British Columbia a Model for Public-Private Partnerships

U.S. states and officials are looking North to Canada where public-private partnerships have successfully funded infrastructure projects for years in British Columbia.

"The Canada Line, a $2 billion light transit system running between Vancouver's downtown waterfront and the city's airport, is the latest in a string of public-private partnerships, or P3s, built in B.C. and being touted as a model for rebuilding America's infrastructure."

"Governor Schwarzenegger toured the Canada Line project site two years ago alongside Premier Campbell and has since been promoting B.C.'s experience as a template for financing and building public sector projects in California. He reiterated his praise for B.C.'s infrastructure partnerships following a meeting with President Obama last month to discuss future infrastructure projects – beyond the $787 billion federal stimulus package – that also included New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell."

"While public-private partnerships are still a relatively new concept in the United States, British Columbia has been using the P3 model for several years."

"Since 2002, British Columbia has pumped nearly $10 billion (Canadian; US$8.1 billion) into infrastructure financing – 50 percent of it supplied by the private sector. The province has been at the forefront of the Canadian scramble to team the public and private sectors – making the country a world leader in its pursuit of P3s – with projects from Alberta to Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland."

Full Story: In Canada, an innovative way to rebuild roads, hospitals



Do not repeat

P3s have been a bit of a disaster lately. I would caution against repeating the experiment elsewhere.

The biggest benefit of P3s was the offloading of risk onto private companies, but what we've realized here in Vancouver is that when the project has problems, the companies declare bankruptcy, and the government gets to clean up the mess. So really, the private sector takes none of the risk, but all of the rewards. Do a search for "vancouver olympic village p3" for more details.

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95

Wear your city with style!

100% silk scarves feature detailed city maps. Choose from five cities with red or blue trim.
building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.