Article Review and Opinion
Urban Sprawl is Destroying Ontario’s Farmland
Canada is generally a very huge area, however, as a result of urban sprawl, it has very little dependable farmland. Consequently, one can barely find good soil and friendly climate. The lack of farmland is making it hard to sustain the local food security. Some regions of Canada, such as Golden Horseshoe that surrounds Toronto have an abundance of the class 1 soils, however, a huge proportion of the best soils in such regions now lie underneath the sprawling infrastructure developments (Suzuki & Moola Para 1). The continued growth of urban communities has greatly affected the agricultural lands and the natural areas. A study by statistics Canada has shown that currently, only 5% of Canada’s total land base is suitable for farming (Suzuki & Moola Para 3).
There may be strong sprawl-busting policies in regions, such as Ontario, with the internationally renowned Greenbelt Act as well as the greater Golden Horseshoe Growth plan, however, the prime farmland as well as the rare ecosystems within the region, such as the wetlands still remain at risk from further urban development (Suzuki & Moola Para 4). Recently, David Suzuki foundation conducted a study that looked at the threats to farmlands. The report indicated that the productive and rich farmlands are a great risk of urban growth in the Golden Horseshoe region (Suzuki & Moola Para 6). Presently, Ontario’s urban regions are at crossroads. Down one trail is increasing low density, creeping urban growth; continued sprawl that is threatening the health of the local communities, and the ecosystem. In the other way is a different trail, finishing sprawl by the use of the laws of smart growth (Suzuki & Moola Para 8). The Ontarians are calling on the municipalities as well as the provincial governments to increase their efforts to protect the remaining farmland and the green space from the polluting urban sprawl.
Urban Sprawl Eating into Wildlife Habitats in Europe
The continuous expansion of towns into the countryside has lead to the reduction of numerous habitations of both animals and plants. Land is considered as a limited resource, and in the European country, most of the previously wild areas are used for agriculture, infrastructure development, and forestry (EEA Para 1). Presently, infrastructure developments are spreading quickly in Europe and about 50% of the spreading was on farmland between the year 2000 and 2006. About half of the infrastructures are new residential houses and recreational facilities (EEA Para 3). About 43% of the European land constitutes of farming land; however the most widespread types are the non-irrigated arable land and pasture.
According to the EEA Executive Director Hans Bruyninclx, the high consumption lifestyles are exerting a lot of pressure on the land. Increased Infrastructure development is carving valuable habitats into more and more minor fragments, with severe consequences for the Europe’s rare species (EEA Para 5).
The key issue presented in the first article is how urban sprawl is consuming most of the productive farmland in Canada. The people involved are the Canadian urban communities who have continued with the urban developments not taking into consideration the importance of the farmlands. The issue is controversial as the continued growth of urban communities is greatly affecting the agricultural lands and the natural areas. The key issue presented in the second article is how the continuous expansion of cities into the countryside has led to the reduction of many habitats of both animals and plants. The issue discussed is controversial since most of Europe’s endangered species are greatly affected by urban sprawl. Comparing the first article and the second article, both are discussing about the effects of urban sprawl on the general ecosystem. Urban sprawl both affects the farm land and the general habitats of animals and plants (Nechyba & Randall 177-200).
European Environmental Agency. “Urban sprawl eating into wildlife habitats in Europe.” 29 July 2013. Print.
Nechyba, Thomas J., and Randall P. Walsh. “Urban sprawl.” Journal of economic perspectives (2004): 177-200.
Suzuki, David & Moola, Faisal. “Urban Sprawl is destroying Ontario’s farmland.” Thestar 24 April 2014. Print.