Vol. 40, No. 4, Winter 2006
The trend towards greater urbanization is well underway in Atlantic Canada, as it is in other jurisdictions. The region’s six fastest growing cities, specifically Halifax, St. John’s, Moncton, Saint John, Fredericton and Charlottetown, expanded by 50,000 people between 1995 and 2004, despite a drop in the region’s population over this period. The strong growth centres of Halifax and Moncton have approached growth of similar sized cities elsewhere in Canada over the past 10 years. The shift towards a service-based economy has been a catalyst for this urban growth, as this sector now represents over 80% of the labour force in the region’s top six cities. These developments point to the role cities can play in transforming the region’s economy. However, cities must be engaged as full partners in regional and provincial development strategies.