Denley: Don't let Ottawa politicians tell you tall tales about the city's growth

By Randall Denley, Ottawa Citizen, August 8, 2018

There are four big, city-wide issues in this year’s election. Roads, taxes and garbage collection are the nitty-gritty of city services, but planning is the most important in the long run. Mistakes in the other three areas can be corrected, but the effects of bad planning last a lifetime.

Where new development goes, what it looks like, and how tall it is are all legitimate issues on which the public should have a meaningful say. And yet, for years, communities have been surprised when city council approved development that was not at all what local residents expected.

(...)Our choice is not between urban sprawl and super-tall buildings. Urban sprawl refers to pushing out the city’s development boundaries to accommodate low-density, car-dependent suburbs. In fact, Ottawa froze its urban boundary in 2016 and new suburban development is becoming increasingly dense. More important, Ottawa is exceeding its intensification targets and it is accomplishing that without relying on condo skyscrapers.

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