Although the smart growth panel for the Central Zone does not include education policy in its mandate, it does have the potential to address many of the other challenges discussed above. The following suggestions for the strategy are based on the analysis in this paper.
- Build strong, safe, vibrant neighbourhoods and communities that provide living and working opportunities for a wide range of groups across the socio-economic spectrum. This means providing affordable housing to potential new entrants into local labour markets, supporting and enhancing the integrity and distinctiveness of existing neighbourhoods, and encouraging greater mixing of residential and commercial-industrial land uses within Central Zone communities.
- Protect and enhance existing natural assets within the Zone by limiting the encroachment of residential and industrial/commercial development. Concentrate future urban growth nodally through judicious planning of major infrastructure investments (e.g., water, sewer, arterial, and highway) and the careful, logical application of development charges.
- Facilitate redevelopment of brownfield, vacant, or underused land by removing existing impediments and disincentives.
- Restructure industrial and commercial property taxation within the GTA to remove the remaining incentives for decentralization. So long as these differentials are unrelated to the true costs of development or provision of services, this artificial impetus to the outward movement of employers does not serve the overall needs of the region well.
- Strengthen local and regional public transit systems to enhance the attractiveness of alternative modes to auto-based travel through enhancements to regional rail and bus systems (GO Transit), and more effective integration with local transit systems.