August 8, 2017
Dear smart growth supporters,
It is with some sadness that the Ontario Smart Growth Network will be wrapping up its operations in August of 2017. The network was founded in 2003 by groups working to replace urban sprawl with compact, livable communities. Over the last 14 years, the OSGN has had numerous successes, including developing the network, delivering smart growth workshops, and advancing dialogue and awareness of smart growth practices in Ontario. OSGN played a significant role in the advocacy that produced provincial smart growth policies such as the Greenbelt and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Most recently, the OSGN has produced strong research and exciting events promoting smart growth.
Unfortunately, the OSGN has struggled to find ongoing sources of funding. It has also come to the Steering Committee’s attention that many other groups with more stable operations are doing much of the vital work needed to support smart growth in Ontario. After much deliberation and significant attempts to revitalize the network, the Steering Committee has decided that it is time for the OSGN to conclude its work. We can take pride in the impact we have had in helping Ontario shift to adopting smart growth policies, but without a stable financial commitment to the voluntary sector role in planning and supporting complete communities, it is time to fold our tent and make space for new initiatives.
While the OSGN’s formal role is ending, there is still lots happening with smart growth in Ontario. Please consider learning more about some of the other groups supporting this cause, and contributing to their work:
- The Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition, which has graciously hosted the OSGN for the last few years
- Environmental Defence, which does advocacy work on creating liveable communities
- The Ontario Greenbelt Alliance, which focuses on Ontario’s Greenbelt
- Neptis, which does research, analysis, and mapping on growth management
- The Pembina Institute, which provides policy research leadership and education on climate change
For those who are interested, the OSGN’s Yahoo Group will continue to be operated by independent volunteers, and you are welcome to sign up.
While the OSGN’s formal contribution to smart growth in Ontario is ending, we know that the contributions of our passionate volunteers and supporters will continue. We want to thank all of you for your support and your ongoing work.
The OSGN Steering Committee