There is rising concern with the manifestations of growth that are radically altering the images of cities and towns and the surrounding rural landscape. The past hundred years have been an age of unprecedented urban growth throughout North America, growth that has been matched by the shift from a rural to an urban society. The majority of Canadians, and their American counterparts, now lives in large cities; over 75% of Canadians will name a city or town when asked where they live. Yet many residents still cling to images of a life past that is more akin to small towns that embody close proximity to all the conveniences of daily living. This ìidealî does not coincide with the immense carpet of houses, shopping centres, warehouses, low office blocks, and manufacturing and distribution plants, crossed by highways, that is unrolling across the landscape as far as the eye can see.