The City of Ottawa is in the process of creating an action plan to develop the City’s suburbs, where 60% of development land occurs.
According to Alain Miguelez, Program Manager of Intensification and Neighbourhoods with the City of Ottawa, the new outskirts of the capital will no longer be dominated by rows of single-family homes.
“We are now constructing many more apartment units, townhomes and multiple/row housing than single homes.” – Alian Miguelez, Program Manager of Intensification and Neighbourhoods with the City of Ottawa
According to him, since the amalgamation of the City of Ottawa in 2001, the density of development has increased by nearly 70%, thus the new districts in the outskirts of the city are more densely populated.
Some of these regions are in the older areas of Ottawa City Centre, such as the Glebe and Sandy-Hill.
The city is looking for more density in the suburbs which would attract viable commerce and services closer to these regions.
“The exercise is to give as many possible options so that these neighbourhoods function well”, states Mr. Miguelez.
According to its action plan, the municipality also proposes constructing smaller parks that are more accessible to each neighbourhood.
In addition, the plan proposes to plant more trees on these new streets and to integrate cycling networks. Everything will be based on the development of public transit, including light rail. “We want a density that is supported by proper transit services” the manager explains. More parking spaces for cars are also planned, that facilitates snow removal operations. “The trick is to achieve the proper density that provides a beautiful and logical neighbourhood” says Alain Miguelez. However, the Councillor of Cumberland Ward, Stephen Blais, already sees some problems. “We must find a balance in the new form of development in the suburbs” believes the Councillor. For example, Mr. Blais believes that there could be problems with speeding cars, parking spaces, and park construction delays as files lie around for years at the City for the new districts, he said. The database for the action plan will be studied further by 2018.
Reported by Stéphane Leclerc