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Urban Futures for Central Canada

Urban Futures for Central Canada: Perspectives on Forecasting Urban Growth and Form

Larry S. Bourne
Ross D. MacKinnon
Jay Siegel
James W. Simmons
Series: Heritage
Copyright Date: 1974
Pages: 368
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  • Book Info
    Urban Futures for Central Canada
    Book Description:

    Urban problems are now a dominent social issue: the essays in this volume consider the direction some of these problems may take in Central Canada.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-3233-2
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-1)
    Larry S. Bourne, Ross D. MacKinnon, Jay Siegel and James W. Simmons
  4. [Map]
    (pp. 2-2)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 3-22)

    Images of the future city abound. Some, such as the one quoted above, are based on intelligent subjective speculations but have little or no basis in fact. In this case the forecast may not be wrong but the time horizon is. Others are more cautious and less speculative, based on reasoned evaluations and projections of past trends and relationships. Neither approach is necessarily better; both can be useful. And both can be wrong. The research reported in the following pages tends towards the latter of these two courses. It is argued that one cannot understand the city of the future...


    • Editors’ comments
      (pp. 23-25)

      The dialogue on social and economic forecasting has been long and continuous. Forecasts should be made, say the pessimists, only if no one takes them too seriously. Clearly, to predict the future accurately, at least for most activities in which man has the dominant decision-making role, is virtually impossible. What is commonly attempted is to outline a number of possible futures based on a set of alternative assumptions. The ultimate goal of such forecasting is to consider the desirability of each alternative within the context of explicit societal goals. The successful forecast is not judged solely by its accuracy when...

    • 1 Defining the future urban system
      (pp. 25-34)

      The Urban Environment Study examined the future forms of urban development in southern Ontario and southern Quebec - a region designated as Central Canada.¹ Within this general spatial framework, however, a wide diversity of definitions of the urban system has been used as a result of the varied interests, purposes, and data sources of the researchers involved. Because many of the results and forecasts are closely related to the area and units of observation, it seems appropriate to recapitulate some of the spatial and temporal dimensions of the studies presented in this volume and the issues which were considered in...

    • 2 Forecasting township populations of Ontario, from time-space covariances
      (pp. 34-59)

      Now in the early 1970s we want to draw a map, by townships, of the population of Ontario in 1981, another map for 1991, and again, even more tentatively, a map for the year 2001. It is certainly easy enough to write down sets of numbers and draw maps, but we must also convince ourselves and our readers that our methods and our results are reasonable. We have surveyed the literature (Curry, 1970) and made in numerable experiments in choosing a method: the technical aspects of the latter are outlined in later sections of this paper. As an immediate and...

    • 3 Forecasting urban populations
      (pp. 60-79)

      One would suspect that forecasting the future population of an urban area would be a straightforward proposition. The federal government in Canada conducts a detailed census of population every ten years and summary censuses every five years. In addition, there are extensive life tables tested and used by insurance companies, which provide the necessary historical and biological information to generate estimates of the stream of future populations.

      This paper provides a framework for interpreting the population forecasts for cities in Central Canada (those cities presented in appendix B). In order to achieve this objective it is necessary to discuss first...

    • 4 Long-range employment forecasting for the Toronto metropolitan region
      (pp. 79-94)

      Planning at the regional level, for both public and private facilities, requires some expectations about the future. Predictions about the dimensions of future socioeconomic structures are an important component of these expectations. An interesting dimension in this regard is the anticipated level of employment, the significance of employment forecasts lying primarily in what these imply in terms of broad economic, ecological, and social impacts on the region. Almost all planners, private and public, social or physical, need and use employment forecasts even though these may be for a number of different purposes.

      It is not difficult to describe a broad...


    • Editors’ comments
      (pp. 95-98)

      The principal focus of the papers in this part is on the regional implications of urban growth in Central Canada. Part I presented forecasts of future population size for specific cities. However cities and urban areas do not exist in isolation. Indeed the very nature of urbanization is interdependence, both of characteristics within a city and of linkages between cities. This part explores the relationship between the system of cities in Central Canada and urban growth, considering such aspects as transportation, communications, migration, employment, and the formation of public policy. It elaborates on the process of growth, by discussing and...

    • 5 Urban growth and the urban hierarchy
      (pp. 98-116)

      This study explores the hypothesis that an urban area’s role in the urban system hierarchy will affect its growth experience. Urban areas do not exist in isolation, but all too often studies of a city’s growth potential and/or projected population size treat the city as an independent element; or, what amounts to the same assumption, it is assumed that all other cities can be aggregated into the ‘rest of the country.’ Urban centres can be viewed as institutions for expediting the flows of goods, services, information, and people. One of the functions of an urban centre is as a node...

    • 6 The components of interurban migration streams
      (pp. 116-132)

      As the section on forecasting suggested, the most important unknown quantity in predicting population distributions is the amount and nature of migration.

      Assuming that the total current population is known, then to predict the population of some future date requires four measures: births, deaths, and in-and out-migration. When dealing with a reasonably closed spatial system, such as provinces or nations, the total future population can be estimated fairly accurately using the cohort-survival method. The four variables are either held constant, or simple assumptions are made about how they change over time. When attention is shifted to the distribution of population...

    • 7 Future interurban transportation in Central Canada
      (pp. 132-140)

      Central Canada has a highly developed multimodal transportation system. The highway system carries the vast majority of passenger traffic, although it is supplemented by effective air, rail, and bus services between many cities. The St Lawrence Seaway-Great Lakes waterway system and the railways and pipelines carry most of the commodity tonnage, although truck transport is also very important.¹ These modes, together with the communications networks, link the set of cities and rural areas of Central Canada into a highly integrated system. Similar links connect the region to the larger system of Canada, the United States, and the rest of the...

    • 8 Intercity linkage patterns
      (pp. 140-157)

      Inherent in the notion of an urban system is a focus on the linkages among cities and their role in the evolution of urbar structural characteristics. This paper examines the relation ship between spatial interaction, measured by telephone calls among the cities of Central Canada, and various structural characteristics of the centres/such as demographic, social, economic, and housing variables. It complements earlier analyses of the urban system of Ontario and Quebec, which have concentrated on structural characteristics (see Bunting, 1972; Golant, 1972; and Barber, 1972), and extends the work by Simmons (1972) on telephone calls and other forms of interaction....

    • 9 Forecasting the regional economy of Ontario
      (pp. 158-177)

      This paper projects recent labour force trends for Ontario, disaggregated by both region and sector, to the year 2001. These projections are then evaluated in terms of possible planning developments by the provincial government.

      It is inevitable that studies of this kind contain apologetic notes about the logical bases of the results of this type of exercise. The general assumption of the continuity of present trends, in particular, is an admission of ignorance of the processes of long-run change in a regional economy. The use of this naive methodology, however, can be partially explained by the absence of a well-developed...

    • 10 Spatial-temporal relationships in the Quebec urban system
      (pp. 178-193)

      Urban research has long been concerned with the explanation and prediction of changes occurring in particular cities and within the urban system as a whole. More often than not this interest has focused on long-term changes, such as urban growth and decline, but recently attention has also turned to short-term fluctuations as a means of anticipating future growth and to the applications of business-cycle analysis in a spatial context.

      Not only is business-cycle analysis useful in the study of the viability of urban economies, but it also provides opportunity to investigate the dialectic between structure and change. The study of...

    • 11 The effects of public policy on the future urban system
      (pp. 194-208)

      In attempting to evaluate the probable future effects of the policies on urban growth recently enunciated by the Government of Canada as well as the governments of the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, it may be instructive first to study the experience of other countries which have been pursuing similar policies for a number of years. Such policies relate to two aspects of urban growth:

      1 distribution of growth on a national scale; and

      2 distribution of growth within urban-metropolitan regions, or ‘urban fields,’ to use John Friedmann’s (1965) term.

      In surveying the policies related to the national distribution of...


    • Editors’ comments
      (pp. 209-212)

      If the technology that has evolved over the past 20 years has created new possibilities for redesigning urban form, does it follow that new urban forms will evolve? Have we the economic and political institutions through which we can design and build these new forms? Thus concludes the report of the Ontario Economic Council (1972), commenting on an urban society in transition.

      The projections of urban populations summarized in paper 3 translate into a complex variety of alternative urban forms. Part III examines selected aspects of the changing intraurban structure of cities in Central Canada. Specifically authors are concerned with...

    • 12 Trends in future urban land use
      (pp. 213-236)

      Land is the common measure of urban form. Land use is the key instrument of urban planning and development. Land-use change is the principal barometer of the rate of urban growth and, aside from population, is the basic parameter in extrapolating future urban forms. Questions concerning the spatial distribution of activities and residences within cities are most frequently phrased in land-use terms.

      Why then are present land-use data sources of such limited value? The problem is two fold. First, there is no concensus on what is meant by either the terms ‘urban’ or ‘land use,’ nor is there agreement on...

    • 13 Urban transportation in the future
      (pp. 236-265)

      Transportation in general and urban transportation in particular are subjects on which virtually everyone can express opinions - often very dogmatic ones at that. Like the weather, politics, and sex (not necessarily in that order), transportation is of vital concern to most people. It consumes a considerable amount of time, energy, and money for virtually everyone. Not only is transportation pervasive in that everyone is a consumer, but, because of its intermediate nature, the impacts of transportation go far beyond the immediate system user.

      In this paper transporation is discussed with particular emphasis on the possible future developments in urban...

    • 14 Household movement trends and social change
      (pp. 265-281)

      Discussions of future urban form stress the significance of the evolution of preferences and behaviour patterns among urban households in determining future urban landscapes. As incomes increase, child-bearing declines; or as ethnic and religious differences become blurred, the desired urban environment is altered. One research approach based on this premise evaluates the preferences of existing urban households (Lansing, 1966; Butler, et al., 1969) to see how different kinds of households trade off access against cost, housing quality, or amenity. An alternative strategy, described below, describes changes in aggregate patterns of residential movement over time.

      When matrices of households movements within...

    • 15 The city in the periphery
      (pp. 281-301)

      Our politics and our sciences of urban areas are, with few exceptions, characterized by two biases. On the one hand, they are generally centralist in nature: they feature the ‘core,’ the ‘central city,’ and even the ‘suburbs.’ They are inward-looking, as revealed by such epithets as ‘urban sprawl’ and ‘scatteration,’ as conceived in those models which are concerned with such variables as ‘distance to the CBD,’ and as seen in most of our metropolitan transportation plans which want 'to get people downtown.’ On the other hand, they also maintain the distinction between urban and rural areas, i.e., the existence of...

    • 16 The form and function of future communities
      (pp. 301-314)

      The end of ‘community’ has been forecast ever since the development of the first cities. Cassandras have warned that the city’s increase in scale, density, and heterogeneity over previous forms of settlement would bring an end to informal networks of people with common interests and a sense of group identity, which allows them to take pleasure and profit from each other’s company. There were too many people to know, of too many kinds, and crowding would compress these individuals into masses. In North American cities the pastoralist longings of intellectuals and the populace have perpetuated the prevalence of this view...


    • APPENDIXES A Population forecasts for townships in Ontario, 1971-2001
      (pp. 315-328)
    • APPENDIXES B Population forecasts for cities in Central Canada, 1971-2001
      (pp. 329-368)