Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Urban Research

Slow Growth and Decline in Greater Sudbury: Challenges, Opportunities, and Foundations for a New Planning Agenda

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Urban Research

Slow Growth and Decline in Greater Sudbury: Challenges, Opportunities, and Foundations for a New Planning Agenda

Article excerpt

Abstract

In Canadian urban geography, new periods of economic prosperity, recessions, and restructuring coupled with demographic fluctuations have added new and accentuated divisions and disparities creating an increased gap between cities that have growing populations and those that do not. Under these conditions, it seems realistic to expect that 'no-growth' and limited growth cities might begin to develop distinctive planning strategies centered on a theme of decline or 'no-growth' scenarios. However, this has not been the case judging from the absence of literature and by the case of Greater Sudbury. The City of Greater Sudbury is located in northeastern Ontario and is best known across Canada as being one of the countries largest resource-based 'boom-bust' cities and one of Canada's CMAs that has experienced population decline. The 21st-Century City of Sudbury has, however, evolved into a more balanced regional centre. Nonetheless, the population of the City has been fluctuating over the last 30 years, experiencing decline, slow growth, and 'no-growth.' Utilizing policy documents and key informant interviews this paper depicts the constant struggle of Greater Sudbury in maintaining a 'positive' urban identity while dealing with its 'no-growth' reality. It concludes with a discussion of what might constitute alternative criteria for a new vocabulary and a new model of planning and development capable of generating more realistic policy and strategy considerations for 'no-growth' urban areas.

Keywords: Population decline, urban planning, economic development, Greater Sudbury

Resume

Dans la geographie urbaine du Canada, de nouvelles periodes de prosperite economique, recession et restructuration jumelees a des fluctuations ddmographiques ont cree de nouvelles divisions et accentue les disparites entre les villes qui ont une population croissante et celles qui ne l'ont pas. Sous ces conditions, il semble raisonnable d'esperer que les villes sans croissance aient commence a developper des strategies de planification distinctes portant sur une thematique de declin ou un scenario d'aucune croissance. Par contre, ceci n'a pas ete le cas. La ville du Grand Sudbury, situee dans le nord-est de l'Ontario, est reconnue a travers le Canada comme etant une des plus grandes ville ressource, ayant connue au fil des ans des hauts et des has. Elle est aussi connue comme une des RMR canadiennes qui a eprouve un declin de population. Bien que le Grand Sudbury du 21e siecle a evolued en un centre regional plus stable, la population de la ville fluctue depuis les derniers 30 ans--eprouvant tour a tour declin, croissance faible et aucune croissance. En s'appuyant sur des documents politiques et des entrevues avec des informants cles, cet article identifie la lutte constante du Grand Sudbury pour maintenir une identite urbaine 'positive' tout en traitant de la realite d'une ville sans croissance. L'article conclu avec une discussion de ce que pourrait constituer les critetes alternatifs pour la creation d'un nouveau vocabulaire et d'un nouveau model de planification et developpement capable de generer des politiques et strategies plus realistes pour les regions urbaines sans croissance.

Mots cles: declin de population, planification urbaine, developpement economique, Grand Sudbury

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In Canadian urban geography, new periods of economic prosperity, recessions, and restructuring coupled with demographic fluctuations have created a new and accentuated gap between cities that have growing populations and those that do not. Under these conditions, it seems realistic to expect that 'no-growth' cities might begin to develop distinctive planning strategies centered on a theme of decline or 'no-growth' scenarios. However, this has not been the case. The City of Greater Sudbury is located in northeastern Ontario and is best known across Canada as being one of the countries largest resource-based 'boom-bust' cities and one of Canada's CMAs that has experienced population decline. …

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