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.
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