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Urban growth and transportation implications in port development : a cast study, Vancouver, British Columbia. Griggs, Neil John Francis


While most research on Port Planning in the past has focused on the marine and rail aspects, this study examines the urban influence on port development. It -is a case study of a portion of the waterfront of the Port of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, which lies adjacent to a metropolitan area of 1,000,000 persons. A survey was carried out on all the waterfront users to determine origins, destinations and volumes of cargo handled, frequency of service calls, employment and space requirement, site and plant characteristics, and mode and frequency of transportation. A second survey on a major cargo terminal was completed to determine the origin and destination of truck trips, and the length of time spent at the waterfront. A third survey sampled 25% of the 350 marine service industries as part of an economic impact study of the port. The conclusions reached are as follows: 1. The volume shipped through the Port of Vancouver will double during the next decade. As the 1968 capacity of the port was barely adequate to handle the existing flows a twofold expansion of facilities is necessary if the projected flows are to be accommodated. 2. Space to accommodate shipping operations of these proportions is not available without either land reclamation or major disruption of adjoining urban sites. Within the waterfront, 50% of the waterfront users indicate a need within five years to increase their sites for a total of 84 acres. 3. Congestion on the urban street system increased the cost of trucking from a general cargo terminal by 27%. 4. The unproductive time of trucks delayed at one general cargo terminal amounted to $750,000 annually. 5. The present switching methods and arrangements of the railway lines impose delivery delays and increase costs, amounting to about $400,000 annually. 6. Cargoes and waterfront products have few direct links with the city. Only 0.6% of the port’s exports originate from the city and 10% of its imports are destined for the city. 7. An urban location for the port is no longer necessary due to the change in cargo flows and service links. Eighty-five per cent of the major port service sector indicate they would remain in the city should the entire port operations be moved south, 18 miles, to Roberts Bank. 8. The urban growth has resulted in one-third of the port waterfront being used for non-port functions. In addition, three-quarters of the port interface is being redeveloped with urban renewal and residential projects, which is effectively preventing port expansion in this direction. 9. Management of the port is impeded, in that no single agency exercises jurisdiction over port lands, to provide coordinated planning. 10. The variation in downtown land values are reflected in similar variations in waterfront assessments, irrespective of the waterfront function, or its trade and service links. This study found that the conflict between the shipping activity and the adjoining urban area is a significant impediment to the present operation and future development of the Port of Vancouver.

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