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CANADAS CASE: Recent tendencies and common concerns on sprawl

Canada is known to be one of the most highly urbanized and stabilized countries

in the world. Canadian cities have changed dramatically in the past half-century. The

obvious change is enlargement: taller buildings, wider highways, expanding boundaries

(Suzuki, 2003). Recent developments in Canada are sheltered with the countrys long

term development plans focusing on the rural areas. Moreover, with the help of the

countrys so called Canadian Rural Partnership, there is a big support coming from the

government in empowering and improving the rural areas in Canada. This also helped

in reconnecting the federal government to the rural Canadians and strengthening their

economic and social foundations. This program increased the standard of living of

thousands of people even if they did not invest in the social capital of rural areas and

did not come anywhere close to solving the problem of rural Canada or of fostering the

development of rural Canada (Blake, 2003). Because of these things, many areas in

Canada are eventually becoming urbanized.

As the Canadians flock into urban areas, a vast amount of land is swallowed by

what is commonly referred to as urban sprawl. This phenomenon is often associated

with spread out residential developments and separate commercial areas built to favour

drivers over pedestrians. Building wide roads, large parking lots and large homes to

house a relatively small number of people uses up unsustainable quantities of land and

financial resources (Stone, 2002). Because of these rampant situations, it affects the

physical activities in Canada wherein the separation of residential areas from other land

purposes, great levels of automobile use and long traveling times can make it difficult

for people living in areas categorized by sprawl to get adequate daily physical activity.
Another is the air quality in Canada wherein high rate of illness and death is observable,

while the motor vehicle collision is evident because of the congestion of people and the

vast use of automobiles in the area. This put the traffic everywhere especially in the

cities. This could also contribute to the country having a car-dependent culture. Many

parts of Canada, particularly urban areas, are currently impacted by air pollution from

automobiles. Climate change will make these impacts worse because ambient air

temperature is one of the key factors in the formation of secondary air pollution such as

ground level ozone and particulates, key components of smog (Suzuki, 2003). All of

these have put a little regard for the natural environment. Urban sprawling highly affect

the environment and health in Canada wherein

Urban sprawl in Canada is evident today especially that the country is more

civilized and developed. The land areas that can be used for agriculture are being used

to different infrastructures and roads. Because of these reasons, the government is also

addressing this situation by means of initiating plans and action for the said issue.

These urban issues have recently become a stated priority of the federal government

through its New Deal for Cities and Communities. At the federal level, several toxic

compounds typically contained in municipal wastewater have been added to the

national list of priority contaminants requiring assessment and control. The federal

government is tightening motor vehicle emission and fuel efficiency standards in order

to reduce urban air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions (Tomalty, 2005 ). There is

also a so called Smart growth in Canada wherein it allows the areas to grow but there

is a control concerning the environment. It allows the conservation of natural areas and

countryside by also sustaining the urban boundaries. This also allows environmental
friendly areas for the Canadians. This puts limit to the highways, sewer systems and

water pipes out into the farmland in expectation of possible unintended urban growth.

Good planning is important in addressing the issue of Urban sprawl and this is what

Canada is working on. Even if the country is a highly urbanized one, there is still a need

of concern for the environment and development wherein it can be called sustainable.


Blake, R. B. (2003). Regional and Rural Development Strategies in Canada:The Search

For Solutions. Royal Commission on Renewing and Strengthening Our Place in
Canada, 189-221.

Stone, L. ( 2002). Tightening Our Beltways:Urban Sprawl in Western Canada. A

Western Cities Project Discussion Paper, 1-14.

Suzuki, D. (2003). Understanding Sprawl. Vancouver: The David Suzuki Foundation.

Tomalty, R. (2005 ). Urban Environmental Issues. Canadian Environmental

Grantmakers' Network, 1-21.