After the post was vacant for more than a year, Jennifer Keesmaat started this month as the Chief Planner for the City of Toronto.
Canada’s future lies in its urban areas like Metropolitan Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal, much more than it does in its resources or agriculture. More than eighty percent of the food grown and resources mined and extracted in Canada is destined for city-customers. Urbanization is driving the wealth creation needed to pay for these materials. Urbanization is also driving most of our big planetary challenges like climate change, loss of biodiversity and soil degradation.
A few things Ms. Keesmaat calls for: greater cooperation between national and local governments (and a better appreciation at the national level on the importance of well-functioning cities); the need for good data and evidence-based decision making; addressing income disparities; the imperative of public transit and affordable housing; job creation; and better provision and use of infrastructure in suburbs.
more at Sustainable Cities Collective