New mobile realities in mature staples-dependent resource regions: Local governments and work camps

Ryser, Laura and Halseth, Greg and Markey, Sean and Morris, Marleen (2017) New mobile realities in mature staples-dependent resource regions: Local governments and work camps. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, 35 (3). pp. 500-517. ISSN 2399-6552

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In resource-dependent regions, work camps have reshaped workforce recruitment and retention strategies and relationships with communities as they are increasingly deployed within municipal boundaries. This has prompted important, but controversial, questions about local government policies and regulations guiding workforce accommodations to support rapid growth in resource regions. Even as mobile workforces become more prevalent, however, few researchers have examined the development, operations, and decommissioning of these work camps. Drawing upon the experiences of local governments in Australia, Canada, Scotland, and the United States, this research examines how mobile workforces are shaping the opportunities and challenges of planning and local government operations through work camps integrated in mature staples-dependent resource regions. Our findings reveal that while some industries have taken the initiative to implement new protocols and operating procedures to improve the quality and safety of work camp environments, local governments have underdeveloped policy tools and capacities to guide the development, operations, and decommissioning of work camps. Failure to purposefully address work camps as a land-use issue, however, is significant for mature staples-dependent towns that ultimately fail to capture taxation revenues while incurring the accelerating costs for infrastructure and services associated with large mobile workforces.

Item Type: Article
Item ID: 14190
Keywords: Work camps, mobile labour, rural planning, restructuring, boomtowns
Department(s): Divisions > On the Move Partnership
Date: May 2017
Date Type: Publication
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