UBC Theses and Dissertations
The effects of land use, transportation infrastructure and housing affordability on growth management in the GVRD: a study of household travel behaviour and location decisions Allison, Mark B.
A great deal of planning literature in the last decade has been devoted to growth management and the concept of land use and transportation interactions. "New" approaches to planning, such as Transit Oriented Development (TOD) and Neo-Traditional Neighbourhood Design, are products of this evaluation of current development practices. The influence of housing affordability and accessibility, although intuitively related to the growth management problems of urban sprawl and automobile dependence, has often been overlooked. The purpose of this research is to bridge important gaps in our understanding of how residential land use and transportation infrastructure investments are shaping unsustainable growth and travel patterns in the GVRD, which is the main problem being addressed. The research objectives related to this problem are the correlation of observed trends in growth, housing and travel indicators, the determination of the importance of price and accessibility factors in household location decisions, and the analysis of the role that land use and transportation decisions have played in influencing housing costs and accessibility. To provide a context for understanding the scope of the problem and the relationships between the research results and proposed recommendations, the applicable literature, theory, and policies in the areas of growth management, land use, transportation and housing are given. Supporting research results include: a survey of senior stakeholders in the region on land use, transportation and housing issues; a synthesis of significant socioeconomic, growth, transportation and housing data; a summary of surveys outlining preferences for residential location and housing type; and an analysis of Place of Work data crosstabulated against Place of Residence and socioeconomic variables. The results show a strong dependency between location decisions and the cost and accessibility of housing, particularly for the critical group of younger households with children. Policy recommendations, based on the research and covering land use, transportation, housing, governance and education, are proposed to address the main sustainability problems studied. The recommendations focus on promoting affordable, higher density communities, with a choice of transportation modes, as an attractive alternative to lower density, automobile-dependent suburbs.