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How can Canada continue to work on supporting sustainable urban growth?

over 3 years ago
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

The ways in which cities are developed impacts social inclusivity and environmental sustainability. To address the complexities and interrelated nature of these, all orders of Canadian government are working together to engage the public in more meaningful consultation, incorporating long-term considerations into decision making and going beyond conventional land use planning through the practice of Sustainable Community Planning. Through measures such as the Federal Gas Tax Fund, communities are developing Integrated Community Sustainability Plans.







Consultation has concluded

  • NGolabi over 3 years ago
    Looking towards the future, Canada needs to begin working on promoting sustainable growth not only through federal policies but through the implementation initiatives in the private sector. Much of the urban growth process falls with the private sector and it is this group that needs to be included in the sustainable development process. Working with business to implement sustainable technologies into development at the beginning of projects can ensure that sustainability can be carried throughout.
  • Nigel Bart over 3 years ago
    Grassroots community mental health organisations with innovative programs are very important in sustaining urban growth and helping those marginalized my mental illness.
  • mgifford over 3 years ago
    There are lots of mechanisms within the B Lab Impact Assessment to help encourage businesses to support social inclusive, sustainability, community development and community building: http://bimpactassessment.netCompanies need to be encouraged to measure more than quarterly profits.
  • jasonjarrett over 3 years ago
    One point that I would like to raise is the need for a great engagement of business and corporations with sustainable development initiatives. They bring income and the means for people to live in cities. How they implement sustainable (and therefore resilient) measures in the work place is often a cue for how many everyday people can start to engage personally with the sustainability approach. Planning a community without business may be as difficult as planning a community without any other key stakeholders that others have mentioned.
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    • mgifford over 3 years ago
      I'd like to add to this. Governments can support companies that are Certified B Corps - https://www.bcorporation.net/There are other models of progressive business worth promoting, but we can't simply have government rely on taxation and credits as the only means to influence behavior. Highlighting companies which are working for more than profit and concerned with the triple bottom line is key.
  • Franklin Thomas over 3 years ago
    IT IS TIME FOR CANADA TO BUILD A NEW WORLD EXPOSITION TOTALLY SUSTAINABLE CITY !! Transforming our Human Habitat into a livable, workable, and sustainable, Urban Ecology is the greatest challenge facing Mankind today; and the Inevitable Evolution and Destiny of the Global Science of Urban Man. It is time for Canada to demonstrate to the World its ingenuity and leadership as it enters into a New Age of Urban Ecological Sustainability!! We propose that the Government of Canada present an URBAN DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM as defined in the NATIONAL PLANS OF ACTION at the HABITAT II - Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements; and that it initiate a World Exposition and Demonstration Project, such as, for example, our BOREALIS CITY Program: http://www.astralstar.com/borealis_b.html BOREALIS will become a permanent World Centre dedicated to the Advancement of Humankind by first demonstrating a community/village in balance with Nature. Guided by the philosophy that totally sustainable and advanced technological development can occur with a near zero negative impact on our natural ecology. These technologies now exist around the Earth - they just need to be brought together in one place and integrated: http://www.astralstar.com/borealis_a.html IMAGINE the economic benefits such a project would bring to Canada! Considering that Tourism will be the largest Industry on Earth, think of the millions of people who would pilgrimage to view its workings, to license its many discoveries and Patents, and to enroll in its courses. We could invite nations to finance and build their own unique Community Clusters, drawing some of the finest minds in the world to Canada. Think of the sustainable jobs that it will create. Think of the Interest and Excitement! Think of its Advertising Potential! An ideal location would be west of Edmonton towards the Super Natural Banff/Jasper National Parks? Imagine the Future - a Future that we are all uniquely empowered to pioneer: http://www.astralstar.com/borealis/borealis_plan00.html BOREALIS could not be a "pill" for all our planet's ills; but instead, an example of what we are trying to eventually achieve. It will be a beacon light, showing the World humankind's future New Millennium. It will be an effort worthy of Canadians and the Human Race; and make us a world leader in the Science of Humankind. Pioneers in Urban-Ecological Sustainability: The Peace Environmental Research Centre Foundation: http://www.astralstar.com/peacefoundation.html
  • Rita over 3 years ago
    The federal, provincial, and municipal governments influence construction practice through codes, standards, laws and bylaws. It is through thoughtful use of these powers that sustainable growth can be supported and encouraged. At the municipal level, zoning bylaws can encourage densification of central areas and municipal bylaws can encourage energy efficiency retrofits. For example, in New York City, larger buildings are required to report their power and water usage to the city, and as a part of the property tax program if yearly energy targets are exceeded the property tax bill goes up correspondingly. This brings building energy consumption into the public eye and into the minds of building owners and operators because of the financial liability.At the provincial and federal levels grants can be used to encourage energy efficient "reimagining" of buildings, including improvements to the building envelope, and electrical and mechanical systems. These levels of government also influence via building codes, as evident in the new energy code requirements in the 2014 National Building Code, which was a step in the right direction.
  • PStein over 3 years ago
    I think Canada should support municipalities to create community energy plans and climate change resiliency plans. We are already experiencing the impacts of climate change on our communities and we need to be shifting our long range land use planning conversations towards when driven by resiliency and adaptability, and our short range planning towards decreasing our acute and cumulative impacts.
  • aflynn over 3 years ago
    Federal programs such as the federal gas tax fund and other infrastructure funding mechanisms are crucial vehicles for enhancing sustainable urban growth. Canada could lead by: (1) developing multi-stakeholder forums for cities and regions - including conferences and best practices - enabling cities and regions to learn from one another in regard to long-term planning and inclusivity; (2) enhancing SSHRC and other academic funding to promote multisectoral tools and case studies on sustainable urban growth, intending for community learning; (3) ensuring that existing funding mechanisms promote the values of long-term planning and community engagement, rather than privileging short-term, "shovel ready" projects; and (4) providing enhanced funding for housing and other infrastructure aimed at historically vulnerable communities.
  • KTravers over 3 years ago
    Urban development and governance is complex and multifaceted. A multilevel approach (with cities leading the process with support from subnational and national governments in terms of capacities, mandate and human and financial resources) and multisectoral approach (housing, environment, urban planning, education, employment, safety, gender equality, climate change, etc.) is needed for it to be comprehensive and integrated. Institutionalized coordination mechanisms for these types of engagement and for the active and meaningful participation of the diversity of Canadian urban residents is needed. Citizen participation in urban development, governance and monitoring is key to building inclusive, responsive, accountable and sustainable cities.
  • doniazhang over 3 years ago
    Establishing the Canadian Institute for Housing StudiesIn the US, there is the Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) at Harvard University initially formed by Harvard–MIT in 1959 to advance the understanding of housing issues and informs policy. Its research was based on the premise that the resolution of these issues called for imaginative interdisciplinary approaches to the study of housing problems, and required cooperation among universities, government, and industry.Through its research, education, and public outreach programs, the JCHS helps leaders in government, business, and the civic sectors make decisions that effectively address the needs of cities and communities. Through graduate and executive courses, and fellowships and internship opportunities, the JCHS trains and inspires the next generation of housing leaders. They annually release the State of the Nation’s Housing Report, and also webcast a presentation with panel discussion. The JCHS currently has a program called “Remodeling Futures,” which is a comprehensive study of the factors influencing the growth and changing characteristics of housing renovation and repair activity in the US.In Canada, there is the Canadian Centre for Housing Technology in Ottawa. However, as the name suggests, its focus is on technology only. There is not yet a Canadian academic institute with a comprehensive program in housing research and design innovation. But housing is a big player in the national economy, and housing issues are becoming more and more acute in Canada as housing prices are staggering at an unprecedented level. Thus, creating a Canadian Institute for Housing Studies (CIHS) is much needed and will fill the gap.The aims of the CIHS can be multifold, one of which is to conduct research on housing design for multicultural communities, different age groups, households of varied conditions, the homelessness, among others. The interdisciplinary nature of housing studies will prompt researchers coming from a variety of disciplines: architecture, geography, anthropology, and so on. The proposed CIHS could be located within the University of Toronto or York University, and should regularly report new research findings to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing in Toronto and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation in Ottawa.Cohousing and Supportive housing as an international trend of housing design and development should be part of CIHS’ research agenda. Cohousing is rooted in courtyard housing, and the courtyard house is one of the oldest dwelling typology, spanning at least 5,000 years, and occurring in distinctive forms in many parts of the world across climates and cultures, such as China, India, the Middle East and Mediterranean regions, North Africa, ancient Greece and Rome, Spain, and Latin-Hispanic America. It is the traditional housing form for numerous ethnic groups in Canada. My recent research findings have profound social and cultural implications (see, for example, Courtyard Housing for Health and Happiness: Architectural Multiculturalism in North America https://www.routledge.com/Courtyard-Housing-for-Health-and-Happiness-Architectural-Multiculturalism/Zhang/p/book/9781472449115 and Courtyard Housing and Cultural Sustainability: Theory, Practice, and Product https://www.routledge.com/Courtyard-Housing-and-Cultural-Sustainability-Theory-Practice-and-Product/Zhang/p/book/9781409405030).