Originally Posted by d_jeffrey
I don't agree with your Greenbelt comment, since it is mostly responsible for Ottawa's sprawl.
Where is this idea that the Greenbelt is responsible or is the cause of Ottawa's sprawl coming from? It's not like that without the Greenbelt we wouldn't have had any sprawl - it just would have been in the lands of the Greenbelt instead of beyond them, and that development would probably have started sooner than it did with the Greenbelt in place.
The Greenbelt might be the cause of extra costs associated with the sprawl beyond the Greenbelt compared to what would have been sprawl within it, but it is not the cause of the sprawl itself.
The cause of the sprawl was low density development inside the Greenbelt and piercing the Greenbelt with freeways and high capacity roadways, along with the usual generalities of consumer demand, fear of cities getting nuked and going to pot, etc. Other specific causes are fragmented planning and governance, and the blame for that lies with the Province for not altering municipal boundaries to reflect the reality of the Greenbelt. It's possible that a lot of the early unserviced low density growth in 'inner' Nepean would have been avoided had the old City of Ottawa been in charge of everything inside the Greenbelt.
Maybe the Greenbelt should have been made even bigger - say all the way to the ridge around Stittsville to the west, the Jock River valley to the south (roughly Richmond - Brophy Drive - Bankfield Rd - Manotick - Mitch Owens Road - Vars) and Beckett Creek to the east. That would have really pushed up the cost of sprawling beyond it and would have increased the pressure to properly use the land within the Greenbelt. It would also have effectively extinguished Nepean, March/Kanata, Goulbourn and Gloucester as entities, all of which did their bit to promote unsustainable development.
The Greenbelt does not explain why the Township of March became just another suburb without any discernible centre, all the ballyhooing of Bill Teron aside. If anything, it should have been a factor militating against what eventually happened because the forced separation from Ottawa should have led them to think a bit bigger. They had a pretty good opportunity to take advantage of the lack of development and plan themselves out as a whole new satellite city with an identifiable downtown. March/Kanata could have been Ottawa's version of Paris's La Défense, with a downtown perched on top of the Carp Ridge. Instead, they just let development sprawl out along the Greenbelt boundary without any overall plan. Goulbourn did the same thing, eventually turning their sprawl over to March as part of the newly-formed Kanata.
We often use the Greenbelt as a shorthand for the city vs the suburbs, but the reality is that inside the Greenbelt is a whole lot of suburbia, and some of it is far worse in many ways than suburbia outside the Greenbelt. Basically anything that was developed in the former Township of Nepean inside the Greenbelt is a planning mess, and even a lot done in the old City of Ottawa postwar is not a lot better.
Originally Posted by DubberDom
If the city had it's way, do you think the Greenbelt would have existed?
Now what do you mean by "city" since at the time of the Greenbelt's formation there was no overall city government. There was the old City of Ottawa and there were the surrounding townships in Carleton County. The RMOC did not yet exist at the time. The Greenbelt was taken almost entirely from lands in Carleton County (just a little of old Ottawa at Uplands airbase - so it was already in federal hands - nominally qualifies as Greenbelt) so the old City of Ottawa really wouldn't have had anything to say about it. They might actually have favoured it.
Originally Posted by lrt's friend
We have to be very careful about this. We don't want to destroy the green character of the city, which so many people from elsewhere admire about Ottawa. Filling in the Greenbelt, but refusing to build on the Alta Vista Parkway corridor or Airport Parkway corridor is hypocritical. They all have their origins from the Greber Plan. There is also limited advantage by filling in the Greenbelt with tract housing and big box stores, which is almost certainly the outcome.
Several members of my family lost their land as a result of the implementation of the Greber Plan and the Greenbelt and consequently they lost their opportunities to sell that land when its value increased as development moved out towards their land. There is a well known case of the Woodburn family who lived on Innes Road for generations, who lost their land to the Greenbelt and then were kicked off that land in order for the NCC to sell that land for big box development. A perfect example of injustice plus the likely outcome of 'paving' over the Greenbelt.
In Britain they deal with this issue by the state expropriating all undeveloped land for development from its original owners at its value as farmland or whatever it is. That way no one wins a locational lottery. Any land value uplift goes to the state, which is used to fund improvements for the development itself. After all, why should a family in Nepean luck out compared to a family in West Carleton somewhere simply because of where their ancestors were given land grants? Another advantage is that this way of planning puts an end to land speculation beyond the urban boundary because it doesn't matter what a speculator pays for it; the state will simply expropriate it at its economic value.