Recently, the Globe and Mail published an article on The Five Things All Canadian Cities Should Stop Ignoring. The article was straight to the point stating there are various issues that cities must address. It mentions affordable housing, reform to way in which cities deliver services, infrastructure and resiliency.
Cities need to plan for resiliency, in the past years we have seen how climate change has severely affected cities and how they function. From extreme flooding to extreme heat. Cities now have to think how to plan with these issues in mind.
Infrastructure is another issue cities need to focus on. Most of the infrastructure and development plans for Ontario are only short term solutions to long-term problems. Just masking these problems will continue to cost an enormous amount of money in the long-run. For example, the continual patch work of the Gardiner Expressway instead actually fixing the root of the problem. City officials need to sit down and consult with professionals on how to solve these issues.
Another point is, with the changing of municipal government, there needs to be a set “playlist” so that these plans for infrastructure and development are not changed or canceled and rebooted every other four years.
Finally, it is important to mention the “T Word”, taxes. Taxes are something that we have become to fear in North America. However, we tend to forget the importance of them. If there are no taxes in place, it is next impossible to solve these various issues, without cutting or reducing other important programs. We need to remind residents where the money from their taxes goes and the importance of it.
If cities are able to address this issues it may be possible to have much more sustainable and prosperous communities.
Image by: Trevor Haldenby