Monthly Archives: March 2007


In a post entitled “Are You Tired of the Sprawl Game?”, I argued that we miss the essentials of the problem of managing urban growth by focusing instead on images and ideologies – arguing, for example, about New Urbanism vs. modernism, or liberalism vs. conservatism, instead of doing what needs to be done. In this post, I follow that argument up with some practical suggestions for Winnipeg.
I focus on a particular city because that’s really the only way growth problems can be addressed. Each city is unique, and there is no universal template. That said, each city displays many similarities with many other cities. My suggestions for Winnipeg will resonate with many who are familiar with the problems of other mid-size, slow-growth cities in North America.
In Winnipeg, as in many other slow-growth cities, the essence of the problem of sprawl is that we extend roads, sewers and water lines much farther than we need to to accommodate our slow population growth. As a result, the costs of these facilities spiral out of control for want of enough property owners to pay for them. There are a lot of simple, straightforward planning practices that we could be following to help bring our runaway infrastructure and servicing costs under control, while making the city a more interesting and pleasant place to live.

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The sub-title of my blog reads: “Research-based analysis and commentary.” What does that mean?
In much of the media and the internet, it’s acceptable to to make statements simply to be provocative or to launch a one-sided defence of a particular point of view or interest. In this blog, I will do my best to take full account of the arguments and evidence for opposing viewpoints.

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