Presentation on theme: "Sprawl in Canada and the United States The Inevitability Hypothesis: sprawl is inevitable in free society so we might as well accommodate it."— Presentation transcript:
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. 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? Based on 2 assumptions: A) Canada sprawls as much as the US B) Canadian policy is anti-sprawl. MY PAPER QUESTIONS BOTH ASSUMPTIONS.
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 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.... Canadas 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 Canadian transit market share 14 percent USA transit share 6 percent Again, Canadas 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 Canadian cities subsidize and regulate for sprawl just like USA.
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 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.
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 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 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 Six to ten lane streets mean crossing street a life endangering adventure True in Canadian cities like American- just look outside!
For more detail.... Rough draft of my paper is at http://works.bepress.com/lewyn/65/