Vancouver, Say farewell to the Green Zone
On the face of it this just seems like a very, very dumb idea. Don't these people read the papers (or even trade mags for Christ's sake)? Even Hellman's has figured out that food security is one of the fastest growing concerns people have. I thought BC was supposed to be a thought leader in this area. Why are we squandering our unique ability to lead the world in areas of sustainable society at the very moment when it is becoming a valued trait of a city?
Yesterday Metro Vancouver decided to allow land to be taken out of the Green Zone for redevelopment. This was at the bidding of Surrey - but undoubtedly there has been a campaign for some time. The line goes - we support you to take some land out and then you support us. Expect to see much more taken out in coming months.
The first four words of the Livable Region Strategic Plan are “Protect the Green Zone”, and since 1995 that is what has been done. The LRSP is still the legally mandated Regional Growth Strategy, which Metro exists to defend. But what the councillors at yesterday’s meeting showed was that when the temptation to make money from property development gets big enough, nothing will ever be allowed to stand in its way. We have already seen the protection of the ALR gradually whittled away. Now the Green Zone will follow. The SFPR and the expansion of Deltaport will see an end to farming in much of Delta and will kill both Burns Bog and the last salmon runs in the Fraser. The twinning of the Port Mann Bridge and expansion of Highway 1 will see continuous suburban car oriented development south of the Fraser - unless someone wakes up in Victoria soon and realises what has been happening across North America is starting to happen here too. (North of the Fraser the Golden Ears Bridge and the replacement of the Pitt River Bridge will see the same effect.) Rising oil prices mean that automobility as we know it will no longer be economically feasible - so the irreversible damage to the region’s livability will have been for nought.