The Allocation of Space in Toronto

An analysis exploring the amount of space dedicated to cars, green space, and buildings.

Exploring the allocation of scarce resources is a good way to understand the priorities of a person or entity. It could be the allocation of money within a budget, or the amount of time dedicated to an activity.

In a city, one of the most scarce resources is space. Take a quick look at rising real estate costs, and you'll see how much space is worth. If we are to understand the priorities of a city, we need to answer the question: How is space allocated in a city? Answering this question will not only help us understand the past, but also shift the future and focus on making real change.

I became interested in this question after seeing Move Lab's What the Street and Senseable City Lab's Unparking. Both are explorations into the allocation of space with a focus on mobility. These reports show the huge amount of space dedicated to cars, a form of mobility that is impacting the environment and healthiness of a city.

None of the reports looked at the City of Toronto, a place I called home for 10 years. This analysis is a look at the City of Toronto and it's an opportunity for me to learn new tools. The analysis was done with GeoPandas and this page was built in React. The results are all approximations and may be inaccurate. Feedback is always welcome.

Keep scrolling to understand the allocation of space in Toronto and in each of its neighbourhoods.

Breakdown by Neighbourhood

Select your neighbourhood to find out how space is allocated within it. In this visualization, each square represents 1 square kilometer. You can click on the squares to see more details and a map.

Humber River-Black Creek is 31 square kilometers. Click on the squares to see more details and a map.

About the author

Chris Long is an occasional data guy who likes to play around with Pandas, Python, and other data tools. He's the VP of Product at Superside, but is fascinated by cities and hopes to one day focus on improving urban life through design and data.

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