A Home for Everyone: The Densifiers

Using mental mapping to create positive notions of high density living.




Human Geography


GEOG 2275


  • Colin Mills

Student Team:

  • Carla Urquart
  • Arman Pishvaei
  • Navtoj Jassal


  • Heathy City Strategy

City goal area:

  • Being and Feeling Safe and Included


A Home For Everyone: The Densifiers was created with the aim of contributing to the goals under “A Home For Everyone” in the City of Vancouver’s Healthy City Strategy.

The goal is to address the prevalence of NIMBYism in Vancouver neighbourhoods regarding proposals for increased density developments, with the hope of streamlining the application process. We utilized mental mapping to learn how a recent large scale development, Marine Gateway, is perceived among residents of the surrounding community and new tower residents. By designing a simple mapping exercise, we were able to determine whether residents of the low density periphery neighbourhoods Marpole and Sunset considered Marine Gateway as a part of their neighbourhood, and whether residents of Marine Gateway differed in their perceptions of the neighbourhood.

Our results found that residents’ perceptions did not reflect consultants’ expectations. This indicates that planners and developers may not be able to accurately predict the needs of communities they work in. Further, mental mapping as a tool in community planning and development can provide information about neighbourhoods that may not be easily obtained using other methods.

Our work could easily be reproduced and improved upon, potentially in an electronic form such as a website or mobile app; results could be analyzed using GIS to create neighbourhood profiles with virtually any area of focus.

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