Anti-Urban Sprawl

Discussion Paper Now Published

Transportation accounts for 39% of use of delivered energy in Canada and the US, 26% elsewhere. Addressing the transportation-energy dependency in the context of sustainable development requires not only an examination of energy use, but also an accounting of ecological and social issues: including livability issues around emissions, congestion, land use, urban sprawl, access and community safety. 

This case study is looking at the network formation behind the anti-urban sprawl movement. Sprawl is a simple, short-term solution to economic growth for many municipalities. In addition, there is little incentive for development companies to adopt sustainable transportation policies and practices such as transit and pedestrian friendly communities, affordable housing and community infill and redevelopment. In spite of the Federal Government’s commitment to reducing GHG emissions, quite often, federal and provincial policies for environmental protection is undermined by municipal development plans that sprawl into farmlands and greenspace and increase the need for private automobile commuting (Slack 2002).

Led by Professor Nina-Marie Lister from Ryerson University, this case study will be exploring the anti-urban sprawl networks forming in the Greater Toronto Authority, and the potential for other communities, including elected officials and non-government organizations to build upon the Toronto experience.