Smart Growth is the logic behind the Growth Plan. It’s a smarter way to grow better towns.
The Growth Plan is a provincial land use plan that directs where development should occur in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH). It is the flipside of the Greenbelt Plan which identifies where urbanization should not occur.
The Greater Golden Horseshoe area has suffered under a sprawl pattern of growth:
- The Greater Toronto Area is one of the most congested metropolitan areas in North America,
- Farmland was being paved over at an alarming rate prior to the establishment of the 2006 Growth Plan
- Forests, species and natural areas are increasingly threatened by urbanization
Sprawl rewards land speculators and delivers large houses on large lots. It requires more people to drive than in an urban area, and car ownership and mortgages are the main reasons personal debt levels have climbed. Studies have shown low density development doesn’t pay its way, so the incurring municipal debt is passed onto taxpayers. A home preference survey by RBC and Pembina illustrated that people would rather have a shorter commute and a smaller house over a larger lot and a long commute.
There is a smarter way to grow. The provincial Growth Plan provides a planning framework that moves us away from sprawl to compact, complete communities.