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


Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Red necktie with map of Boston

Tie one on to celebrate your city

Choose from over 20 styles of neckties imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.