Mobility & Transportation

Key insights:

This report investigates the potential for infill development in Mississauga to accommodate the region’s population growth projections and ensure that new development does not infringe on the urban greenbelt.

The report outlines:

  • Mississauga could add approximately 174,000 new residential units (at an average unit size of over 1,000 sq.ft.) via low- and medium-density intensification.
  • Through this approach, Mississauga could accommodate 435,000 new residents.
  • This is enough housing to support Mississauga’s growth projects, and to also accommodate approximately 85% of Peel Region’s assigned growththrough to 2041.
  • This housing can be delivered without the consumption of new greenfield land, reducing the need to encroach into the Greenbelt

This report is authored by Graham Haines and Brianna Aird of Toronto Metropolitan University.

This study investigates how to right-size the amount of on-site and off-street parking allocated to new apartment building developments.

Key insights:

This technical report brought forward a number of new insights about street parking supply and utilization, for example:

  • Apartment parking supply remains excessive relative to observed utilization. Apartment buildings close to frequent transit, whether or bus or SkyTrain, have lower parking supply and utilization
  • The lower rates of parking utilization are associated with higher transit use as measured by the number of bus boardings near the buildings, and this relationship is stronger for rental apartment sites
  • Street parking is inherently complex in mixed-use neighbourhoods. Some of the factors contributing to street parking use include visitors to non-residential land uses, such as restaurants, shops, and parks; apartment visitors on weekends, holidays, and special occasions; and some apartment residents parking on the street. Even with these factors, only a handful of surveyed street networks experienced persistently high street parking utilization.
  • Finally, the 2018 Regional Parking Study highlights a challenge that remains unchanged from the 2012 Study. The design and capacity of current bicycle parking facilities in apartment buildings are discouraging their use by many residents.

The findings indicate that the parking supply in Metro Vancouver outpaces observed utilization, and apartments close to frequent bus and train transit networks display lower parking utilization rates. Parking in mixed-use neighbourhoods was observed to have unique trends that varied by time of day and weekday versus weekend and holiday travel.

This technical report was prepared by TransLink and Metro Vancouver.

This report from the Terner Center for Housing Innovation, part of UC Berkeley, highlights barriers faced by developers working in states that have enabled multiple units to be built on traditionally single-family zoned lots.

Key insights:

The report details that Middle Housing delivers many benefits to communities:

  • Increases racial equity in housing and neighbourhood access
  • Providesentry-level homeownership opportunities
  • Creates lower greenhouse gas emissions per household).

The following developer challenges are highlighted:

  • Design requirements need to be flexible/supportive of missing middle housing;
  • Larger projects of 8-12 units need to be permitted to make projects financially viable; that complicated utility and subdivision rules deter small-scale development;
  • Approval timelines need to be more efficient; and that there is currently a lack of traditional financing tools to create a funding package for projects.

Key recommendations:

  • Introducing development code changes beyond zoning reforms, including updating design requirements and assessing current impact fees and utility requirements
  • Allocate dedicated resources to streamline permitting and approval processes
  • Considering more ambitious land use changes, such as increasing the maximum units that can be developed per lot, to help foster increased missing middle housing development.

In this session of the Gentle Density Network webinar series (September 2023), Small Housing assembled a group of parking and transportation reform champions to help the Gentle Density Network explore what parking reform and gentle density might look like in their communities.

Our presentations and respective speakers include:

  • Edmonton’s Open Option Parking – letting people decide for themselves – Colton Kirsop, Business Lead, Community Planning, McElhanney, and former City of Edmonton planner
  • Getting to Zero: No-parking gentle density developments – Julian West, Developer, Urban Thrive
  • Bringing active transportation & car shares to your city – Alison Gu, City of Burnaby Councillor
  • Parking reform efforts in smaller and car-dependent communities – Nancy Henderson, Sr. Local Government Advisor, Urban Systems