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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered



  1. Sir,

    To me the most relevant comment you made was “The residents of Saint John appear to have sensed the impact of these old outdated policies and have begun rejuvenating the city even in the absence of a new municipal plan. ” As ALWAYS, the market knows better than bureaucrats and Utopian planners. Scrap the plan, scrap the zoning, scrap the planners.

    Darren Hargrove
    John Law Corporation

  2. I’m interested to know what kind of crowd-sourcing was used to develop the new municipal plan. We will soon be embarking on a review of our own plan here in Charlottetown.

  3. Darren:

    I’m not so sure I’d go as far as to scrap the plan, zoning, and planners since there’s a good chance we would end up with something that resembles chaos, but you are correct that the market knows what the market wants.  Better yet, the community knows what the community wants.  

    The zoning, the plan, and planners are simply the “shepherds” of a shared community vision, for good or for bad.  Although we’d all wish that the planners and bureaucrats were always a step ahead, it is our responsibility as citizens to voice our vision for the community and effect the change we want to see.  PlanSJ, for me, is just that — a summary of our community’s refreshed desires.

  4. Rob:

    The City staff and the consultants did a fantastic job of workshopping and soliciting comments from the public and stakeholders at every turn of the municipal plan’s development.  They responded to virtually every question and submission as well as producing a report summarizing the action taken as a result of the public comments.  

    Check out, particularly the public engagement tab on the left hand side for a summary of the plan’s development.  I also encourage you to contact the City’s Planning Department and have a conversation with the Deputy Commissioner and her staff.  They are fantastic!

  5. The market know it wants exceedingly spaced out megahomes for as cheap (ugly) as possible. Zoning could be a little less prescriptive but we need to have a mechanism to use to encourage the ‘vision’ created by the community, which most often has greater-good principles. That’s where zoning fits in.

  6. Morgan:

    You mentioned form-based zoning in your article. I have heard that Moncton already has some experience with this approach to zoning – is that true?

    Ray Tomalty
    Smart Cities Research

  7. Ray:

    To be honest, I’m not sure but this would be fantastic research for Saint John’s zoning review process to figure out and determine its successes and failures.  Moncton, as a very sprawling city, could really benefit from a form-based approach.  …and trust me on that — I lived there for a few years as a student without a car!

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