Timelines of Transportation Infrastructure Delivery 2000 to 2018 in Toronto, Canada and London, UK

Authors

  • Shoshanna Saxe Department of Civil Engineering, University of Toronto
  • Marco Dean The Bartlett School of Planning, University College London
  • Shivani Raghav Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto
  • Dan Durrant The Bartlett School of Planning, University College London
  • Matti Siemiatycki Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18757/ejtir.2021.21.3.5515

Abstract

This paper explores the timelines of large transportation infrastructure delivery, from first proposal to construction and opening in London, UK and Toronto, Canada. The goal of the paper is to identify both how long it takes projects to go from idea to delivery, the relative time of different stages in the delivery process, and if projects with long timelines see physical or technological changes in their design. This work contributes to two ongoing discussions around the speed of infrastructure delivery, one that argues infrastructure moves too slowly and major efforts are needed to speed delivery and another that argues that good infrastructure thinking requires time to breathe and care should be taken in rushing through the delivery process. Detailed delivery timelines from initial proposal to construction or operation are developed for 26 transportation projects (16 in Toronto and 10 in London) between the years 2000 and 2018. For each project the timelines of inception, approval, planning, procurement, environmental assessment, construction and operational phases are identified and compared. Long informal gestation periods are identified for many projects, particularly for linear projects. In many instances the informal gestation period dwarfs the time projects spent in formal planning. This research highlights the need to expand the conception of timeliness of infrastructure delivery to include the lengthy periods of informal debate and planning that can span years and build up community expectations about the imminence of a project, even before it has received formal assessment or approval. Detailed delivery timelines from initial proposal to construction or operation are developed for 26 transportation projects (16 in Toronto and 10 in London) between the years 2000 and 2018. For each project the timelines of inception, approval, planning, procurement, environmental assessment, construction and operational phases are identified and compared. Long informal gestational periods are identified for many projects, particularly for linear projects. In many instances the informal gestation period dwarfs the time projects spent in formal planning. This research highlights the need to expand the conception of timeliness of infrastructure delivery to include the lengthy periods of informal debate and planning that can span years and build up community expectations about the imminence of a project, even before it has received formal assessment or approval. 

Author Biographies

Shoshanna Saxe, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Toronto

Shoshanna Saxe is an Assistant Professor in the University of Toronto’s Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering and a Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Infrastructure.

Marco Dean, The Bartlett School of Planning, University College London

Marco Dean is a Teaching Fellow in Infrastructure Planning at the Bartlett School of Planning, UCL.

Shivani Raghav, Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto

Shivani Raghav holds a Master’s of Cities Engineering and Management from the University of Toronto.

Dan Durrant, The Bartlett School of Planning, University College London

Dan Durrant is a Lecturer in Infrastructure Planning at the Bartlett School of Planning, UCL

Matti Siemiatycki, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

Matti Siemiatycki is a Professor in Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto and a Canada Research Chair in Infrastructure Planning and Finance.

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Published

2021-08-19

How to Cite

Saxe, S., Dean, M., Raghav, S., Durrant, D., & Siemiatycki, M. (2021). Timelines of Transportation Infrastructure Delivery 2000 to 2018 in Toronto, Canada and London, UK. European Journal of Transport and Infrastructure Research, 21(3), 82–105. https://doi.org/10.18757/ejtir.2021.21.3.5515

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Articles