Restoring Density

Across Canada, a renewed interest in urbanity is leading to density increases unheard of in more than a generation. As Corporate Knights writes, not all density is equal however. Suburban towers without high quality public transit connections can create problems similar to those presented by sprawl. As the country works to reduce its carbon footprint, accommodate new residents and improve the cost efficiency of its infrastructure, creating “density done well” is essential. An emphasis on this type of density is evident in Vancouver and Toronto, but perhaps more promisingly, is also gaining popularity in mid-sized cities like Waterloo, Kitchener and Burlington. And while many people envision skyscrapers when they think about density, “missing middle” housing also plays an important role in supporting livable, walkable and affordable communities. As densification continues, smart policy and strategic planning coupled with an eye for the human scale will be imperative to successful density in Canada.

Mitchell Reardon

Mitchell Reardon is the TH!NK by IBI blog curator, a land use planner and urban experimenter. His interdisciplinary work centres on people and how they live, work and move through the city. Mitchell is enjoying life in Vancouver, after 6 years of living and working in Stockholm, Sweden. Catch up with him on Twitter: @MitchellReardon

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