Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Transport 2050: Metro Vancouver and TransLink look into the crystal ball

TransLink is in the process of updating the Regional Transportation Strategy for Metro Vancouver. This is a long-term strategy which is meant to set the framework for investment into transportation infrastructure for the next 30 years. This strategy is updated somewhat regularly with the last major update occurring in 2008. The original regional transportation strategy, Transport 2021, was completed in 1993.

Long Range Transportation System Concept – Transit from Transport 2021 which was created in 1993. Select map to enlarge.

Because transportation systems are not independent of land-use, these transportation strategies and Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Strategy are companion documents which feedback off each other.

30 years is a long way into the future, and with the combination of climate-change, geo-political tension, and the potential mass automation of the transportation network and jobs, TransLink and Metro Vancouver have developed four high-level scenarios about what our region could look like in 2050. The four scenarios are:

  1. Current economic, growth and development trends continue.
  2. Automation-driven job losses and outmigration result in a regional economy in decline.
  3. Barriers to global trade spur a more self-sufficient local economy.
  4. Automation drives a new economic boom led by new creative & knowledge sectors.

The following summary table presents some of the metrics evaluated in these scenarios.

Four Possible Futures Compared - 2050 Scenarios. Select table to enlarge.

There is no “ideal” scenario in the Regional Long-Range Growth and Transportation Scenarios Report. What becomes apparent is that there is significant differences between all four scenarios. There is one thing that is consistent across all the scenarios, and that is the impact of climate change.

As shown in the following map, the impact of sea level rise would wipe out a significant amount of industrial, agricultural, and conservation lands if no mitigation measures are implemented.

Potential Coastal Flood Extent (with a 1 Metre Sea Level Rise). Select map to enlarge.

These four scenarios will help inform the creation of the new Regional Transportation Strategy to build and maintain a resilient transportation system for our region no matter the scenario. For the summary report, please see the latest Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation Agenda Package.

Starting this spring until the beginning of this fall, consultation and public engagement will be occurring to help further inform the development of the new Regional Transportation Strategy.

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