SkyscraperCity banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's The Plan: Calgary Leads Us All To A Greener Future
The Massive Plan It Calgary Proposal Would Set A Framework For The City's Growth For The Next 60 Years

June 24, 2009
The Globe And Mail
Jeffrey Simpson


Cities grow incrementally. A park bench here, a particular streetscape there, a zoning change, a new apartment or subdivision, a road widened, a transit line created.

Cities are organic. They change slowly. There are moments, however, when key projects - an expressway, a massive housing development, a huge investment in public transit - can bring dramatic change, for better and worse.

Toronto, for example, will never recover from the Gardiner Expressway, or from its unco-ordinated mishmash of waterfront developments.

Vancouver, by contrast, will benefit for generations from the intelligence of its waterside developments at Coal Harbour and Yaletown.

The essence of Canadian (and North American) cities since the Second World War has grown from the desire for single-family homes in suburbia and the consequent needs of the car, the preferred means of personal transportation.

The shape of every Canadian city reflects these choices that seemed, for so long, cost-free. Recently, however, a few cities have been rethinking sprawl, especially the costs it dumps on municipal governments to service far-flung areas and the environmental costs of all that car travel. Slowly, cities are beginning to wonder about sprawl and, in a few instances, trying to do something about it, however tentatively.

Ottawa City Council, for example, recently rejected its own planning staff's suggestion to add about 800 hectares to the urban area, some of which would be used for more single-family dwellings, despite the council's expressed wish for more intensification. The council did allow about 200 additional hectares by a one-vote margin, a display of how the forces of more sprawl, backed by the development lobby, remain powerful.

In Calgary on Tuesday, the council faces an even more consequential decision, whether to endorse the massive Plan It Calgary proposal that would set a framework for the city's growth for the next 60 years.

As in Ottawa, there are important elements on Calgary Council who believe the market should always prevail. People should choose how they want to live, runs the argument, and the job of the city is to allow those choices to be made. If the people want sprawl - single-family homes, large lots, personal automobile use to and from the from the centre - then so be it.

Plan It Calgary must be adopted at “third reading,” as it's called. Two weeks ago, the plan's proponents figured they had only a one-vote margin.

Calgary's municipal scene shows much more diversity than its federal and provincial politics. There's more intelligent urban thinking than in many Canadian cities.

The in-fill development and intensification around the central core are excellent. So was the development of Chinatown. Three light rapid-transit lines operate, and a fourth is under construction. Compare that to Toronto.

All of Calgary's lines run above ground, unlike the silly Ottawa plan to drill a hugely expensive and unnecessary tunnel under the centre of the city for its first serious light rapid-transit line. Some of Calgary's newer suburbs have an unusually high level of density.

Plan It Calgary tries to outline how Calgary must incrementally change to accommodate 1.3 million more people in the next 60 years.

The emphasis is very much on rapid-transit expansion, density hikes around the LRT stations, much better street design, some new single-family subdivisions to be sure, but generally more intensive development.

For a city where the oil industry did everything possible for years to debunk global warming (an attitude now changed, at least publicly), planners talk on almost every page of Plan It Calgary about making the city “greener” and more energy-sustainable. Says the document: “The impact of fossil fuel use on the environment is well-documented.”

Despite Plan It Calgary's excellent intentions, even if everything went according to its vision - including a population density of 27 people per hectare instead of 20 today - perhaps 60 per cent of trips by Calgarians in 2070 would still be made by car, compared to 77 per cent today.

Public transit is great, and more of it is needed. But changing the kind of cars people drive, and what fuels them, is even more important in reducing emissions.

Plan It Calgary's vision for tomorrow's city is on the right side of the future. Let's hope its proponents prevail today.


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,488 Posts
Cities grow incrementally. A park bench here, a particular streetscape there, a zoning change, a new apartment or subdivision, a road widened, a transit line created.
That's not how cities necessarily get created either in the past or future (from St. Petersburg to new cities in China or S. Korea).



Toronto, for example, will never recover from the Gardiner Expressway, or from its unco-ordinated mishmash of waterfront developments.
This is double or triple nonsense. Gardiner is not something Toronto will always be cursed with; and, isn't the waterfront development manifestation of the organic growth the author was talking about earlier? Anyway, the constant critique of the Toronto waterfront is incredibly passe, not to mention that it is obvious nonsense.


Ottawa City Council, for example, recently rejected its own planning staff's suggestion to add about 800 hectares to the urban area, some of which would be used for more single-family dwellings, despite the council's expressed wish for more intensification. The council did allow about 200 additional hectares by a one-vote margin, a display of how the forces of more sprawl, backed by the development lobby, remain powerful.
Ottawa's urban boundary is problematic because of the ill-thought placement of the greenbelt by the NCC. Adding an urban area to the inside perimeter and closing off the development to the outside borders is what should have happened but it's too late for this now.


The in-fill development and intensification around the central core are excellent. So was the development of Chinatown. Three light rapid-transit lines operate, and a fourth is under construction. Compare that to Toronto.
The author is a bit deluded if he's honestly comparing the current transit, as well as the future (potential) LRT expansion in either city...


All of Calgary's lines run above ground, unlike the silly Ottawa plan to drill a hugely expensive and unnecessary tunnel under the centre of the city for its first serious light rapid-transit line. Some of Calgary's newer suburbs have an unusually high level of density.
Ah, some Ottawa bashing, and not for any good reason since he doesn't point out why the tunnel is unnecessary. It's a preferred alignment due to time savings, ridership potential, and existing development patterns. I'm not a transit planner by trade, but the author is the classic example of a journalist who pretends to be an expert on everything but understands next to nothing.

Having said that:

Despite Plan It Calgary's excellent intentions, even if everything went according to its vision - including a population density of 27 people per hectare instead of 20 today - perhaps 60 per cent of trips by Calgarians in 2070 would still be made by car, compared to 77 per cent today.
It's a good vision and I'll have to read the whole thing, but if it is just a vision without any legislative pull, it's not going to change development patterns appreciably in and of itself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's a good vision and I'll have to read the whole thing, but if it is just a vision without any legislative pull, it's not going to change development patterns appreciably in and of itself.
Tonight it passed first reading so it'll come back in the fall for its second and third readings. If it passes both of these, it will become Calgary's statutory Municipal Development Plan and Transportation Plan.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,488 Posts
^ ok, what I'm really asking is this -- the article notes that "even if everything went according to its vision - including a population density of 27 people per hectare instead of 20 today..."

Does this mean that new developments are going to have mandated minimum densities, or is the 27 people per hectare a goal, but not a requirement. If the former, then that's absolutely fantastic, if the latter, it is not too too useful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,681 Posts
"The in-fill development and intensification around the central core are excellent. So was the development of Chinatown. Three light rapid-transit lines operate, and a fourth is under construction. Compare that to Toronto."

What is he comparing to Toronto here? We have two downtown Chinatowns, both serviced by 24 hr streetcar lines. And why no mention of Toronto's intensification plan already adopted and hard at work if he wants to keep comparing the two. It's nice to see that some are trying to create higher density in Calgary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,681 Posts
"Toronto, for example, will never recover from the Gardiner Expressway, or from its unco-ordinated mishmash of waterfront developments."


I guess he never researched before he wrote this article.

Follow this link to see how out of touch he is - http://www.waterfrontoronto.ca/index.php?home=true

This year (2006) marks an important milestone for Waterfront Toronto. This is the year when the corporation is expanding its core business from planning and smaller scale project management to implementation and development. In 2007/08, Waterfront Toronto will start delivering the kind of results the public expects from revitalization, results like major parks and recreational facilities, waterside destinations and new sustainable, downtown communities that are affordable for everyone.

The work Waterfront Toronto is carrying out in 2007/08 will help support important public policy objectives that are supported by three levels of government:

* Reducing urban sprawl
* Developing sustainable communities particularly in the area of energy efficiency
* Redeveloping brownfields & cleaning up contaminated land
* Building more affordable housing
* Increasing economic competitiveness
* Creating more parks and public spaces
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,140 Posts
"The in-fill development and intensification around the central core are excellent. So was the development of Chinatown. Three light rapid-transit lines operate, and a fourth is under construction. Compare that to Toronto."

What is he comparing to Toronto here? We have two downtown Chinatowns, both serviced by 24 hr streetcar lines. And why no mention of Toronto's intensification plan already adopted and hard at work if he wants to keep comparing the two. It's nice to see that some are trying to create higher density in Calgary.
i guess we're comparing Calgary's C-train with Toronto's streetcars since both are surface light rail stopping at lights, etc. Toronto's subway obviously isn't comparable at all. Anyway, Toronto has 9 streetcar routes at the moment and plans to increase this substantially.

Calgary has done really well with public transit considering the layout of the city, but is still much smaller than Toronto in terms of ridership, coverage, etc., as you would expect in a city with 1/5th the population. Last time I checked Calgary did have higher ridership than Vacouver, so that would be something to brag about, although probably due to Vancouver not really having a CBD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
And why no mention of Toronto's intensification plan already adopted and hard at work if he wants to keep comparing the two. It's nice to see that some are trying to create higher density in Calgary.
He didn't mention Toronto's Intensification plan because Plan It Calgary is not simply just an intensification plan; it's 'The Plan'. As I mentioned earlier, one half of it is Calgary's Municipal Development Plan, which is what Ontario requires and calls an Official Plan. Like the author of the article mentions, Plan It is Calgary's planning framework. All other planning documents and plans (i.e. Land-Use Bylaws, Area Structure Plans, Area Redevelopment Plans, Station Area Plans, etc.) must conform to the concepts, ideals, and principles found in the Plan It document. This plan is not about intensifying Calgary as intensification by itself is not the solution to unsustainable development and can actually be a large contributor; density is nothing without design.

Lets make this a thread about all Canadian cities that have intensification plans.
Actually, let's not as this thread is about much, much more than intensification plans.



Does this mean that new developments are going to have mandated minimum densities, or is the 27 people per hectare a goal, but not a requirement. If the former, then that's absolutely fantastic, if the latter, it is not too too useful.
The use of such requirements were actually debated by both sides during the public hearing. Gian-Carlo Carra spoke in favour of the plan and he probably put it best when he said that we cannot get bogged down in semantics such as density when the key is differentiating the difference between Urbanism and Suburbanism. Both Urban sprawl and successful urban places can be built at 60UPA, 30UPA, 15UPA, 5UPA, and 1 Unit per 5 acres. While Plan It may implicitly state that any new growth in Calgary must be people-oriented development (what Gian-Carlo dubbed Urbanism) rather than auto-oriented development (what Gian-Carlo dubbed Suburbanism), Gian-Carlo and others in support of the plan want it to be stated explicitly. It is believed that at least one of the 75 proposed amendments will touch on this.

Like I said above, density is nothing without design. That is what Plan It is looking to address and what we must address.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,488 Posts
The use of such requirements were actually debated by both sides during the public hearing. Gian-Carlo Carra spoke in favour of the plan and he probably put it best when he said that we cannot get bogged down in semantics such as density when the key is differentiating the difference between Urbanism and Suburbanism. Both Urban sprawl and successful urban places can be built at 60UPA, 30UPA, 15UPA, 5UPA, and 1 Unit per 5 acres. While Plan It may implicitly state that any new growth in Calgary must be people-oriented development (what Gian-Carlo dubbed Urbanism) rather than auto-oriented development (what Gian-Carlo dubbed Suburbanism), Gian-Carlo and others in support of the plan want it to be stated explicitly. It is believed that at least one of the 75 proposed amendments will touch on this.

Like I said above, density is nothing without design. That is what Plan It is looking to address and what we must address.
Of course, but there are certain minimum density requirements necessary in order to have successful intensification, acceptable transit and other key infrastructure (and this also depends, of course, on projected and current growth and current and projected urban boundaries). That doesn't negate the importance of design, of course.

In any case, it looks that the city is on a good track.

PS: Do you know how long the public consultation was on the plan, and what the general public sentiment was/is?

PPS: Andrew, can you please remove the pics and instead post a link to an appropriate Toronto thread? The pictures are absolutely slaughtering my computer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
PS: Do you know how long the public consultation was on the plan, and what the general public sentiment was/is?
Plan It took two and a half years but was preceded by ImagineCalgary, which had set the City's goals and provided the people's vision. The general public was probably apathetic but I'm hearing participation numbers of 18,000. Don't quote me on this because I don't have the exact stats but I do know that this process has been the largest public consultation in the world. It's quite interesting how we stole the ImagineCalgary idea from ImagineChicago, improved upon it, and now places like Winnipeg and Durban are looking to ImagineCalgary to create their own. Here's the link for Plan It and ImagineCalgary
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,629 Posts
LOL I knew exactly where the thread is headed after the 3rd and 4th sentences in the article... but yeah, this definitely is one of the less-informed pieces out there on urban planning, haha.

I don't understand the point of a 60-year plan... it's way too long a tragectory for anyone to possibly prepare for how the city evolves. I hope we will have progressed beyond the automobile by then. Heck they'll probably re-do the plan within 15 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,488 Posts
^ amendments and revisions are likely to occur long, long before 20 years. 15-20 is the norm before a new plan goes in effect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,681 Posts
I said "Lets make this a thread about all Canadian cities that have intensification plans."

Actually, let's not as this thread is about much, much more than intensification plans.
It's about density growth, mass transit investment and smart city planning. How can you say it's not about intensification? So why can't the rest of us share our cities plans. Many of which are way ahead of the game. Are there any other articles or reports we can see? Perhaps something written by somebody who knows what he's talking about. If he did a bit of research he'd know that Toronto has a game plan that's well underway. One that includes the Gardener still up, with a healthy waterfront, smart growth along transit corridors, and one that will change the way in which the automobile has ruled the way developments and cityscape evolved over the past several decades. Many of the ideas being implemented are taken from cities where the creation of human scale public realms has worked well such as Vancouver, Amsterdam, and Sydney to name a few.

Just last year Philadelphia city official were in Toronto to see how our plan was working with nothing but praise as to how we're building high density along transit corridors. http://www.planphilly.com/node/7761

Jeffrey Simpson will need to eat his words in about 15 years when he see's how Toronto was able to create a world class waterfront even with the old Gardiner Expressway in place.


If your city has a plan share it here. Unless Riise wants this to just be a Calgary Plan thread. Each city has different needs but we might be able to learn and exchange ideas here as well.





the Toronto Plan

Toronto enjoys a quality of life today that is the envy of people around the world. But what about tomorrow? How can we ensure that we maintain this enviable position? We must consider the things that contribute to our quality of life in order to preserve and enhance it for the future. That is why the City of Toronto has created a new draft Official Plan.

A major milestone
The new Official Plan is a major milestone in the short history of the new City. Building on all the work of the past three years, the new Official Plan is a blueprint for a healthy future and a strategy for directing growth in the City of Toronto over the next 30 years. It recognizes that as a "built-out" city, Toronto's future is about re-building and re-urbanizing - about "growing up" because we have exhausted the opportunities to "grow out". It is not a "harmonization" of all the former plans; it is a new plan for a new city.

The new Plan is a long-term policy document, strategic and high level in its approach to future development, but clear in its vision. As the document states, " The vision of the Plan is about creating an attractive and safe city that evokes pride, passion and a sense of belonging - a city where everybody cares about quality of life." The strategy for Toronto's future focuses growth where it can realize the greatest social, environmental and economic benefits. Some parts of the city, about 75 per cent of its geographic area, will mature and evolve but will see only limited physical change.

Other parts of the city, about 25 per cent of its geographic area, will change and grow, and grow in ways that benefit local communities, the city and the region. A major achievement of the new Plan has been to capture this growth strategy for the city within eight general land use designations. It is also typical of most plans for major cities, even in Ontario, in that it does not prescribe density numbers.

The new Plan also contains secondary plans for 22 areas in the city, needed to provide further direction for major growth areas and approximately 230 site- and area-specific policies.

Together with the public, Council and our corporate partners, the new Official Plan builds on significant public input during the entire Toronto Plan process. Beginning with the Official Plan Launch in April 1999 and guided by the Official Plan Council Reference Group, staff met and consulted with hundreds of individuals, groups and organizations on the new Official Plan. It is the culmination of extensive consultations with a broad cross-section of community and corporate stakeholders. Over 133,000 visits to the Toronto Plan Web site and hundreds of e-mail and written submissions are indicative of the level of involvement and interest the new Official Plan has received.
*
Our story
On January 1, 1998, the new City of Toronto was created through the amalgamation of one regional and six local municipalities - Metropolitan Toronto, York, East York, Etobicoke, Scarborough, North York and Toronto. One of the new Council's first major decisions, in April of 1998, was to ask that a new Official Plan be prepared to replace the plans inherited from the former municipalities. Council recognized the need to bring the City together around a dynamic vision in order to chart a course that could carry the country's largest city and the province's capital forward into the new century.

Spring flowersIt began in March 1999, when Council adopted a framework to guide the creation of the new Official Plan, called Toronto Plan. Council recognized that there was a need to "break the mould" of our current plans and search for fresh strategic approaches to city building.

In April of 1999, we launched the Toronto Plan program by sponsoring a major forum on the future of the City. It brought together City Councillors, the public and local and international experts to learn about what needs to be done to ensure that Toronto responds to economic and social and environmental challenges in a way that improves on the quality of life we enjoy today. Extensive research and public consultation began in earnest immediately following the forum.

In the spring of 2000, a major discussion paper, Toronto at the Crossroads: Shaping our Future was released. Based on consultation and research to date, the Directions Report set the table for a public debate about the choices facing the City. The Directions Report emphasized the connections between the health of the city and the surrounding region and the need to invest in the three pillars of our quality of life: community, economy and environment. It outlined a new approach to land use planning based on looking at the City through three "lenses": stable, incremental change and major change. It put forward a "game plan" for implementation using campaigns and opened the door to debate and discussion on how we should shape our city in the decades to come. The Directions Report challenged people to envisage a great city, but also cautioned that "Toronto will be as good as we choose to make it."

The Directions Report was discussed at town hall meetings, meetings of ratepayer associations, in the media, at various stakeholder and reference group meetings, and through feedback forms on this Web site. Two of the five Official Plan newsletters provided information about the key challenges facing Toronto and the recommended policy directions to address these challenges that were identified in the Directions Report.
The Official Plan was approved by City Council in November 2002. On July 6, 2006, the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) issued an Order, bringing the majority of the City of Toronto's new Official Plan into effect and repealing most of the seven municipal Official Plans that the new City of Toronto inherited.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,681 Posts
Montréal Master Plan

Introduction


Montréal Summit, June 2002

The Master Plan is the result of a planning and cooperative process initiated at the Montréal Summit in June 2002. The Master Plan presents a planning and development vision for the City, as well as measures for implementing the goals and objectives resulting from that vision.

The Plan deals with issues applying both to Montréal as a whole and to the specific characteristics of the 27 boroughs, which reflect the City’s multi-faceted identity. Indeed, the personality of this great North American city is displayed in the different characteristics of each borough, which gives them a distinctive local colour. As the cultural and economic metropolis of Québec, at the heart of a region of more than three million people, Montréal has succeeded in developing an enviable quality of life.

The boroughs and the various municipal departments have worked together closely in order to produce this document. As such, it is a major landmark in the establishment of the new Ville de Montréal, which was created on January 1st, 2002. The Plan’s preparation also involved a number of government officials and outside partners. The public consultation process gave Montrealers an opportunity to express their point of view concerning the planning and development of their City and borough.

Sommet de Montréal, juin 2002

Le Plan d'urbanisme est le fruit d'une démarche de planification et de concertation amorcée au Sommet de Montréal de juin 2002. Il présente la vision d'aménagement et de développement du territoire de la Ville de Montréal ainsi que les mesures servant à mettre en œuvre les orientations et les objectifs qui en découlent.

Le Plan traite à la fois des enjeux pan-montréalais et des particularités distinctives des 27 arrondissements, reflets de l'identité aux multiples facettes de Montréal. En effet, la personnalité de cette grande ville nord-américaine se traduit de différentes façons dans chaque arrondissement, lui procurant une couleur locale distincte. Montréal, métropole culturelle et économique du Québec, au cœur d'une agglomération de plus de trois millions d'habitants, a su développer une qualité de vie enviable.

Le présent document est le produit d'un étroit arrimage entre les arrondissements et les divers services municipaux. Il correspond donc à un jalon de première importance dans la construction de la nouvelle Ville de Montréal, créée le 1er janvier 2002. De plus, l'élaboration du Plan fait appel à la participation de représentants des gouvernements et des partenaires externes. Le processus de consultation publique a en outre permis aux Montréalais de faire valoir leur point de vue quant à l'aménagement et au développement de leur ville et de leur arrondissement.

http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/portal/page?_pageid=2762,3099669&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top