Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Build Up, Not Out

Part two of my series of ideas whose times have come. Today we look at what should be on the lips of every environmentalist in North America: Urban Density. If you want to know why pollution rates here are so much higher than in Europe look no further than our sprawling cities. If we are to improve our environmental sustainability, we need to make our cities more dense. Now, when I speak of density I don't mean St. James' Town. I don't want concrete tower after concrete tower that obscures all light. We need to build towers where they are possible. One of the best places to increase density is parking lots. Flat, strip mall style parking lots are a blight. A condominium tower, or a bunch of townhouses would look much better and increase density. You don't need to touch an inch of green space to do it (and nor should you). There is a plan in Toronto to replace the two story facades which dominate major streets in the downtown core with facades of up to six stories. No major difference in look, but way more space to live or work. Density also means improving urban transit systems and avoiding tax policies that encourage sprawl (like the land transfer tax just passed by the city of Toronto). We need to make it easy to live downtown.

1 comment:

Abdul-Rahim said...

You're absolutly right. That double tax thing there is so stupid, and preventing sprawl is so imporant.

All views expressed in this blog are those of the author and the author alone. They do not represent the views of any organization, regardless of the author's involvement in any organizations.

All comments are the views of the individual writer. The administrator reserves the right to remove commentary which is offensive.

The author is not responsible for nor does he support any of the advertisements displayed on the page