Planning and development in fragmented city-regions : a case study of Saskatoon's Willows Residential Development (1992-2004)
Thomarat, Jacqueline Anne
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This thesis examines a protracted planning process in the Saskatoon city-region. More specifically, it examines the planning process which occurred between 1992 and 2004 regarding a residential housing development on The Willows Golf Course. This thesis reveals that the protracted planning process was the result of several factors including: the fragmented character of governance; the planning and development policies and decision-making process in the Saskatoon city-region; the multiplicity of actors; and the political dynamics that arose in an intermunicipal conflict between the City of Saskatoon and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park. The thesis concludes that this case study provides some important lessons for both governments and planners in the Saskatoon city-region as well as other city-regions on opportunities and obstacles for improving planning processes. The first major lesson is that problems emerge when an innovative proposal lands in the context of an antiquated policy framework that cannot adequately deal with it. The second major lesson is that the current regional planning mechanisms are not conducive to comprehensive long-term planning for the city-region. The third lesson is that in some cases the opposition is to changes to the traditional decision-making processes as much as it is to the proposed project. The fourth major lesson is that timely and effective communication is very important for determining character of the political dynamics surrounding a development proposal. Miscommunication can create problematic political dynamics. The fifth major lesson is that economic considerations are inextricably tied to the politics of planning and development.This study concludes with two major recommendations. The first recommendation is that in order to overcome the negative outcomes of fragmented governance systems, formal structures and protocols must be improved to ensure that municipalities continue to communicate effectively with one another in difficult circumstances created by increasing development pressure, especially when they are likely to disagree on a particular development proposal. The second recommendation is that given that there is no guarantee that neighbouring municipal governments can always reach agreement between them, legitimate and efficient dispute settlement mechanisms are required both at the regional level and at the provincial level.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
CommitteePontikes, Ken; Michelmann, Hans J.; Gertler, Michael E.; Romanow, Roy
residential golf course development
rural municipality of corman park
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