This paper surveys the current state of agriculture in the Toronto region and its contribution to the Ontario economy. Agriculture currently competes for land with urban development, recreational land uses, transportation corridors, and aggregate extraction, and thousands of acres of prime farmland are lost each year. Walton argues that maintaining agriculture means more than preserving land; it requires support for the industry as a whole, including tax reform, research funding, ways to resolve land use conflicts, public education, and measures that ensure long-term financial security for farmers. Margaret Walton is a partner at Planscape.
Ogilvie's paper argues for an approach to air, water, and soil conservation that goes beyond "no net loss" of quality or function to "net gain." That is, changes to the environment should, over time, bring about improvements in the quality and function of air, water, and soil in the Central Ontario Zone. The principle requires monitoring environmental indicators, and the paper suggests 10 potential indicators that could be used. Ogilvie also looks at major trends in air, water, and soil quality, their current and long-term effects, and proposes solutions for each area.
Gilbert's paper looks at the likelihood that the demand for oil and natural gas will eventually outstrip supply, and suggests ways to maintain a similar quality of life in the Central Ontario Zone while relying less heavily on non-renewable energy sources. He describes recent patterns of energy use, compares Canadian energy use to that in other countries, and assesses the potential contributions of alternative forms of energy, such as wind power. Gilbert recommends strategies for reducing energy consumption and argues that even if energy supply and energy prices remain stable, reducing our consumption of non-renewable energy sources will have important benefits for the economy and the environment.
The author looks at all non-urban, non-agricultural land in the Toronto region and describes the current state of greenlands protection in the region and the process by which, under current laws, development may occur on designated greenlands. Fraser identifies the features that are most threatened - by development, recreational uses, agriculture, aggregate extraction, roads, and utilities corridors - and recommends a program of identification, policy enforcement, acquisition, and management of greenlands that could become part of a smart growth strategy.
The author identifies locations in the Toronto region where growth could improve urban form, address social needs, improve livability, and reduce costs. Maps show areas of high social need, characterized by high levels of unemployment, lone-parent families, low educational attainment, low income, and government assistance; areas in which increased density and a greater mix of land uses could support alternatives to automobile travel; and areas with low levels of traffic congestion and available capacity on transit lines and in schools. Areas in which two or all three of these factors overlap would benefit in multiple ways from growth, and Blais recommends directing growth to such areas.
The author argues that smart development is denser, more mixed, transit-supportive, and more pedestrian-friendly than conventional forms of development. Using the results of a workshop with developers and builders in the Toronto region, she identifies barriers to smart development. These include excessive surface parking requirements; the timing of transit construction; planning restrictions and engineering standards that preclude smart development; financial barriers (such as average-cost-based development charges) that make smart development more expensive than conventional development; and the proliferation of identified planning nodes that prevent the concentration of smart development in key areas. She offers recommendations for removing these obstacles.
This paper describes the current structure of the economy of the Toronto region, including economic clusters, and recent trends that have affected economic development. The author looks at locationally flexible businesses and the locations they might be attracted to within the region, and examines the extent to which the location of businesses can be influenced by planning policies. Finally, he suggests approaches to attracting new economic activity to the region and makes five recommendations for a smart growth strategy designed to strengthen the region's economy.
The author outlines the major demographic trends that are shaping the Toronto region and their implications for planning, public policy, and quality of life. In particular, he focuses on the rapidity of population growth, the aging of the baby boom, the trend towards smaller households and more non-family households, the effects of large-scale immigration, and the widening gap between rich and poor. The spatial effects of these changes are unpredictable, and Bourne argues for flexible policies to respond appropriately to social changes.
Miller and Soberman describe transportation and land use as a "two-way, chicken-and-egg relationship": competitive, high-quality transit can be provided cost-effectively only where land use patterns support such services, but transit-supportive built forms can be built only if transit service is provided. They examine recent transportation trends in the Central Ontario Zone, including increased dependence on the automobile, and recommend a series of "smart growth building blocks," including road pricing to alter travel behaviour and the choice of vehicles, as well as altering transit subsidy programs to reward performance rather than costs, and providing municipalities and transit agencies with new sources of predictable revenue other than property taxes. Finally, they identify the barriers to implementing these recommendations and suggest several short-term measures to deal with congestion, support transit, and slow down urban sprawl.
This history of the region's postwar infrastructure planning and construction demonstrates that the maxim "development follows the pipe" has not, strictly speaking, been true over the region's last 50 years, and that in a good many cases the pipe has actually followed development. Where development has followed the pipe, this has been the result of an existing strong development pressure suddenly being relieved by the construction of pipe services. Moreover, contrary to what many people believe today, Metro Toronto's infrastructure expansion was financed with capital borrowed by Metro itself, not with upper-level government subsidies.