City proposal to expand urban boundary draws fire from both sides

By Ryan Patrick Jones, CBC News Ottawa, April 26, 2020

The city's proposal to dramatically expand the amount of land open for suburban development is drawing fire from both sides of the debate.

In a report released Friday, planning department staff recommended adding 1,650 hectares to the city's suburbs. The expansion is meant to accommodate an influx of approximately 400,000 new residents over the next quarter of a century.

"It's really quite a striking example of just completely wrongheaded policy," said Robb Barnes, executive director of Ecology Ottawa, an environmental advocacy group. "It amounts to a radical assault on a number of files that are really critical to progress on environmental issues in Ottawa."

Barnes said curbing urban sprawl is one of the main ways the city can tackle climate change. By building up, not out, and pairing that with investments in transit and sustainable development, Barnes said the city could reduce carbon emissions.

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