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greenindicator Reurbanization (Managing Regional Growth)

One of Region of Waterloo's key objectives is to manage and shape growth to ensure a livable, healthy, thriving and sustainable Waterloo Region. Achieving more balanced growth means directing more of new development to existing urban areas to make better use of land, existing infrastructure and services. This also means building more compact, vibrant and complete communities, with walkable neighbourhoods and a better mix of employment, housing, shopping and services. Rapid Transit will also play a major role in reurbanization throughout the region.

What is the indicator and why measure it

Reurbanization is growth and development that helps increase the number of people living and working within urban areas. There are four different approaches to reurbanization including:

  • Infill: new development on formerly vacant land;
  • Intensification: expanding the use of an existing structure to increase the number of people who can live and work there;
  • Adaptive reuse: a change in the use of a structure, usually from commercial/industrial to residential, that results in more residences or jobs; and
  • Redevelopment: converting a site from one use to another, often involving some form of land assembly and/or demolition, which results in significantly higher number of people or jobs using the site than during its previous use.


Existing targets

Places to Grow is the Ontario government's program to plan for growth and development in a way that supports economic prosperity, protects the environment and helps communities achieve a high quality of life across the province and set a minimum target of 40% of new residential units to be constructed within the Built Up Area (BUA) which was defined by the Province to delineate the lands already developed.

The Regional Official Plan targets a minimum of 45% of all new residential development within the Built-Up Area to be achieved by the year 2015 and every year thereafter. Designated growth areas of the region have been better utilized in recent years in terms of directing more development within built-up boundaries: This target has been surpassed within the region during five of the past seven years with an average of 51.6% since 2006. 

Land Reurbanization Built Up Areas 2013

Regional Official Plan

The Regional Official Plan (ROP) aims to promote the vision established in the Regional Growth Management Strategy to promote balanced growth by:

  • Directing more of our community's future growth towards the built-up areas in our community, which will make better use of land, existing infrastructure, and services; and
  • Creating more compact, vibrant and complete communities in our suburban areas with walkable neighbourhoods and a better mix of employment, housing, shopping and services.


Regional Growth Management Strategy

The Regional Growth Management Strategy (RGMS), designed to help determine where, when and how future growth should occur, provides a clear picture of how the citizens of this community wanted to move forward.
The RGMS was structured around the following six goals:

  • Enhancing Our Natural Environment
  • Building Vibrant Urban Places
  • Providing Greater Transportation Choice
  • Protecting Our Countryside
  • Fostering a Strong Economy
  • Ensuring Overall Coordination and Communication

More in-depth information about the Region's growth management polices can be found in Chapter 2 of the Regional Official Plan.


Central Transit Corridor Community Building Strategy


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greenindicator Strong progress achieved
yellowindicator Moderate progress achieved
redindicator Progress needed
blueindicator Information only
greyindicator Indirectly related