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Geography 2011A/B Lecture Notes - Transportation Planning, Positive Force, Official Language

Course Code
GEOG 2011A/B
Wendy Dickinson

of 5
Geography: Ontario and the Great Lakes
Lecture 1: Land Use in Ontario- Urban Sprawl
Smart Growth film: we need balance, not space
Sprawl: Inner cities and outer suburbs- A Fred Friendly Seminar film: American
dream and developments of the suburbs.
Sprawl: low denisity, discontinuous development, that forms in suburbs
Sprawl is the spreading out of a city and its suburbs over more and more rural land
at the periphery of an urban area.
Conversion of open space into built-up, developed land over time
Low density
Homogenous, sense of place
Characteristics of Sprawl:
High volumes of traffic: prisoner to your car, not sensible
Scattering of businesses, shops and homes: no feasible way to walk to each
Inadequate public transportation: not convenient for busses to go
Pedestrian unfriendly streets: only sidewalks in certain areas
Zoning that divides neighbourhoods from offices, shops and restaurants;
Parking lots that push buildings back and farther away from each other:
developed parking in the front, people want to know there is parking
Inside out malls: series of places where people park to go to other places, not
pedestrian friendly
Urban key island effect: keeps them warmer, hot spots, also makes it possible
for water to go instantaneously to sewers, lakes, rivers
At the current rate, an additional 260,000 acres (1,070 km2) of rural land
will be urbanized by 2031 (an area double the size of the City of Toronto)
92% of that land is Ontario's best farmland
Sprawl in Ontario:
Golden Horseshoe growing by over 115,000 people per year
In 15 years, it will be the third largest urban region in North America behind
only New York and Los Angeles
We are very dense in some areas, not in others
The horseshoe: developed more north
Low Density= High Cost
Does growth pay for growth?
Infrastructure costs: maintaining everything
Other externalities:
time lost in cars
traffic accidents
economic costs of climate change
Household Costs of Sprawl
Cheaper land is further from city centre, part of American dream
Costs: over time the fear is
Increased property taxes due to maintenance of infrastructure
Extra transportation costs since all trips require a car
Time spent driving
Consuming Precious Land
Land is finite
Land used for urban development is often prime agricultural land
Open land also preserves habitat and absorbs rain
Picture: shows how they aren’t as efficient (suburbs)
Commercial Zoning picture: agricultural use to urban use
Public Health: use of fossil fuels
Millions of vehicles = billions of litres of gas used
Emit millions of tonnes of pollution
16,000 premature deaths/year in Canada
Air pollution costs Ontario over $1 billion/year
Climate Change
Burning fossil fuels = GHG emissions
Current Impacts:
permafrost thaw
accelerated coastal erosion
increasing severity of storms and droughts
Future Impacts
Sprawl requires abundant energy
Sprawl requires cheap energy
Suburbs will become much more expensive
Water Quality and Quantity
Clearing forest and agricultural cover increases runoff
Storm sewers gather oil, grease and toxic chemicals from pavement and
deposits them in rivers and lakes
Expansion into woodlands and wetlands destroys habitat
Primary threat to woodlands and wetlands remaining near Canada’s cities
Aesthetics and Quality of Life
Absence of a “sense of place”
Social loss -- isolation, lack of connectivity, lack of engagement, lack of caring
about it
Don’t have a community, don’t have neighbors
Those who cannot drive the poor, the old, the young are left behind
What is Smart Growth: so this is the alternative!
An attempt to make urban development a positive force for the long-term
health of the economy, society and the environment.
Redeveloping what is being developed(how we think of it differently)
How can I build stuff more sensibly
Principals of Smart Growth: opposite of sprawl
Preserve greenspace and farmland
Integrate land-use and transportation planning
Make full use of existing urban land and infrastructure: don’t make all the
houses the same
Mix land uses
Provide a variety of transportation
Compact building design:
Range of housing opportunities:
Invite walking and bicycling
Communities with a strong sense of place
Pic 1: Traditional town sprawl planning, everything is separate, and in its
designated spot
Pic 2: the greenbelt, where they limit urban expansion and development, who gets
to build what where when
Pic 3:
Social Geography of Ontario
Ellen Dunham-Jones: change in demand
Who, what when where why Canadians
Early Ontario:
Native Peoples
arrived about 10 000 years ago
settlement patterns
60,000 117,000 in the 1500s
Picture: Where they came from, their movement
European Settlers
1500s: Passage to the Orient?
1600s: Fur trade begins
French and English struggle for domination
1759: British vs. French showdown
1763: Treaty of Paris
1775: American Revolution: America was very far ahead, set up a really big
nation, they are well established, we were just getting started
1779: English, Scottish & Irish immigrants
1787: US Ordinance develop the Lakes
1791: Upper Canada defined
- population 15,000 Europeans
1812: Last military challenge for the Lakes
population of Upper Canada about 90,000
1867: Confederation, called ourselves Ontario, created a nation
Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick form a federal union
Dominion of Canada
Capital of Canada = Ottawa