UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Planning for transportation corridors in the context of regional development Davey, George Harold

Abstract

Throughout most of the populated areas of North America, the phenomena of urbanization continues at a rapid pace. As urban centers grow in population they are also expanding in areal extent, and as a result, are coalescing both in form and functional interrelationships. Increased mobility on behalf of the individual and the growing functional inter-dependencies of expanding metropolitan areas will result in a demand for additional urban and regional transportation facilities. The basic problem then, which this thesis investigates is how to acquire corridors of land through rural, urbanizing, and urban regions which will accommodate these transportation facilities, while at the same time compatibly integrating the different modes with the surrounding land uses. As a solution to this problem, it is hypothesized that in order to compatibly integrate transportation facilities with land use in the urban and regional context, the transportation corridor concept should be adopted. The concept is defined in Chapter 1 as a linear parcel of land, of varying width, forming a passageway to accommodate different modes of ground transportation. Included in the definition is the three-dimensional aspect of the corridor which provides for multiple development, including air rights. The overriding functions to be performed by the transportation corridor are as a channel for the interregional movement of goods and people and as a potential instrument in the hands of planners to influence the form of future regional development. The Northeast Corridor from Boston to Washington, and Mississauga, the linear urban area along the northwest end of Lake Ontario, are cited as examples of emerging population and transportation corridors in differing degrees of development. To aid in the acquisition of land for corridors and to assist in the compatible integration of transportation facilities with the surrounding land use, it is proposed that a comprehensive approach to the problem be undertaken by creating a design concept team. Members of this multiple-disciplinary team would represent the various social, aesthetic, economic and political aspects of land use relative to the corridor. The corridor concept involves the integration of transportation facilities with such dissimilar land uses as urban renewal, parks and recreation areas. The methods of investigation undertaken include a review of land use regulation devices used in the United States. Devices such as highways plans, zoning, tax concessions, and subdivision control are considered as a means of regulating land use to keep land in open space for future acquisition as corridors. The investigation of a range of land acquisition techniques is also undertaken and includes the following: acquisition and resale with use restrictions, acquisition and lease with use restrictions, compensatory regulations, conservation easements, and, installment purchase with concurrent use restrictions. Chapter II concludes with a discussion of the possibilities of establishing a land bank. Canadian expropriation powers relating to the federal, provincial and municipal levels of government are investigated in Chapter III. Municipal planning powers and the contribution they can make toward regulating and acquiring land for corridor use, is also described. Through the coordination of governmental powers at the three levels, it was found that both land acquisition and its financing, for transportation corridors, could be undertaken. The road building and financial responsibilities of the three governmental levels are assessed, and particular attention is given to the successful financial arrangements agreed to by the federal and provincial governments under The Trans-Canada Highway Act. This Act was instrumental in providing for joint federal - provincial participation in the construction and financing of the Trans-Canada Highway which was officially completed in 1962. It is concluded from the investigation that the concept of transportation corridors, as outlined in the thesis is basically valid and therefore is capable of being developed. For the compatible integration of transportation facilities with the surrounding land uses, it is resolved that a comprehensive planning approach be undertaken by the creation of a multiple-disciplinary team. This team would attempt to resolve a variety of conflicts which may arise. Through the coordination of constitutional powers it was found that a method of acquiring land for corridors could be developed. However, due to the successful experience of the Trans-Canada Highway Act, new legislation is proposed as a superior alternative to the intergovernmental coordination of powers. It is concluded that the financial and constitutional arrangements utilized in the Trans-Canada Highway Act agreements, because they have been historically successful, provide a sound foundation upon which to base the new legislation which provides for federal financial assistance in acquiring land for transportation corridors. Complementing the legislation is the proposal to create a provincial administrative framework to coordinate the finances and the acquisition of land required for the successful development of the transportation corridor concept. As a second alternative it is proposed that a crown corporation be created to provide financial assistance to provinces and municipalities. It is deduced that crown corporations have achieved a wide degree of acceptance in the Canadian economy, and that the creation of another to aid financially in land acquisition programs for transportation corridors, provides a viable alternative to the proposal for new legislation.

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