My notes for my remarks about the draft London Plan
Intro and address
Thank council, staff and Londoners for bringing this plan forward -- on this one big issue that is so important, council and staff have done a very good job
I’d like to focus my initial feedback on three related areas
- Rapid transit
- Active transportation
- Urban regeneration
Rapid transit will be key to providing Londoners with more transportation choices and increasing overall mobility in our city
We know we need to provide transportation options that are substantially better than the status quo
The planned rapid transit will also provide a strong incentive for intensification along those corridors
People who prefer to travel by transit will have a great reason to live, work and shop in those parts of the city
This will be true along the rapid transit corridors (Oxford, Richmond, Wellington and Dundas)
As well as the Transit Villages like the one envisioned along Highbury
This plan will be good for Londoners who live here already and will make a real difference for the thousands of students who move to London from larger cities like Toronto
Their first impressions of our city are informed, in part, by our transit system
Extending rapid transit from our downtown to the Transit Villages near Fanshawe and Western will open up our city to students in a meaningful way
The focus on active transportation is an excellent development for Londoners who prefer to save money or get some exercise by walking or cycling, and for Londoners as drivers, who will benefit from a more balanced transportation mode share
One of the great advantages of intensification and infill along the rapid transit corridors is that it supports more cost-effective patterns of development and walkable communities, which we know are important for aging-in-place and making our city age-friendly -- for our younger and older generations
I support investment in pedestrian and cycling infrastructure within the Primary Transit Area — in terms of priority it is a good focal point
There is a point under “Direction 6” about attractive mobility options that is really important
And that’s paragraph 50.2 "Ensure that our transportation infrastructure is designed to be accessible and accommodate people of all abilities.”
I wholeheartedly support that objective, but would encourage us to go beyond “is designed to be accessible and accommodate” to simply “is accessible and accommodates.”
Maximizing the potential of our existing neighbourhoods is so important to creating a more compact, more affordable, more urban city
The intensification target of 40% of new residential growth being accommodated within the built area boundary of the city is good
But I wonder if we can achieve a more ambitious target of 50%
We know, after all, that infill development is more cost-effective than development outside of the built area boundary of the city
A higher intensification target also helps us to preserve as much of our existing farmland as possible
Adaptive re-use of buildings and new development in the older urban areas of the city will be crucial in achieving the intensification target and providing Londoners who want to live in these neighbourhoods with a good range of housing options that are in keeping with the character of our older neighbourhoods
Just last week, there was an exploratory meeting about a potential mixed-use condominium development at the old Embassy lot at Dundas & English
The policies of the London Plan for urban regeneration will be essential to encouraging such developments in all of the older urban areas of the city
I hope the plan will allow for some light industrial, such as food production, that would be in keeping with the character of the neighbourhoods and the relevant place types.
Last week, Ben Gomberg, who many of you will recall from his time on city staff, spoke about the importance of political, staff and citizen leadership in making change.
Kudos to all — Londoners, staff and political leaders—who have contributed to this vision for our city and this plan for achieving that vision.
I’m very optimistic about the future of our city.
- Strategic Priorities & Policy Committee Agenda
- Online mapping tool showing elements of the London Plan
- Draft London Plan
- Videos on city-building policies
From the ReThink London staff team:
"Come join us to have your say about The London Plan to members of Council. This is one of the many opportunities to let us know what you think about the Plan. The purpose of this public participation meeting is to receive initial comments and preliminary feedback from the public on the draft new Official Plan – The London Plan. A future statutory public participation meeting regarding the draft Plan will be held before the Planning and Environment Committee in accordance with both section 17 and 26 of the Planning Act, R.S.O. c.P.13. It is anticipated that notice of this future statutory public participation meeting will be given in the fall of 2014."
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