- Three city's apples-to-apples comparison: Calgary, Toronto, and Vancouver
- Where and how growth happened was analyzed through: changes in population and dewelling, landuse plans and growth policies
- Conclusions are drawn on the relationship between type of policies, its effects and associated circumstance
- Vancouver accomodated 80% of its residential growth through intensification, while in Calgary, 78% of housing growth occurred as greenfield developmet in the urban fringe. Toronto has a rate of 44%, between Calgary and Vancouver's values.
The project is an innovative collaboration between the fields of remote sensing (the use of satellite imagery), spatial analysis and statistics, and policy analysis. The approach represents a new way to evaluate the results of planning policies and governance structures across different jurisdictions. The study found that there is a high degree of correspondence between long-term planning goals and urban development patterns in each metropolitan area. Each city pursued a different approach to planning urban growth, and that these different approaches have shaped and channelled that growth in distinctive ways. The report concludes that planning policies are more likely to be effective if they are pursued over the long term and buttressed by a sense of shared objectives and supportive institutions, and that provincial governments play a central role in shaping the institutional environments within which regional planning operates