Decades ago, urban planning decisions have contributed to the rise of right-wing populism, a study by the University of Waterloo revealed.
The study examined urban planning and voting data from outside Toronto, Canada to World War II until 2010. We have found that development patterns that rely on cars can favor comfort and convenience and trigger a political attitude to resist sustainable development.
Pierre Filion said, "Planners continue to build suburbs and gain new voting rights in many elections, while suburban voters have predicted politicians and policies that fit their lifestyle." This is due to increased dependence on cars, This has led to a continuing cycle of declining land, more suburban construction.
"If we look closely at the recent US midterm election results, we see a clear ideological split between the city and the suburbs," he said.
When reviewing the data, the researchers found that as the use of cars increases, so does land use and lifestyle. The dependence of cars and the continuing urban irregularities have normalized the economic and cultural norms associated with unsustainable suburban life.
It has also led to many suburban areas that resist the demand for change that can have a personal impact.
"People with recreation and livelihoods in cars are not willing to accept the transformational changes that can disproportionately affect comfort and convenience," Filion says. "This can heighten the sense of attacking values and explain the wave of right-wing populism in North America.
"It is the most recent election in Ontario in Canada as well as in 2016 that we have seen."
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