Barriers to Transit-Oriented Development in Mature Communities: An assessment of South Point Douglas, Winnipeg
This practicum investigates the opportunities and challenges for Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) in mature communities, urban built out areas around the City core, and along the Eastern Bus Rapid Transit Corridor in Winnipeg. The focus will be on the South Point Douglas Neighbourhood (SPD), an economically disadvantaged, mature community and an important area for the City’s development. TOD is a type of development adjacent to rapid transit stations with the goal of promoting a certain level of density and mixed-uses such as residential, retail, and recreation. TOD, which is heavily influenced by the principles of new urbanism, has been gaining traction in North America for several years. It is a form of development that can reduce urban sprawl and reliance on the automobile. Winnipeg has also chosen a newer form of rapid transit, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). Research on its effects is increasing, but it lacks relevant North American examples. To investigate this issue, I conducted interviews with private developers, real estate professionals and public officials to determine the perceived and actual barriers the development community faces, and to propose strategies to overcome those barriers. I also conducted a site analysis of SPD to determine the feasibility of TOD and how much capacity it can sustain. An analysis of my findings showed that four factors were identified as potential areas of focus that could affect development in SPD: (1) Multiple zoning bylaws in the area, (2) Inconsistency in execution on the City’s vision of TOD, (3) Councillors ability to oppose projects; and (4) Past success of developer incentives. The strategies and recommendations have been tailored for SPD, however, this information will be useful to other municipalities attempting to encourage TOD in their innermost areas.