Statistics Canada research reveals Town of Milton losing green space


Published February 2, 2022 at 4:20 pm

Statistics Canada research has revealed that the Town of Milton, among other Canadian cities are losing green space.

A survey of urban green space by Statistics Canada has revealed that various cities across the country that once had urban areas that were predominantly green have dropped in comparison to 2001.

The study, called “Urban greenness, 2001, 2011 and 2019,” used satellite imagery to track greenness in population centres for a total of three time periods in 2001, 2011 and 2019.

According to Statistics Canada, the data collected from the study “reflects the presence and health of vegetation during peak summer conditions across the entire city, including publicly and privately owned green space and features.”

From 2001 to 2016, Canada’s population grew by just over five million people with most of that growth occurring in larger cities. Despite this growth, in 2019, over two-thirds of Canada’s large population centres were classified as green.

The study revealed that the Town of Milton, along with Winnipeg, Kelowna, Windsor and Vancouver experienced the largest decreases in greenness from 2001 to 2019.

According to Statistics Canada, the drop in green area in the Town of Milton coincided with a population increase of 350 per cent from 2001 to 2016.

These larger decreases in greenness were likely due to the contributions of urbanization and the moderate drought conditions in 2019, according to the study.

With more people contributing to a higher population, it results in the need for more homes.

This, in turn, can reduce the quantity and quality of “green” areas. Additionally, it can also increase the “grey” areas that consist of buildings, bare soil, impervious surfaces and low-density vegetation.

The new assessment by Statistics Canada provides an approach for measuring urban greenness across the country that is consistent, while providing an overview of urban greenness in the country for a total of three reference years over an 18-year period.

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