Gerald Sutton Brown, Chief Planner 1952-1973, represented the last of the British/London model of development in Vancouver, where development happens organically, incrementally and is resilient, responding quickly to market forces. Because of this, the price of housing remained stable despite rapid growth.
The West End, the Vancouver Special, high-rise residential on the industrial waterfront and the sprinkling of townhouses, mid-rise and high-rise buildings throughout low density areas are part of his legacy.
James Douglas was part black, married to an aboriginal woman, he spoke the Chinook Jargon trade language and had already successfully opposed the legislature in Victoria which had wanted to remove the local Songhees reserve. He was appointed first Governor of British Columbia and he and Colonial Secretary Lytton established the Colony on two key principles:
- First Nations communities would remain permanently in place permanently. This was in opposition to what had happened just south of the 49th parallel where people were moved to distant reservations.
- Native people could preempt land privately off of the reserves but this land would also be available to new immigrants.