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Sat May 9, 2015, 09:36 AM May 2015

Lessons From Toronto: Density Transforms, Brings Challenges

from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, via MassTransitMag:

May 08--TORONTO -- More than 130 cranes hover over this shimmering city and its suburbs along Lake Ontario. Scores of office towers and hundreds of thousands of condo and apartment units have been built over a couple of decades, transforming a downtown that was riddled with parking lots.

Strict land planning has forced developers -- even in the suburbs -- to build taller buildings to reduce sprawl, preserve green space and protect environmentally sensitive land. The region has built onto its transit network, but for those investments haven't kept pace with growth. Congestion costs Toronto about $2 billion a year in lost productivity, by one estimate.

More than 100 Atlanta civic, business and government leaders are in Canada's largest city to learn how Toronto handles regional issues.

The takeaway: to find fixes for thorny problems like congestion and public services, it takes long-term vision, regional planning and engagement from government, business, civic and academic leaders. ..................(more)


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