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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Breaking New Ground: Urban Residential Development and the Environment

Report by Karen Wilkie, Robert Roach

Karen Wilkie and Robert Roach begin by pointing out the strong demand for residential development in and around large urban centers in Western Canada. Two forms of development are taking place: suburban development at the edge of cities and country residential development in rural municipalities around the periphery of cities. Wilkie and Roach argue that residential development provides many benefits, including jobs, increased housing available to residents, and a broader tax base.

The authors also highlight costs associated with residential development: the most obvious are problems with roads, water, and waste water services. Wilkie and Roach suggest that environmental costs receive less attention than other disadvantages, but are just as significant. They suggest there are large-scale ecological effects resulting from residential development that require further consideration.

This report outlines the environmental costs of current development and considers the potential benefits of alternative, “greener” approaches. Wilkie and Roach focus on the shortcomings of current public policy and promote the need for change. They advocate solutions that are economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable in the long-term. Their report concludes with public policy recommendations.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Karen Wilkie; Robert Roach;
Publisher: Canada West Foundation [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2004; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: Municipal;
Registration Required: Yes Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Cities & Communities / Urban Planning
Policy Articles / Cities & Communities / Urban Planning / 2004
Policy Articles / Cities & Communities


Keywords / Tags:

residential development; suburban development; environmental concerns of development; infrastructure; environmental costs;