Summary of Recommended Actions in Support of Smart Development

Develop a coherent planning vision for the Zone as a whole

Identify a limited number of strategic smart growth areas, with emphasis placed on developing where existing infrastructure is already in place as a first priority.

Establish clearer and more strategic linkages between residential and employment uses at the regional and local levels.

Plan and build an attractive, effective and extensive transit system

Improve the existing transportation system as a first priority.

Tie investments in transit much more closely with transit-supportive development.

Bring transit on-stream in advance of or in tandem with new development.

Direct transit-supportive development to transit-oriented locations.

Consider investments for transit and the road network together to ensure a coherent package and that transit investments perform.

Remove local planning obstacles to smart development at strategic smart growth locations

Ensure that regional planning policies are carried through to the site level by, for example, enabling higher densities, innovative infrastructure, mixed use development or reduced parking standards.

Ensure that municipalities adopt flexible and proactive planning frameworks and act as facilitators in and around strategic smart growth areas.

Establish fast track planning approvals processes in key smart growth locations, with specific targets for approvals time.

Deal with the parking issue

At strategic smart growth locations, adopt more flexible approaches to the amount of parking required, including requirements that are more responsive to site-specific conditions, accessibility and user characteristics.

Municipalities need to take a more proactive role regarding parking in strategic smart growth locations:

  • in reducing parking requirements in general, and surface parking in particular
  • in facilitating the more efficient use of parking, including shared parking, the creation of parking authorities, and permitting overnight on-street parking.

Existing or new investments in transit must be tied much more closely with supportive parking strategies at strategic smart growth locations.

Align provincial and municipal fiscal instruments and investment to support and encourage smart development

Development charges must be structured such that the charges reflect the true costs of infrastructure provided, as they vary by location and type of development within a municipality.

Public investment in major projects, facilities and infrastructure should be directed to strategic smart growth locations as a first priority.

Municipalities need new tools to finance infrastructure and other improvements that support smart development.

Strengthen political leadership on smart growth and smart development at all levels of government

The province and municipalities together invest in research and educational or marketing campaigns for smart growth and smart development.

Stronger leadership is required to spearhead smart growth, and make tough decisions on investment priorities.