According to recommendations made in the landmark Planning for Health, Prosperity and Growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe: 2015-2041 report, Ontario’s current 800,000-hectare greenbelt would expand by approximately 9,000 hectares, decreasing the amount of developable land in the region. However, this would require developers and city planners to reduce urban sprawl by focusing on the development of high-density residential neighbourhoods and more efficient transit corridors with sufficient public transit to accommodate them.
Building complete communities with a smaller footprint is the intended outcome of the recommendations within the report, and this approach will allow more land to be preserved while accommodating the expected influx of 4 million more residents in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) region over the next 25 years. Single family homes will no longer be the residential default as population increases challenge developers and municipalities to consider expansion decades in advance of new construction.
Through thoughtful, high-density community planning, the conservation of natural heritage systems including wetlands, woodlands and rivers, and the implementation of eco-conscious transit methods such as robust public transit lines and cycling paths, the future of the GGH will see a balance achieved between greenspace and livable communities for generations to come.
Image: Map of the Urban Structure of the Greater Golder Horseshoe, via Planning for Health, Prosperity and Growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe: 2015-2041 report