Canada has one of the highest levels of urbanization in the world, with 80% of Canada’s population (2006) now living in cities and towns. This has resulted in a shortage of housing to meet the increased demand.
Cities and towns are looking at ways to deal with this challenge. One of the tools that has been identified has been densification. Densification means increasing the number of units of housing per square foot of land, either through building on vacant land or allowing taller and larger structures. Densification can also be understood as a more complex idea of urbanism where housing, shops, schools, and places of work become integrated in a single, mixed-use neighbourhood, which may create a more vibrant community.
The City of Vancouver voted on June 10, 2008 to adopt the EcoDensity Charter, which addresses densification and identifies ways to achieve it.
Smart Growth BC and Smart Growth Canada have produced reports on densification. For more information review our page on homelessness and see: