Service Delivery Findings
The factors and model identified in the research approach were applied to assess service delivery in the Region of Waterloo and potential changes in an amalgamated setting. At a conceptual level, the overall analysis of service delivery identified accurately projected service coverage areas and identified redundancies previously limited by municipal boundaries. In an amalgamated setting, service locations could be optimized to service the same area, albeit with fewer locations. The findings below are individual analyses of service change in an amalgamated setting for fire stations, community centres and libraries.
Evaluating the service delivery of fire stations in Waterloo Region focuses on the models' ability to assess the current area coverage and potential service change in an amalgamated setting.
The application of a 240 second response time standard to individual municipalities confirms the concept that spatial components are considered when modelling municipal fire stations. Furthermore, an analysis of the Region as a whole identifies overlaps of service areas in different municipalities, confirming that possible redundancies could exist.
Figure 9: Map displaying fire service coverage, gaps and overlaps in the Region of Waterloo using existing municipal fire stations
Despite substantial service delivery overlaps identified during the municipal area analysis, limitations on location, reach, and land suitability affect the ability to perform a location allocation model. This is particularly evident on the south side of Cambridge (Stations 1 & 4) and Waterloo (Stations 2 & 3), noted in figure 9. However, figure 10 shows the overlaps do identify an area straddling the border of north Kitchener and Waterloo, where a fire station in each city overlaps with one another. This is further exacerbated by the overlaps in their respective cities, identifying the need to perform a location allocation model for the purpose of possibly eliminating the two redundant locations, replacing them with a single optimized location.
Figure 10: Map displaying fire service coverage, gaps and overlaps in the Region of Waterloo using fire station location
The limitations of the location allocation model and the data requirements did not allow for the tool to be used to determine and optimally site the desired location using the boundaries of other fire service boundaries. However, as shown in figure 12, an analysis of the area the general area in which a new fire station could be hypothetically located revealed that numerous industrial sites would be an ideal location to site a new fire station, with a service area that essentially solved the overlaps and maintained nearly identical coverage (figure 11).
Figure 11: Optimized location site of new fire station, maintains service area with one fewer location
Figure 12: Site for consideration of new fire station on industrial site while maintaining service delivery
Based on the 180 and 240 second service areas, visually, the 180 second area has many service gaps and very little inter-city overlap, whereas the 240 second area has limited inter-city overlap and better coverage of the study area. Service overlap identified within cities are determined to be irrelevant for the purposes of the project as this is not affected in an amalgamated setting. In terms of population served per branch, the 180 second service areas fall slightly short of the predetermined range of people served, with under 20 000 people served per branch. The 240 second service areas do fall within the range with roughly 33 000 people served per branch. With respect to total citizens served within the Tri-Cities, the 180 second service areas serve roughly 55% of the population, while the 240 second service areas serve roughly 94%, (figures 13 and 14 respectively).
Figure 13: Library service areas with 180 second service area buffer
This shows that with predetermined standards met for library service, and equal service areas within the cities, there is reasonable coverage of the populated areas between the cities, with the majority of the population being served.
Figure 14: Library service area using 240 second service area buffer
As shown in Figure 15, one area of significant inter-city service overlap is noted between the Kitchener Main Library and Waterloo Main Library. Similarly to the fire stations, the limitations of the location-allocation tool prevent it from being used to determine an optimized location for a new library to eliminate this service redundancy. For further analysis a hypothetical location midway between the libraries is chosen for the site of a potential new library.
Figure 15: Library service area with substantial overlap with potential redundant locations
A 240 second service area with the two libraries replaced by the hypothetical location results in a drop in service, with 31 000 people per branch, and approximately 81% of the population being serviced, (figure 16). Furthermore, analysis of the area surrounding the hypothetical point showed that it was in a residential area unsuitable for the placement of a new library branch.
Figure 16: Location allocation model showing possible location and negative impact on service delivery area
With respect to community centres within the Tri-Cities (figure 17), only a 240 second analysis is used, as a cursory test within each individual city reveals many visible service gaps within a 180 second service area. Because of this, a 240 second service area is deemed more appropriate for the analysis, following a similar methodology to that of the library analysis.
Figure 17: Location of existing community centres in the Tri-Cities
In terms of population served per centre, the number determined is consistent with the predetermined acceptable range, with roughly 39000 people served per community centre. In terms of total population, roughly 333000 people are served in the Tri-City area as a whole, accounting for 78% of the total population.
Notable overlaps are observed near the Waterloo / Kitchener municipal boundary (figure 18). An additional analysis is conducted eliminating two of these community centres located within the overlapping, inter-city area. With these two centres eliminated, the people served per centre drops to about 38,000, (still within the acceptable range), with a negligible drop in total service, with roughly 78% of the Tri-City’s population still being served (figure 19).
Figure 18: Community centre overlap between Waterloo and Kitchener City Centres, highlighting the service area of potential redundant locations to be removed
Figure 19: Inter-city community centre service overlap with redundant locations removed.
This showcases that in an amalgamated setting, removal of overlapping infrastructure that would lead to more efficient service delivery can be accomplished without a significant drop in service coverage.