Presents Dr. Jochen Jaeger
Is urban sprawl unstoppable? Suggesting the establishment of
quantitative limits to urban sprawl
Friday, December 6, 2013 2:45 – 4:30 p.m.
Refreshments served at 2:30 p.m.
ALL WELCOME Biography Dr. Jaeger is an associate professor at Concordia University, Montreal, in the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment (since 2007). He received his PhD from the ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) in 2000. In 2001 - 2003, he was a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Lenore Fahrig at Carleton University, Ottawa. His research is in landscape ecology, road ecology, urban sprawl, ecological modelling, impact assessment, and trans-disciplinary research. Two recent projects were on the degree of landscape fragmentation and the degree of urban sprawl in Switzerland as indicators for the Swiss Monitoring System of Sustainable Development (MONET). Abstract Urban sprawl is a serious concern worldwide. It is a major challenge on the way to more sustainable land use. To address this increasing problem, there is an urgent need for the establishment of targets and limits, similar to limits in other environmental sectors such as water pollution or air pollution. The novel method of Weighted Urban Proliferation (WUP) can serve this purpose. It is a combination of amount of built-up area, its dispersion, and its utilization density. We applied this method to Switzerland and to two cities in Canada (Montreal and Quebec City) to examine the current state of sprawl, for historical analysis, and to assess planning scenarios. Today’s increase in urban sprawl in Montreal and Quebec City is more rapid than ever before. Without rigorous measures, scenarios of future urban sprawl show that it will continue to increase strongly, but examples from Switzerland also demonstrate that sprawl can be reduced. For example, as a consequence of intense public discussion, the Swiss Spatial Planning Act was revised in March 2013 to make it tighter. The new WUP method has recently been implemented in Switzerland’s landscape monitoring system. The Alternative Bank of Switzerland ABS is now using the WUP method to avoid urban sprawl, i.e., they do not give credits to projects that would strongly contribute to urban sprawl. The method is highly suitable for performance control of limits to urban sprawl once they are implemented.
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