BC sprawl report 2004: Economic vitality and livable communities

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Issue Date
2004
Authors
Alexander, Don
Tomalty, Ray
Anielski, Mark
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Abstract
In 2001, Smart Growth BC undertook a study of sprawl in B.C. and explored some of the linkages between sprawl, quality of life, and infrastructure efficiency in selected communities. This study builds upon the work from 2001, and expands the range of issues explored. The key addition is the stronger focus on the relationship between urban form (density and integration of land uses), on the one hand, and livability and economic vitality, on the other. The report also explores in more detail the relationship between livability and economic performance. The findings, while tentative, suggest that communities that are developing smarter, and with less dependency on automobiles, also tend to be associated with a higher quality of life, and seem to be more adept at attracting the leading edge sectors of the economy. The 27 indicators considered in this study represent an important first step towards developing a more comprehensive set of measures to asses these complex issues. While the results from this study are preliminary, the study provides a unique exploration of the linkages between urban form and livability, and between urban form/livability and economic vitality, and has demonstrated the correlations existing among these factors.
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