A new report from our sister organization, The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, has found that flaws in the implementation of the Growth Plan are contributing to sprawl. Without new policies to make sure municipalities change the way development happens on the ground, more and more farmland will be paved over.
The report, “Plan to Achieve: A Review of the Land Needs Assessment Process and the Implementation of the Growth Plan” recommends a two-year freeze on urban boundary expansion while we wait for new numbers from the 2016 Census to make sure we know how much our population will grow and what that means for urban growth.
The loss of agricultural land is a real problem for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. We can be creative about where and how we build new housing to accommodate growth – semi-detached homes, townhouses and stacked towns in new developments, midrise condos large enough to accommodate a family on main streets in the built up areas. This approach maintains the character of smaller cities and towns, without pushing growth out into the rural countryside where communities rely on quality agricultural land for their economic wellbeing.
You can read the full report, and participate in the Coordinated Review to let the Province know you want to make sure we are smart about how we grow our communities, so that we can keep growing good food on our farms.