Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

City’s ‘smart growth’ claim questioned

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Richmond Review

The City of Richmond wants to call its proposal for development on the Garden City Lands (still in the ALR and already turned down once by the ALC) “smart growth”. But it is not very smart at all. There are ten principles of Smart Growth and one of them is “protect and enhance agricultural lands”.

As usual the needs of the spin doctors and the “optics” are much more important to the cause than doing the right thing. And at the heart of this controversy is the ability of government to suddenly “create” a huge amount of marketable value just by changing the designation of some land. Add in the need to do a deal with a First Nation – who feel, quite rightly, that they have generally been excluded from the enormous wealth creation that has occurred on their traditional lands – and you have a very tricky political situation.

The City, by playing fast and loose with language, is committing the same sin as its neighbour to the north. Just calling something by a green name doesn’t make it green.

Written by Stephen Rees

February 28, 2008 at 9:15 am

Posted in Urban Planning

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