Urban Case Study
Provide a description and analysis of an urban/cultural landscape in the Lower Mainland as
1. Describe your chosen landscape by means of text and non-verbal imagery;
2. Explain how this place has come to be as it is (draw on archives, sources, interviews);
3. Since landscapes are reflections of culture, show how your landscape reflects the
values/tastes/aspirations of the people associated with it (or those of society at large).
Unpack and delve into the cultural meaning of the area. This should be the substance of
Your landscape should be of very modest size, easily crossed on foot in a few minutes.
Avoid the very large– Stanley Park for example – in favor of the small and ordinary –
some section of the city around the corner for example. Avoid your own home and the
university! Remember: landscape, as the term suggests, involves a piece of land (such as
a high street), part of the earth’s surface. There may well be buildings on it, but a building
by itself (a mall, for instance) is not a landscape. Moreover, while the function of a
building may be important to your essay, its internal character – layout – is rarely
Look long and hard at your area – on more than one occasion. One purpose of this case
study is to encourage you to observe and think about some place you might normally take
for granted, to use your eyes (and occasionally other senses) to map and conceptualize
the area. However, you must provide supportive documentation for the latter
portions of your essay. Keep in mind that, in the last part, such documentation may be
‘generic’ rather than specific to your chosen locale (e.g. research on shopping strips in
general rather than on the specific example you have chosen). As for the non-verbal
imagery in your description, it should be of your own making – maps, photographs,
sketches (you can add other maps/images, just be sure to cite them).
You must also provide several outside academic, scholarly sources. Ask your instructor
for guidance if this is unclear.
• A maximum of 2,000 words typed – 8 pages (maps, diagrams, charts, etc. not included);
• Double spaced, 12 point font, New Times Roman, 1-inch margins, double sided
• Use of color can enhance your graphic contribution;
• Provide your student #, date of submission, and title;
• Provide separate sheet at the end with your works cited (use APA style- single spaced)
• Remember a good essay is tightly reasoned, crisply presented, with the neatest visual
material that you can manage;
• Warning: titles that lack a precise location of your landscape, including the relevant
municipality, will incur a penalty.
• Remember: you are also going to present your case study to your peers.
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