A good scare comes less via Halloween this week than a document taken wing from an Ottawa U think tank about the harsh financial realities of suburbanization. Try this on for Halifax from the report: the Regional Municipality could “save $700 million to 2031 by increasing the number of new dwellings sited in the urban core” instead of going for peripheral growth. HRM has barely a half million people making that a very significant investment, one best not taken lightly.
Really, the gig is up for mass suburbanization wherever it happens to be found in Canada, and however good it was while it lasted. The public cost/revenue picture for sprawl as we have known it since the 1970s is now completely unsustainable and yet tens of millions of people are expected to be housed in Canada over the coming decades. A real world financial proposition of capital cost for roads, sewerage, water, policing, fire stations, roads, cultural affairs and social services and transit will soon have a direct impact on life in Canada. This report challenges the centre of the economic and political regime we have been living under for decades now.
Here is the report: Suburban Sprawl: Identifying Hidden Costs, Hidden Innovations
44-page .pdf file
This op-ed piece from the Globe checks the realities of the “drive until you qualify” proposition for those costing out suburbia: The true costs of suburban sprawl
Architecture and urban affairs dude Christopher Hume attached the report to suburban-poverty.com’s home turf of Peel Region recently. His conclusions were stark, to say the least. Hume described Brampton and its big dollar mayor as heading towards a cliff, the same one Mississauga drove over a couple of years ago.