The Greater Golden Horseshoe area is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in North America. By the year 2031, the population of this region is expected to grow to 11.7 million people. Urban development in recent decades in our region has been characterized by low-density, automobile-dependent construction on the far edges of city centres.
When we pave and build outwards to accommodate this growth, we lose forests and green spaces that clean our air and regulate our temperature. Our communities become fragmented and we see increased traffic and in turn, more smog and greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, passenger cars and trucks account for nearly half of personal greenhouse gas emissions which lead to global climate change, and vehicles in Ontario contribute about 40% of the pollutants that cause smog.
Greenbelting growth means there are boundaries that encourage city building within our existing urban areas. It allows us to plan for growth in such a way that we can plan vibrant and intensified urban communities where people walk, bike and take transit. It also means that the precious green spaces that clean our air and provide us with other important ecological services, stay intact.