Growing Close to Home: Creating Complete Rural Communities

Jun 30, 2020   •   Livable Communities , Research

Prepared by the Foundation's Anna Shortly, Research and Policy Analyst, Growing Close to Home: Creating Complete Rural Communities identifies and discusses the key challenges and opportunities rural municipalities have when attempting to make their communities more complete. 

Supporting the development of complete communities, including in settlement areas within rural municipalities, is a core objective in the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe as well as the Greenbelt Plan.

A complete communities is one that meet people’s needs for daily living throughout their entire lifetimes and offers:

  • A full range of jobs
  • Retail and services
  • Housing options
  • Transportation options
  • Public service facilities
  • Protected vital natural features and productive farmland

Rural municipalities can experience challenges building complete communities because of lower population densities due to expansive rural landscapes with dispersed populations. It is imperative for these communities experiencing growth to prevent development encroachment, further fragmenting the surrounding prime agricultural lands and natural features. 

Many rural Greenbelt municipalities recognize the value of complete communities and are taking steps to become more complete. 

This report summarizes findings from a literature review, jurisdictional scan of policies and plans, and interviews with staff in rural municipalities across the Greenbelt, including the Niagara Escarpment area.


Interested in supporting complete communities? Read the summary : 

Interested in municipal planning? Read the full report :