance, as well as postdoctoral visiting scholar from Israel.

This field course to Canada was made possible, in part, from a Center Program Enhancement Grant, Foreign Affairs, Canada.