Let me see if I have this right.

The city in which I live, which seems unable to build and maintain the infrastructure it currently has, wants to have more space to build more infrastructure it will not be able to maintain.

The city that cannot effectively remove snow from its streets, cannot ensure that roads are not an invitation to a front-end alignment and cannot fix crumbling sidewalks, wants to build more of the same.

The city that’s supposed to be becoming greener wants to expand the ecological cancer of suburbia beyond its current borders.

The city where many people are trying to eat locally produced food wants to pave over number -one-grade farmland and keep future generations from benefiting from essential topsoil by taking it out of production.

The city that cannot ensure children can go to school in their own neighbourhoods wants to build more subdivisions so that more people can find themselves without a neighbourhood school.

The city that should be concentrating on increasing density in older neighbourhoods wants to ensure that people have the opportunity to buy single-family homes that are perhaps the worst use of urban space.

I say enough is enough. We are never going to become the city we want to be until we learn how to do the basics well.

The core purpose of any city is to provide roads, bridges, police, water and garbage pickup and the other things people think they are paying their taxes for.

So it’s time to start saying no. No to expansion. No to more recreation centres, more arts centres, more initiatives that are designed to bring people here to see what a city with bad roads and sidewalks looks like and no to anything that does not address our infrastructure problems.

We need to concentrate on our basic civic needs before we do anything else. To do so requires the kind of political will that has seemed absent for several decades.

I wonder if anyone who runs in the next election will have the courage to stand up and say enough is enough

More from Urban Compass:

blog comments powered by Disqus