Plan to Achieve - A Review of the Land Needs Assessment Process and the Implementation of the Growth Plan


A new report in the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation Occasional Papers reviews the Growth Plan and other land use policies, and finds that a flawed approach to Land Needs Assessments (LNA) is leading to continued sprawl which is undermining the Growth Plan.

The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe envisions the region growing sustainably, with walkable, mixed use communities, vibrant main streets, and a diversity of housing choices and transportation options including rapid transit. This new report shows that the methodology used to determine how much additional land is needed to accommodate growth is fatally flawed, and incapable of delivering the results of the Growth Plan.

Without a new approach to LNAs, municipalities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) will continue to over-designate land, leading to:

  • failure to achieve the density targets of the Growth Plan;
  • loss of prime agricultural land and countryside;
  • lack of housing choices to meet changing needs of boomers and millennials; and
  • continued unsustainable, car-based suburban sprawl. 

Recommendations include:

  • Freezing urban boundary expansion until population and employment forecasts are updated with 2016 Census data
  • Developing a standardized, simplified LNA methodology
  • Not allowing LNA calculations to be appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board
  • Clarifying the meaning of "planned to achieve"


By entering my email above I consent to receive emails containing information about the Greenbelt and the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. I may revoke my consent by unsubscribing.
Want fresh local food?
Find it at
Grow Our Greenbelt
Join the movement to protect water!
Order our new book!
The Greenbelt: Protecting and Cultivating a Great Ontario Treasure