Community Planning

Infill study sets the stage for long-term community planning in Prince Rupert

New data platform a tool for visualizing growth and development possibilities

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As proposed pipelines loom in and around the City of Prince Rupert, long-term planning has become more important than ever for communities. Given this context, a team of Urban Systems planners has been collecting essential information the City can use to adapt to impending changes.

Urban Systems collaborated with Prince Rupert to create a data platform that combines information from city records with local knowledge from residents. The platform enables visualization of growth and development possibilities. It is also a space for the City to record information about individual homes that has previously been fragmented among several databases.

“The knowledge held by staff members has been recorded in a way that allows the past and future conditions in Prince Rupert to be visualized using up-to-date GIS technology,” explains summer student Robin Lattimer.

Collaboration is the key ingredient that enabled the team to successfully collect information on about 5100 dwellings in just two and a half weeks. Team members pulled out all the stops to complete the fieldwork, and collect data on housing vacancy, secondary suites and address sequencing from City databases.

As the City form and population continues to change, the City can review this information to make decisions on how to encourage development that both builds upon the City’s historic vision and has long-term benefits for the community into the future, Robin says.

“The City doesn’t want to grow past its allotted footprint,” explains Mercedes Braun, certified planning technician. Using the collected data, planners now have an understanding of where vacancies are and what trends are emerging.
Now that the data has been collected for housing, the team will analyze the information and look for trends. The next stage of investigation involves identifying future growth areas and development priorities.

The team plans to tackle many other indicators, including infrastructure, health, social capital and education.

“The long-term commitment to the community is the best way to describe it,” Mercedes says. “We want to help the community in every way that we can.”

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