The primary purpose of Objective 4 is to evaluate the model based on its ability to effectively and accurately project the spatial component of an amalgamation proposal. Given the absence of a spatial component there is no previous work to compare the model. Despite this limitation, the conceptual model developed performs as expected when assessing the service change implications of amalgamating multiple municipalities.
The success of the model is largely dependant on the initial concept that the siting of municipal services are strategic and use variants of prescribed methods. An analysis of service location at an individual municipal level confirms this concept, demonstrating both where service delivery is working efficiently, and where it can be altered. Identifying strengths and weaknesses allows for further steps to be taken in relation to a potential amalgamation.
The first factor where the model exceeds expectations is its ability to accurately project service standards in the study area, demonstrating that a similar spatial component could be used in the establishment of services in the municipalities. It is evident that spatial modelling is an important consideration in the location of services within a municipality, confirming its relevance in evaluating change in an amalgamated setting. The success of the modelling service standards, strengthens the ability to identify service standard overlaps as a percentage of total area works exceptionally well to determine overlaps within an acceptable range.
Model limitations stem primarily from data limitations and other relevant factors that are not within the scope of this analysis. In constructing the road network, issues regarding input of one-way street restrictions prevent this from being a consideration in the network analysis component. However, as previously noted, this impact of the limitation is negligible given the proximity and length of the only major one-way roads in the Tri-City area. This is deemed acceptable as it is not a large impact on travel time as discussed in Objective 3. The lack of inclusion of traffic, and other travel time limitations also limits overall accuracy, exemplified by the travel time averages of the City of Cambridge and City of Kitchener fire departments that significantly exceeded targets. Such considerations could be included to model travel times for different times of the day to understand the impact of difficult traffic scenarios.
Another consideration is the additional factors that are used to determine service delivery and their respective locations. For example, for the purposes of this analysis, community centre service areas are defined by the number of people served. In reality more factors would be considered such as demographics, which is not a factor that is consistent with the preceding portions of the analysis. In addition to this, the definition of community centre is kept very limited for the purposes of this analysis (must include meeting space or recreation area, must be city owned, and not simply a public arena or pool).
Additional data limitations and generalization exist. For the purposes of calculating the population within each library or community centre service area, the population distribution within each dissemination area is assumed to be even, a highly unlikely reality.