Population Density Indicator
The concentration of people within the boundaries of the City of Windsor is a major influence on the choices people make about how to travel around the city. Options such as walking, bicycling, and using public transit are more viable in a compact urban area.
Density determines in large part the cost in money, energy, and resources to build and maintain public infrastructure. The greater the density in an urban area, the more its sewers and roads can be made compact. Certain modes of transportation (e.g. bus transit) require a certain level of urban density in order to be more efficient, in terms of energy use and operating cost relative to the number of people served.
In addition to infrastructure, density also influences the amount of fuel needed for automobile travel. The chart at right suggests that cities with a higher overall population density (smaller area of land per person) also consume less gasoline than sprawling cities.
In 2005, the provincial government issued a Provincial Policy Statement (PPS). The statement requires municipalities to identify and promote opportunities for intensification and redevelopment.
Intensification means the development of a property, site or area at a higher density than currently exists through:
Redevelopment, including the reuse of brownfield sites
Development of vacant and/or underutilized lots within previously developed areas
Expansion or conversion of existing buildings
How are we doing?
*2007, 2012 and 2013 population data is predicted using Canada Census data from 2006 and 2011 respectively.
As shown in the chart, Windsor's population density has declined since 2007, but has seen an incline from the year 2011.
For more information on population statistics, visit the City's Demographics Page.
What is the City of Windsor doing to increase urban density?
The City of Windsor has adopted a residential intensification target of 10 percent for the period 2006-2026. This means that 10 percent of all new residential development should be located within built-up areas of the city that have access to existing services such as roads and sewers. Based on the estimated housing demand during this 20-year period, 10 percent represents 1,968 housing units.
This target will be included in the City's updated Official Plan and will also be used for calculating the City's residential land needs over the long term.
It is worth noting that there are a limited number of large infill sites in Windsor, with the majority less than 1 hectare (2.47 acres) in size. Careful planning and design will be necessary to ensure that new development is sensitive to existing neighbourhoods. The Development Charges By-law 70-2010 (see By-laws Online) includes an initiative that offers partial exemption of development charges for residential infill development in core areas of Windsor. The purpose of this initiative is to encourage new residential construction or residential redevelopment in Windsor's downtown and historical community main streets through reduced development costs.
Other opportunities for infill include brownfield sites that are underused, vacant, or derelict. A brownfield may be contaminated and require cleanup in order to allow residential or commercial use. They are usually, but not exclusively, former industrial properties. The City has developed a Brownfields Redevelopment Strategy that will create incentives for the clean up and redevelopment of these properties.
Appropriate development standards can help to facilitate intensification, redevelopment and compact urban form. The City of Windsor is in the process of preparing new Site Plan Design Manual that will set out standards that support walkable neighbourhoods and better urban design.
What can you do to promote increased urban density?
Stay informed about the monthly agenda for the City's Planning, Heritage and Economic Development Standing Committee. Members of the public are welcome to provide comments on any planning application, such as a re-zoning, or land use change, either in writing or in person at a meeting of the Standing Committee. Upcoming agendas are posted on the Planning, Heritage and Economic Development Standing Committee web page.
The public is also welcome to participate in the Housing Advisory Committee.
Ultimately, an increase in density depends on the decisions made by individuals regarding where to rent or purchase property. As demand rises for townhouses, multi-storey condominiums and housing in highly walkable mixed-use areas, developers will respond by gearing their projects to suit consumer demand for these options.
For more information on Environmental Initiatives
- Phone: For general inquiries, call 311. For detailed inquiries, call 519-253-7111 ext. 3226.
- Email: email@example.com