Regional planning for growth containment in unincorporated rural areas: the place of complete communities and agricultural urbanism? a case study of the RDN's rural village centre strategy

Thumbnail Image
Collinson, Jill
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Unincorporated areas within a regional planning context are often of an essential ‘in-between’ nature — facing unique community-specific and site-specific challenges. These challenges include: identifying appropriate growth management strategies, examining how growth containment is best effected, and determining how this is best integrated in the unincorporated rural area context — especially where these areas are adjacent to rapidly growing incorporated urban-region centres. There are also considerations around how concepts, such as Complete Communities and Agricultural Urbanism, can be applied to such contexts — and how such concepts may facilitate a tighter, and more seamless, relationship between the typically polar opposite interventions under the banners of regional planning and community design. This practicum examines how the concepts of Complete Communities and Agricultural Urbanism are and/or could be applied to unincorporated rural areas as part of an approach to a combination of planning and design — as placemaking. The Regional District of Nanaimo’s Rural Village Centre (RDN RVC) strategy provides the main case study context, along with several other ostensibly comparable BC regional district settings as potentially informative precedents. It was discovered that there are increasing linkages between regional planning and community design that may be further advanced via a placemaking perspective. Of special note are the opportunities associated with adaptations of the concepts of Complete Communities and Agricultural Urbanism in the unincorporated rural context; referencing these concepts can enhance the linkages between the ‘unincorporated rural settings’ and their ‘incorporated’ municipal neighbours. The research has helped to identify where there may be room for improvement around RDN RVC strategies, and how they may be better applied in the future.
planning, rural, regional, unincorporated, complete communities, agricultural urbanism, rural village centre, Regional District of Nanaimo