Market News

 May 23, 2007
Sustainable Urban Transportation for Canada

 Amid a trend toward growing urbanization and suburban sprawl, Canada is facing major shortfalls in its urban transportation systems, says a new report from the Conference Board of Canada.

The report examines the current condition of urban transportation in Canada -- including roads, public transit and inter-city transit - and the policy measures needed to set a better course for decades ahead. It concludes with 12 recommendations addressed to Canadian governments and business.

According to the report, among the core elements that make cities successful, efficient urban transportation networks are pivotal to business investment and growth as well as environmental sustainability. Efficient urban transportation networks key to business investment and growth because companies depend on the efficient movement of workers and goods around urban areas to maintain their competitiveness. Integrated mass transit systems are also vital for healthy urban environments and strong communities.

The report notes that the beginning of 2007 has seen a reinvigorated debate about public transit and its funding, stemming from several important developments such as the release of the 2006 census (which confirms an ever-increasing number of Canadians living in urban areas) and an increased prominence of transit and transportation infrastructure for cities on the federal government's agenda.

While these developments are encouraging, seeing them through will require a sustained focus by both government and citizens on the reasons why public transit is so indispensable to the success of Canada's cities, asserts the Conference Board.

The report examines issues such as urbanization, suburban sprawl, land use and automobile dependence. The briefing also looks at the massive public infrastructure investment needed to accommodate growth, the need to enhance urban freight transportation and the need for high-speed rail transit in two heavily traveled inter-city corridors.

Access the full report, Sustainable Urban Transportation: A Winning Strategy for Canada, here.

Source: Conference Board of Canada .