Aesthetics, New Urbanism and the Diana Krall Plaza: A Case Study in Nanaimo, BC




Bakker, Julian

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New Urbanism is nearly three decades old, yet it continues to be something of an enigma, inciting controversy and discussion nearly every time it is implemented. This thesis discusses New Urbanism in the context of its reaction to Modernism, and makes explicit its underlying theoretical orientations. Its continued value as a placemaking movement will be illustrated using Heidegger’s Dwelling as the basis for making judgments about the quality and success of placemaking efforts. The fieldwork demonstrating these principles was conducted in the Diana Krall Plaza, a public space in Nanaimo, BC, enacted using certain New Urbanist principles. An aesthetic-phenomenological approach to place based on the synergy of aesthetic and existential concerns was developed to structure the fieldwork, and interpret the resulting data. This approach provided meaningful insights into the subjects embodied experiences and demonstrated value as a means of public consultation and theoretical framework for discussing placemaking and New Urbanism.



New Urbanism, Aesthetics, Phenomenology, Planning, Urban, Heidegger, Dwelling