Despite NIMBY Opposition, Density is the Only Option for a Prosperous Toronto

Christopher Hume delivers a forceful argument for why density is necessary for maintaining a prosperous Toronto in the decades ahead, and why the alternative, sprawl, is environmentally unsustainable and economically ruinous.

Hume identifies a national justification for sprawl "on the basis that there will always be more empty fields to develop" and a deep bias against density from the many who feel development "should be stopped after they have what they want." 

Despite scary connotations with "shadowy canyons of bleak high-rise apartment buildings and over-crowded buses lurching along congested streets...density also means the museum, art galleries, film festivals, Nuit Blanche and major league sports," says Hume. "Density generates economic activity, i.e. jobs and wealth. And in the 21st century, as never before, the business of the world is transacted in large urban centres."

While some criticize Toronto's condo boom, the alternative, sprawl, "has long since reached the point where advantages are outweighed by disadvantages." And it is sprawl, after all, not density, that causes congestion. 

"What the car hath taken away," concludes Hume, "density will giveth back."

Full Story: Urban density is key to smart growth


Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95

Get the "Green Bible" of educational planning books

Understand the complexities of planning at the local level while preparing for the AICP* exam. Find out why this edition is included in the APA's recommended reading list.