Report: The High Costs of Sprawl
A Report on Why Building More Sustainable Communities Will Save Us Time and Money
In the Greater Golden Horseshoe, urban sprawl is hurting our wallets, our environment, our economy and our health.
Sprawl developments rely on government policies that create hidden subsidies for sprawl developers (and home purchases). All too often the municipal fees charged to sprawl developers do not cover the full cost to provide municipal services, such as water pipes, to a sprawl development. Frequently, there are funding shortfalls, which are paid for by those living in more efficient houses and neighbourhoods.
With measures like the Greenbelt Act and the Growth Plan for the GGH, Ontario has taken some first steps to turn back the tide of wasteful urban sprawl. But more needs to be done.
Sprawl costs us the farmland that provides us with fresh, local food. Sprawl hurts our environment by damaging green spaces that clean our air and water. Sprawl contributes to the rising number of smog days in our region. Sprawl has also been linked to higher rates of childhood obesity and cardiovascular problems.
In this report, we outline many of the policies that provide the foundation to create sprawl. We unveil the hidden costs paid by governments, businesses and residents when new sprawl developments are built.
We offer recommendations to governments, residents and the development industry for how to help protect the economic, environmental and social health of our region for now and for generations to come.
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