Urban Population Densities in Canada and Abroad—an Update

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Urban Population Densities in Canada and Abroad—an Update
  • Affordable housing in cities is a major public-policy issue in Canada.
  • Zoning and related restrictions on increased construction of multi-family housing in urban centres have been identified by the federal government and several provincial governments as major impediments to affordable housing.
  • Governments are promoting increased population density in urban areas through financial incentives and other initiatives but face opposition from homeowners and other interest groups concerned that density will bring a diminished quality of living.
  • In fact, urban population densities in Canada are relatively low compared to medium- and large-sized cities in other wealthy countries.
  • Moreover, there is no consistent evidence showing that increased urban density leads to a lower quality of living.

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