Cities densifying rather than sprawling


Information from the latest Canada Census report are slowly trickling out and here’s an interesting development: urban density is more important than urban sprawl.

“What we’re trying to do, as many communities are, is really trying to stop or limit sprawl and densify the areas that we already have because we know infrastructure is expensive,” says Colin Basran, Mayor of Kelowna, BC.

We’re experiencing it here in Hamilton also. The City is being very cooperative in allowing investors to create basement apartments in bungalows–especially on the mountain–as this caters to densifying. Sure, Hamilton can grow outward, toward Brantford in one direction, Stoney Creek in another, and Flamborough in yet another. But sprawl demands new infrastructure whereas densifying requires, at worst, upgrading and expansion of existing infrastructure.

The census shows that 82 per cent of the Canadian population live in large and medium-sized cities across the country, one of the highest concentrations among G7 nations.

With Canada also projecting that the economy will require more immigrants in order to counteract the declining working-age population, many of these abodes will house people from other countries and cultures. Amalgamating them into an existing infrastructure is much easier than creating new communities that would, in all likelihood, become isolated versions of their homeland. And that is something Canada does not want.

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