Spaces of atrocity: political architecture and visualizing Vancouver




Nicholles, Sylvia Michelle

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This thesis begins by presenting a case study of Vancouver’s Yaletown neighbourhood, and the implementation there of a crime prevention program utilizing the built environment. This case study is then analyzed theoretically to make the argument that the city is a valid site for engaging with politics. This argument is made through the spatial theory of Henri Lefebvre, particularly his idea of a visual logic that is privileged in architecture and urbanism. I argue that if this is the case, then how the city is imagined is privileged over how it is experienced. This way of conceiving and experiencing the city, when combined with modern technology, has important consequences for how interactions occur in built environments that are designed to control. Finally, I contend that disrupting dominant ways of producing and imagining the city allows us to recognize and appreciate the diversity that is politically and socially important in cities.



Architecture, Aesthetics, Political Theory, Vancouver, Space, Gentrification