UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The co-ordination of light rapid transit and land-use : an examination of the institutional framework in Edmonton Hammermeister, James Paul


Land use and transportation are dynamic processes continually reacting to the pressures of urban development and societal change. Although the theoretical literature supports the notion that land use and transportation should be planned and managed in a co-ordinated fashion, the empirical evidence suggests that land use and transportation decisions are still made largely independent of each other. The thesis maintains that an emphasis on the substantive approach in the planning process has led to a misunderstanding of the manner in which the institutional framework can influence the co-ordinated development of land use and transportation. Several institutional factors are involved including; the organizational framework, the process of integration within the framework, and the strategies developed to implement societal goals and objectives. Specific concerns include; fragmentation of authority, lack of authority, a reactive planning process, and the lack of formal mechanisms for implementation. An adaptive, process-oriented model of institutional integration is proposed that blends two elements of an effective planning process: the co-ordinated development of land use and transportation and the integration of organizational components within the institutional framework. The thesis suggests that one cannot successfully implement strategic change without making compensating and reinforcing changes to the process and structure. The degree of risk and uncertainty within the environment is the qualifying factor that maintains a proper 'fit' within the planning process. The latter part of the thesis examines the institutional framework responsible for the development of the City of Edmonton's Northeast light rapid transit system. The analysis reveals that although rapid transit was seen as a means of accomplishing compact growth and development little redevelopment has occurred along the transit corridor, particularly at the level envisaged by the city planners. A number of institutional factors have contributed to the lack of development including; a dynamic and complex environment, a reactive planning process, the lack of formal integrative mechanisms, separate and, at times, independent land use and transportation planning processes, and disincentives towards redevelopment such as the redevelopment levy and zoning freeze. The application of the integrated institutional model suggests the need for a number of integrative mechanisms that were not evident within the institutional framework responsible for Edmonton's light rapid transit system. The study reveals that the institutional framework influences the effectiveness of land use planning along a rapid transit corridor and that integrative mechanisms are required within the planning process in order to effectively co-ordinate the development of land use and transportation.

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