On May 27th 2020, the mayor and a majority on Ottawa City Council voted to dramatically worsen urban sprawl. Council’s vote marks a major setback for every one of Ecology Ottawa’s priority areas – from climate action, to biodiversity and greenspace protection, to the viability of transit and active transportation in our city. Fighting sprawl was the most important thing Ottawa city council could have done to take action on the climate crisis.
75% of new housing in Canada over the past decade has been built as sprawl
That said, changing how we plan our city has the potential to transform our transportation system (responsible for 44% of Ottawa’s emissions) as well as the types of building we use (responsible for 45% of Ottawa’s emissions).
Even with the major setback of the city’s proposed urban boundary expansion, an ambitious uptake of policies that build walkable, 15-minute neighbourhoods will combat urban sprawl while making our city more livable. Building complete communities also protects greenspace and farmland, makes transit and active transportation more viable, and can dramatically improve quality of life for all residents of our city!
Learn more about the links between climate action and 15-minute neighbourhoods. Find out why we can still build a better Ottawa while taking bold action against the climate crisis.
Our current urban form has detrimental effects on new Canadians, Indigenous people, racialized populations, and lower-income workers—groups that have disproportionately suffered from the effects of homelessness and gentrification, growing racial- and class-based segregation of neighbourhoods within cities, and disproportionate rates of working poverty in Canadian cities.
Want to learn more about 15-minute neighbourhoods – why we need them, what’s stopping us, and how we can make them a reality? Click below to download the introductory document:
Over the next two years, the city has a massive opportunity to embed ambitious 15-minute neighbourhood elements within major new policy documents and processes, including the Official Plan, the Transportation Master Plan and the Zoning By-law review. Sign the petition to ask the City to commit!
Ecology Ottawa is hoping to work with multiple different neighbourhoods across the city to help determine where the City can plan to adapt, change, and build new or improved communities. We need your input!