It is at the community level that Canada’s environmental and economic challenges meet. Small towns and large cities are on the front lines of environmental problems such as waste management, water quality and transportation. At the same time, they are where most of the country’s economic activity occurs – and where economic hardships are most keenly felt. Constrained by provincial law, many municipalities are looking for innovative solutions. SP focuses on developing a broad array of market-based instruments to help municipalities address environmental concerns while creating new sources of revenue.

Top Policy Research Priorities
  • Smart Budgets for Sustainable Communities
  • Market Tools for Sustainable Transport

Putting Transportation on Track in the GTHA

A survey of road and rail emissions comparisons

The report’s findings, which clearly show lower greenhouse gas emissions, and an improvement in air quality and associated health impacts by shifting from road to rail, provide critical data for the current discussion about the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Regional Transportation Plan (RTP).

Integrated Community Energy Solutions (ICES) Municipal Policy Toolkit

It contains seventeen case studies from communities across Canada and abroad. These case studies detail best practice examples of policies that can be used to advance ICES in a community. The communities profiled vary in size from towns to capital cities, and policies range from ‘first-step’ actions to more ambitious and comprehensive emissions reductions measures. These case studies have been grouped with respect to six broad categories where ICES actions can be achieved: land use, transportation, buildings, infrastructure, waste, and water.

Reducing Congestion and Funding Transportation Using Road Pricing in Europe and Singapore

The International Technology Scanning Program released the "Reducing Congestion and Funding Transportation Using Road Pricing in Europe and Singapore" scan in December 2010, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation and in cooperation with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program.


Market Tools for Sustainable Communities

State of Knowledge Report

The ultimate goal in identifying these ‘best practices’ is to identify key factors that have led to their success or any other lessons for other jurisdictions currently considering some form of EPR strategy.

The main findings in this report are as follows:

Smart Budget

The Smart Budget report has been prepared to help community leaders in both the public and private sector gain a practical understanding of the potential role for environmental pricing reform (EPR) in building sustainable communities. It seeks to facilitate a dialogue among all key community interests on identifying opportunities to address local government priorities through a mix of EPR policy instruments.


Sustainable Communities

Sustainable Communities

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.