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2007 05 18
Jack Diamond On Urban Sprawl

Jack Diamond, architect of the Four Seasons Centre, offers up a compelling Op-Ed (subsription only) in today's Globe and Mail. Making the case of increased densification of our urban centres, Diamond says urban sprawl is our "Inconvenient Truth." Why? It turns out that the economics of our cancer-like suburban growth don't make sense. It costs municipalities $1.40 in servicing for every dollar generated in tax revenue - not to mention the permanent destruction of fertile farm land. Guess who pays the difference. That's right. Those of use who live in the city centre where our infrastructure costs have long since been paid off.

Ever wonder why the flat rate for water on your tiny semi-detached in downtown is the same as that 1/2 acre monster with a pool in North York? Well, someone has to pay for all that waste.

Diamond goes on to explain why Vancouver is leading the way in Canada's urban densification. The benefits are significant: population goes up, transit rider-ship goes up, bike and pedestrian trips go up, car use goes down. Now that is sustainable. Turns out that Vancouver is almost reaching its Kyoto targets too. Toronto, are you listening?

Sustainability can be achieved, and that is a truth that is not inconvenient.
[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 05/18 at 12:30 PM

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