Comment 119951

By RobF (registered) | Posted September 09, 2016 at 09:20:12 in reply to Comment 119947

Realistically, do people actually directly reap any local benefit from intensification? No. They get all the negatives, and the additional property taxes collected go directly into the public city coffers to be spent city-wide.

In a nutshell this is bang-on. The real winners are people who live close enough to enjoy the benefits of intensification, but aren't directly impacted by it ... i.e. shadows aren't cast on their gardens, they don't have big walls to look at in place of a view, they don't have to deal with the increased traffic in-and-out of a new building, and so on. But they do benefit from transit improvements, infrastructural upgrades, and other new amenities that flow from intensification.

It is a classic case of what is good for the whole, isn't borne equally by the parts in terms of costs. Impacts can be very finely felt ... I live just outside the 200m zone of the West Harbour GO station. Close enough for a convenient walk to it and the proposed LRT, but not where most of the changes from intensification are planned to be most intense ... at least in the foreseeable future.

In my experience that is the difference between good "NIMBYism" and bad "NIMBYism" ... there are legitimate local concerns and interests that need to be advanced in relation to planned changes via intensification. Otherwise, the City gets its assessment growth, developers/land speculators make their money, planners/architects/urbanists get "vitality", people in construction get work, and the next door neighbours feel it has come at their expense.

I realize, of course, not everyone feels the same way. It depends on what you envision as a good place to live, and whether you see bigger buildings and less open space as inherently undesirable regardless of the benefits/tradeoffs involved. That's why it is a political question ultimately ... intensification creates winners and losers and that needs to be managed.

Comment edited by RobF on 2016-09-09 09:24:28

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