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Sprawl in Canada and the United States. The Inevitability Hypothesis: sprawl is inevitable in free society so we might as well accommodate it. Logic underlying the Inevitability Hypothesis. Assumption: The US has sprawl.

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sprawl in canada and the united states
Sprawl in Canada and the United States
  • The Inevitability Hypothesis: sprawl is inevitable in free society so we might as well accommodate it.
logic underlying the inevitability hypothesis
Logic underlying the Inevitability Hypothesis
  • Assumption: The US has sprawl.
  • Assumption 2: Other countries, like Canada, have sprawl despite policies that are anti-sprawl.
  • Conclusion: Because even antisprawl countries like Canada have sprawl, sprawl is inevitable.
is assumption 2 right
Is Assumption 2 right?
  • Based on 2 assumptions:
  • A) Canada sprawls as much as the US
  • B) Canadian policy is anti-sprawl.
  • MY PAPER QUESTIONS BOTH ASSUMPTIONS.
slide4
Do Canadian cities sprawl as much as American cities?Two ways to measure sprawl: where we grow, how we grow
  • WHERE WE GROW
  • Compared ten cities that were biggest in 1950 in each country.
  • In US, eight of ten lost population since 1950, usually by over 20 percent.
  • Canada hard to compare because of shifting census tract boundaries, until 1970.
canadian cities within 1970 boundaries
Canadian cities within 1970 boundaries
  • USA: eight of ten still lost population; six lost over 20 percent between 1970 and 2000; median loss 24 percent.
  • Canada: only four lost population; biggest population loss (Montreal) 18 percent.
in other words
In other words....
  • Canada’s WORST CASE SCENARIO (Montreal, 18 percent loss 1970-2000) is better than the USA MEDIAN (24 percent).
  • CONCLUSION: Canada sprawls less than USA.
how we grow
How we grow
  • Canadian transit market share 14 percent
  • USA transit share 6 percent
  • Again, Canada’s worst case scenario among big cities (Calgary/Edmonton, 20-25 non auto market share) better than most American cities (e.g. Phoenix has only 11 percent non auto share, Jacksonville 8 percent, you get the idea)
  • SO CANADIAN CITIES LESS AUTO ORIENTED THAN USA.
part 2 government regulation and sprawl
Part 2: government regulation and sprawl
  • Canadian cities subsidize and regulate for sprawl just like USA.
prosprawl regulation example 1
Prosprawl regulation, example 1
  • Highway spending- Canadian govt. Spends $20 b a year on highways only 4b on transit.
  • Highways subsidize suburbanization by making long commutes easier.
prosprawl regulation part 1
Prosprawl regulation, part 1
  • Anti-density regulation: Canadian cities and suburbs mandate minimum lot sizes, height limits just like US cities.
  • Low density means fewer people can live within walking distance of public transit, shops etc.
slide11
But....
  • Canadian cities may be less prosprawl than USA.Sample study: one inner and outer suburb of Toronto (Mississauga, Burlington), one inner and outer suburb of Atlanta (Sandy Springs and Alpharetta).
comparison
Comparison
  • Least compact single family zones:
  • Mississauga, Burlington ½ acre to 1 acre
  • Sandy Springs, Alpharetta 2-3 acres
  • Least compact multifamily zones
  • Mississauga/Burlington 18-25 stories
  • Sandy Springs 4 stories
  • Alpharetta only 10 units per care!
prosprawl regulation part 2
Prosprawl regulation part 2
  • Minimum parking requirements- if you want to build apartments/business you must have a parking lot.
  • Degrades pedestrian environment because pedestrians have to walk across parking lots, makes parking easier and subsidizes driving, reduces density
prosprawl regulation part 3
Prosprawl regulation part 3
  • Six to ten lane streets mean crossing street a life endangering adventure
  • True in Canadian cities like American- just look outside!
for more detail
For more detail....
  • Rough draft of my paper is at
  • http://works.bepress.com/lewyn/65/