This stamp has a hidden date and copyright symbol in a car's license plate. This car is in the bottom, right-hand corner of the stamp.
At present, reflecting the worldwide trend to urbanization, 75 percent of Canadians live in or near cities. Projections indicate that by the year 2000, that figure will have risen to 90 percent. Experts agree that the type of urban environment that will exist in the next century will be largely determined by decisions and actions taken in the next few years.
There is much to be learned from the past. In the last 30 years, the character of major cities has been radically changed. Because of the absence of coherent long-range planning, neighbourhoods have been destroyed to make way for massive areas of concrete and glass; city centres are organized for the care and convenience of cars rather than people; air and water pollution and solid waste disposal have become serious problems. However, rational solutions are evolving as more people become aware that cities first of all must be designed to satisfy the human need for neighbourhoods, open space and recreation areas, access to public services and facilities, privacy, peace and quiet. The key to optimum urban development is careful design and forward planning based on concern not only for the physical environment of cities but also for the quality of life of those who live in them.
In illustrating this stamp with line and wash drawings, the artist, Tom Bjarnason of Toronto, has attempted to capture the atmosphere typical urban environments of Canada: the prairie town's wide main street (50¢).