Exposing Sprawl's Hidden Costs

A new report sheds light on the costs of suburban sprawl that aren't well understood by officials and residents. If more knew the true financial costs they might reconsider their policies and priorities, believes author Dave Thompson.
October 30, 2013, 12pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"A little truth in advertising would go a long way in helping cities and taxpayers curb the sprawl that is robbing them of their time, health and clean air," argues Dave Thompson, author of a new report from Sustainable Prosperity, a University of Ottawa-based research network. "Planners and a growing number of politicians are now aware of the hidden costs of sprawl but the policies and the data they need to calculate the price of those developments hasn’t caught up, said Thompson."

"His report recommends policies that don’t leave cities picking up the cost of roads, community centres, police and fire services that have to be operated and maintained long after the development charges against builders have been spent," writes Tess Kalinowski. 

“We’ve known about the environmental effects for decades, we’ve known about the health impacts for 10, 20 years,” said Thompson. “Now we’re learning that the financial costs of sprawl are going to be staggering and we’re leaving a major deficit to our children and grandchildren.”

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Published on Monday, October 28, 2013 in The Toronto Star
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