Disproving the Worst Planning Misconceptions with Numbers

Walkability and density have been studied closely, and now their worth has been quantified and proven, according to Brent Toderian in a piece for Metro Toronto.
January 6, 2017, 9am PST | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Toronto's Little Italy neighborhood.
Deymos Photo

Brent Toderian argues in an editorial for Metro Toronto that many common misconceptions about planning can be dispelled with a numbers-based approach. While he concedes, with a Yogi Berra-type turn of phrase, that "Not all that counts can be counted," many assertions about the value of walkability and multimodal transit have been tested and studied and the numbers prove the worth of both.

Citing a study finding that compact development, on average, costs 38 percent less in up-front infrastructure and 10 percent less in ongoing service delivery than conventional suburban development. Compact development also generates 10 times more per acre in tax revenue, according to the study. Toderian's writing also highlights further benefits to residents and governments: "That crime goes down as density goes up. That providing housing for the homeless actually saves public money. That you can move more people on a street when car lanes are replaced by well-designed space for walking, biking and transit."

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Published on Tuesday, January 3, 2017 in Metro Toronto
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