Evaluating Transportation Policies and Practices in Canada’s Largest Municipalities
Land use planning and transportation planning are linked and influence each other in complex ways, but they continue to be treated as separate in practice. Successful integration of land use and transportation can lead to decreased traffic congestion, improved public transit, and reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while weak connections can result in sprawling patterns of land development, increased automobile dependence, and poor air quality. The purpose of this project is to investigate leading practices used to integrate land use and transportation planning in Canada’s largest municipalities. This is accomplished through a systematic review of the land use and transportation planning scholarship, and content analysis of municipal official plans from thirty of the largest English-speaking municipalities in Canada based on a plan quality evaluation framework. Three key findings are presented: 1) social justice and equity and economic sustainability were rarely discussed in relation to transportation and land use planning, despite being prominent in the planning literature, 2) there was an absence of rigorous data to inform the fact base of official plans, as well as a lack of data for monitoring and evaluating transportation goals and policies, and 3) while most municipal official plans included a broad section dedicated to implementation, few provided detail on how, when, and by whom transportation-related policies would be implemented. The implications for land use and transportation planning are also discussed.