Calgary mayor decides to stop subsidizing sprawl so redevelopment can grow

From an open letter by Naheed Nenshi, mayor of Calgary, Alberta, Canada:

On Monday, your city council made one of the most important decisions of our term, when we decided to adopt a new off-site levy bylaw. This is big. It will fundamentally change how we pay for growth in this city, mostly ending what I’ve been calling a sprawl subsidy.

Despite the current economic situation, Calgary is growing — fast. Over the past four years, we added more than 130,000 people. That’s like adding the entire city of Red Deer and half of Medicine Hat. All those new people need roads and transit, and emergency protection, and libraries and recreation centres, and access to safe, clean water.

We have fundamentally ended the development subsidy. For the first time, growth in all parts of the city will now compete on a level playing field, allowing for the market to work and homebuyers to see the true costs of their homes.

Calgary sprawl photo credit:

Read full letter.

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