[Pre-print] Smart growth and sustainable development: Challenges, solutions and policy directions
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In this paper, we focus on the issues related to development densities that emerged from our study of sprawl and development issues in three regions of British Columbia, Canada. We chose to focus on this aspect of the smart growth agenda because, while many of its other elements enjoy wide support across social interests, the goal of achieving a higher density urban fabric is highly controversial. We proceeded by collecting data on development densities and 13 indicators of potential benefits in 26 municipalities. The results suggest that the density of communities is associated with efficiencies in infrastructure and with reduced automobile dependence, with the ecological and economic implications which flow from that. However, it does not necessarily correlate with greater affordability of housing or more access to green space. In fact, if anything, we discovered a negative relationship between housing affordability and green space per capita and higher land use densities. In a second stage of the research, we conducted a qualitative analysis of a subset of six municipalities and identified key policy issues for moving ahead with the smart growth agenda. The paper concludes with a discussion of the policy issues that emerged from these case studies.
Identifier (Other)DOI: 10.1080/1354983022000027578