The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is undertaking a long-term transportation plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH). The plan will: identify a regionally significant transportation network for both people and goods; assist in the prioritization of projects and provide direction for policies and supportive investments to optimize the system, while integrating ongoing technological change and the broader land use and policy context.
Urban Strategies is co-leading the project along with HDR and is responsible for contributing to the engagement, strategy / options development and land use components of the plan. The plan commenced with a Technical Assessment and environmental scan to understand the key trends and issues influencing the region and its transportation network. Outcomes of this were the development of three profiles; transportation, socio-economic and environmental for the region. This work was supported by a gap-analysis to understand how the current network would perform based on existing population projections.
To take account of the uncertainty inherent in a plan with a 30+ year timeframe, a strategic foresight process was undertaken, including interviews with 20 local and international thought leaders. The foresight process generated five stretch futures that help the team to understand the consequences of different growth, economic, transportation and land use futures for the region. Lessons from the analysis of the futures is being used to ensure that the transportation plan is resilient no matter what the future brings.
Engagement has included a range of in-person and online activities with industry stakeholders, municipalities, interministerial partners, indiginous partners and the broader public. Feedback from these activities has been used to identify and confirm a series of goals and objectives which are being used to assess the various network and policy options. Outcomes of the Engagement and Technical Assessment have also been used to identify a series of strategic “Big Ideas” which are intended to ensure that the investments/strategies contained within the plan deliver a network that not only meets the region’s needs but positions the region for greater prosperity, more complete, connected and healthy communities.
The team is currently in the final network and policy development phases of the project. Urban Strategies is leading the policy development and assisting in the testing of networks by contributing to the identification and development of alternative land use scenarios.