UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

interrelationship of regional transportation regional government, and planning regions in Saskatchewan Ropertz, Henry

Abstract

The related concepts of regional planning and regional government have been a topic of discussion in Saskatchewan for a considerable period of time without yet being resolved. There are immediate questions requiring solutions which can best be handled on a regional scale: rail line abandonment and grain movement rationalization; changing consumer patterns that are by-passing small service-centers; the effects of population shift from rural to urban areas; the broadening of the economic base and the creation of a vehicle for the effective use of and therefore, the attraction of Federal development grants. Progress in resolving the above issues has been hampered because debate on these topics has been focused on issues that are not relevant. Discussion to date has centered on conflicting urban and rural values, heightened by a misunderstanding on the part of urban-oriented academics and professionals concerning rural needs and way of life. This point has created political attitudes which are detrimental to the adoption of regional government at this time. In summary, there exists a conflict between the idealistic imposition of regional government versus popular recognition of the concept. The thesis purports to show that resolution of this stalemate might be aided by a recognition of the present existence of informal regions and the corresponding existence of inter-dependence of nodal-centers and their surrounding areas. This is done by examining the relevance of current regional theory and literature pertaining to regional planning and central place theory. Several empirical studies and regional workshops were examined to comprehend previous attempts to establish a basis for regionalizing the province. The pattern of average daily traffic volume was used to delimit areas of activity that have developed naturally. An intuitive information letter provided an insight on how the public debate has strayed off the track; where the debate now stands regarding regional government; and what degree of progress is immediately feasible. The thesis concludes that informal regions exist to a degree that will sufficiently display the urban-rural community of interest and will enable problem-solving to occur predominantly on the required regional scale in respect of the type of issues discussed above. Finally, a new functional organization is suggested to act on these findings

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