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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Ontario > SSP: Local Ottawa-Gatineau > Suburbs

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  #21  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2008, 12:28 PM
lrt's friend lrt's friend is offline
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Somehow - and call me crazy if you really disagree - but somehow I think there would be much greater acceptance of throwing up, say, 15 storey towers on parking lots devoid of anything else than of putting up 8 storey buildings where the locals have already agreed to 6. And land coverage? I can't really see any issue there - it's hard to increase beyond 100% after all. Redevelopment might even lead to a few trees and small gardens being planted. And good urban form? I didn't even know anyone was opposed to it. In fact, it would appear that with respect to intensification of parking lots, there isn't likely to be any community opposition to speak of. I would hope the City wouldn't be opposed, especially since the newest big box estate at Barrhaven has been laid out to "allow" it in the future (as an aside, doesn't this strike anyone as a teensy bit odd?). Anyhow, it would appear that the only group of the three that you list that would be opposed to parking lot intensification tomorrow morning at 9 am is ... industry.

This is what gets me about intensification as it actually plays out. What's so special about a few dozen acres along the oldest streets in the city that calls for them to be intensively built up while there exists much larger tracts of land - often not far away (I can name several around here - will someone please redevelop that *@#&^! parking lot north of Westboro Transitway Station with a nice 12-storey mixed use development? Please? bring it on! anyone?) - that escape to continue on as parking lot? You know, big picture? Canadian Tire just built a new store on Carling near Churchill. It replaced a parking lot with a 2-storey store. Yippee. It's a start, but where are the other 6+ storeys that site could have supported with ease?
Sometimes I am totally mystified by what gets built. A self-storage building is now going up near Bank and Hunt Club, surrounded by retail, condos and offices. It is within walking distance of the Transitway and future LRT. What a waste of that land! Is this the type of intensification that we are looking for? Surely, self-storage could have been built in some industrial park instead of such a prominent location so close to rapid transit.

The worst thing, they unnecessarily removed a row of mature spruce trees that existed right on the boundary of the property. Why couldn't a 6 or 8 foot buffer have been left to protect those trees when the building is being constructed elsewhere on that lot? I guess they were simply going to get in the way of construction equipment and it was going to be easier just to get rid of them. Those trees can never be replaced and had been a beautiful feature of that location for decades.
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  #22  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2008, 5:54 PM
clynnog clynnog is offline
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Originally Posted by lrt's friend View Post
Sometimes I am totally mystified by what gets built. A self-storage building is now going up near Bank and Hunt Club, surrounded by retail, condos and offices.
That self storage company has big expansion/building plans in Ottawa. They run a facility near Jetform Park and they just opened one near Prince of Wales/Hunt Club. They are building in Kanata behind Canadian Tire, they are going to build on the old Capital Dodge site and they pile drove the land at Bank/Hunt Club. Their business model is based on exposure and not to be buried away in the back of an industrial park.

I'm not saying if it is right or not....I am just stating the facts.
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  #23  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2008, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by lrt's friend View Post
Sometimes I am totally mystified by what gets built. A self-storage building is now going up near Bank and Hunt Club, surrounded by retail, condos and offices. It is within walking distance of the Transitway and future LRT. What a waste of that land! Is this the type of intensification that we are looking for? Surely, self-storage could have been built in some industrial park instead of such a prominent location so close to rapid transit.
Maybe it's to provide storage space for all those condo dwellers who find they don't have enough room for all their stuff but still want it nearby...

Quote:
The worst thing, they unnecessarily removed a row of mature spruce trees that existed right on the boundary of the property. Why couldn't a 6 or 8 foot buffer have been left to protect those trees when the building is being constructed elsewhere on that lot? I guess they were simply going to get in the way of construction equipment and it was going to be easier just to get rid of them. Those trees can never be replaced and had been a beautiful feature of that location for decades.
That's the kind of thing that really perturbs me about modern construction methods. Everything that ever was is razed and replaced. I was cycling through Kanata a few weeks back on my way back from a ride in the country and in the area of Kanata Rd and Goulbourn Forced Road there's a new subdivision going in. It's on rocky shield and while it's a bit of a shame to see woods developed, it's better than plowing under farmland in the grand scheme of things. But what got me was the fact that there was not a single tree left standing from what used to be forest. Surely to goodness some of the trees in the future backyards or along the lot lines and beside the future roads could be left in place.
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  #24  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2008, 2:20 PM
Luker Luker is offline
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Not in Ottawa. Logic.
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  #25  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2008, 4:14 PM
Richard Eade Richard Eade is offline
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I agree that 'Infill' has lost a lot of its meaning in the recent years.
In this picture, you can see the original mid-50s houses and their trees. Behind them is a development which went in in the early 80s. It is a neighbourhood of garages with attached houses in the back. Note that the trees and bushes between the two belong mostly to the older properties. There just isn't the space for large trees on the small lots.
Then, notice the re-development which happened in the early 2000s! It is a lot-line to lot-line single home. Huge resources for one family.


But this discussion does seem to be getting away from Greenbelt Development.
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  #26  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2008, 5:53 PM
lrt's friend lrt's friend is offline
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This is exactly what has happened in our community except oversized houses tend to placed on tiny lots, making them look totally ridiculous with absolutely no back yard. Infill housing has resulted in the removal of almost all trees and the streetscape is now dominated by garages, driveways and cars parked in front of the houses just as demonstrated in the photo. The original 1950s housing had well treed lots and cars and garages tucked in to the sides and rears of the houses. Infilling has certainly intensified the community but it has also become a lot less attractive, despite the more upscale nature of the newer housing.

I would take the appearance of older neighbourhoods any day, with on-street parking, garages behind the houses accessed by narrow driveways and tree lined streets.
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  #27  
Old Posted May 29, 2009, 10:06 PM
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waterloowarrior waterloowarrior is online now
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Greenbelt Master Plan Review

HAVE YOUR SAY ABOUT THE GREENBELT’S FUTURE!
Public Consultation

The Greenbelt consists of over 20,000 hectares of green space, forming a crescent‐shaped band that surrounds the nation’s capital. It is a living symbol of Canada’s rural landscape and ecologically sensitive areas — with a mix of farms, forests and wetlands — which also provides important space for recreational uses, federal institutions and research facilities.

The Greenbelt is like an “Emerald Necklace” and exists as a living war memorial to the Canadians who gave their lives in the Second World War.
Starting at Shirleys Bay just north of Kanata, it circles down through Stony Swamp and Pinhey Forest, then continues east through the experimental farm, where it arcs back northward through Mer Bleue and then follows Green’s Creek to the Ottawa River. The Greenbelt reaches over a distance of 45 kilometers and ranges in width from two to ten kilometers.

The National Capital Commission (NCC) has begun a review of the 1996 Greenbelt Master Plan, which guides how the Greenbelt is used, managed and protected, now and in the future.

Join the discussion!

As a very first consultation, the NCC wants to inform and engage citizens while assessing the Greenbelt’s existing conditions. We want to know what you think the Greenbelt’s greatest features are, and what you see as the pressures and trends that should be considered when planning the Greenbelt of the future.

NCC staff will be at the following locations to provide information, answer questions and receive your comments:

Thursday, June 11, 2009
World Exchange Plaza, 11 am to 2 pm
Billings Bridge Shopping Centre, 3 pm to 7 pm

Friday, June 12, 2009
Rideau Centre, 11 am to 2 pm
Bayshore Shopping Centre, 3 pm to 9 pm

Saturday, June 13, 2009
St. Laurent Shopping Centre, 9:30 am to 9 pm

Several consultations will take place until the approval of the final Master Plan, planned in the fall of 2011. The next public
consultation, planned in the fall of 2009, will consist in public workshops on the vision statement for the Greenbelt of the future.

All relevant information, including a questionnaire, is also available through the NCC’s website. Please send your comments and
completed questionnaires by June 22, 2009, via mail or email to the
appropriate address listed below.

National Capital Commission Telephone: 613‐239‐5000
Public Affairs TTY: 613‐239‐5090
202–40 Elgin Street Email: info@ncc‐ccn.ca
Ottawa ON K1P 1C7 Website:

http://www.capitaleducanada.gc.ca/bi...-113585&lang=1
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  #28  
Old Posted May 30, 2009, 4:04 AM
eternallyme eternallyme is offline
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There are four areas of the Greenbelt that I think should be opened for development:

1) The area surrounding Bayshore, Bells Corners and Crystal Beach, east of the railway tracks and north of Richmond Road, south of the Queensway and in the Moodie Drive area. It should be a mix of very high-density residential (i.e. similar to the Bayshore area) in the eastern part, and industrial in the western part. The area west of Nortel should not be touched, nor should the equestrian park.

2) The area south of Fallowfield Road and east of Woodroffe Avenue. It should be designated industrial/institutional to go along with the new RCMP Headquarters. Perhaps DND HQ?

3) The area surrounding the airport to the north and east, along the future transit corridor. It should be zoned commercial, for airport travel uses.

4) The area south of Hunt Club, along/east of Conroy, west of Highway 417 and north of the forest preserve (NOT including it!). It should be residential west of Hawthorne and industrial east of Hawthorne, to match up with the areas to the north of Hunt Club (and its projected alignment). It would also fit better with my thought of a rapid transit (LRT?) corridor along Hunt Club.

None of them are very valuable greenspace, and all of them are partially developed or would be advantageous for development over the next 30 years.
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  #29  
Old Posted May 30, 2009, 2:57 PM
adam-machiavelli adam-machiavelli is offline
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A fellow student in my planning school is currently conducting a review of the ecological significance of different parts of the Greenbelt. Come next year, expect a big fuss over the results.

Also, the strategic elements of DND HQ are already being moved to Ogilvie & Blair within the next 10 years. The Federal Government now realizes moving RCMP HQ so far out was a big mistake and so pretty much all future moves of federal government offices will be within the Greenbelt.

I think the NCC's latest real estate strategy is very good: sell valuable small plots on the inside edge of the greenbelt and use the money to buy cheap big plots on the outside edge. In case you haven't noticed, the primary example of this is the NCC's sale of lots along Hunt Club and at the south end of Blossom Park and subsequent purchase of vast tracts of the Mer Bleue Bog.
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  #30  
Old Posted Sep 12, 2009, 10:04 PM
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there's info here from the June 09 Greenbelt consultations
http://www.canadascapital.gc.ca/bins...-125385&lang=1

this one is especially interesting.. a slideshow showing the evolution of land acquisitions and disposals in the Greenbelt between 1951 and 2008.
http://www.canadascapital.gc.ca/gree...SlideShow.html
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  #31  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2009, 8:45 PM
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I just wanted to weigh in on this topic. I would like to see some of the lands developed, but I wouldn't trust the typical developer to do it. I'd love to see Canada Lands Corp. handle the development. They know how to build actual communities with engaging streetscapes instead of suburban garage montages.

Also, I had the rare luxury to grow up near a small enclosed wood (80,000 sq feet) and it was great. If they do develop, I hope they take the opportunity to plant some urban forests and let the land revert to nature. Those islands of nature can be absolute treasures for kids.

And 20-25% sounds about right. Leave all the non-farmland untouched, and provide for buffers and connecting channels as required to ensure wildlife doesn't get stranded.

If the city ever decides to use the existing rail lines in the west end for transit then park-n-rides at baseline&richmond (fed from the 416) and at 417&Moodie would be no-brainers.

And the block bounded by Woodroffe, Greenbank, Fallowfield and Hunt Club is crying out to be used for something other than corn.
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  #32  
Old Posted Oct 6, 2009, 8:27 PM
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Originally Posted by adam-machiavelli View Post
A fellow student in my planning school is currently conducting a review of the ecological significance of different parts of the Greenbelt.
I can't wait to hear how beneficial to the environment the airport is.
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The Ottawa Project: Urbanism and public space in Ottawa
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  #33  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2009, 7:26 PM
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got this from OPPI

Help Us Create a Proud Future for Canada’s Capital Greenbelt!
By: Jean-Francois Morin
Printer Friendly Version

As Canadians, we are blessed with 20,350 hectares of publicly owned natural, agricultural and rural lands that surround Canada’s Capital. The National Capital Greenbelt, owned and managed by the National Capital Commission (NCC), was first imagined by the 1950 Gréber Plan and was conceived as a means to limit urban sprawl, protect Canada’s Capital countryside and provide home for large institutions.

Greenbelt 2060 Vision Workshop

The NCC is currently updating the 1996 Master Plan that guides the management of the National Capital Greenbelt. On November 25th and 26th national and international experts and stakeholders will participate in an in-depth vision session.

Some topics covered:

What does the Greenbelt represent for Canadians across the country?
How might the Greenbelt contribute to quality of life, community sustainability and relief of urban sprawl?
What vision should guide the Greenbelt to the year 2060?

Share your Ideas during the Vision Workshop!

The NCC wants to hear your thoughts on the future of the National Capital Greenbelt. From November 25 to January 15, join in the discussion by viewing webcasts of the Vision Workshop presentations and by sharing your ideas on our online forum.

Public consultation meetings in the Capital region will take place early in December. For more information, please contact us at:
1-800-465-1867
ATS: 1-866-661-3530
info@ncc-ccn.ca
www.canadascapital.gc.ca/greenbelt
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  #34  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2009, 8:40 PM
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I hope they sell most of the farmland in the Greenbelt to CLC for intense development.

On a related note, does anyone else think the Experimental Farm should be changed? I think they should develop the stretch between Merivale and Fisher, and use the proceeds to enhance the Agricultural museum, and turn the area between Prince of Wales and Fisher into a large urban park (Central Park-ish), augmenting the Arboretum and Gardens.

That's an area that could greatly benefit from a design competition.
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  #35  
Old Posted Nov 2, 2009, 10:19 PM
Kitchissippi Kitchissippi is offline
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I doubt that significant portions of the Greenbelt will be sold off, nor should it be. Assembling a similar thing would be near impossible in this day and age and the NCC would not give up on this concept just because of the sentiments of the day.

A good chunk of the Experimental farm was sold not too far back and Ashcroft squandered it on that atrocious development called Central Park.

The NCC gets bashed a lot but I think they have been relatively good stewards of the Greenbelt I doubt the city nor the provincial government could ever do a better job.

I'm a big fan of the Greenbelt. I believe that for intensification to be sustainable, it has to be balanced with dilution elsewhere, where the landscape and environment have a chance to breathe. A good analogy for this would be storm water ponds -- it used to be that storm water concentrated with pollutants was flushed out into the rivers as soon as possible, but now the wisdom is to hold it and let nature deal with it one small bite at a time. I hope the Greenbelt continues to play an ecological role in the far future.
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  #36  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2009, 6:51 AM
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I doubt that significant portions of the Greenbelt will be sold off, nor should it be. Assembling a similar thing would be near impossible in this day and age and the NCC would not give up on this concept just because of the sentiments of the day.

A good chunk of the Experimental farm was sold not too far back and Ashcroft squandered it on that atrocious development called Central Park.

The NCC gets bashed a lot but I think they have been relatively good stewards of the Greenbelt I doubt the city nor the provincial government could ever do a better job.

I'm a big fan of the Greenbelt. I believe that for intensification to be sustainable, it has to be balanced with dilution elsewhere, where the landscape and environment have a chance to breathe. A good analogy for this would be storm water ponds -- it used to be that storm water concentrated with pollutants was flushed out into the rivers as soon as possible, but now the wisdom is to hold it and let nature deal with it one small bite at a time. I hope the Greenbelt continues to play an ecological role in the far future.
Do you feel the same way about the farm portions of the Greenbelt as you do about the natural areas?

I would like to see development of the farm portions. I'd establish buffers and connections for the natural areas to ensure they continue to thrive. I'd also convert some of the existing farmland back to forest. When I was growing up in Bayshore, we had farmland nearby that contributed nothing to our neighbourhood. But we also had an urban forest, bounded by streets and paths, with an abandoned house among the trees. It was a very enriching childhood environment. I'd love to see a deliberate attempt to create something like that.

Regarding Central Park, I agree that it was terrible. Who had the not so brilliant idea to just sell the land to a develop and let them do whatever they wanted. If they develop more of the farm they should not just sell it off to a developer. Use the Canada Lands approach. Create a development plan and then let builders build to those plans.

I guess it comes down to land use. I don't think farming in the middle of the city is a good use. It provides a pleasant view, perhaps a little monotonous though. But to me it makes no sense to have wide open spaces and not be able to use them for any public activity.

Farming is the lowest intensity industrial use ever. Farms in the city should be intensified and farms outside the urban area should be protected from encroachment.

EDIT: For example, http://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&ie=...10378&t=h&z=13

There is a transit line running down Woodroffe. There might be a large public institution at the SW corner of Woodroffe and Hunt Club if the Civic Hospital does end up moving there. But the whole square bounded by Fallowfield, Cedarview, Hunt Club and Woodroffe would be a much better place to develop than the equivalent amount of farmland west of Stittsville. Put in high density development along Woodroffe, with density varying in proximity to the major roads . Follow the path of the stream through the area with a ribbon park and landscaped SWM features. Keep the forested sections as urban forests.

Last edited by RTWAP; Nov 3, 2009 at 7:07 AM.
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  #37  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2009, 4:32 PM
Kitchissippi Kitchissippi is offline
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Originally Posted by RTWAP View Post
Farming is the lowest intensity industrial use ever. Farms in the city should be intensified and farms outside the urban area should be protected from encroachment.

EDIT: For example, http://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&ie=...10378&t=h&z=13
A lot of those fields are Agriculture Canada's. Much like the Experimental Farm, it is a vital research facility that helps keep the Capital a centre for agricultural technology, the same way the NRC has helped attract the high tech industry here.

The fact that these fields are surrounded by urban areas is actually an advantage, as it isolates conditions and avoids contamination from and to surrounding agricultural areas. As for the Experimental Farm, it has a rich history of developing wheat and Canola strains that were crucial in making the Prairies what they are now. With regards to public use, there is something magical about riding a bicycle through the farm, it's like a micro vacation. Reducing it would also make the Agriculture Museum into a pointless showcase where feed and produce would have to be trucked in. If anything, it should be a reminder of how much land it takes to feed a city.

If the Greenbelt and Experimental Farm were ever to be rethought, it should be because of some important use, not something as banal as more housing.

As an aside, there are so many "hidden" things about the Capital that Ottawans fail to appreciate. For example, how many of us know that the Olympic Medals were all fabricated here with talent and skill from the local colleges? It makes one realize Ottawa is more than just politics and bureaucracy, and it's the little things we take for granted that raises it above the ordinary. Why can't we be proud of the fact that we have a farm in the middle of the city?

Last edited by Kitchissippi; Nov 3, 2009 at 4:47 PM.
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  #38  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2009, 8:29 PM
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A lot of those fields are Agriculture Canada's. Much like the Experimental Farm, it is a vital research facility that helps keep the Capital a centre for agricultural technology, the same way the NRC has helped attract the high tech industry here.

The fact that these fields are surrounded by urban areas is actually an advantage, as it isolates conditions and avoids contamination from and to surrounding agricultural areas. As for the Experimental Farm, it has a rich history of developing wheat and Canola strains that were crucial in making the Prairies what they are now. With regards to public use, there is something magical about riding a bicycle through the farm, it's like a micro vacation. Reducing it would also make the Agriculture Museum into a pointless showcase where feed and produce would have to be trucked in. If anything, it should be a reminder of how much land it takes to feed a city.

If the Greenbelt and Experimental Farm were ever to be rethought, it should be because of some important use, not something as banal as more housing.

As an aside, there are so many "hidden" things about the Capital that Ottawans fail to appreciate. For example, how many of us know that the Olympic Medals were all fabricated here with talent and skill from the local colleges? It makes one realize Ottawa is more than just politics and bureaucracy, and it's the little things we take for granted that raises it above the ordinary. Why can't we be proud of the fact that we have a farm in the middle of the city?
Proud? Hmmm... I always thought it was kinda cool, in a quirky way, but proud? No.

I lived on Fisher and biked and jogged through the Farm countless times. It's still not a good use of the land. I'm familiar with the history, but that doesn't mean it should remain the same forever. Things change over time. As far as I'm concerned there are really only two bad ways of managing it. Either try to deny all change, or let change happen uncontrollably. It's much better to have a vision and move in that direction. If the farm property east of Fisher were turned into a park, with the Agriculture Museum as an integral component, then it could be a real jewel for the city. One that people use and enjoy.

In the Inner City podcast that Ken Gray did with Diane Deans (September'09) she made a good point. The Greenbelt was intended to make a positive change to the environment. But it's single biggest effect right now is to promote sprawl in the areas beyond, and thereby extend the commute of a significant portion of the city population. The Greenbelt causes the release of more pollution and greenhouse gases. It's a shame.
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  #39  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2009, 9:58 PM
Kitchissippi Kitchissippi is offline
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In the Inner City podcast that Ken Gray did with Diane Deans (September'09) she made a good point. The Greenbelt was intended to make a positive change to the environment. But it's single biggest effect right now is to promote sprawl in the areas beyond, and thereby extend the commute of a significant portion of the city population. The Greenbelt causes the release of more pollution and greenhouse gases. It's a shame.
THe Greenbelt does NOT cause sprawl and the release of more pollution and greenhouse gases. That's clearly caused by poor planning decisions and people's bad habit of driving everywhere. In fact, the answer to offsetting the pollution and carbon emissions could very well lie in keeping the Greenbelt green. If commuting is the problem then solve it by extending less polluting electric LRT beyond the Greenbelt, and stop widening the roads. It seems to me, attacking the Greenbelt is yet another way for Ottawa city hall to avoid admitting its responsibilities and simply blame things on the NCC's decisions.

Are the green open spaces and farms that offensive? No.
Are there plenty of ugly, rundown areas within the city that should be redeveloped? Yes.
Is there enough land for development for years if we use it wisely? Yes.

BTW, if that's the same Diane Deans who was on the news the other night referring to the LRT project as a "$2.1 billion downtown tunnel", she should get her facts right about the city she's part of running before she comments on something beyond her jurisdiction.

Last edited by Kitchissippi; Nov 3, 2009 at 11:00 PM.
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  #40  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2009, 9:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Kitchissippi View Post
THe Greenbelt does NOT cause sprawl and the release of more pollution and greenhouse gases. That's clearly caused by poor planning decisions and people's bad habit of driving everywhere. In fact, the answer to offsetting the pollution and carbon emissions could very well lie in keeping the Greenbelt green. If commuting is the problem then solve it by extending less polluting electric LRT beyond the Greenbelt, and stop widening the roads. It seems to me, attacking the Greenbelt is yet another way for Ottawa city hall to avoid admitting its responsibilities and simply blame things on the NCC's decisions.

Are the green open spaces and farms that offensive? No.
Are there plenty of ugly, rundown areas within the city that should be redeveloped? Yes.
Is there enough land for development for years if we use it wisely? Yes.
Are you saying that there is enough development land inside the greenbelt to last 10 years? If you are, do you have anything to back that up?

I'm in favour of infill and intensification, but I think that it's not the total solution to a growing population and growing demand for housing. Assuming that there is some portion of development that will occur in what is currently farm fields, why would you want that development to be at the fringes of the city when you could intensify the Greenbelt?

To be clear, I'm not suggesting they just sell the whole thing off to Ashcroft et al. But if they set very aggressive targets for intensity, and mandated a transit-oriented development then I would be in favour. I don't want Barrhaven North, and if that's the only current option then I would keep the land as it is until the situation changes.

What bothers me is people like John Baird who dismiss the idea out of hand as a complete non-starter. Protecting those suburban fields instead of rural fields seems to me to be the suburban large lot fantasy writ large.
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