Integrating transportation and land use planning at the metropolitan level in North America: multilevel governance in Toronto and Chicago

Fanny R. Tremblay-Racicot, Jean Mercier


This article compares the policies and processes by which transportation and land use planning are integrated in metropolitan Toronto, Canada, and Chicago, in the United States. Using twenty-four semi-structured interviews with key informants, it describes the array of interventions undertaken by governmental and non-governmental actors in their respective domains to shed light on how the challenge of integrating transportation and land use planning is addressed on both sides of the border. Evidence concerning the political dynamics in Toronto and Chicago demonstrates that the capacity of metropolitan institutions to adopt and implement plans that integrate transportation with land use fundamentally depends on the leadership of the province or the state government. Although the federal government of each nation can bypass the sub-national level and intervene in local affairs by funding transportation projects that include land use components, its capacity to promote a coherent metropolitan vision is inherently limited. In the absence of leadership at the provincial or state level, the  resence of a policy entrepreneur or a strong civic capacity at the regional level
can be a key factor in the adoption and implementation of innovative reforms.


Transportation planning; Land use planning; Multilevel governance; Case study; Metropolitan organizations

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