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Re: Building a prototype

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  • earthymiller
    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,
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 26, 2002
      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.

      My reactions:

      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.

      "Turpin" said:

      (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.

      My response:

      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
      charters.

      "Turpin":

      (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
      companies? (...)

      My response:

      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.

      "Turpin":

      (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.

      My response:

      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!

      Chris Miller
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