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Nathanael Lauster

Livability figures prominently both in various policy documents, including those attempting to mandate a right to housing, and in measurements meant to compare cities. How do different kind of documents that bear upon livability and housing across different scales attempt to wrestle with, define and measure what’s livable? Focusing on the Vancouver case, where livability remains a prominent concern, I explore UN frameworks, livability ratings agencies, national housing measures, metropolitan planning documents and municipal by-laws to provide some insight into this question. In general, as livability concerns shift from broad national and international to more locally focused documents, they tend to become more specific, narrower in orientation and more exclusionary in effect.