Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review Submission

Sustainable Prosperity (SP) welcomes this opportunity to comment on the 2015 coordinated review of four provincial plans working to manage growth, protect the environment and stimulate the economy of Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe region. Land use planning is a complex and multi-dimension field. SP’s research is focused on the role of public policy to set price signals that support sustainable land use choices. The research summarized in this submission offers suggestions for how market based instruments can be applied in the context of the goals identified for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

The intention of this submission is not to provide a comprehensive brief on all aspects of the wide-ranging Land Use Planning Review, but rather to summarize and highlight SP research that is relevant to the goals and questions listed in the Our Region, Our Community, Our Home discussion paper.

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About the Project

The goal of this project is to shed light on the relationship between economic activity and the environment by exploring the linkages between changes in our natural capital and our measures of productivity generally, and through the construction of an environmentally adjusted measure of productivity specifically.

While it is now commonly accepted that economic activity and the state of our environment are linked, many economic measures still fail to incorporate the environment – both the things we draw from it and the pollution we release into it. By developing and calculating measures of productivity that include natural capital, Canada may be able to better understand these linkages. This, in turn, may lead to the identification of strategies that can help Canada become more efficient and innovative in the use and protection of natural capital, and thus more productive and more prosperous.

Using the forestry sector as a case study, this project aims to construct an environmentally adjusted measure of multifactor productivity. In doing so, we aim to add another layer of understanding to the environmental and economic performance of this sector. The proposed measure will have relevance to the Canadian economy as a whole.