Urban Infrastructure

Nichols Applied Management is extensively involved in elements of planning, evaluating, financing, and managing local infrastructure, including roads and bridges, utility systems, and education, health, recreation, commercial, and other facilities.

The firm's clients in this area include:

  • Municipalities;
  • Senior government departments and agencies;
  • Utility operations;
  • Resource companies;
  • Land development companies.

The assignments carried out by Nichols Applied Management in this field embrace the four main areas below.

Pre-Development Evaluation

Nichols Applied Management is regularly involved in evaluating the need for and optimal size, locational and other attributes of proposed infrastructure developments. The firm has:

  • Evaluated the expected demand for proposed housing, commercial, industrial, and recreational developments;
  • Carried out consumer market surveys and studies to ascertain development preferences and pricing, locational, and other sensitivities;
  • Prepared economic and financial feasibility studies of proposed infrastructure projects, including housing, highway, port, pipeline, canal, dam, utility and other developments;
  • Carried out redevelopment/revitalization analyses of neighbourhood and downtown urban areas;
  • Completed locational evaluations for a regional library system.

Impact Assessment

The firm has carried out a number of studies that assess: 1) the impacts of new resource and industrial development, and related population growth on local infrastructure requirements; and 2) the impacts of new infrastructure projects and facilities on economic activity.

Infrastructure and Service Impacts of Growth and Development

Often conducted as part of Environmental Impact Assessments, Nichols Applied Management has carried out numerous socio-economic impact assessments that examine the local and regional infrastructure, facility, and service implications of growth-inducing projects, including oil sands developments, upgrader facilities, industrial developments, and major commercial and tourism facilities. These analyses are helpful to public agencies and private organizations in preparing adequately for planned growth.

Economic Impacts of Infrastructure Development

  • Nichols Applied Management also has examined the local and regional economic impacts of new infrastructure projects, including:
  • Hazardous waste handling facilities;
  • Recreational facilities for Winter Olympic, World University, and Commonwealth Games events;
  • Major commercial and recreational complexes, including West Edmonton Mall and the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota;
  • Irrigation dams;
  • Downtown redevelopment projects;
  • Transportation developments including roads, canals, ports, railways, and pipelines;
  • Large-scale tourism development programs.

Infrastructure Financing

An important part of the firm's practice is related to infrastructure financing, municipal finance and taxation, and fiscal impact modelling. The firm's work in this area includes:

  • Assignments pertaining to off-site levies and development charges on behalf of municipalities, real estate development companies, and senior levels of government;
  • Utilities rates and reserves analyses;
  • The evaluation of infrastructure financing assistance programs;
  • Reviews of municipal infrastructure financing policies and approaches;
  • Municipal financial modelling of the fiscal implications of proposed infrastructure/facility programs;
  • Reviews of new approaches for financing public infrastructure, including public-private partnership.

Infrastructure Management

Public organizations have moved strongly toward improving the planning, development, and on-going operation and maintenance of social infrastructure, and Nichols Applied Management has assisted on a number of occasions to:

  • Evaluate programs and systems for managing infrastructure and develop recommendations for improvement;
  • Optimize the location and organization of services such as community fire and ambulance services;
  • Assess the potential merits of privatization and contracting-out and assisting implementation;
  • Assist in the development of business plans and performance measures for the multi-year operation of infrastructure systems.

If you would like to speak with us about any of these practice areas, or if you have any questions, pleaseĀ Contact Us.