what to consider

Further on the UBC analysis of land use and transportation issues in Naga City, as reported by Wily Priles, I list down a few dimensions of analysis that I think Naga should consider as they move forward. (They were not expressed in any of the UBC slides but I have no idea if they were considered in the discussion.)

When thinking about land use and transportation, Naga city planners should ask the following (and I list them down in no particular order):

Land Use:

  • What does the current land use map look like?
  • What does the future land use map (based on the new comprehensive plan) look like? (Btw, I was a little disappointed that the UBC didn't tap Naga's extensive GIS datasets for their analysis. Perhaps they didn't have time or the GIS chops.)
  • Where are the areas of transition?
  • What is the current per capita land consumption?
  • What is the projected future per capita land consumption? -and will this be sustainable?
  • Where are the environmentally sensitive areas? What measures are in the plan/policies/codes to protect these areas?
  • How large is the local watershed? What are the key streams and tributaries and where do they enter and exit the city?
  • How healthy is the local river network?
  • What measures are in place to protect the watershed and the river network?
  • Where are the most fertile agricultural soils? Are they protected under the new comprehensive plan?
  • Which agricultural lands are most threatened by development? Should these lands be preserved and protected?
  • What is the land ownership structure?
  • Who are the biggest land owners?
  • What is the ratio between the total land area owned by the largest land owners and the total area owned by small landowners? (The breakpoints will need to be defined.)
Demographics and Economics:
  • What are the current residential densities?
  • What are the densest areas? The least dense?
  • What are the fastest growing areas (in terms of residents)?
  • Where do we want growth to go? How can we direct growth to go there?
  • How can we direct growth away from environmentally sensitive areas and valuable agricultural land?
  • What does the age distribution of the population look like now? What will it look like in the future?
  • Where do people work? Where are the job centers?
  • If people work outside the city, where do they go to find jobs?
  • What are the fastest growing jobs?
  • What is the most popular industry for the self-employed (e.g. -street vendors or pedicab operators)? Where to the self-employed conduct their business? Whom do they serve?
  • What are the incubators for small business? Where are these located?
  • What is the ratio of self-employed to the employed?
  • What is the ratio of people who work in the city vs. those who work outside the city?
  • If people come from outside the city to work in the city -where do they come from?
  • What is the median income of people who work in the city? And the median income of those who work outside the city?
  • On average, how far do people have to travel to get to their place of work? How long does it take them to get there?
  • How long (in years) does a worker in the city, earning the median income, have to save to buy an average priced house (downpayment and mortgage approval) in the city?
  • What is the ratio of renters to owners? Are the number of renters increasing or decreasing (annually)?
  • How many rental units are available? What is the average rental size?
  • Where are the renters concentrated? What is their profile? (age, status, etc.)
  • What is the average rent?
  • What is the rent backlog and how many rental units are produced every year? Is it increasing or decreasing?
Transportation Networks:
  • What are the main transportation modes? (Private car, public buses, taxis, jeeps, tricycles, pedicabs, etc.)
  • How many people use each mode? Which modes are growing in use? declining in use?
  • What is the average distance traveled by each mode?
  • What are the main transportation corridors?
  • Which modes share these corridors? What modes were these corridors designed for?
  • What are the corridors connecting (on a local, regional and national level)?
  • What are the distances between these nodes?
  • What are most heavily used corridors in terms of vehicle count?
  • What are most heavily used corridors in terms of people count?
  • What is the peak and average travel times in these corridors?
  • Which nodes have the strongest connections (vehicle and people) and which have the weakest?
  • What do the travel sheds from each node look like for each mode? (i.e. map the average distance traveled of each mode from each node.)
  • What are the secondary travel corridors -and which modes use these the most?
  • Where are the heaviest pedestrian corridors? How do they interact with the vehicle corridors?
  • What is the average pedestrian walk?
  • How many modes do most people (non-private car users), on average, use to get to their destination?
  • In what nodes and corridors do the most accidents occur? What modes are involved?
  • What is the average vehicle speed for each mode in these corridors?
  • Where do accidents that involve pedestrians occur most? What mode is most involved?
  • Where do pedestrian fatalities occur the most? What time of the day do most accidents happen? What is the average vehicular speed (traveling and turning) in these locations?

Land use and transportation planning is all about figuring out relationships and all this data should be layered on maps to answer the following questions:
  • What can you learn from overlaying the travel sheds, the land use maps, the accident locations and the corridors and nodes?
  • What is the interaction between the transportation network and growth? Future growth?
  • What can you infer when you map job centers, rent, incomes and growth?
  • What are the fasting growing employers? How much land is devoted to these job centers?
  • What are the most stable sources of income? How much land is devoted to these industries?
  • How do the transportation networks connect the fast growth job centers and the stable industries to the high rent/high ownership areas?
  • What modes, nodes and corridors do we want to encourage? What do we want to discourage? How is this informed by our land use plan?
  • How is the current land use interacting with the current transportation network?
  • How will the future land use interact with the future transportation network?
This is by no means exhaustive but all this data is just fact finding, and should be used as a framework to a community visioning process.

P.S. - If I was with the UBC team, I would have tried to map all the areas and routes served by pedicabs vs. the areas that are walkable. I'm certain that map would have been very illuminating.

Image credit: Bicolandia 035
from kool.angot's* flickr photostream


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