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Effects of Suburban Sprawl in Canadian Cities

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    Smart growth policies do not yield the positive results that anti-suburbanites claim. In fact, the research contained in this book demonstrates that smart growth policies can have a negative effect on the health of a city. Portland, Oregon has the most aggressive smart growth policy in North America, because of this policy it has seen metro traffic rise exponentially. The economy of Portland has been decimated by a shortage in commercial land and housing prices have increased due to land rationing. This paper shows that qualities found in smart growth policies are not favourable to the residents living in them.

    Mass transit cannot replace automobiles. Increased traffic results in poor air quality, and many people simply do not wish to live within walking distance of their place of employment. Winfield, M. (2004). Towards Implementation? Building Sustainable Urban Communities in Ontario. Toronto. Pembina Institute for Appropriate development. Most of the development in Ontario has been centered around the region known as the Golden Horseshoe. This is an area of high employment with a growing population that does not show signs of slowing down. Unfortunately, the growth has resulted in the urban sprawl of cities.

    Suburban and industrial development spreads past the periphery of communities, consuming green space and agricultural space. Recently, the Ontario government has taken steps to reduce and redirect this growth in a more structured way. This study compares past government policies with recent legislation designed to protect environmentally sensitive areas and encourage smart growth. Action taken by the Ontario government in light of these new policies have resulted in the establishment of a green belt, brownfield re-development and improved transportation initiatives. Tomalty, R. , Alexander, D. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Research Division; Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. External Research Program. (2005). Smart growth in Canada: Implementation of a planning concept: final report. Ottawa: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. This report focuses on six major cities in Canada. It raises questions about the successes and failures that have resulted over the past sixty years due to unchecked suburban sprawl. A few examples of the questions this report attempts to answer are as follows; Which cities in Canada have made genuine efforts to manage growth?

    Have these cities experienced success in managing growth or have they failed? What lessons can be learned about the sustainability of Smart Growth in Canadian cities? It confronts issues such as the intensification of cities, transportation choices and affordable housing. The preservation of agricultural lands and green space, the development of sound infrastructure and strong employment growth within the city are also topics evaluated in this study. Carter-Whitney, M. , (2008). Ontario’s Greenbelt in an international context.

    Toronto. Canadian Institute for environmental law and policy. The urban sprawl occurring in the Golden Horseshoe region of Southern Ontario has necessitated the establishment of a greenbelt to protect and enhance the natural features of this region. The Places to Grow Act of Ontario places limitations on where urban development may occur. It restricts what development may occur within its boundaries if any at all. The Ontario government has outlined areas outside of this Greenbelt as areas of future growth.

    This Research paper studies and compares five different well established greenbelts around the world to determine whether or not they have been successful in their attempt to preserve green space within the vicinity of a major city. It also discusses the threats to established greenbelts and gives recommendations on developing and maintaining successful greenbelts in the future. Hanna, F. , Manolis, K. ,& Paulos, K. (2010). Exploring the land development process and its impact on urban form in Hamilton, Ontario. Canadian Geographic, 54(1), 68-86.

    This journal observes the suburban sprawl that has occurred in Hamilton, Ontario over the past sixty years. It examines different changes that have happened and uses three models of urban form to demonstrate how it has changed the city as well as the affects that urban sprawl have had on the city of Hamilton. Urban sprawl has changed the makeup of Hamilton Ontario. The concept of a multinucleated city form and its affect on the entire city is discussed. Models of growth are studied as are the methods in which sprawl has occurred.

    In particular, the regions of Ancaster, Stoney Creek and Hamilton mountain are studied as are the effects of their continued growth on the city of Hamilton as a whole. Randall, T. (2008). Preferences of Suburban Residents in Thunder Bay, Ontario towards neighbourhood intensification and rediversification. Canadian Journal of Urban Research, 17(2), 28-56. The purpose of this study is to determine the attitudes of the residents of Thunder Bay towards different densities of development. It seeks to better inform developers of the preferences of suburban residents. It presents information that can be useful from an urban planner’s point of view.

    The development of a Visual Preference Survey (VPS) helps to determine the preferences of the residents of Thunder Bay when it comes to different types of development densities. Based on the common theory that suburban residents do not want higher density housing in their neighbourhoods, a two part survey was developed. Part one incorporates a face to face interview. Part two involves photos of different densities are to be rated on preference. It then concludes with a ten page questionnaire that the respondents are required to mail back. People crossing; As urban sprawl bulldozes over rural spaces, animals are adjusting to city life. 2009, February 28). Guelph Mercury, P. A1. Local urban sprawl has infringed upon the natural habitat of wildlife. Now wildlife is living in the city and the residents are left to deal with its repercussions. This article deals with the fact that urban sprawl is consuming green space and that wildlife, left without a habitat have set their sights upon city life. Most wildlife, for example racoons and skunks, have adapted well to city life, but other species, like coyotes, could have more serious consequences if allowed to roam through suburban settings.

    Ultimately, this article recognizes that these changes are self-inflicted. Unfortunately, the only option is to learn to co-exist with nature in its new home. New Neighbourhood one step closer to reality. (2008, March 20). Clarington This week, P. NA. A new neighbourhood located near Bowmanville, Ontario is being planned out. Using the method of New Urbanism as its outline, it attempts to meet new Ontario government regulations on intensification and structured growth. This new model for growth changes the way communities are built.

    Homes will have garages at the rear of their lot being accessed by a lane or collector type road. Neighbourhood green space will be a common feature as will the trails that allow for the community to be walkable and easily accessible. Commercial space will line arterial roads reminiscent of days past. The idea behind this type of growth is to reduce dependence on vehicles and allow for more social interaction between neighbours. It is said that this new community will incorporate the best of the 19th and 20th centuries.

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