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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

By the numbers — our sustainable city

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Cross-posted from Eye Daily.

Thought the big city was all smog and traffic jams and pavement? As it turns out, Toronto is Ontario’s most sustainable municipality, according to a recent study by the Pembina Institute. The study, released this week, looked at smart growth, livability and economic vitality in 27 Ontario cities, both big and small. But while the Big Smoke got top marks for public transit, density and land use mix, it rated poorly on measures such as the availability of affordability housing and community centres. This week’s “by the numbers” looks at some revealing stats from the study, both good and bad. (Note: all numbers below refer to Toronto.)

1: Toronto’s ranking (out of 27 Ontario cities) on the Physical Environment Index (which looks at the physical design of the city)
24: Toronto’s ranking on the Livability/Equity Index (which looks at aspects of a community that make it pleasant, safe and healthy)
5: Toronto’s ranking on the Economic Index (which looks at the health of the local economy)
52.36: percentage of work trips made in single-occupancy vehicles
$3.79: the amount spent on transit for every dollar spent on roads
21: Toronto’s ranking on air quality
Over $118 million: estimated cost of health care services due to air pollution in 2005 in Toronto
Over $80 million: cost of lost productivity due to air pollution in 2005
0.27: number of square kilometers of parkland for every 10,000 residents (Toronto ranked 23rd out of 27)
0.25: number of community centres for every 10,000 residents (Toronto ranked dead last)
$200 million: the estimated backlog of deferred maintenance for Toronto’s parks
40.95: percentage of Toronto’s citizens who were obese and overweight
0.8: the number of square kilometers per urban forester in Toronto in 1990
3.52: the number of square kilometers per urban forester in Toronto in 2004
37,000: number of jobs lost to suburban regions between 2000 and 2004
1:2.24: ratio of households making $80,000 per year to households making $20,000 per year.

photo by Grant Macdonald

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