Re: Building a prototype
- Thanks for the two replies (so far at least). Those who don't know
the site I'm describing could go to http://www.emaps.com then click
on "Maps" and search, under Canada, for Rigaud, QC: the site is
northwest of Rigaud, where highway 40 turns northward and then
westward as 417 in Ontario.
Ryan Lanyon said:
(...) I would suggest not having it be a bi-provincial project, (...)
there is very little coordination at the provincial level. In fact,
we run two separate transit systems, partly
because Quebec subsidizes transit and Ontario does not.
In fact, there are separate systems for Montreal proper and the towns
on the "South Shore" of the Saint Lawrence river to its east (i.e.
with no provincial boundary), so there is more involved than just
provincial boundaries. The design of the subway would have a
distinct route on either side of the border, with a transfer
station in the city core. Let me illustrate.
Think of the reference design as composed of a loop at each of the
odd hours of the clock: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 o'clock. The 3 and 9
o'clock loops have a north and south branch; the others have an east
and west branch. The reference design can be superimposed
surprisingly cleanly over the site: the north branch of the 9 o'clock
loop (9N) fits almost exactly over Ontario Hwy 417; the stem
of the 5 loop and 5-east fit right over Quebec Hwy 40, going halfway
down to Rigaud. Their respective subway lines would meet at the
border, between the highway and the river, where the core of the
city would be located.
In any case, I suggest that the economic benefits from tourism of an
Expo could justify both funding and collaboration between the two
provinces and the federal government. (Visitors could number in the
tens of millions.) It is probably less likely that a single province
would willingly accept to take on the financial burden.
You proposed "the uncompleted highway 50 between Gatineau and
Montreal" farther west on the *north* shore of the Ottawa river as a
site to take advantage of Quebec's different priorities. Rail, as far
as I know, is a purely *federal* responsibility; provincial monies
would go toward building the first phase of the city itself, both the
central Expo site and the peripheral housing + multi-use districts.
(1) It will be important to control the area around the new town.
(...) You do NOT want fast- food restaurants, etc., setting up
business immediately outside of the car-free boundary.
Certainly: it would be necessary to make clear to the provinces that
the purpose of the Expo is to build a city as a careful experiment
in car-free, sprawl-free urbanism to be applied elsewhere
in the province. This would be clear in the *theme* of the Expo and
stringent requirements in this sense should be built into the city
(2) Bootstrapping a new town of significant size requires (...)
buy-in by significant employers (...): which industries
especially benefit from the concept? What is needed to sign-up
Expo service workers would be present as residents right from the
beginning of the Expo and many might stay on afterward; during
the Expo, the Exposition Corporation or perhaps an adjunct governing
body for the peripheral areas outside the Expo site (and post-Expo, the
downtown area) would actively recruit new residents and businesses to
support expansion to the target final size of the city. The "quality
of life" and "quality and proximity of services and infrastructure"
arguments should be quite convincing; many businesses would probably
be happier to locate there rather than at exurbian nowheres outside
the Ottawa and Montreal suburban belts.
(3) I would recommend choosing a shore location. (...) (b) Large
bodies of water moderate temperature, which
makes for better walking. (c) A variety of boats could augment the
transportation system. The only drawback is that most good shore
locations are taken.
Downtown/Expo is right on the Ottawa river. The water *does* make the
climate *slightly* milder than it would otherwise be, but it would be
similar to Ottawa's an Montreal's climate. The irregularly clustered, narrow
street layouts would likely cut winter winds and perhaps contribute
to favorable sheltered microclimates for walking. (Any research on such an
effect dependent on street layout? I know that long, straight streets
as in Montreal and Ottawa make for horrible wind tunnels.) As for
boats, they could be used as ferries to the north shore of the river,
but only as a slower auxiliary means of transport that wouldn't
replace a cross-river metro.
Good luck. Let us know when we can come look at lots. ;-)
If this ever goes beyond a thought experiment, welcome to Expo!