There is a strong relationship between suburbanization (pejoratively called “urban sprawl”), automobile use and the strong economic growth that has occurred in high-income nations since World War II. Millions of Canadian households were able to stop renting and begin accumulating their own equity as a result of the lower cost houses built on the less expensive land on and beyond the urban fringe. They were able to take advantage of a much larger array of employment and shopping opportunities because they could get anywhere in the metropolitan region in a comparatively short period of time, rather than the limited destinations that could be reached quickly on transit. In short, a world or a Montreal without cars or suburbs would be far less affluent.
Links of interest
Inconvenient Truths about Housing and Transportation :: Article by Wendell Cox to deal with the most prevalent criticisms his report received, August 2, 2006
Montreal gaining a competitive edge as Toronto and Vancouver adopt anti-suburbanization measures, says a new study :: Media release, June 20, 2006
The upside of sprawl: Suburbs and roads lower housing costs and boost development :: Article by Wendell Cox published on June 21 in The Gazette
Suburban thrall: Montreal's expansion strategy will keep its economy competitive :: Article by Wendell Cox published on June 22 in the National Post
Housing and Transportation in Montreal – How suburbanization is improving the region’s competitiveness :: Photographs taken during the launching of the study, June 20, 2006