When Bike Share Toronto (BST) wanted to expand its network from 80 to 465 stations, it needed a highly detailed analysis framework to determine areas of high potential for station locations.
To make these determinations, BST enlisted help from WSP. Using our PRIME for Cities tool, we used GIS, interactive mapping and consultation tools, and geo-statistical methods to pinpoint and recommend the most strategic sites for the new bike stations.
Without such robust data, it can be challenging to narrow down which sites will be most successful, both today and in the future. But with leading-edge database tools and expert analysis, we can provide data-rich insights that lead to real-world success.
Meet PRIME for Cities
As any urban planner will tell you, land use and development depends on an abundance of factors. Balancing the needs of planning policy, urban design, density and built form, current and future population distribution, employment density, infrastructure and transportation systems and sustainability factors is a complex process that can seem like aiming for a moving target. Particularly in rapidly-expanding markets like the GTHA and Greater Golden Horseshoe region, critical urban planning and growth data is constantly changing.
That’s why WSP has developed the proprietary PRIME for Cities platform.
PRIME for Cities is WSP’s in-house geospatial web platform for gathering, sharing and leveraging land development and urban growth intelligence. To-date, WSP has tracked tens of thousands of land development projects, as well as urban growth-related infrastructure and policy initiatives in this platform. In fact, well over 1,000 land developments and nearly 400 infrastructure and policy initiatives are added or updated each month.
In addition to capturing their mapped location, our professional planning staff scour a wide array of data sources to provide curated information that efficiently and accurately conveys the character, magnitude, approval and construction status of all the developments projects and infrastructure and policy initiatives that we review. This empowers us to keep ourselves and our clients continually and constantly aware of urban growth-related opportunities for and risks to land holdings and other assets.
See the future more clearly. Where do you want to go?
Socio-economic analysis is an important first step in a wide range of land development and infrastructure related activities. Traditional socio-economic data sources, like the Census of Canada, tell us what a place looked like in the last five years. PRIME for Cities is a game-changer that tells us what a place looks like today, and what it is envisioned to look like in the next three to 20 years and beyond.
With PRIME for Cities, you can easily find out how a place looked 10 years ago, what is there now and what will likely be there in five years. For example:
- How many people and jobs are in the area?
- How many residential units and how much non-residential floor space?
- How much medium-density mixed use?
- How many businesses exist and in what industries?
This current information, alongside future projections, is central to making well-informed and far-sighted planning, development and infrastructure decisions.
Maximize market opportunities; minimize risks and disruption
By combining PRIME for Cities land development and urban growth intelligence with other WSP data resources and data from our clients, we can generate valuable and specific insights that enable users to seize market opportunities and avoid emerging risks and conflicts. By concurrently analyzing PRIME data, real estate, development and employment trends, and policy changes, we might advise a client to select an untapped, soon-to-be booming location for project construction, or advise against a location which may entail policy roadblocks.
Perhaps most importantly, PRIME’s development and urban growth monitoring capabilities and socio-economic analyses services enables WSP to connect clients with a vast, untapped repository of potential partners and stakeholders.
For product, infrastructure and service providers, WSP and PRIME for Cities can help you better understand your market in terms of demand, socio-economic characteristics and spatial location. For public sector clients, we can help you identify who your urban growth project will affect so that you can optimize your plans.
Become Future Ready with PRIME for Cities
PRIME for Cities is just one of WSP’s approaches to helping our clients become Future Ready. By helping identify emerging and future trends, we can also help you design and implement innovative solutions to address them. For instance:
- In communities grappling with loneliness and aging populations, which stakeholders should you consult? Who are they and where are they located?
- In the face of climate change and increased rainfall and flooding events, how big should you make that pipe?
- In a modern economy, where and how is urban population and employment growth occurring and where is it going?
- In municipalities with increasing cultural diversity, should you build a baseball diamond or a cricket field?
Questions like these, which depend largely on robust data and intelligent projections, are only a few of many where the PRIME for Cities technology can assist.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact us at Prime@wsp.com.