12 Noon, Delta Halifax Empress Boardroom

AIMS would like to thank the original sponsors of this event for their generous support


In spite of the challenges in the wake of the Great Halifax Snowstorm of 2004, AIMS persevered with its plans to put internationally recognised urban development expert Wendell Cox in front of an audience of Atlantic Canadians concerned about urban development issues. Instead of the planned lunch, we managed to stage a well-attended but less formal talk in the Empress Boardroom of the Delta Halifax Hotel.

In his talk, Wendell Cox delivered a compelling argument against the assumptions of “Smart Growth” proponents. “Smart Growth” advocates, among other things, densification of cities and strategies designed to remove choice from those seeking homeownership. Wendell Cox, a respected international consultant in both demographics and transportation, argues this is a recipe for urban decline and social injustice.

In his talk, Mr. Cox made specific reference to the challenges facing the Halifax Regional Municipality drawing from a deep knowledge of the effect of these policies on urban centres in the United States, Europe, Asia and elsewhere in Canada.

Wendell Cox is principal of Wendell Cox Consultancy, an international demographics and transport firm headquartered in metropolitan St. Louis. Mr. Cox also serves as a visiting professor at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers in Paris. He was appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley to serve three terms on the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission. On the Amtrak Reform Council Mr. Cox was instrumental in drafting the Council’s congressionally mandated plan for intercity rail in the United States.

Mr. Cox is sought after as a compelling and thoughtful speaker with extensive consultation experience on urban transportation issues throughout Canada. He provided the strategic planning, competitive tendering report and performance audits of BC Transit. Mr. Cox was a vocal opponent of amalgamation of the city of Toronto and during the debate he became one of the few Americans ever to be invited to debate at both the Canadian Club and the Empire Club.

In 2003 he spoke at Quebec Public-Private Partnership conference and was the only non-Toronto area speaker at the Greater Toronto Transportation Summit in March. More recently Mr. Cox spoke at the 10th annual Canadian Society of Civil Engineers Student Conference at the U of Toronto. He is vice-president of CODATU, which seeks to improve urban transport in the developing world and a member of the organization committee of the International Conference on Competition and Ownership in Land Passenger Transport. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Frontier Centre for Public Policy in Winnipeg.

Mr. Cox is the author of AIMS latest “Urban Futures” paper, “Smart Growth”: Threatening the quality of urban life released in conjunction with the Frontier Centre for Public policy in Winnipeg.

View Wendell Cox speech

View Wendell Cox Power Point Presentation

View selected photographs from this event